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From "Mattmann, Chris A (388J)" <>
Subject Re: Incubator, or "Incubation"?
Date Thu, 02 Feb 2012 18:27:19 GMT
Hey Bill,

On Feb 2, 2012, at 9:25 AM, William A. Rowe Jr. wrote:

> Wow... a post that was too long even for me :)  We might want to break
> this down into a couple of distinct topic threads for simplicities sake.

Sorry I have a big mouth :) Thanks for breaking it down.
Comments below.

> Anyways, just one commment;
> On 2/2/2012 10:56 AM, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) wrote:
>> On Feb 1, 2012, at 6:38 PM, Greg Stein wrote:
>>> I can easily see a small group of
>>> people maintaining that overall status and recommendation to graduate.
>>> I can see this group shepherding the initial incubating-TLP resolution
>>> to the Board. (a graduation resolution, if needed, could easily be
>>> handled by the TLP itself by graduation time)
>> I can see what you and Bill are saying too and it's not a blocker for me, 
>> but I'd urge you to consider the extra overhead that it would add, compared
>> to the benefit of simply saying, the incoming project is simply any other 
>> ASF project, has the notion that those 3 ASF members that MUST be 
>> on the incoming project's PMC as identified in their proposal. And that
>> those 3 ASF members could come from a collective set of what you guys
>> are saying is this special, reduced IPMC like entity. I'm guessing that
>> organically that's what would happen anyways. Only a small set of 
>> ASF members will volunteer to be on these incoming projects and help
>> shepherd them in just the way it works today.
> You mention also "No need for the position anymore. Just another report to
> have to read as a board member, and someone to middle-man, when what the
> board ought to be doing is talking to the new project's VP, day 1."
> What I have tried to clearly state is; don't think of this VP as the
> middle man.  Think of this VP as the expediter.  The one who takes a whole
> stack of customs, duty, shipping and tarriff forms, and boils it down to
> "Fill this in, and we'll submit these things".

Yeah I could see this VP actually being of some use, if it's 1 guy who 
assumes that responsibility. I just cringe when I think of a VP and a 
"committee of well intended [fill in the blank here] people who care
and..." blah blah blah. 

We don't have this extra need for the rest of our TLPs some of which
include a chair that has never heard of the board@ list, nor all of the
little nitty-gritty stuff that has to be done. But somehow, some way, they
make it.

My supposition is that they make it because there are N ASF members
and some subset of those N that have "done it before" or "seen it done" 
before and they guide the new chair (out of Incubation) for the new 
project and tell him how to get it done. That's what I just did on Gora 
and what I regularly see done in other projects. 

I guess the key difference between this small (but important) part of 
our interpretation of this Incubator fix resolution that we're discussing
is the following:

You (and maybe Greg?) feel that you need 1 VP guy (and perhaps 
a committee/or not) to help out these projects-from-day-1-new-projects
that will be coming into the ASF, and that you need information flow up
from that guy and responsibility/culpability from that guy to the board, 
and on down from it. 

I, on the other hand, feel that the N(=3?) ASF members that have to be
part of the new project's PMC from day 1, and that that new project's 
VP (from day 1), are sufficient to provide that information flow up, and
responsibility/culpability. And guidance. And pointers to ASF resources
like ComDev (which will hold the Incubator docs), like Legal, like etc.
Just like the way it works today on our projects. 

> This VP would not be in the middle.  They would be on the sideline.  If
> the mentors are entirely capable, perhaps ex-PMC chairs themselves, then
> marvelous.  If they are PMC members who have never submitted a resolution
> in their lives, the VP is there to assist.
> The VP keeps the "files" on process.  Not the lofty PMC Bylaws and Best
> Practices and Nurturing Your Community documents, but the cookie cutter
> "Your proposal should state" formal documentation.  Think in terms of
> ASF Legal, or better yet, Trademarks.  They don't stand 'over' any
> committee.  They gather, define and communicate process.  That is the
> role of VP, Project Incubation.  Individual PMCs (even incubating PMCs)
> assume the *responsibility* for following those processes.  Not a traffic
> cop, but a tourist guide.

Yep I agree with both paragraphs above; it's just to me you can s/Incubation
VP/new Project's VP + 3 ASF PMC members that are part of it.

> It seems outside of the remit of ComDev to deal with this aspect, just
> as it's outside the remit of ComDev to do the actual logistics of retiring
> to and caring for the projects in the Attic.  Sure, ComDev will have some
> good 'getting started', 'how to' docs about both incubation and retirement.
> But they aren't the resolution wranglers charged with following up on the
> board's feedback.  If a new incubating PMC resolution is broken, that VP
> would step in to guide the mentors and podling to fix their proposal before
> the board reconsiders it at a subsequent meeting.

Yep sorry, another not so clear point of my proposal. Let me make it clear.
I'm not saying ComDev should take over "the responsibility" of each of these
new projects and the meddling (errr...helping, yay!) to show them the ASF
resources that are out there; make sure they file their reports; the "resolution
wrangers" you're talking about. To me, that's part of the new committee that's
about to be formed, and it should be spearheaded by that new committee's 
VP (Champion), along with the 3 ASF members on the PMC that have to be 
part of the proposal.

> So yes, it is a necessary task the board is going to delegate out, whether
> it is framed as the IPMC, or the VP, Project incubation.  It can't be left
> in a hundred different hands to drop.

Agreed; not a hundred hands, but in hands of the new committee's chair (VP
or Champion) and the 3 ASF members (at least) that should be part of its


Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Senior Computer Scientist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 171-266B, Mailstop: 171-246
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

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