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From ant elder <>
Subject Re: Retirement decision making
Date Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:24:07 GMT
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM, Benson Margulies <>wrote:

> I have only one point of discomfort with Ross' writing here.
> Ross's position, in this and other messages, seems to me to be that it
> a podling can persist indefinitely, so long as (a) it has involved
> mentors, and (b) there's no ongoing violation of Foundation policy.
> I have two reasons to wonder about this.
> 1: My recollection of the original set of messages from the Board by
> way of Sam were that indefinite residence in the incubator was a
> problem, even well properly supervised.
> 2: While I appreciate that mentors are not entirely fungible, I tend
> to think in terms of a limited pool of volunteer effort, so indefinite
> incubation worries me.
> Neither of these are a reason to change the short-term outcome of
> Chuckwa, one way or the other. I'm thinking of starting a Wiki page on
> the Incubator's mission and scope that might result in a clarification
> of (1). As for (2), Ross' formulation in this message, and in others,
> is to help the community to find consensus by offering a constructive
> logical view. It's always better to do that than to reach, or worry
> about, an impasse.
Retirement of small poddlings in a lot of cases will in reality mean death.
As much as its said they can just move to github or somewhere else because
the poddling is small and not so active there's probably not going to be
enough people with enough spare time to make the move successfully. They'll
have to migrate their website which could be a lot of work especially if
its CMS based one which isn't even available outside the ASF so will
require a complete rewrite, they'll have to rename things like org.apache
Java package names which would be a major blow and would likely lose many
of their already small number of existing users. Etc etc for all the other
ASF provided infrastructure. Retirement seems like a harsh and drastic
action, and unless there is a pressing need i think we should try to avoid

Slow poddlings don't use much ASF resource so aren't a burden. If there are
willing participants and ASF polices aren't being flagrantly breached then
i don't see a problem with a lengthy incubation. You mentioned Sam, he and
others said a lot of things back in that discussion you refer to not all of
which were speaking for the board, FWIR the one subsequent summary message
from the board talked about oversight not time limits, but i can't find the
email, can anyone? Anyway, i don't think Chuwka is at the limit yet
whatever it may be, so while there is a semblance of another plan i think
its worth a shot continuing.

An alternative to long incubation is graduation. I've already mentioned
Wink, Apache Steve is another interesting example - few committers, commit
activity there was low and sporadic with many months at a time with zero
activity, and no evidence of things like community building or promotion or
all the other things being suggested. But Steve skipped incubation entirely
and went straight to being a TLP. The Incubator has a bunch of policies and
guidelines and perceptions on what it takes to be ready for graduation,
what i think it really boils down to (IP clearance etc aside) is do we
trust the participants - will they do the right thing, will they follow The
Apache Way? I think what we really want is to find ways to be more trusting
and so more easily enable graduation.

(and yes i agree with the procedures outlined in Ross's email)


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