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From Christian Grobmeier <>
Subject Re: Vote on personal matters: majority vote vs consensus
Date Wed, 27 Mar 2013 20:12:09 GMT

this is a very interesting proposal. Let me ask a few questions.

On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 5:18 PM, Ross Gardler
<> wrote:
> Why shouldn't the IPMC create an equivalent to the one item in the above
> governance structure that is missing today. That is why shouldn't it have
> an equivalent of "ASF Members elect a board". It would something like IPMC
> elect 9-15 Shepherds. These Shepherds are responsible for ensuring that the
> IPMC membership is heard and that decisions are made for the good of the
> IPMC. They approve membership of the IPMC, they approve project
> entry/graduation/retirement but, and this is critical, they report to the
> IPMC. Most of the time their role is one of delegation to the PPMCs,
> occasionally their role is to break a deadlock by listening to the IPMC and
> making the best decision it can.

it sounds a little bit as the Shepherds would be the "true" PMC of the IPMC.
It's interesting, because you would bypass the problem with "IPMC
members have binding votes, therefore everybody needs to be there".
The term PMC is already in use, so you create a new term and give
these group actual PMC-ship.

Therefore it would be logic to me if the IPMC chair would be elected
out of the Shepherds.

Also if we follow this, Shepherds doesn't sound so nice. Actually it
is a kind of Board.

> This need not change any other line in the existing governance. It need not
> change the IPMC relationship with the board. Mentors will still be IPMC
> members, with binding votes, etc. Since the Shepherds are accountable to
> the IPMC they must seek to do the right thing, or they will be replaced.
> Just as the Board can be replaced at any time if the Membership so desires.


> Of course, we could argue that the IPMC chair already has the authority to
> do all this. Indeed they do. However, expecting one individual to keep
> track of all the activity in our podlings is unreasonable. Furthermore, it
> is harder for one individual to make the hard decisions and suffer the mud
> slinging from those that don't like the outcome.

I don't think a chair should act with authority. I also have not seen
any place where it is said that a chair should "dictate" decisions or
so. You would also bypass this problem with making "multiple chairs".
I believe it would relax the chair (generally spoken) a lot. And you
bypass the problem that a "strong chair" is needed, which seems to be
the case with 172 members.

I was having the "mentor = committer" model in mind, which is similar
to Chris model (i think). At least I would have the problem with the
binding votes. One could only bypass it to give Mentor a binding vote
as exception to other projects. Your proposal has an exception (the
Shepherds) too.
I like it though, but I am still not convinced if we need another
layer of people - or if we just minimize the IPMC and give Mentors (=
Committers) that binding vote.

> Just a thought.... of course, my solution is as flawed as anyone elses and
> I look to the IPMC Chair to find the "good enough" solution that will allow
> us to move on (sorry Benson).

I look to all IPMC members.


> Ross
> On 27 March 2013 11:55, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
>> I suppose that as chair I ought to be heard from here. I've been off for
>> Passover for a bit.
>> In my view, the IPMC manifests two problems. I'd like to label them as
>> 'operational' and 'decision-making'. This thread is about decision-making,
>> but with some people seeing using terms like 'disfunctional', I think it's
>> important to keep 'function' in context.
>> Operationally, we 'started' 1.3 years ago with an acute problem of
>> under-supervised and/or 'malingering' podlings. Under Jukka's leadership,
>> we made a series of incremental changes that have considerably improved the
>> situation. On the other hand, the recent influx of many new podlings
>> worries me, because 'improved' is not the same as 'fixed'. And I'm not
>> entirely sure that 'fixed' is possible. I'd like to see us find more
>> incremental changes that help further, and I'd like them to scale via some
>> mechanism other than my own personal time. I see this as a reason to put
>> more thought into shepherds and champions. But I don't see this situation
>> as 'disfunctional'.
>> On the decision-making front, recent phenomena have demonstrated to me that
>> this group is not succeeding in applying consensus process to decision
>> making. I could write five paragraphs on what that process is and what it
>> requires, but I'm not inclined to. I support the proposal here to apply
>> majority rules to IPMC membership. When consensus process fails here, we
>> have endless email threads. Many of us find these stressful,
>> time-consuming, and disheartening.
>> Under the proposal at hand, we'd still DISCUSS, and I'd hope that we would
>> all try to be thoughtful and constructive and look for ways to agree.
>> However, after a certain amount of discussion, there would be a vote, and
>> that would be that.
>> If this 'works' -- if people here find that it strikes a good balance
>> between seeking consensus and limiting time and stress, we're good.
>> It might not work. Or it might 'work', but some might feel that this large,
>> diffuse, group, operating by majority rules is either inconsistent with
>> Apache policy or a bad example for the podlings. In which case someone
>> might want to dust off the proposals from 1.3 years ago that offered more
>> or less radical alternatives. I'm personally not ready to go there yet.
>> On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 7:03 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz <
>> > wrote:
>> > On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM, Justin Mclean <>
>> > wrote:
>> > > ...As an aside it seems (and please correct me if I'm mistaken) in
>> order
>> > to become
>> > > a IPMC member you first need to be an Apache member (see bottom of
>> > [1])...
>> >
>> > you don't - Apache members can become IPMC members just by asking, but
>> > others can also be elected as incubator PMC members. We do have some
>> > such mentors currently.
>> >
>> > -Bertrand
>> >
>> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>> >
> --
> Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
> Programme Leader (Open Development)
> OpenDirective


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