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From Rich Bowen <>
Subject Re: Incubator report sign-off
Date Mon, 29 Dec 2014 19:51:14 GMT

On 12/29/2014 01:45 PM, Andrew Purtell wrote:
> There are honorary and practical reasons why a project may view the PMC Chair and the
project leader as one in the same.
> Honorary: The community elevated one member as lead and assigned the Chair role out of
> Practical: The PMC Chair has the power to dissolve the PMC, and is an officer of the
Foundation. Nobody else on the project has such power nor indemnification. "Secretary" as
a term does not adequately encompass that.

That's all well and good, however:

1) I'm not aware of even a single time that the PMC chair has actually 
unilaterally dissolved the PMC, and I think the board would have serious 
objections if that were to actually happen, as it would indicate pretty 
serious community failure.

2) ASF projects don't have project leads. Sure, a project may, at one 
time or another, have a person that is clearly at the forefront of 
decision making, but to designate them a project lead indicates 
dysfunction in a collaboration-based structure.

This seems a tad of a diversion from the topic, but definitely worth 

>> On Dec 29, 2014, at 6:46 AM, Rich Bowen <> wrote:
>> On 12/23/2014 03:34 PM, sebb wrote:
>>>> Flex had three great mentors, but to expect them to be the PMC Chair on
>>>>> graduation would have been problematic.  They were great mentors because
>>>>> they had lots of experience from their work on other Apache projects,
>>>>> thus didn’t have time to stay active on a new TLP, plus they really
>>>>> weren’t users or developers of the technology, just our coaches on
>>>>> Apache Way, and thus wouldn’t be good Chair candidates as they weren’t
>>>>> invested in the technology.  But they did stick around on at least the
>>>>> private@ lists and continue to do so even 2 years after graduation where
>>>>> we consult them on occasion.  To require that a mentor be an active
>>>>> contributor limits the kinds of technologies that can come to Apache
>>>>> only those who can interest someone with a lot of spare cycles.
>>>>> IMO, the mentors job is to teach, not to lead.
>>> The job of the PMC chair is almost entirely administrative.
>>> They are the link between the board and the PMC and their main role is
>>> to ensure the board gets timely reports and to feed back comments from
>>> the board.
>>> If a PMC is relying on the chair to drive it forward technically, then
>>> I think something has gone wrong with the PMC.
>> Indeed. Big +1 on this.
>> There are some projects that I've been watching lately where the PMC chair is viewed
as the project lead, and that has a number of problems that go along with it. The PMC chair
is a secretary, whose job is to file the right paperwork. A *hugely* important role, but not
a technical lead role.
>> --
>> Rich Bowen - - @rbowen
>> - @apachecon
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Rich Bowen - - @rbowen - @apachecon

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