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From "Ross Gardler (MS OPEN TECH)" <Ross.Gard...@microsoft.com>
Subject RE: What is "The Apache Way"?
Date Thu, 08 Jan 2015 20:29:14 GMT
It's process vs. culture. We shouldn't get hung up on process. 

Our bylaws (as a foundation) dictate that the board set the formal policies. This is pretty
much a requirement of the way we have to be structured to get 501c(3) status. Someone needs
to be accountable. So, yes, the board votes on policy and enforces it. 

However, the policies that are voted on are defined by the community as a whole. It is the
boards job to find the appropriate policy that best matches the needs of the community. In
most cases the board delegate this responsibility to some other committee. Where it is an
operational concern it is delegated to a presidents committee, where it is a community concern
to a board committee. Those committees invite the broader community to contribute to the discussion
and make recommendations to the board which eventually become policy which is formally "set
and ensured" by the board.

The board are empowered and expected to ensure policies  fit within the boundaries of our
501c(3) status and the foundations sustainability. They are also required to ensure that a
policy that some sub-set of the foundation community requests is not in conflict with what
another sub-set needs. So sometimes the board says "no" to a policy change, however, if the
membership feel that the board is in error they are empowered to get rid of them.

That being said, I do not disagree with you about conflicting opinions. That is an unfortunate
side effect of looking to the those at the cliff face to make decisions. Everyone is looking
at a different part of that cliff face and see different ways to climb. As Benson observes
it is hard for us, as individuals, to know when we need to seek guidance. The foundation does
provide mechanisms for getting a canonical answer - ask the relevant VP, if they are unsure
they will consult the board. If the board are unsure they will consult the membership.

Ross

-----Original Message-----
From: David Nalley [mailto:david@gnsa.us] 
Sent: Thursday, January 8, 2015 11:45 AM
To: general@incubator.apache.org
Subject: Re: What is "The Apache Way"?

>
> Members should look to the board to enforce policy, not define it 
> (Though Directors are members and will be involved with the 
> definition)
>

This disagrees with much that the Foundation has published. In example:
"The membership of the ASF elects the 9 member board to run the foundation and to set and
ensure policy."
From: http://apache.org/foundation/

And whether I agree or disagree with your statement, this perfectly illustrates Marvin's point.
Conflicting statements, that podlings see on websites, and then here from mentors, IPMC members,
or even officers and directors make this incredibly convoluted for people who don't 'understand'
the Apache Way, and more importantly, it's effect on a project community.

And this happens all of the time. I recently was involved in an email conversation with a
project that's considering coming to the Incubator. Involved in the conversation were 4 members,
3 of whom are officers, 1 of whom is a director, and we provided conflicting advice as to
what was 'required' of a project at the ASF on specific points like bug trackers, mailing
lists, etc. The reaction by folks from that project seemed to be one of wonder, curious which
one of us was right?, Worried about the seeming inconsistency. I think that most of the projects
that come into the Incubator, want to do the 'right thing'; we make that much more difficult
by having such a variable answer to 'the right thing'.

--David

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