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From Shane Curcuru <...@shanecurcuru.org>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Mentor neutrality policy
Date Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:36:30 GMT
Daniel Gruno wrote on 10/9/15 11:07 AM:
> Hi Incubator folks,
> 
> I would like to propose we adopt a mentor neutrality policy for
> incubating podlings:
> 
> - A mentor must not be financially tied to the project or its incubation
> status.
> - A mentor must not have a vested interest in incubating, graduating or
> dismantling a podling that goes beyond the general Apache mission
> - A mentor must not be affiliated with the entity granting the code
> (company or original project community)
> 
> Furthermore, I would like to see this extended to votes on graduating or
> retiring podlings, so that only people with no organizational (aparty
> from the ASF) or financial ties to the project (or the companies behind
> it) can cast a binding vote on graduation or retirement.
> 
> This would essentially mean:
> 
> - If you work for a company (or are hired as consultant/advisor) that is
> entering a project into incubation, you cannot mentor it nor vote
> for/against its incubation, graduation or retirement.
> - If you are a in the original community behind the project, you cannot
> mentor it nor vote for/against it.
> 
> I believe this would create a neutral mentorship whose sole mission is
> to guide podlings with the interests of the ASF in mind.
> 

This ties directly into the concept of independent project governance:

  http://community.apache.org/projectIndependence.html

It's really hard to feel confident that each of our soon-to-graduate
podlings is truly operating as an independent project in some cases.

Question: has everyone here read that essay?  Does everyone here agree
that project independence as described in general terms there is a
requirement of every TLP?  Do people think that this concept is clear to
every Apache PMC?

The fact that we are the "Switzerland of software" - a vendor-neutral
place where everyone could be comfortable collaborating, and we ensure
all of our governance is truly independent of commercial influence or
the influence of our various employers - is probably the hardest issue
we face in the big picture.  I sometimes wonder if we all are on the
same page with that point.

It's clear that the details of any changes here need discussion, and our
general rule of having at least three mentors (presumably, not all of
whom are at the same employer) goes a long way to helping.

But if you think about conflict of interest laws and procedures in the
world of corporate software - or really, any sort of business - the ASF
is the far outlier in trusting and assuming that we are all individuals
wearing our appropriate Apache hat.  That's a good thing, and it's part
of what makes the ASF special - but we also need to remember that the
rest of the world does not always understand our almost laissez-faire
way of treating everyone as an individual unaffected by their outside
affiliations.

- Shane

> 
> Please do discuss this. If there is (mostly) positive feedback, I would
> like to, at some point, have a vote on including this in the Incubator
> policy. I realize this would cut down on the number of potential
> mentors, and I would ask that more people step up to the challenge of
> mentoring if adopted.
> 
> With regards,
> Daniel
> 
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