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From Ross Gardler <Ross.Gard...@microsoft.com>
Subject RE: [DISCUSS] Mentor neutrality policy
Date Fri, 09 Oct 2015 15:36:18 GMT
I'm not sure about this.

In the past I've argued that we need mentors who *do* have a personal interest. Those are
the ones least likely to be absent during incubation.

I do agree that mentors must act in a neutral way. I would hope that if this were not the
case then someone would speak up. I accept that it would be awkward to do so but concerns
need not be raised in a "person Foo is not acting in a neutral way" in most cases it would
always be possible to say "the project is not acting in a neutral way".  

Furthermore, how do we evaluate "vested interest". If someone agrees to mentor a project that
is from a team in a different part of their company do they have a vested interest? Speaking
personally I have more interest in the success of our partners than I do in some unrelated
parts of my employers business. Does that mean I should not be allowed to mentor projects
from my partners too? While I can hide behind a "big company blindness" case others have no
such option. What if they are from a SME who does not have that luxury, how do we enforce
this proposal fairly?

I'd like to think that if the ASF is the right place for a project in which someone has a
vested interest then they will want that project to operate as an Apache project. By definition
that means that the mentor must act impartially if they are to achieve their goals.

Personally I would focus more on better oversight of podling and mentor activity. The goal
is to catch the occasional problem case rather than put restrictions in place. I'm not sure
how to do that though. I and others have made many suggestions over the years. They can be
found here http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/IncubatorIssues2013 (you might want to add your
proposal there).

Ross

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Gruno [mailto:humbedooh@apache.org] 
Sent: Friday, October 9, 2015 8:07 AM
To: general@incubator.apache.org
Subject: [DISCUSS] Mentor neutrality policy

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.


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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