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From Suresh Marru <sma...@apache.org>
Subject GSoC Mentor ACK for PPMC vs Incubator PMC
Date Thu, 10 Mar 2016 17:23:04 GMT
Hi All,

Since there will be significant Incubator PPMC mentors, I will start a broader discussion
on this topic. Please be cautious, I am cc’ing a private list and a public list, please
only contain this thread to the topic and do not discuss any student proposals or other sensitive
GSOC discussions on this thread. 

There seems to be a confusion on who should send ACK for mentors from Incubator projects.
Refer to GSOC guides on com-dev site [1] for additional information.

I think its time for us to refresh our memories on why PMC acknowledging is needed in the
first place. Here is my take:

* The PMC ACK serves as the filter to make sure mentors are part of the proposed project.
The key here is for a mentor to be able to commit the student contributions, but also is knowledgable
enough on the proposed project. An ACK from a fellow PMC member confirms the same.

* The PMC ACK also serves as a mechanism for the PMC as whole to be aware of the project being
proposed. This is very important. If the mentor gets busy with life, the student should not
be left under water, others on the projects should be able to pick up the slack.

A question often comes up: can a non-PMC and a non-Committer be a mentor? The reasoning often
give is: they have been contributing to the project from a while and know enough to mentor
a GSOC project but is officially not a committer. This question should be re-directed to the
PMC, if someone is actively contributing to the project and can guide a GSOC project, they
probably should have earned commit access by now or even better, be part of the PMC, time
to fix that first. 

Secondly, lot of mentors self-acknowledge their request, they can rightfully do so since they
are part go the PMC. This is not bad since the PMC list is cc’ed and lazy consensus can
be assumed. But its not onerous to expect a three letter reply from others on the PMC which
will ensure the community has interests in the project and not just a single mentor. 

Its important to understand that GSOC is about teaching students to contribute to open source
and community is a big part of it. A single point of contact (mentor) ensures they will be
guided, but it is not a mentor-student training excise. A good mentor should teach the students
to work with the community and not just themselves.  

With this long background, my personal opinion for Incubator projects is to expect PPMC to
acknowledge the mentor. If we go by the rule book, Incubator PMC should ACK the request, but
in many cases the IPMC may not be able to step up and help the student with technical details
but others on the PPMC will have a much better success at it. 

Finally, these are my opinions to make us think on the goals of a process which should take
precedence over rule book. But Uli Stark as the ASF GSOC org admin reserves the final call
on what he will require to validate mentors. 

Suresh
[1] - http://community.apache.org/ <http://community.apache.org/>



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