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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Project + PPMC Growing Pains
Date Mon, 18 Jul 2011 16:08:25 GMT
On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 11:22 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<dennis.hamilton@acm.org> wrote:
>
> It happens that the Initial Committers are a self-selected group whose only qualification
is (1) editing an entry on a wiki page and (2) doing what it takes to show up. It's an arbitrary
solution to the bootstrapping of a podling.
>
> The other arbitrary part is that, immediately and thereafter, all further committer invitations
be based on visible contribution at the podling.
>
> If those are the rules, they are the rules, as in any game.  There are folks who find
them unreasonable.

The only hard rules are that committers must be voted in and must
provide an ICLA.

When faced with an initial proposal which contained exactly two names:
one from Oracle and one from IBM, and I could have picked any number
of ways to address this.  I opted to take a calculated risk and said
that I would endorse anybody who was paying attention and had the
gumption to edit the wiki.  There were people who (rightfully)
criticized that approach from the beginning, and undoubtedly there
still are people who feel that I should have set the bar higher from
the beginning.

What's done is done, and the proposal -- complete with a large list of
initial committers -- did get ample number of votes to establish this
podling.

I do believe that the upsides I am continuing to see outweigh the
downsides; but I would be remiss in not identifying one clear
downside: one unenviable task that this PPMC will ultimately have to
accomplish is to decide what it means to actually have shown up (hint:
non-coders can participate too), and eliminate from the PPMC those
that did not.  Note: there is no hidden metrics involved.  You
(collectively) don't need to shed 20% or get above or below any set
numbers.  Simply decide what it means to actively participate and
apply that criteria consistently.

> We should acknowledge that objection even though the PPMC is expected to be unswerving
in its adherence to policies.

You are welcome, and even encouraged, to push back on policies that
don't make sense.  There are some rules that will be difficult to
change (examples: requirements for an ICLA or to have a vote to bring
in new committers) and rules that you get to set (how you evaluate
contributions).  A number of mentors have provided input on the
latter, but if you will note, each and every one of them have stopped
short of saying that it is a hard and immutable rule that needs to be
applied immediately.

> So, are we to make it clear that this is how the Apache Podling bootstrap game is played
and there is no point in arguing with the umpire about what the rules of play are?

In my experience, the hardest concept for newcomers to the ASF to
grasp is that once they are voted in, *THEY* are the umpires.  Sure,
there is a baseball commission that step in in exceptional conditions,
and initially mentors are visibly present, but the sooner the
participants in this project can demonstrate they they are able to
work out these things on their own, the sooner this project can
graduate.

>  - Dennis

- Sam Ruby

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