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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Project + PPMC Growing Pains
Date Mon, 18 Jul 2011 16:42:00 GMT
On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton <> wrote:
> Good point, Rob.  I am not floating a proposal, more an opportunity for discussion.
 Here are some questions:
>  1. When should we conclude that the Initial Committers that have arrived are all that
are coming and we should close the door, with all further committers being by invitation of
the PPMC?

Friday, September 16th, Midnight UTC.

Let's give a reasonable period of time, especially respecting summer vacations.

>  2. A person is considered eligible to become a committer when there is an established
pattern of contribution on the project: <>.
>  2.1 To what degree should contributions elsewhere -- a prior reputation -- be taken
into consideration?
>  2.2 For how long should we do this, if at all?

I think that many former contributors to OOo have a clear advantage
over all most other potential contributors to Apache OpenOffice, and
this advantage will result in their becoming Committers very fast.
This advantage is their existing familiarity with the product, how it
is put together and how it works and what users want.  This is true
for coders, testers, translators, documentation authors, etc.  This
awareness will allow them to "hit the ground running" and demonstrate
merit far faster than someone who is approaching this code base for
the very first time.

Remember, that becoming a Committer is about commitment to this
project, this *Apache* project, and that this commitment is
demonstrated not only by a contributors patches to the project, or
contributions to the mailing lists or support forums.  It is also
demonstrated by understanding and applying the Apache Way.  This later
qualification is not something one would have gained knowledge of from
work on legacy OpenOffice.  You might gain it from work on other
Apache projects.  Or you can gain it by working on this project for a

So to answer your question:  I don't think we ever stop taking into
consideration work done at legacy OOo, but I think we should always be
looking for evidence that this legacy knowledge is leading to valued
contributions in the Apache project, and that the contributor is
showing that they understand the Apache Way.

>  3. What do you expect to see as demonstration that the PPMC is being even-handed in
the invitation of new committers?

I'd like to see evidence that a new person can join the project, who
was not involved in OOo, and that they can gain sufficient familiarity
with it that they can work on an area of interest, make contributions,
have their patches merged in, and based on their demonstrated merit,
be voted in as committers.

Note that this is more than the voting side of things.  In some sense,
voting is the easiest part of this.  The much harder part is how a new
project members, without previous knowledge of OOo or Apache, can get
up to speed.  In that sense, we need to learn how to be ourselves
"mentors" of new contributors.   We're starting on that already.  The
FAQ's on editing the web site, for example, have enabled more people
to contribute in that area.  We'll want to pay attention to this "new
contributor" factor in all of our work.  What do we need to do to get
new volunteers productive?

>  4. Is it understood why the list is being created
and the safeguards that are intended with regard to the security under which matters of security
are raised?

I think the idea is, that even with the best intentions, a large
private list will have inadvertent leaks.  So where the subject matter
is especially sensitive we limit access even further, to a few

In addition to this list, I suggest we maintain a txt file in the
PPMC's private repository, to contain the contact information for
additional, non PPMC experts who we agree should be consulted in
relevant security discussions.

>  5. Most important: This is a learning experience for all of us.  What do you want
cleared up around these growing-pain considerations?

The above is a good start.

>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Weir []
> Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 14:34
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DISCUSS] Project + PPMC Growing Pains
> Is this intended as a blog post?  It reads like one. In particular I
> don't see any proposals to discuss.
> -Rob
> On Jul 12, 2011, at 4:30 PM, "Dennis E. Hamilton" <> wrote:
>> We are just one month into being the Apache Podling.  It is useful
to interesting to take stock of all that is happening and where we are.
>> The main activity that we are all holding our breath over is the reconstitution of
the code base under Apache.  There is also concern for the documentation and web sites and
how they fit under an Apache umbrella.
>> Depending on their interests and specialties, not everyone here is immediately able
to contribute much.  We are in the process of organizing and bringing over and IP-scrubbing
the initial artifacts for the project that will be the foundation for further work.  There
is not much to get our teeth into in terms of actual development until that is sorted out.
 (E.g., we don't have a bug tracker yet and the documentation, localization, and user-facing
folk, including marketing, are still wondering how our project will accommodate them.)
>> Meanwhile, there is also how we organize ourselves to operate as an Apache project.
>> - Dennis
>> The set of Initial Committers is a self-selected group who added their names to the
Initial Committers list on the original incubator proposal.  That's how the podling is bootstrapped.
 Likewise, ooo-dev participation is fully self-selected, and it will stay that way.
>> This means that we are a group of people who have not worked together as a single
Apache project community before, even though there are a variety of mutual acquaintances and
associations in the mix.
>> Of the Initial Committers, a subset were eager to be on the project and have arrived.
That is the overwhelming source of the current 54 committers, 41 also being on the PPMC.
>> There are still about two-dozen Initial Committers who have not yet registered an
iCLA. We don't know if they are arriving or not.  One issue is when to close the door on
initial committers who have taken no initiative to be here, although reminders have been sent
>> It is also the case that all initial committers are welcome to participate in the
PPMC but not all have taken action to do so.  At some point, the PPMC will not grow automatically
and that also needs to be resolved.
>> We vote on other committers the same as any [P]PMC.  The addition of two invited
committers has already been reported.
>> One thing that concerns the PPMC (who, for all but two members, walked through an
open door) is how and when do we move from consideration of previous reputation and being
known to some of us to a situation where contribution on the podling is the determining factor.
 We're working our way through that.  The PPMC is also concerned that, although the addition
of new committers and new PPMC members is carried out in private, we be transparent about
how we are conducting ourselves and that we demonstrate that we are even-handed about it.
>> It is not clear what the ooo-dev community wants to see and what the understood progression
to the normal rules for invitation of committers should be.
>> The PPMC is responsible for dealing, quietly and privately, with security matters
and their resolution.  The security@ team informs us that because we have so many members
who are unknown here and also to each other at this point, a limited
list is essential.  We need to identify those few among us who have appropriate skills and
sensibilities around security matters and who can keep their work secret when that is appropriate.
>> For this, we want to know who has been on the security teams of and
who happen to be here also.  There will also be cross-communication with other security teams
that operate on the same code base, or in some cases, that operate on the same document formats.
>> We will be going ahead with the creation of the private ooo-security list for that
purpose.  What we are waiting for is identification of three moderators who are distributed
around the earth's time zones well enough to provide moderation of incoming reports in something
approximating 24/7 coverage.
>> [end]

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