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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Support forums
Date Wed, 07 Sep 2011 04:02:37 GMT
On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 11:40 PM, Joe Schaefer <> wrote:
> Yes frankly I consider that a minor bump
> along the way.  As drew pointed out the
> Volunteers wish to transfer their "ownership"
> of the forums to the ASF.  I see no reason
> to gate host migration on that "transfer" being
> carried out in advance.  I haven't seen any
> actual contracts (or confirmation by Oracle people)
> so I use quotes aroundthese items, but have no
> reason to doubttheir accuracy at this point.

Drew wrote:

"First - the current owners of the User Community
Forums, the instance of the phpBB softwaree and the content within the
attached database is owned by the group of individuals known as the
Volunteer Group within the forum"

So the claim is not "ownership" of the forums in some stewardship
sense.  This is specifically a claim of ownership of the content.
IANAL, but I don't think we should dismiss that claim too hastily.
Even out of respect for their emotions, it would be unwise to just
move forward without their explicit permission.

> And no it's not aggressive, it's what they *want*.

Drew said it was his "personal wish" that the forums would be
transferred to Apache, but he also wrote:

"Fourth - The owners of the User Community Forums have
an explicit right to relocate the services provided at, along with all content generated by the
site, to a new location solely at the discretion of the Volunteer

He also says that the Volunteer Group "currently consists of 75
individuals".  So we have one volunteer's "personal wish" and a claim
of content ownership by 75 volunteers.

Of course, there was intent to move to Apache expressed by some of the
other admins on the list, as well but we never heard from anywhere
close to 75 volunteers.  And then there was that note, which I don't
think we should just ignore.  I hope it is not considered too
aggressive to actually listen to the forum volunteers when they say
something as carefully as they did in that note.

> Nobody's under any illusions that their current
> "ownership" of the forums will be maintained going
> forward.

I think the forum volunteers, as a group, need to come to an
understanding among themselves as to what they want.  Ideally they
would put that in the form of a proposal that we (PPMC) can discuss
and approve.  I think we can have a reasonable discussion on that
which respects the prerogatives they have based on their claims of
ownership and their collective priorities, and which also respects the
PPMC's prerogatives based on our collective priorities and
responsibilities.  I'm not quite sure what "ownership" in quotes
means, so I wont' speculate specifically on a nebulous term.  My main
point is their claim of ownership was not in quotes and was not


>>From: Rob Weir <>
>>Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 11:29 PM
>>Subject: Re: [PROPOSAL] Support forums
>>On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 11:05 PM, Joe Schaefer <> wrote:
>>> Not everything people do needs to be scrutinized
>>> to each PPMC member's satisfaction.  If you do that
>>> without any concern for people's emotions you will
>>> wind up with more outcomes like this one.  Some
>>> things are better left up to people with enough
>>> experience and expertise that minor organizational
>>> problems can be "finessed" effectively without
>>> major turmoil ensuing.  Part of why I offered
>>> to mentor this project was to apply some of that
>>> expertise here, but I feel so far my time has largely
>>> been a wasted effort and am considering tossing
>>> in the towel myself as a result.
>>The forum volunteers came out, declared that they had always been
>>independent of the OpenOffice project, that they had a separate
>>contractual agreement with Oracle to host the forums at
>>and that they owned the content. That was what they posted to the list
>>Do you really think at that point, after receiving that note, it would
>>be prudent to just move ahead with the migration?   Is this really a
>>"minor organizational problem"?  Their note looks more like a red
>>light than a green light to me.
>>Right now, it looks like we're waiting for the forum volunteers
>>discuss among themselves and come back with a proposal.  Do you, are
>>anyone else, have a counter proposal for what we should be doing?
>>Personally  I don't think their note really gives us much freedom of
>>action.  If we move forward with migration that would be quite
>>aggressive at this point, after their claim of ownership.
>>>>From: Rob Weir <>
>>>>Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:52 PM
>>>>Subject: Re: [PROPOSAL] Support forums
>>>>On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 8:25 PM, Joe Schaefer <>
>>>>> Look Simon, while I obviously don't have the time nor
>>>>> the inclination to comment on every suggestion made on
>>>>> this list, all I've *ever* expected us to do with the
>>>>> forums is to just start hosting it on ASF gear.  The
>>>>> only modifications infra wanted were with respect to
>>>>> bringing the codebase up to the latest available
>>>>> version(s).
>>>>> Frontloading this effort with a bunch of social and technical
>>>>> red tape servesneither the ASF nor the goals of the Apache
>>>>> Way, whichis supposed to involve gradual, evolutionary changes
>>>>> toboth communities and to code.  Revolutions are not called
>>>>> for at this particular juncture; it's hard enough work
>>>>> to just move things over (both code-wise and community-wise)
>>>>> largely unchanged.
>>>>Joe, no one is asking for a revolution.  In fact I'm suggesting that
>>>>the forum volunteers taking their time and think this through
>>>>carefully before deciding.  Others were urging swift action, that the
>>>>forums should be quickly integrated without any discussions at all.  I
>>>>think that is the more revolutionary approach, bypassing PPMC
>>>>discussion and consensus building.
>>>>If we saw eye to eye on the broad strokes of collaboration but
>>>>differed in the fine details, then I could see letting that work
>>>>itself out as the Podling worked toward graduation.  But clearly the
>>>>gulf of expectations was too large in this case.  We'll be close
>>>>enough when we are confident that the details can work themselves out
>>>>on the path to graduation.  I think we're getting closer.  You might
>>>>think we're already there, or we're always been there.  That's your
>>>>opinion.  Others may share it as well.  But if everyone but me thought
>>>>that then we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we?  Elephants
>>>>aside, I may be the most obnoxious person speaking these views, but
>>>>I'm far from the only one that thinks working out a common
>>>>understanding now makes sense.

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