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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Having New Committers also be on the PPMC
Date Tue, 04 Oct 2011 01:26:03 GMT
I had a few comments (I previously sent to another list) about PPMC vs. 
committer sets (i.e. either offering commit separately, or only in 
conjunction with PPMC membership):

Note that making the distinction (or not) is strictly up to the project. 
  There are plenty of Apache projects on each side of this equation.


Fundamentally, committers are people who are trusted to work on the code 
directly.  Note that in larger projects, there are sometimes social 
rules that determine which specific modules a committer is expected to 
work on; they usually work quite well once established.  I.e. a 
committer on the file system technically could commit everywhere, but is 
expected (socially) to submit patches to other code modules for review.


PMC members are responsible for voting in new committers and/or PMC 
members, and ensuring releases are done properly under Apache rules. 
Typically they do have a broader scope within the project, but not 
necessarily; there are plenty of PMC members who have only ever worked 
in one module of a larger project - but who have also tested, voted on, 
and run releases of the whole project.  PMC members should also assist 
the PMC chair with creating board reports.

Any committer can be a release manager, but only PMC members cast 
binding votes on confirming a software release itself.

Personally, with such a large and diverse project, I think it would be 
useful to make the distinction between the two groups.  There are plenty 
of people who would be happy to just be involved as a committer - 
probably plenty who would really only be interested in committing to 
certain areas.

To answer a question elsethread:

Dave Fisher wrote:
> It is not that I don't think this topic is important, but I think a
> more important discussion is what parts of the project might require
> direct PPMC member involvement as opposed to merely questioning and
> having appropriate transparency into all parts to provide oversight.
> Do we need a PPMC member directly administrating forums and wikis? Do
> we need the PPMC to provide a generally "Lazy Consensus" approval of
> committers and other contributors filling roles within the Forum or
> Wiki administration? Should the PPMC require certain parts of the
> community to report status periodically?
> Depending on how these questions are answered may give examples of
> special cases where Committer status only is appropriate. For example
> and assuming that the User Forums choose to join this project, should
> we require that all Admins be made into Committers and PPMC members,
> or that we only need 3? Or something in between? (Leave aside the
> iCLA question which could be handled of Terms of Use.)

Personally, I don't see that Forum staff necessarily need to be on the 
PPMC; they don't need to vote on releases, so it's not necessary.  I 
would (hope) that some of the Forum staff (admins and possibly top 
moderators) would be invited to the PPMC because of their influence on 
the project and their clear history of helping.

What's more important is that some members of the PPMC (either existing 
staff or just existing Apache PPMC members) have read-access to 
everything on the forums, so they could show oversight of what's 
happening there.

I don't see that we need PPMC members to do any of the day-to-day work 
in the forums.  Any major policy changes or the like in the forums would 
be subject to approval by the PPMC (although I don't expect that would 
ever be an issue).  Someone (doesn't actually have to be a PPMC member) 
would need to provide a general report on the forum activity and call 
out if there are any issues in the quarterly report that the PPMC needs 
to provide to the Incubator(now) / to the Board(in the future).

Make sense?

And iCLAs are strictly required of any committer or PPMC member.  But I 
don't see that they'd be required of any forum users or admins simply 
because of their forum roles.  Remember: working on the code that runs 
the forum does not necessarily require an iCLA/committer because that 
code is not (presumably) planned to ship in an Apache product.  Although 
anyone working on code running on Apache machines would find it much 
easier if they had a committer account.

- Shane

P.S. Thanks Dennis!

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