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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: What is a good Project Management Committee?
Date Sun, 16 Sep 2012 18:33:20 GMT
I think commitment is important.  After all, it is visible commitment and reliable conduct
that leads to invitation of a contributor to become an ASF committer.  Demonstrated commitment
through visible conduct is part of the determination of merit.

I do not equate that with trustworthiness.  In particular, in the narrow case of initial committers,
I know of no case where an initial committer, in use of the privileges of a committer or in
acting as a member of the PPMC, has demonstrated untrustworthiness. 

Trustworthiness is more difficult to demonstrate.  That depends on how someone conducts themselves
when something goes wrong or when a mistake is made.  It might also depend on the care that
is demonstrated for others and for the ultimate users of our work.

Let us not confuse commitment and trustworthiness.  

 - Dennis


It is the case that initial committers needed to satisfy a low bar with regard to commitment.
 They needed to put their names on the proposal to create the podling before the voting began,
they needed to submit an iCLA, and they needed to show up on the PPMC at least by subscribing
to ooo-private and maintaining that subscription.  They are also expected to subscribe to
ooo-dev, as are all committers.  

That's how the podling was bootstrapped.  Every podling is bootstrapped somehow.

Determination whether commitment is sustained or increased is evidently not a factor in how
the ASF meritocracy operates.  There is no required level of subsequent visible commitment.
For invited committers, this statement is in every invitation letter: 

  " Being a committer does not require you to participate any more 
    than you already do. It does tend to make one even more committed.
    You will probably find that you spend more time here."

There is nowhere a statement on their being some required level of sustained activity in order
to retain the privileges of a committer.  There has not been any such condition placed on
membership in the PPMC either.

If there is some sort of re-election (or reduction) of PPMC, there is the thorny question
of whose votes are binding, yes?  There seems to be no avoidance of bootstrapping, even if
the PPMC were to invite the mentors, or the IPMC to propose the PMC.  That's still bootstrapping.
 That does not appear to be self-governance.  (Ultimately, the ASF Board will approve the
PMC and PMC Chair, however it is arrived at.  This ratification will also be required for
subsequent changes in the PMC and the PMC Chair.)

So, apart from all of the focus on skills and technical contribution, there remains this singular
challenge: how does this project become demonstrably self-governing and recognized as fostering
community?  I suggest that consensus-building in arrival at the proposed initial PMC and its
Chair will be a central factor.

PS: I also find it quite remarkable when individuals that have been successfully brought in
by invitation of the PPMC find the PPMC that did that to be untrustworthy.  Distrust strikes
me as an unlikely foundation for a self-governing community.

-----Original Message-----
From: RGB ES [] 
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2012 00:32
Subject: Re: What is a good Project Management Committee?

2012/9/16 Dennis E. Hamilton <>

> I have no position on how the PMC is established.  I have no skin in the
> game.  I do expect that the manner of selection might need to be a
> demonstration that this project is self-governing and that it fosters
> community.
> I have no problem with whatever size PMC is chosen.
> I am, nevertheless, uncomfortable with the suggestion that the current
> PPMC "can't be considered as having the trust of the community."  I see no
> evidence of that.

Trust is also related with commitment: for example, can you trust a
politician that arrives to senator and then have a near 100 % of absences?
(unfortunately, that's a quite common situation on many countries...) If
someone wants to be on the Project *Management* Committee that someone must
show a real commitment with the project. If an initial committer did
nothing since editing that wiki page at the beginning of time, or if that
initial committer shows only now (and sporadically) when we are discussing
who will continue on the board, then that person do not deserve to be a PMC
member because that person will never obtain the needed trust. At least not
from me.

[ ... ]

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