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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: What is a good Project Management Committee?
Date Sun, 16 Sep 2012 00:59:19 GMT
On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 8:16 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton <> wrote:
> 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.

You might review the discussions related to the handling of security
vulnerability reports.  The self-selected PPMC was considered not
sufficiently trustworthy to handle these.

> In particular, I don't see any particular problem that the self-selected initial committers
have created.  The conversation about the size of the PMC emerged from the PPMC itself.
> Here's a little history:
> Of the initial committers
>  55 serve on the current PPMC (and all are committers)
>  15 are committers only
>  11 did not provide iCLAs and come on board
> That PPMC has managed to support creation of the following, as of my last status report
to this list:
>  36 additional committers were successfully invited.
>  18 of those are also serving on the current PPMC.
> There might have been more additional committers on the PPMC, but the PPMC has stopped
inviting new committers to also be on the PPMC.  I don't recall any individual originally
invited to be a committer to have later been invited to become a PPMC member.

Your statement could easily be misunderstood.  The PPMC did not "stop
inviting" new PPMC members.  What happened is that we realized the bar
was too high to make new contributors both PPMC and Committer at once,
and that it would be faster/easier to bring new contributors in
initially as Committers, e.g., for translators who need access to
Pootle.   There is nothing that prevents a committer from also
becoming a PPMC member.

In any case, I'm reminded of the old Kipling line:


Still the world is wondrous large,—seven seas from marge to marge—
And it holds a vast of various kinds of man;
And the wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Khatmandhu
And the crimes of Clapham chaste in Martaban.

Here's my wisdom for your use, as I learned it when the moose
And the reindeer roamed where Paris roars to-night:—
"There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,


There are many different ways of constructing a useful, functional,
fair, trustworthy, etc., PMC.  I'm sure any of us can think of a few
good ones, from any of the numerous voting schemes, to using metrics,
to throwing our hands up and blessing the existing PPMC membership.
Governance and representation has been debated for over 2000 years.

We're not going to innovate here.  JFDI, IMHO.  This isn't rocket
science.  And if done right it is not really all that important.
Success should depend on the culture and the process more than trying
to determine with precision the initial composition of the PMC.  A
process that is adaptive, self-correcting, that distributes power
broadly, etc., will be tolerant to errors and will behave robustly
under a range of initial conditions.  But get the process/culture
wrong and we'll never be precise enough in PMC composition to work
with all possible future events.

In other words, let's focus on a PMC that learns and has mechanisms
for self-correction than having pretenses that we're going to pick a
perfect PMC.


>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrea Pescetti []
> Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2012 15:08
> To:
> Subject: Re: What is a good Project Management Committee?
> On 07/09/2012 Andrew Rist wrote:
> [ ... ]
> The current PPMC, especially due to the bootstrapping phase that allowed
> a large number of "initial committers" to enter the project without
> demonstrating merit, can't be considered as having the trust of the
> community.
>> My Proposal for the next step in the PMC selection process:
>> I suggest that each of us provide up to 10 names for the PMC. no
>> spreadsheet - no voting - no '-1s' for now. Just an affirmative list of
>> the 10 people you think should be doing the work of the PMC. ...
>> We can use this to produce the next pass at the proposed PMC
>> roster, hopefully a PMC of around 20 members.
> This is a nice idea since it would guarantee that every PMC member is,
> directly or indirectly, trusted by the community, while still
> maintaining a manageable size for the PMC.
> Of course, if we choose this way, then most of the current PPMC members
> won't be in the PMC; so it's important to guarantee that all volunteers
> can have a say in determining the future of the project; for example,
> the PMC would be committed to seeking consensus on ooo-dev rather than
> enforcing choices by using its binding votes. And the "rotation" idea
> from Rob makes sense too, if it can be implemented easily and with
> little impact on the project's governance continuity.
> Regards,
>    Andrea.

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