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From Felix Meschberger <fmesc...@gmail.com>
Subject Concerns about release vote behaviour
Date Sun, 20 Apr 2008 13:03:57 GMT
Hi all,

I have a growing concern about our latest releases. Most of the time we
barely get the required minimum of 3 +1 votes to release the stuff. Take
as an example some recent release vote results:

   * Jackrabbit 1.3.4 - 3 votes
   * jackrabbit-core 1.4.2 - 4 votes (of which 1 non-binding)
   * Jackrabbit 1.4 - 4 votes (of which one non-binding -1)
   * jackrabbit-jcr-commons 1.4.2 - 4 votest
   * jackrabbit-core 1.4.1 - 4 votes
   * Jackrabbit 1.3.3 - 5 votes (of which 1 non-binding)
   * Jackrabbit 1.3.1 - 5 votes (of which 2 non-binding)


Now, compared to the number of committers/PMC members we have - 20
according to [1] - this is IMHO not enough backing for releases.

How come ? Could it be that we just don't feel comfortable enough with
the code base we are working on day-on and day-off ? Is it, that we
cannot bear the responsibility of releasing some code, we could not test
thorougly ourselves ? I cannot tell. And the reasons for these
abstentions are probably none of my business.

What I really am looking for is more votes on our releases to show our
user community that the Jackrabbit PMC is in fact proud and confident of
its product.

It is true, that the PMC is responsible for the published releases: 
        The main role of the PMC is not code and not coding - but to
        ensure that all legal issues are addressed, that procedure is
        followed, and that each and every release is the product of the
        community as a whole (see [2]).
        
So a release vote, as I understand it, is not primarily about whether
the product code is 100% correct. Rather the question is whether the
code was developped correctly with respect to the community and that
legal issues have been addressed, e.g. required files such as LICENSE
and NOTICE files are in place.

And this is actually, what I do when considering my vote:

   * I get the complete release from the release candidate location
   * I check all checksums and signatures
   * I run rat to check for the license headers ([3] and [4])
   * Check NOTICE files

If all goes well, which it normally does, I vote +1. There is nothing
more I do. In particular I do not normally test drive the releases. And
I do not think, that this is really needed because of the excellent test
cases we have and the community constantly working on the code and
trying its best to keep it going. In short, I trust in the community
(aka developpers) in producing good quality code.

I hope these words help raise the release vote activity again in the
future. I really think Jackrabbit deserves more than just 3 +1 votes on
releases.

Thanks for your patience and time. Have fun !

Regards
Felix

PS: I uploaded two helper scripts which I use to get (getrelease) and
check releases (ckrelease; checksums and signatures only) to [5]. Use as
you see fit.

[1] http://jackrabbit.apache.org/jackrabbit-team.html
[2] http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html#pmc
[3] http://incubator.apache.org/rat/
[4] http://code.google.com/p/arat/
[5] http://people.apache.org/~fmeschbe/release_helpers/


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