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From Grant Ingersoll <gsing...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Special Board Report for May 2011
Date Fri, 06 May 2011 17:35:07 GMT
More reading (shall I say required reading?).  Benson does a good job of explaining some of
the concepts around consensus and why we also should be primarily using mailing lists:
https://blogs.apache.org/comdev/entry/how_apache_projects_use_consensus

-Grant

On May 5, 2011, at 10:10 AM, Grant Ingersoll wrote:

> 
> I'd like to throw out another idea:
> 
> I think we should standardize on rotating the PMC Chair every year.  I think to date,
there have been two Chairs:  Doug and me.  Back when Doug left, no one wanted to do it (both
Hoss and I said we would if no one else wanted to) and so I took it on.  For the most part,
it's a thankless task of herding cats (albeit low volume, thankfully), despite the important
sounding name that marketing types love.  I would like us to share the burden across the PMC
by rotating it on an annual basis.  Many other ASF projects do exactly this and I think it
removes any political pressure.  Have I sold it enough? ;-)  Besides, I just know others are
dying to file board reports on a quarterly basis!
> 
> More inline below...
> 
> On May 5, 2011, at 8:27 AM, Michael McCandless wrote:
> 
>> On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM, Grant Ingersoll <gsingers@apache.org> wrote:
>>> 2. I think we need to prioritize getting patch contributors more feedback sooner.
 I think some of this can be automated much like what Hadoop has done.  This should help identify
new committers sooner and encourage them to keep contributing.
>> 
>> Big +1.  We should be using automation everywhere we can.
>> 
>> But, really, we (as all projects do) need more devs.  Growing the
>> community should be job #1 of all committers.
> 
> Agreed, but this dovetails w/ the use of IRC.  I realize live collab is nice, but it
discourages those who aren't "in the know" about the channel being used from ever contributing.
   Say, for instance, I'm interested in DWPT (DocWriterPerThread), how am I supposed to know
that at 8 am EDT on May 5th (made up example), three of the committers are going to be talking
about it on IRC?  If there is email about it, then I can participate.  Nothing we do is so
important that it can't wait a few hours or a day, besides the fact, that email is damn near
instantaneous these days anyway.
> 
> Also, keep in mind that until about a year ago, most everything was done on the mailing
list and I think we progressed just fine.  Since then, dev@ has almost completely dried up
in terms of discussions (factoring out JIRA mails which have picked up -- which is good) and
the large majority of discussion takes place on IRC.  I agree, however, we should have the
IRC discussion on another thread.
> 
>> 
>> 
>>> So, what other ideas do people have?  I'll leave this thread open for a week
or so and then add what we think are good things to https://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/lucene/board-reports/2011/special-board-report-may.txt
 The board meeting is on May 19th.  I plan on attending.
>> 
>> How about also "PMC members will be more proactive in tackling issues
>> that erode the community?  I think this would start with a thread on
>> general@.  We need to get in the habit of discussing even tiny
>> elephants as soon as they appear, somehow.
> 
> Yeah, I agree.  The hard part for me, is I often feel like people on the outside make
big deals about this stuff and don't get that even having the discussion is a very healthy
sign.  Besides the fact, that no one likes confrontation and uncomfortable topics.  We also,
I think, are all tired of endless debates that go on and on w/ no resolution.  It's one of
the big downsides (and, of course, upsides) to consensus based open source as opposed to the
dictatorial approach.
> 
>> 
>> Here's an example: "Is Lucid abusing their too-strong influence over
>> Lucene/Solr"?  It's a great question, and I personally feel the answer
>> today is "no", but nevertheless we should be able to discuss it and
>> similar could-be-controversial topics.
> 
> I hopefully would agree we are good stewards of the fact that we employ a good number
of committers (but not nearly all the active ones), but I know some disagree.  I do, however,
think that the recent spat shows that we at Lucid are still free to speak our minds when it
comes to open source, as clearly not all Lucid employees agree on the issue and were pretty
outspoken about it.  I firmly believe we baked this into the company from Day 1 and I consider
it one of our best strengths, but of course, most can't see that from the outside.  Does that
mean we are perfect?  Of course not, but I think we try to follow the ASF guidelines and show
up as individuals.  I also know we work pretty hard to mind the ASF TM policy, etc. (just
ask our marketing folks how much I remind them.)  I think we all realize that there would
be no such thing as Lucid if it weren't for the ASF and for Lucene/Solr, so why would we want
to hurt that?
> 
> The fact is, every single committer here and a good number of contributors are paid to
work on Lucene all day, (most) every day or have some other financial stake (i.e. via a book,
consulting biz, etc.)  Any of us could be accused of only acting in our own financial interest.
 At the end of the day, I like to think that instead, the cool thing is we all have a great
opportunity to have our financial interests aligned with a great project that we like to work
on.
> 
> For the record, we have pretty diverse PMC and committer base.  As I said in our Dec.
2010 Board Report, we are comprised of:
> "[a] total to 17 PMC members from 12 different 
> companies, spanning the globe. The flagship Lucene/Solr
> has 26 total committers from 20 different companies, again
> spanning the globe."
> 
> The only one that has changed since then is Robert has joined Lucid.  Now, one can argue
that some of those members from other companies are not active, but that isn't Lucid's fault.
 ASF development has always been about those who do the work and we do a fair amount of that.
 Those who are not active, should, ideally, leave on their own by stating they wish to go
Emeritus.  Beyond that, we have a pretty standard policy that inactive people are removed
after 1 year of no activity.  That has been the case since I joined Lucene way back when and
I think makes sense.
> 
> 
> 
> 



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