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From "Upayavira">
Subject Re: Special Board Report for May 2011
Date Fri, 06 May 2011 20:18:37 GMT
To put it simply, IRC can be great for solving "my" problem, but is not
a good too for solving "our" problems.

That is, my Solr system won't do XYZ, and I can't work out why. We
discuss it, explore, work it out, and I'm happy. No-one has missed
anything much, because it was just a few folks helping me sort out my
own tiny problem.

But if that problem is shared (e.g. how to implement ABC feature in
Solr) then we loose out because we are not pulling on the full range of
experience that exists on the list, and we also go faster than some
participants can muster.

So, as soon as a problem explored on IRC ceases to be the domain of just
one person, and we start looking at something more general, it should
move over to a mailing list.

That's my take on it anyhow.


On Fri, 06 May 2011 22:17 +0300, "Shai Erera" <> wrote:
> bq. shall I say required reading?
> You should ! If only so that people don't miss that great article :)
> On IRC, I agree with Grant (and partly w/ Mike). IMO, we should scale
> down
> the amount of discussion on IRC. While there are several advantages to
> (faster response time, easier to hash things out etc.), I think there are
> several drawbacks:
> * As Grant mentioned, TimeZone -- IRC makes it hard for people to follow
> discussions that happened while they were asleep
> * IRC is not logged
> * Even trying to follow discussions on IRC, the nature of the UI
> sometimes
> makes it too hard. Many times I've seen two and more discussions happen
> simultaneously, and the way the UI is constructed, they're all mixed with
> each other. This is not so with email threads.
> * I myself have too many communication mediums I need to follow today: my
> job's email and messaging system, Gmail (Lucene and other mailing lists,
> as
> well as private stuff), phone, people stopping by for questions .. IRC is
> a
> very busy and demanding channel. You're kinda expected to respond
> immediately (which is why, I think, it's easier to hash things out -- the
> response time is instantaneous). If you only want to follow, you must
> stay
> tuned to it. If I turn on "flash the taskbar for new messages", it drives
> me
> crazy. If I turn it off, I miss important discussions ... it's impossible
> :).
> With emails, I can prioritize things. At least, Gmail helps to some
> extent.
> That that we now receive all JIRA emails under one thread is a great
> progress too.
> With emails, I can always go back when I have time, and re-read the
> discussion. I can respond to it 2 days after the last email, and people
> will
> immediately know what I respond about, because we can include quoted
> text.
> And if people's memory is very bad, they can (at least in Gmail) scan
> quickly previous messages. Hack ... I can do that 1 month after the email
> was sent, and most people will be able to quickly pick up from where we
> left. This is not so with IRC ...
> * Getting in the middle of a discussion is practically impossible on IRC.
> I
> have nothing to read for reference (unless I had my IRC client open and I
> turned on the 'logging' feature).
> * Is it really that easier to hash things out on IRC? I mean, the
> response
> time is great, so you get answers really quick. But then, there are
> usually
> only a handful of participants in that discussion, which makes hashing
> out
> and agreeing much easier anyway. If the same group of people (usually
> <=3)
> communicated in email, they'd hash things out in almost the same speed.
> After all, IRC mandates they are all awake at the same time, so they
> could
> also email each other in NRT :).
> * Imagine this discussion happening on IRC. Most of us would have been
> able
> to pick only shards of it. At some point, maybe Grant or another PMC
> member
> would 'summarize' the discussion to the list. The summary could be "we've
> decided to not use IRC because email is better", followed by some points
> he's able to pull back from his memory and maybe IRC log. Would *you*
> (people reading this growing-by-the-minute note) want to get a summary
> like
> that? Would you be satisfied?
> I think that most of us wouldn't and all that would happen is that such
> email would start its own thread, repeating mostly what have been said on
> IRC, b/c people would want answers ...
> I'm not against IRC, don't get me wrong. I think it's useful b/c the
> turnaround time is great. But we should not have so many discussions
> there,
> as we do today. I don't know where to draw the line. I trust the great
> people of this community to know when it's better to discuss something in
> email. An example, if a new feature is being discussed, then it's ok if
> two
> people want to hash few things out quickly, before they send a detailed
> and
> organized proposal to the list -- the details to hash out are the initial
> proposal's details. The rest should be followed on list, even if it means
> slightly slower response time.
> Today's list and JIRA volume always look to me like the response time is
> instantaneous. We have very active people from around the globe, so you
> have
> a high chance receiving response in no time. In the worse case, it will
> take
> a couple of hours, but I don't remember when did that happen (which is an
> amazing thing !)
> Cheers,
> Shai
> On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:35 PM, Grant Ingersoll <>
> wrote:
> > 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:
> >
> >
> > -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 <>
> > 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
> > week or so and then add what we think are good things to
> >
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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