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From Grant Ingersoll <>
Subject Re: Special Board Report for May 2011
Date Sat, 07 May 2011 12:19:10 GMT
Fine with me.  There was always resistance to it before.

On May 7, 2011, at 3:52 AM, Greg Stein wrote:

> I've seen several people note that "IRC is not logged". Fine. LOG IT.
> I see absolutely no reason for you guys not to set up logging for the
> channel that you use. We do this for Subversion development:
> If IRC is posing so much of a problem, then just log it. I saw a
> comment about civility on the channel. Well... if it is logged, then
> you may see that fixed. Discussions can then be referenced when it is
> brought to the dev list. And people can always refer back to the log
> to read about the nuances around some particular discussion.
> Seems to be a simple solution to me.
> Cheers,
> -g
> On Fri, May 06, 2011 at 10:17:07PM +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 IRC
>> (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 a
>>> 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.

Grant Ingersoll

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