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From "Smiley, David W." <>
Subject Re: Special Board Report for May 2011
Date Thu, 12 May 2011 19:23:54 GMT
I haven't commented yet but I've absolutely been following this soap opera.  I'm referring
to all related threads and JIRA discussions, not just this thread.

I think the current state of logging only #lucene-dev is good.  I go to #lucene-dev now. I
think only IRC channel(s) that are Lucene/Solr internal development in nature need to be logged
-- and that's just #lucene-dev. So just because you have observed many developers are on #lucene
instead of #lucene-dev doesn't indicate a problem, so long as no design decisions for Lucene/Solr
take place on #lucene or #solr.  #lucene and #solr is where users get to ask questions, much
like how it is on the user mailing lists.  So *if* (I don't know if it happens) internal Lucene
/ Solr design decisions are taking place on #lucene or #solr then obviously that must stop.
I'd rather these channels not get logged so that we can have an expectation of a single place
for these discussions on IRC and have that place be clear of user support questions.

RE refactoring / modularization, it's good to finally see a sense of agreement on how to move

~ David Smiley

On May 12, 2011, at 2:36 PM, Grant Ingersoll wrote:

> I'm not trying to be a pest here, but this conversation and this report is hugely important
to the future of this Lucene PMC.  So far, I see a sum total of 4 PMC members out of 20+ total
PMC members weighing in here, as well as a few other community members, on proactive things
to do to move forward.
> Are you all really in lazy consensus with what has been said so far? (hint: lazy consensus
is not a good idea here, so, if you are in consensus, at least speak up and say so)  Do you
have other suggestions?  The Board Meeting is on the 19th and this report needs to be filled
at least 2 days prior to that.   Claims of thread fatigue, I am sure, are not going to go
over well with the Board, so I suggest all PMC Members (as well as others) take some time
to think about how to contribute to this report.
> As it stands now, we have the following concrete suggestions:
> 1. Log IRC -- from the looks of #lucene-dev, it appears that people have not migrated
to the new logged version.  To me, we really should just hook up the logger to #lucene and
forget #lucene-dev ever existed.  We should also put a note that the room is being logged.
 I am beginning to be of the mindset that any design/dev conversation that is not logged on
IRC is the equivalent of a private conversation.
> 2. Rotate the Chair -- I would propose that this Report is my last official one and that
the next Board meeting contains a resolution changing the chair.
> 3. Put in the automated patch checking system that Hadoop uses.  Volunteers?  Perhaps
we can knock this out at Lucene Revolution?
> 4. Write up lessons learned by all on commit/revert and scratching/itches and make sure
newcomers and old timers alike understand how it works.
> 5. I gather, via lazy consensus from the other thread, that we are in agreement on refactoring
and we have a way forward.
> 6. Discourage private emails, phone calls, etc. as they relate to the project.  I personally
am starting to think that if there is wind of this happening more that it is not at all unreasonable
to remove commit bits.
> -Grant
> On May 7, 2011, at 6:47 AM, Michael McCandless wrote:
>> +1
>> Mike
>> On Sat, May 7, 2011 at 6:41 AM, Simon Willnauer
>> <> wrote:
>>> On Sat, May 7, 2011 at 9:52 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.
>>> huge +1! IRC is so powerful we should not put it down just because we
>>> don't log the channel.
>>> We already have a logged channel #lucene-dev and its logged here
>>> having tech discussion there should be ok I think and for major
>>> decisions we can still send a mail to dev@l.a.o referencing the
>>> discussion. I think we all have the discipline to do that right?
>>> I am moving there now... we should also eventually add this channel to
>>> the website and maybe mark #lucene as the user channel?
>>> Simon
>>>> 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
>>>>> the amount of discussion on IRC. While there are several advantages to
>>>>> (faster response time, easier to hash things out etc.), I think there
>>>>> 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
>>>>> each other. This is not so with email threads.
>>>>> * I myself have too many communication mediums I need to follow today:
>>>>> job's email and messaging system, Gmail (Lucene and other mailing lists,
>>>>> 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 --
>>>>> response time is instantaneous). If you only want to follow, you must
>>>>> tuned to it. If I turn on "flash the taskbar for new messages", it drives
>>>>> 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
>>>>> immediately know what I respond about, because we can include quoted
>>>>> 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
>>>>> left. This is not so with IRC ...
>>>>> * Getting in the middle of a discussion is practically impossible on
>>>>> have nothing to read for reference (unless I had my IRC client open and
>>>>> 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
>>>>> and agreeing much easier anyway. If the same group of people (usually
>>>>> 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
>>>>> also email each other in NRT :).
>>>>> * Imagine this discussion happening on IRC. Most of us would have been
>>>>> to pick only shards of it. At some point, maybe Grant or another PMC
>>>>> 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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> 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
>>>>> instantaneous. We have very active people from around the globe, so you
>>>>> a high chance receiving response in no time. In the worse case, it will
>>>>> a couple of hours, but I don't remember when did that happen (which is
>>>>> amazing thing !)
>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>> Shai
>>>>> On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 8:35 PM, Grant Ingersoll <>
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> name that marketing types love.  I would like us to share the burden
>>>>>> the PMC by rotating it on an annual basis.  Many other ASF projects
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> feedback sooner.  I think some of this can be automated much like
>>>>>> Hadoop has done.  This should help identify new committers sooner
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> being used from ever contributing.    Say, for instance, I'm interested
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>> that erode the community?  I think this would start with
a thread on
>>>>>>>> general@.  We need to get in the habit of discussing even
>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> discussion is a very healthy sign.  Besides the fact, that no one
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> opposed to the dictatorial approach.
>>>>>>>> Here's an example: "Is Lucid abusing their too-strong influence
>>>>>>>> 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,
>>>>>> clearly not all Lucid employees agree on the issue and were pretty
>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> 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
>>>>>> since I joined Lucene way back when and I think makes sense.

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