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From Jason van Zyl <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Should the Maven PMC be an example of how we want the Maven Community to behave (was Re: svn commit: r1506778 - /maven/site/trunk/content/markdown/
Date Thu, 25 Jul 2013 16:56:19 GMT

On Jul 25, 2013, at 12:03 PM, Stephen Connolly <> wrote:

> As part of trying to kick this project back to life, we need to grow both
> committers and the PMC.

You don't need either. You need people who do work. People who do work may happen to be a
committer or PMC member but you have it backward. You need a lot of people who do a lot of
work to drive a project forward.

> One of the issues with growing either is determining if potential
> candidates are the "right sort of person".

People who do work. I'm not sure how you decide the "right sort of person" if it's not based
in the actual contributions to the project. Not what might be contributed, but what has actually
been contributed.

> There is a disagreement in the PMC as to whether "dedication to the Maven
> project community" is relevant to such discussions.

Are not people who do work dedicated? Are not people who have done the most work the most
dedicated? To me doing work is the whole basis of a meritocracy, doing work is table stakes
for being on the PMC and is first condition at least in a meritocracy. 

> For growing committers, this is usually a small issue, if at all.
> For growing the PMC it can be quite contentious, especially when
> considering "controversial" candidates.

Discussions should be about the work that is being done on the project. Everything outside
of that is not within the purview of the discussion. How can it be? It's generally looking
at the contributions over the last 6 months or a year and making a decision based on the merit
of that work.

> In an effort to try and harmonise the PMC, I - as one of the fence sitters
> - started this debate... In essence calling on that group that trumps the
> PMC... ie the community.
> John posted the proposed - remember we are CTR not RTC - addition to the
> page I started, at least as a stalking horse (or perhaps it is his
> opinion... I will leave it up to him to state his position)
> On Thursday, 25 July 2013, Jason van Zyl wrote:
>> So what's outlined in those paragraphs have counter examples at the ASF. I
>> do not believe it is a bad thing to have alternative distributions or
>> forks, and it doesn't matter where they are. What you are saying is that
>> committers are obliged to share all their work with other committers. Which
>> is more coercion than a matter of choice. For all work that happens within
>> the bounds of the ASF absolutely. Core changes should not be made projects
>> without discussion. That's a good rule and helps with stability. For work
>> that happens outside the bounds of the ASF an author is obliged to do
>> nothing of the sort and the assert as much is absurd quite honestly. What
>> right does the ASF have over work that is not done at Apache?
>> In fact there are people on the ASF Board who belong to companies that
>> have long standing forks and/or alternative distributions of ASF projects.
>> Look at Hadoop: there are two companies that have people on PMCs who
>> maintain alternative distributions with code that does not exist in
>> standard distributions. Both Cloudera and HortonWorks maintain versions of
>> Hadoop that are not compatible and/or have different code than the version
>> from Apache. There is selective patching and additions made to try and
>> provide a better distribution of Hadoop. I don't think this is a bad thing.
>> This also happens with Cassandra and the people who work at Datastax where
>> an alternative distribution is made. I don't know as much about what is in
>> those distributions insofar as code that doesn't exist in the standard
>> Apache distribution. Again, I don't think this is a bad thing. I'm sure
>> they would all tell you that they are trying to make a better version of
>> said project, they work with customers, work at a different pace and hope
>> to integrate their work back in later if possible.
>> If this is a sideways attempt to address what I'm doing in Tesla, which is
>> what it appears like to me, then just start a discussion on the dev list.
>> Happy to discuss it.
> It would be great if you could have that discussion on the dev list any
> way... But what prompted me to prod John to commit the text and me to start
> this discussion is a long running debate on the PMC private list as to what
> kind of person should be on the PMC... By long running I mean that some
> aspects of this are more than a year old and have been in mails since
> before you started to re-engage with the project.
> That does not mean that the stuff you are doing at Tesla is not relevant or
> a trigger for trying to sort out the disconnect between two camps in the
> PMC... More that it is being considered in a common context of an ongoing
> debate, and in an effort to resolve the debate we are asking those we are
> supposed to serve for their input.
>> But if someone posits that all work related to an Apache project has to be
>> done at Apache, then I will say that is a ridiculous supposition and you
>> can find ten counter examples in ten minutes if you went looking.
>> On Jul 25, 2013, at 10:31 AM, Stephen Connolly <
>>> wrote:
>>> On Thursday, 25 July 2013, Curtis Rueden wrote:
>>>> Hi Stephen and everyone,
>>>> I largely agree with Nigel, and would add that in general, bureaucratic
>>>> rules prohibiting various (often technically and/or socially sound)
>> actions
>>>> such as forking are a great way to ensure that skilled people distance
>>>> themselves from the organization (i.e., quit the PMC, decline to join,
>>>> etc.). You will be left with only bureaucrats who can tolerate those
>>>> restrictions, and worse, create even more of them.
>>>> Of course, there should be good, publicly stated reasons for
>> long-running
>>>> forks.
>>> I will not speak for the author of the proposed revision, but my
>>> understanding of the intent is that these forks should be hosted on ASF
>>> hardware in public and as part of our community.
>>> It's not about no forking, but allowing the committers to have an ongoing
>>> view of things in the community.
>>> Any committer is free to edit the wording if they want right now... The
>> doc
>>> is a work in progress proposal
>>>> Merging to mainline is ideal but not always practical in the real
>>>> world. Developers need the freedom to experiment, even (perhaps
>> especially)
>>>> when in active community positions such as the PMC.
>>>> That said, it is certainly the responsibility of those on the PMC to
>> act as
>>>> community leaders via best practices. But enforcing that in writing, at
>>>> least as the current proposal does, seems very counterproductive to me.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Curtis
>>>> On Jul 25, 2013 8:59 AM, "Nigel Magnay" <> wrote:
>>>>> That whole section I find pretty bizarre.
>>>>> - Apache is about (open-source) software.
>>>>> - Writing code is *good*.
>>>>> - Forks are *good*
>>>>> *
>>>>> *
>>>>> I'm put in mind of Linus' talk about why git distribution is so
>>>> important -
>>>>> that 'if you don't think I'm doing a good job, then you can just take
>>>> your
>>>>> code from another maintainer. *That's* what keeps a project honest and
>>>>> responsive to the users.
>>>>> I would have thought that the kinds of people who are interested in
>>>> writing
>>>>> maven-esque code would be some of the people you'd want on a PMC. If
>> they
>>>>> have a "long running fork" or a "reimplementation", surely they would
>> be
>>>>> lobbying for its integration? Merging is also good. If, despite this,
>>>>> they're choosing to do this elsewhere, and/or are having trouble
>> merging
>>>>> projects in, isn't that a pretty sad indictment for the health of the
>>>>> project? Isn't it a bit like saying "boo-hoo, those that are doing the
>>>>> actual work might go work in their own sandpit if we won't play ball,
>>>> let's
>>>>> ex-communicate them" ?
>>>>> Unless (as some have suspected for a while) Apache isn't about software
>>>>> anymore, it's about the continued existence of Apache (cfex:
>>>> OpenOffice).-
>>>>> a political edifice where projects go to die. That's certainly what
>> those
>>>>> added paragraphs say to me.
>>>>> On Thu, Jul 25, 2013 at 2:16 PM, Stephen Connolly <
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> There are two schools of thought amongst the current members of this
>>>>>> projects PMC.
>>>>>> Without wanting to deliberately tip my hand and reveal where my
>> opinion
>>>>> is,
>>>>>> we would like to solicit the opinions if the community that we serve.
>>>>>> Please give us your thoughts.
>>>>>> The topic is essentially:
>>>>>> Do you want the members of the Maven PMC to be social leaders of
>>>>> Maven
>>>>>> community, who's actions demonstrate the best community beThanks,
>> Jason
>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>> Jason van Zyl
>> Founder,  Apache Maven
>> ---------------------------------------------------------
>> The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in
>> moral philosophy; that is,
>> the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
>> -- John Kenneth Galbraith
> -- 
> Sent from my phone



Jason van Zyl
Founder,  Apache Maven

Simplex sigillum veri. (Simplicity is the seal of truth.)

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