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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: What is a good Project Management Committee?
Date Sun, 16 Sep 2012 19:22:50 GMT
On Sun, Sep 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton <> wrote:
> I think commitment is important.  After all, it is visible commitment and reliable conduct
that leads to invitation of a contributor to become an ASF committer.  Demonstrated commitment
through visible conduct is part of the determination of merit.
> I do not equate that with trustworthiness.  In particular, in the narrow case of initial
committers, I know of no case where an initial committer, in use of the privileges of a committer
or in acting as a member of the PPMC, has demonstrated untrustworthiness.

For example, we had some initial committers who sent out bulk emails
to a list of OpenOffice users.  (Where did they get that list? Who
knows?  But I can't think of any legitimate source.).  They issued
press releases claiming that OpenOffice would fail, that the only way
to get it to succeed was to send them money.  They did this using a
name and website and claims that were abusive to the OpenOffice
trademarks that were transferred to Apache.  They were extremely poor
in their communications and reluctant to respect trademarks.  This
required a huge amount of attention by ASF officers, Mentors and PPMC
members in order to clean up.

By your extremely narrow definition, yes, this was not a lack of trust
exhibited by "use of the privileges of a committer or in acting as a
member of the PPMC".  But by any reasonable definition this did not
equate to trustworthiness.  We should be looking at the orientation of
the individual to the project, regardless of what means they are
using.  If they are waging war against the project on their own
website, but not using SVN karma in the process, then their actions
are still a factor we can and should consider when establishing

Note:  this is symmetrical -- we also allow merit for actions outside
of strict "use of the privileges of a committer".  That should be
obvious, since someone must earn merit somewhere initially, and this
is done initially without the privileges of Committers or PMC members.


> Trustworthiness is more difficult to demonstrate.  That depends on how someone conducts
themselves when something goes wrong or when a mistake is made.  It might also depend on the
care that is demonstrated for others and for the ultimate users of our work.
> Let us not confuse commitment and trustworthiness.
>  - Dennis
> It is the case that initial committers needed to satisfy a low bar with regard to commitment.
 They needed to put their names on the proposal to create the podling before the voting began,
they needed to submit an iCLA, and they needed to show up on the PPMC at least by subscribing
to ooo-private and maintaining that subscription.  They are also expected to subscribe to
ooo-dev, as are all committers.
> That's how the podling was bootstrapped.  Every podling is bootstrapped somehow.
> Determination whether commitment is sustained or increased is evidently not a factor
in how the ASF meritocracy operates.  There is no required level of subsequent visible commitment.
For invited committers, this statement is in every invitation letter:
>   " Being a committer does not require you to participate any more
>     than you already do. It does tend to make one even more committed.
>     You will probably find that you spend more time here."
> There is nowhere a statement on their being some required level of sustained activity
in order to retain the privileges of a committer.  There has not been any such condition placed
on membership in the PPMC either.
> If there is some sort of re-election (or reduction) of PPMC, there is the thorny question
of whose votes are binding, yes?  There seems to be no avoidance of bootstrapping, even if
the PPMC were to invite the mentors, or the IPMC to propose the PMC.  That's still bootstrapping.
 That does not appear to be self-governance.  (Ultimately, the ASF Board will approve the
PMC and PMC Chair, however it is arrived at.  This ratification will also be required for
subsequent changes in the PMC and the PMC Chair.)
> So, apart from all of the focus on skills and technical contribution, there remains this
singular challenge: how does this project become demonstrably self-governing and recognized
as fostering community?  I suggest that consensus-building in arrival at the proposed initial
PMC and its Chair will be a central factor.
> PS: I also find it quite remarkable when individuals that have been successfully brought
in by invitation of the PPMC find the PPMC that did that to be untrustworthy.  Distrust strikes
me as an unlikely foundation for a self-governing community.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: RGB ES []
> Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2012 00:32
> To:;
> Subject: Re: What is a good Project Management Committee?
> 2012/9/16 Dennis E. Hamilton <>
>> I have no position on how the PMC is established.  I have no skin in the
>> game.  I do expect that the manner of selection might need to be a
>> demonstration that this project is self-governing and that it fosters
>> community.
>> I have no problem with whatever size PMC is chosen.
>> I am, nevertheless, uncomfortable with the suggestion that the current
>> PPMC "can't be considered as having the trust of the community."  I see no
>> evidence of that.
> Trust is also related with commitment: for example, can you trust a
> politician that arrives to senator and then have a near 100 % of absences?
> (unfortunately, that's a quite common situation on many countries...) If
> someone wants to be on the Project *Management* Committee that someone must
> show a real commitment with the project. If an initial committer did
> nothing since editing that wiki page at the beginning of time, or if that
> initial committer shows only now (and sporadically) when we are discussing
> who will continue on the board, then that person do not deserve to be a PMC
> member because that person will never obtain the needed trust. At least not
> from me.
> [ ... ]

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