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From "Ted Husted" <hus...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Release Management (was Re: [struts-dev] [S2] Libraries in JDK 1.4 distribution)
Date Wed, 16 Jan 2008 17:12:46 GMT
On Jan 16, 2008 11:42 AM, Frank W. Zammetti <fzlists@omnytex.com> wrote:
> That may be so in practice Ted, but the bylaws say differently:
>
> "An action requiring consensus approval must receive at least 3 binding
> +1 votes and no binding vetos."

A release is not an action that requires consensus approval. It's a
majority action. Look farther down under "Release Plan" and "Release
Grade".


> And I think that's a perfectly reasonable way to approach it, but that's
> not what the bylaws says, nor is it what Nial and Nathan say is in
> "their books" (I'm not picking on you two by the way, but I don't think
> you're the only ones that feel that way, hence it's likely a reflection
> on a larger group feeling).

Well, first, AFAIK, it's never actually happened. But, if we did have
a flurry of earnest -1s from regular contributors, I'd probably change
my own vote, and I expect most other PMC members would do the same.


> And that too is reasonable, except that now you've got Martin seemingly
> disagreeing with you (how this all started as I recall) and both Niall
> and Nathan apparently with understanding that don't seem to jive with
> the bylaws, hence it seems obvious to me that something needs to be
> done, and the easiest answer is probably to rewrite the bylaws to match
> the consensus view, whatever that turns out to be.

Which is why we've been having these discussions, to clarify our
expections. Martin, Niall, Nathan, and I don't chat out-of-band.
Everything we've had to say to each other, we've said here.


> > Since everyone here is a volunteer, there's no way to enforce an
> > obligation, and the ASF guidelines remind us of this. A vote is an
> > opinion, not a commitment.
>
> Didn't you effectively say the opposite just yesterday? :

I asked about a voter's implied intention to make a good-faith effort,
which is effectively an opinion.


> Maybe it's a semantic thing, but if a +1 vote means "...he or she
> intends to help support the release", isn't that an obligation?  Or is
> "obligation" simply the wrong term?  Perhaps willingness, as I suggested
> yesterday?

In the case of a release vote, it occurs to me that the "obligation"
in question is reviewing the release and forming an opinion as to
whether it meets our standards our correctness. Where "our" is the
expectations of the ASF as well as the expectations of the Apache
Struts Group. The meaning then becomes that we are not simply tossing
out an armchair opinion, but we are stating an informed opinion based
on direct experience.

My recollection is that we inherited the "act of voting" language form
a Jakarta document, which was in turn based on an ancient Apache HTTPD
document. The key point now is that our page doesn't jive
word-for-word with the ASF guidelines. (Though, I would contend that
the spirit remains the same.)

 * http://apache.org/foundation/voting.html

Now that the ASF guidelines includes an "implications" section (it
didn't always), my suggestion would be that we strike that language
from our own. We can probably simplify or eliminate other sections as
well, by incorporating the latest ASF pages by reference.

As for our intentions as to support, the general opinion seems to be
that support is a separate topic from release grade.


> We're saying the same thing here.  I personally feel that a +1 *should*
> imply something, but if everyone disagrees with me, that's fine, but it
> seems obvious there isn't consensus on that right now, and the bylaws
> say something that not everyone else seems to be saying in any case, so
> what's the final arbiter of which way is accurate?  The bylaws should
> spell it all out clearly and unambiguously, regardless of what it is
> that they actually spell out, just to avoid such situations.
>
> I understand the bylaws aren't meant to be legalize, but I believe I've
> pointed out some contradictions and interpretations that should be dealt
> with so there's never any debate over what a vote does or does not mean,
> what obligations someone does or does not have.  I don't so much care
> what the answers actually are, only that they are clear and
> unassailable, and I'd expect everyone would want that level of clarity
> from any project they're involve din.

Since the project is a living working group, and not a political body,
some ambiguity seems fine, even necessary. Within the ASF boundaries,
each set of committers should be able to able to put their own spin on
things, so that the project works for us, not the other way around.

-Ted.

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