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From Pier Fumagalli <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Committer access and responsibilities...
Date Fri, 24 May 2002 23:06:58 GMT
Chatted with a lot of people, seen many, different development models, went
around, asked, talked, and I believe I have a pretty decent picture, and
maybe even a solution...

So the major topic of discussion is that I perceive a substantial difference
between being able to commit code to a CVS repository, and being a
"committer" committer, with all dues and responsibilities that this role

For example sometimes someone might want to have commit access just because
he is working for a company that deals with a particular project in Apache
(we've seen this happening several times with some projects such as Xerces
and Tomcat), but he really doesn't care about the whole fuzz of Apache and
stuff, and once the employment contract ends, the relationship with Apache
terminates as well (I don't need to enumerate all those examples along those

One other example, if we didn't have Henri building RPMs for basically all
Jakarta projects (and others), or if Henri wasn't a committer on Tomcat,
don't you think that he would deserve committer status even if he's not tied
to any particular codebase? We had this "problem" in the current election of
the members, Sally Khudairi: Sally doesn't code, but she was involved with
the ASF since before it was even created as a press organizer. Does she
deserve to be a member of the foundation? Even if she doesn't code? Yes she
does, IMO (and she was elected and nominated a member today)...

So, IMO, there's a great difference between being a coder, and being a
member of the Jakarta community, at least in my opinion. There might be
coders who are not involved with the community, and there might be
non-coders who are much involved with it, want to participate, are active
and deserve to be committers...

Our current structure doesn't "allow" that to happen, both things. If you
need to write code in a particular source-base, and you need CVS access, you
are automagically made a committer, even if you don't care about much else,
and if you're very much involved with the overall project, but not tied to
ANY whatsoever codebase, and really, don't want / can't do it.

So, given this little background, I would like to ask to the PMC, and all
other committers, if others agree that we should "splitting" the "committer"
figure in two parts:

- contributor: a contributor is someone who has access to a particular CVS
tree, but for any reason doesn't want/need to be involved with the whole
Jakarta community. He just wants to code his little bit and live a long

- member: is someone who is involved with the Jakarta community, somehow,
somewhere (might be just giving a great deal in supporting users of our
projects, or providing extra value to projects, like guidance in respect to
overall specifications, binary builds). He is effectively a member of the
community and has all the rights and dues of every member, such as
participate in the election of the PMC.

And redefining the figure of the "committer" as follows:

- committer: is a contributor, but also a member, therefore he has all the
privileges and dues of a contributor (having CVS access, and overlooking the
code he's contributing to) and of a member (can vote for PMCs, should
participate and contribute to discussions on the overall structure of

I believe this makes sense, more sense than what we have now, also because
we've seen that happening in the ASF for the very first time with a
non-coding member. Comments please?


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