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From Costin Manolache <cos...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Rules for Revolutionaries
Date Wed, 13 Nov 2002 20:11:11 GMT
On Wed, 2002-11-13 at 11:16, Sam Ruby wrote:

> In http://jakarta.apache.org/site/pmc/01-01-17-meeting-minutes.html, a 
> meeting that you were in physical attendance, one of the roles of the 
> PMC was to act as the veto of last resort.  One such instance where I 
> would personally exercise such a veto is if the majority of committers 
> to Tomcat were to want to create a release which is not compliant with 
> the servlet APIs.  This is not the only reference I have made to the 
> phrase "veto of last resort".

The PMC or the PMC chair ? It's a huge difference ( especially if most
committers are in the PMC )

The fact that you as PMC chair have decided to not use 
this power is great. But the question if the chair has "benevolent
dictator" power remains, and Ken's message ( and yours ) suggest that
it's just a matter of "benevolence" - with no explicit restraints on
the rules.

My understanding so far was that the chair is bound by the project
charter and rules. The project charter defines the release and voting
rules.

In bylaws 6.3: 
"Each Project Management Committee shall be responsible for the active
management of one or more projects"

and 
"The chairman of each Project Management Committee shall be primarily
responsible for project(s) managed by such committee, and he or she
shall establish rules and procedures for the day to day management of
project(s) for which the committee is responsible"

Does it means the rules are subject to change at any time ? ( i.e. can
the chair add rules whenever he sees a need ) I also think 
many people have the wrong impression that the PMC can establish the
rules - where it's the chair ( of course the benevolent chair will
ask the  PMC for its opinion - but without being required to do so )


> I am aware that the role defined for the chairman of a PMC is a special 
> one.  One that I do not, as a rule, chose to draw attention to.

Given that projects are creating their own PMCs, I think it is quite
important for people to know this.

I think it would be very useful for the community to know and understand
all the rules that are involved, which doesn't seem the case.


> I do believe that the ASF has a number of challenges at the moment.  And 
> in my perception of the scheme of things, the topic referenced by this 
> subject line doesn't quite rank.

I agree. 

In my perception the fact that many of the people involved in apache are
not aware of all the rules and their consequences is one of the
biggest problems. 

If the interpretation that the chair has the power to change the rules
at any time or is above the rules explicitly defined in the project
charter is right, I think it can be a problem. ( not for jakarta - but
for other projects who may not be lucky to have you or someone like you
as  chair )


Costin

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