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From Rodent of Unusual Size <Ken.C...@Golux.Com>
Subject Re: Rules for Revolutionaries
Date Thu, 14 Nov 2002 01:38:19 GMT
Costin Manolache wrote:
> 
> 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.

essentially, that's correct.  the pmc doesn't own the code nor
the brand; nor do the committers.  it's the foundation that does.
the 'benevolence' you seem to not want to trust is part of the
officer's responsibilities.  if a pmc chair acts irresponsibly
('power-mad') or otherwise seems to be departing from benevolence,
the natural recourse is to the board -- which will either chastise,
remove, or support the pmc chair, according to its (the board's)
judgement of what best serves the project and its community without
causing damage anywhere, within that project or elsewhere in the
foundation.

any other modus operandi is contrary to the foundation's rĂ¢ison
d'etre, so it makes no sense for it to ever be allowed.

> 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.

it all comes down to ownership, because that includes power over the
thing owned.  note that the board can dissolve a project at any time
by resolution, and there is no recourse.  that is an example.  the
chair is bound by the pmc/project rules insofar as they do not conflict
with its higher responsibility to the foundation.  consider state
versus federal law in the u.s.

> 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 )

essentially, yes.  it's so wonderful that you keep pointing out
the worst-case scenario.  :-)  abuse of power by a chair will
damage the community, and therefore the foundation, and so it will
either not happen, or be speedily addressed when it is brought to the
attention of the board.

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

exactly why i am taking such pains to spell it out.  as i have said.

> 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.

there is no instant know-it-all button, costin.  the bylaws define
the iron boundaries.  many portions of them have not, and will not,
come up for interpretation until a specific instance or scenario
activates them.  this discussion is just such a triggering factor.

> 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.

again, as i have said, this is one of the reasons i am going into such
detail.

> 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 )

see above.  if that happens, there is recourse, and it will be
handled speedily.

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