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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <nicola...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Requesting clarification in ByLaw text.
Date Wed, 22 Dec 2004 07:46:17 GMT

Greg Stein wrote:
...
>    The HTTPD PMC never consults any "Bylaws". We don't really have
>    them. We simply use the standard ASF voting rules used on any dev
>    list. We know how to build consensus and we operate that way. There
>    are *very* few cases where we call a vote to *force* a direction.
>    Votes are used to examine whether consensus is present, rather than
>    to make a decision. We had a long discussion on the PMC a few weeks
>    ago where we stopped and called a vote. But that was mostly to try
>    and figure out what the various opinions were -- to clarify things.
>    The vote results didn't actually "stick". In the end, the group
>    came up with a rough consensus and turned that over to Sander (the
>    Chair) to take action with.
> 
>    Now, let me contrast that with behavior that I observed in the
>    Avalon PMC. On many occasions, there were fractures in the
>    consensus, so a vote was used to *force* a decision. "But we voted
>    on it" was the refrain. Yah, great. The result wasn't a consensus,
>    merely a vote result. With a true consensus, some few will agree to
>    abide with the majority opinion. They know they're the odd person
>    out, but respect the others and agree to back off. This didn't
>    happen often in Avalon; the minority felt pushed around and
>    disenfranchised and alienated. Eventually, they just left. The use
>    of votes was a mechanism for forcing a direction. All that was
>    needed was one more vote than the "other position", and people felt
>    they had a mandate. Bleh. They just had a majority vote.

Exactly.

In fact our "voting" doc is called "Consensus Gauging through Voting".
                                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

...
 > FWIW, I liked your phrase in another email about renaming the "PMC
 > Bylaws" to something like "Standard Operating Rules" or somesuch. Tho
 > my personal opinion is to just lose them and have one set of rules for
 > all ASF PMCs. We haven't done that in the past because the idea has
 > always been to let the PMCs figure out what is best for their
 > community, rather than to the Board (i.e. the ASF) mandate a
 > particular set of rules.

At Forrest we decided to try and do the above, and David Crossley has 
been of great help in taking Stefano's and other Apache documents and 
putting them in a more coherent manner:

http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
http://www.apache.org/foundation/voting.html
http://www.apache.org/dev/

(Trying to make these endless clarification and discussion threads into 
something more constructive)

-- 
Nicola Ken Barozzi                   nicolaken@apache.org
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)
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