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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: Finishing release policy codification
Date Wed, 14 Oct 2015 03:31:49 GMT
Hello, Bertrand,

Thank you for your review!

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 1:37 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz
<bdelacretaz@apache.org> wrote:

> I have one comment:
>
> "Before casting +1 binding votes, individuals are REQUIRED...to
> compile as provided, and test the result on their own platform."
>
> In a multi-language project that's not possible, some people will
> check the java build, others the c++/windows version etc.
>
> I'd replace that with "and, as much as possible, compile as provided
> and test the result on their own platform.".

That passage has been flagged before, but it it is faithful to the current
policy:

    http://s.apache.org/jcp

    [...] Before voting +1 PMC members are required to download the signed
    source code package, compile it as provided, and test the resulting
    executable on their own platform, along with also verifying that the
    package meets the requirements of the ASF policy on releases.

Multiple people seem to think that this aspect of release policy should
change, but there's a question of timing.  I would support a separate
initiative to change this requirement -- in fact, that ought to be the first
task we tackle *after* this proposal gets approved (assuming it does).
However, I would resist opening a debate right now on that passage -- because
this initiative is limited to codifying existing policy.

So, can you hold that thought for a couple weeks?

> And one suggestion: splitting the FAQ to a separate page would help
> make the main part stronger and more "sacred" IMO.

I agree that as the HTML presentation currently stands, the FAQ is too
prominent.  However, I think that by editing down the FAQ along with making
certain graphic design fixes (e.g. reducing the headings for all the FAQ
points as covered in my earlier email) we can successfully rebalance the page.

Should this inititive be approved by VP Legal, the "Release FAQ" in the
proposal, which is our current release policy verbatim but "demoted" to an
FAQ, will require substantial cleanup.  While that content has splashes of
very nice writing and articulates important principles, it is overlong and
will now contain many redundancies.  To limit the scope of this initiative,
the language of that section remains unchanged -- but I plan to follow up with
a series of incremental patches via LEGAL Jiras later.  I expect that the
eventual FAQ section will be substantially smaller and more focused than what
currently exists.

Additionally, regarding whether the Policy will be seen as "sacred" enough...
that is also something I'm concerned about -- and not just for Release Policy,
but for all the policies I'm working towards codifying.  Ten years from now,
hopefully the official policy texts will still be short and precise, so that
they remain easy to understand, to implement, and to adjudicate.

That is why 1) each policy text is explicitly RTC and curated by a specific
entity, and 2) there's an FAQ immediately following each policy text which has
lower bar for change.  The intent is that most well-meaning "clarification"
efforts will get shunted into the FAQ, reducing the pressure for policy bloat.

Hmm, maybe that should be an FAQ.

    Q. The Policy seems unclear about X.  How can I suggest a clarification?
    A. Please consider submitting a patch to the FAQ.  [...]

Marvin Humphrey

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