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From "Peter B. West" <pbw...@powerup.com.au>
Subject Re: [Fwd: Re: XML PMC and Oversight]
Date Thu, 04 Dec 2003 12:34:34 GMT
Watching this ongoing discussion, I am puzzled by the underlying 
assumptions.  My naive view of Apache is that products are provided 
"as-is", with all care and no responsibility.  A primary duty of the 
Board is to provide for the well-being of Open Source software 
development under the Apache banner.  That means, inter alia, protecting 
the integrity of existing (sub)project releases, cultivating the Apache 
developer base, promoting Open Source software development generally and 
Apache OSSD in particular, bringing online new projects that fall within 
the Apache area of interest, and protecting the good name of the ASF.

The requested changes, as far as I can tell, are being promoted as being 
required on legal advice.  That seems to me to get the cart before the 
horse.  If the functions of the Board seem to require certain changes, 
how about explaining and justifying them in terms of what we all expect 
of the Board?  When I hear that "the lawyers said so," I always smell a 
rat, to put it bluntly.

If, instead, we were to hear that the functions of the Board are not 
being fulfilled under current arrangements, and that this is what the 
Board proposed to do about it, then the discussion could proceed towards 
consensus on what functions are proper to the Board, and, given that 
agreement, to precisely how they were best fulfilled.  If, in the course 
of the discussion, there is disquiet about the proposals, it seems to me 
that, rather than saying, "it's the lawyers," a consensus approach would 
be to isolate those elements in the Constitution which are generating 
the problematical demands, and talk to the lawyers about changing them 
to reflect to reflect the concerns of the community of developers.

That doesn't seem to be happening.

One other interesting aspect of the debate is that it *appears* that the 
Board wishes the detailed oversight of, say, code quality, in a 
sub-project to occur at a level similar to the current project, and yet 
for the (current) sub-projects to report their status individually to 
the Board.  This is my reading of the comment that the Board can whiz 
through all of the extra reports without any strain.  If it's so simple, 
it doesn't amount to much of an oversight.  If the hard yakka of code 
reviews and quality oversight is still within, e.g. the XML project, why 
not take one report from XML.  I assume I've missed the point.

Peter B. West <http://www.powerup.com.au/~pbwest/resume.html>

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