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From Jeremias Maerki <...@jeremias-maerki.ch>
Subject How project decisions are made in Apache projects
Date Mon, 08 May 2006 13:00:27 GMT
XML Graphics people,

Leo Simons made me aware that I may need to make a few things more clear
concerning project decisions in our project. The XML Graphics project is
not the same as the former XML project Batik and FOP were under. Even
though we still maintain separate committer sets for Batik and FOP all
project-relevant decisions are made by the PMC, i.e. the binding votes
on EVERY vote within this project are only those of the PMC members.

Back when we were operating under the XML umbrella, we believed that the
committers were governing the (sub)project. This has been clarified by
the board that they are not.

Only the PMC can make project decisions [1]. A committer under the
clarified rules is someone with write access to the repository. That's
basically it, although a committer can make local decisions in code
which the PMC accepts with lazy consensus, and it's clear that no voice
will simply be overruled when it's no coming from a PMC member. That
would be unfair. But as I suggested a number of times, every committer
may choose to participate in the PMC. The ASF actually encourages that
the set of committers matches the set of PMC members (most apparent in
the HTTPD project), but being a PMC members is not without
responsibilities. A PMC is supposed to be informed about everything that
goes on in the project, not only the corner he's most interested in.
This is about oversight, the prime reason why the Board wanted the XML
project split up.

Based on the information found in [1] the exisiting PMC members invite
committers to join the PMC, but I'd say that every non-newbie committer
should feel invited to join the PMC if he/she wishes to do so.

[1] http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html#roles

With the recent committer vote on batik-dev I failed to guide Thomas
into the right direction by not being strict about handling the vote as
an explicit PMC vote. He was right to CC general@ but I didn't make it
clear with my vote, for example, that it is actually a PMC thing. My
apologies, Thomas.

Jeremias Maerki

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