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From Jeremias Maerki <...@jeremias-maerki.ch>
Subject Re: removing votes from committers
Date Mon, 15 May 2006 16:35:55 GMT

On 15.05.2006 17:08:23 Glen Mazza wrote:
> Jeremias,
> 
> I was reviewing your statements[1] about how decisions are made on 
> Apache projects, namely that on XML Graphics, committers do *not* have a 
> vote and it is not the committers who nominate contributors for 
> committership.
> 
> However, what you are telling us appears to contradict rules 8.2 and 8.4 
> of our project charter[2], which we voted for and the Apache Board 
> already approved.

I don't know if "approved" is right word in this case. They may have
read it. It was only an attachment to the board report in Feb 2005.

>  The charter rules state that the committers vote on 
> code changes and on nominations for other committers.  So your 
> clarifications made to Thomas appear incorrect, as he was actually 
> acting within the boundaries of the XML Graphics charter in holding a 
> committer vote for his subproject.

Only problem: ASF policy overrules any charter we give ourselves. It was
even repeatedly said on member lists that project charters are
unnecessary which I agree today since the general policy document has
improved a lot since last year.

> If it is indeed the case the XML Graphics project must follow the 
> charter of the Apache HTTPD one (in which committer voting is forbidden) 

not HTTPD charter, ASF policy!

> why did the board have us create our own charter, with our own unique 
> rules? 

They didn't. We thought we had to, coming from the XML project.

>  Further, if the Apache boards finds committer voting to be so 
> reprehensible, why did they approve our charter then, which explicitly 
> calls for that?

You need to keep in mind that a lot of policy stuff has been clarified
in the last 12 months. Committer voting is not at all reprehensible.
Committer votes are simply not binding [1]. It's as simple as that: The
PMC is the only entity in the project that has the authority to take
decisions on behalf of the project. The PMC can approve decisions by
committers by silent assent which is something that happens every day
here.

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

> I think Leo Simons should explain personally why he finds committer 
> voting to be so reprehensible that we now need to discard the XML 
> Graphics charter rules on this issue. 

...or at least rework it. Leo Simons has nothing to explain. He made me
aware that I need to better enforce policy decisions by the Board.

>  Also, the Apache Board will need 
> to be sufficiently mortified by committer voting that it will declare 
> the XML Graphics charter to be null and void.  Failing that, according 
> to the charter, you will need to run a vote among the PMC members (of 
> which I am not one, nor plan to join for this vote) to remove votes from 
> committers.  Until then, the charter has to remain in force, with 
> committers continuing to vote on subproject-related matters.

As I said above, ASF policy comes first. The charter was built on some
assumptions which turned out to be wrong after the clarifications. What
we obviously need to do (and which I failed to recognize) is to amend
our charter so it is in line with ASF policy.

The clarified policy was strongly influenced by legal considerations.
The intention of the Board is to strengthen the ASF against possible
law-suits.

> Whatever anyone's personal concerns with committer voting, I'm sure you 
> agree with me that just disregarding/ignoring the charter would create a 
> much worse problem for us down the road.

Only if we disrespect anyone by simply ignoring an opinion or a
(effectively non-binding) vote stated by a committer.

> Thanks,
> Glen
> 
> [1] http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=fop-dev&m=114709325926065&w=2
> [2] http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=fop-dev&m=110802440807292&w=2

I hope the above explains the situation better.

PMC, looks like we have some work to do: amending the charter. Any
volunteers?

Thanks,
Jeremias Maerki


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