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From Benjamin Reed <br...@yahoo-inc.com>
Subject bylaws proposal
Date Tue, 04 Jan 2011 17:17:54 GMT
I really like the Pig bylaws. I would suggest using it as a starting 
point for ZooKeeper. One thing I would like to modify is the Committer 
section. Pig's bylaws state that the committer becomes emeritus if they 
haven't contributed in any form for 6 months. I would tighten that up 
and say if they haven't been actively involved in reviewing or 
committing. (They are after all committers.) I have made this change to 
the text.

The other change that I would like, and did not add, is for some of the 
votes to have a requirement to pre-announce. Specifically for PMC, 
committer, and release it would be nice to give a week or two notice 
that a vote will be coming up, just so that interested parties don't 
miss it.


here is the text:

This document defines the bylaws under which the Apache ZooKeeper 
project operates. It defines the roles and responsibilities of the 
project, who may vote, how voting works, how conflicts are resolved, etc.

ZooKeeper is a project of the Apache Software Foundation The foundation 
holds the copyright on Apache code including the code in the ZooKeeper 
codebase. The foundation FAQ explains the operation and background of 
the foundation.

ZooKeeper is typical of Apache projects in that it operates under a set 
of principles, known collectively as the Apache Way. If you are new to 
Apache development, please refer to the Incubator project for more 
information on how Apache projects operate.

Roles and Responsibilities
Apache projects define a set of roles with associated rights and 
responsibilities. These roles govern what tasks an individual may 
perform within the project. The roles are defined in the following sections.

The most important participants in the project are people who use our 
software. The majority of our contributors start out as users and guide 
their development efforts from the user's perspective.

Users contribute to the Apache projects by providing feedback to 
contributors in the form of bug reports and feature suggestions. As 
well, users participate in the Apache community by helping other users 
on mailing lists and user support forums.

All of the volunteers who are contributing time, code, documentation, or 
resources to the ZooKeeper Project. A contributor that makes sustained, 
welcome contributions to the project may be invited to become a 
committer, though the exact timing of such invitations depends on many 

The project's committers are responsible for the project's technical 
management. Committers have access to a specified set of subproject's 
subversion repositories. Committers on subprojects may cast binding 
votes on any technical discussion regarding that subproject.

Committer access is by invitation only and must be approved by lazy 
consensus of the active PMC members. A Committer is considered emeritus 
by his or her own declaration or by not reviewing patches or commiting 
patches to the project for over six months. An emeritus committer may 
request reinstatement of commit access from the PMC which must be 
approved by lazy consensus of the active PMC members.

Commit access can be revoked by a unanimous vote of all the active PMC 
members (except the committer in question if he or she is also a PMC 

All Apache committers are required to have a signed Contributor License 
Agreement (CLA) on file with the Apache Software Foundation. There is a 
Committer FAQ which provides more details on the requirements for 

A committer who makes a sustained contribution to the project may be 
invited to become a member of the PMC. The form of contribution is not 
limited to code. It can also include code review, helping out users on 
the mailing lists, documentation, etc.

Project Management Committee
The PMC is responsible to the board and the ASF for the management and 
oversight of the Apache ZooKeeper codebase. The responsibilities of the 
PMC include

Deciding what is distributed as products of the Apache ZooKeeper 
project. In particular all releases must be approved by the PMC.
Maintaining the project's shared resources, including the codebase 
repository, mailing lists, websites.
Speaking on behalf of the project.
Resolving license disputes regarding products of the project.
Nominating new PMC members and committers.
Maintaining these bylaws and other guidelines of the project.
Membership of the PMC is by invitation only and must be approved by a 
lazy consensus of active PMC members. A PMC member is considered 
emeritus by his or her own declaration or by not contributing in any 
form to the project for over six months. An emeritus member may request 
reinstatement to the PMC, which must be approved by a lazy consensus of 
active PMC members.

Membership of the PMC can be revoked by an unanimous vote of all the 
active PMC members other than the member in question.

The chair of the PMC is appointed by the ASF board. The chair is an 
office holder of the Apache Software Foundation (Vice President, Apache 
ZooKeeper) and has primary responsibility to the board for the 
management of the projects within the scope of the ZooKeeper PMC. The 
chair reports to the board quarterly on developments within the 
ZooKeeper project.

When the current chair of the PMC resigns, the PMC votes to recommend a 
new chair using lazy consensus, but the decision must be ratified by the 
Apache board.

Decision Making
Within the ZooKeeper project, different types of decisions require 
different forms of approval. For example, the previous section describes 
several decisions which require 'lazy consensus' approval. This section 
defines how voting is performed, the types of approvals, and which types 
of decision require which type of approval.

Decisions regarding the project are made by votes on the primary project 
development mailing list user@zookeeper.apache.org. Where necessary, PMC 
voting may take place on the private ZooKeeper PMC mailing list 
private@ZooKeeper.apache.org. Votes are clearly indicated by subject 
line starting with [VOTE]. Votes may contain multiple items for approval 
and these should be clearly separated. Voting is carried out by replying 
to the vote mail. Voting may take four flavors.

Vote    Meaning
+1    'Yes,' 'Agree,' or 'the action should be performed.' In general, 
this vote also indicates a willingness on the behalf of the voter in 
'making it happen'.
+0    This vote indicates a willingness for the action under 
consideration to go ahead. The voter, however will not be able to help.
-0    This vote indicates that the voter does not, in general, agree 
with the proposed action but is not concerned enough to prevent the 
action going ahead.
-1    This is a negative vote. On issues where consensus is required, 
this vote counts as a veto. All vetoes must contain an explanation of 
why the veto is appropriate. Vetoes with no explanation are void. It may 
also be appropriate for a -1 vote to include an alternative course of 
All participants in the ZooKeeper project are encouraged to show their 
agreement with or against a particular action by voting. For technical 
decisions, only the votes of active committers are binding. Non binding 
votes are still useful for those with binding votes to understand the 
perception of an action in the wider ZooKeeper community. For PMC 
decisions, only the votes of PMC members are binding.

Voting can also be applied to changes already made to the ZooKeeper 
codebase. These typically take the form of a veto (-1) in reply to the 
commit message sent when the commit is made. Note that this should be a 
rare occurrence. All efforts should be made to discuss issues when they 
are still patches before the code is committed.

These are the types of approvals that can be sought. Different actions 
require different types of approvals.

Approval Type    Definition
Consensus        For this to pass, all voters with binding votes must 
vote and there can be no binding vetoes (-1). Consensus votes are rarely 
required due to the impracticality of getting all eligible voters to 
cast a vote.
Lazy Consensus    Lazy consensus requires 3 binding +1 votes and no 
binding vetoes.
Lazy Majority    A lazy majority vote requires 3 binding +1 votes and 
more binding +1 votes that -1 votes.
Lazy Approval    An action with lazy approval is implicitly allowed 
unless a -1 vote is received, at which time, depending on the type of 
action, either lazy majority or lazy consensus approval must be obtained.
2/3 Majority    Some actions require a 2/3 majority of active committers 
or PMC members to pass. Such actions typically affect the foundation of 
the project (e.g. adopting a new codebase to replace an existing 
product). The higher threshold is designed to ensure such changes are 
strongly supported. To pass this vote requires at least 2/3 of binding 
vote holders to vote +1.

A valid, binding veto cannot be overruled. If a veto is cast, it must be 
accompanied by a valid reason explaining the reasons for the veto. The 
validity of a veto, if challenged, can be confirmed by anyone who has a 
binding vote. This does not necessarily signify agreement with the veto 
- merely that the veto is valid.

If you disagree with a valid veto, you must lobby the person casting the 
veto to withdraw his or her veto. If a veto is not withdrawn, the action 
that has been vetoed must be reversed in a timely manner.

This section describes the various actions which are undertaken within 
the project, the corresponding approval required for that action and 
those who have binding votes over the action. It also specifies the 
minimum length of time that a vote must remain open, measured in 
business days. In general votes should not be called at times when it is 
known that interested members of the project will be unavailable.

Action    Description    Approval    Binding Votes    Minimum Length
Code Change    A change made to a codebase of the project and committed 
by a committer. This includes source code, documentation, website 
content, etc.    Lazy approval (not counting the vote of the 
contributor), moving to lazy majority if a -1 is received    Active 
committers    1
Release Plan    Defines the timetable and actions for a release. The 
plan also nominates a Release Manager.    Lazy majority    Active 
committers    3
Product Release    When a release of one of the project's products is 
ready, a vote is required to accept the release as an official release 
of the project.    Lazy Majority    Active PMC members    3
Adoption of New Codebase    When the codebase for an existing, released 
product is to be replaced with an alternative codebase. If such a vote 
fails to gain approval, the existing code base will continue. This also 
covers the creation of new sub-projects within the project.    2/3 
majority    Active PMC members    6
New Committer or reinstatement   When a new committer is proposed for 
the project.    Lazy consensus    Active PMC members    3
New PMC Member or reinstatement    When a committer is proposed for the 
PMC.    Lazy consensus    Active PMC members    3
Committer Removal    When removal of commit privileges is sought. Note: 
Such actions will also be referred to the ASF board by the PMC chair.   
  Consensus    Active PMC members (excluding the committer in question 
if a member of the PMC).    6
PMC Member Removal    When removal of a PMC member is sought. Note: Such 
actions will also be referred to the ASF board by the PMC chair.   
  Consensus    Active PMC members (excluding the member in question).    6
Modifying Bylaws    Modifying this document.    2/3 majority    Active 
PMC members    6

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