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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Re: Incubator, Jakarta, and new projects
Date Thu, 24 Oct 2002 22:39:50 GMT

I'm forwarding this from the reorg list to some of the lists already 
polled about becoming

I have recieved multiple requests for clarifications on why they would
want to establish a PMC, and this is the best possible answer IMNSHO.

Roy T. Fielding wrote:
 >>> The problem(s) in Avalon are very serious, but there are strong project
 >>> leads in Avalon, so I am not sure what a project PMC would solve there.
 >> PR/outward view would seem the major thing to me. Commons lacks a
 >> governing group with the same name [PMC] as other projects and therefore
 >> must be anarchy.
 > The concept of a PMC, and the reason that anyone having a vote on the
 > project code-base should be a member of the PMC, is to provide legal
 > protection to those people as individuals.  Not being on a PMC (as
 > defined by the bylaws) means that each and every decision made by those
 > committers is outside the scope of Apache's legal protection, which
 > in turn means that if a mistake is made (or some asshole lawyer just
 > feels like it), any suit against the committer actions (such as
 > infringement of some unknown patent) would have to be defended
 > by the committers on their own.  The ASF would be able to defend the
 > code itself, but not the people whose actions were outside the PMC.
 > That sucks, and I think the only reason the committers tolerate it
 > is because they don't understand the risks and have no awareness of
 > the bylaws.
 > Jakarta was created because the original Apache members needed an
 > incubator for Java projects that was independent of httpd.  I expected
 > the projects to form their own PMCs once they were self-governing.
 > The Jakarta brand name is irrelevant to the PMC issues -- the common
 > grouping of Apache Java projects under the website
 > does not need to change at all, nor do the mailing lists need to go away.
 > What we do need is to wake up the Jakarta committers to the awareness
 > that they are working on Apache projects, under Apache guidelines, and
 > towards shared ownership in the Apache Software Foundation.  Phrasing
 > it as being forced out of Jakarta is why the projects refuse to form
 > their own PMCs.  If you asked people whether they prefer the legal
 > protection of the ASF or the management hierarchy of the Jakarta PMC,
 > I think you will find the committers will accept self-governance in
 > fact rather than the illusion provided by an external PMC.  If not,
 > then at least they will be making an informed decision.
 > ....Roy

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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