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From Berin Lautenbach <>
Subject Re: PPMCs and oversight
Date Mon, 29 Dec 2003 09:47:09 GMT
Noel J. Bergman wrote:

> I disagree.  I believe that with the PPMC structure in place, we should hold
> the PPMC accountable, just as every PMC is accountable.  We need to ensure
> that the PPMC members are well aware of the responsibility of the PPMC, and
> that it is accountable.  I think that instilling that sense of
> accountability there from the beginning is important, and that installing a
> designated taskmaster as I feel you describe it would be counter-productive.

No.  Absolutely not!  I am not after a taskmaster of any description, 
and I do not believe I have ever required it.

I am after a clearly identified individual who is accountable for 
ensuring things are being done that need to be done - not for making 
them happen.  That is not a taskmaster - that is an oversite task.

At the start, my guess is that it *will* be a(n unwilling) taskmaster 
for totally new PPMCs (i.e. those caring for projects totally new to the 
ASF).  But the aim of the mentor in this case should be to back off over 
time until they are doing nothing.

> We do need to make sure that the PMC is aware of any issues, but I believe
> that between Incubator PMC members being intimately involved on the PPMC,
> and reports from the PPMC, I believe we have that covered.

Agreed.  However I believe there needs to be a formalisation that there 
is one Incubator PMC member who is ensuring the PPMC is meeting their 
requirements of accountability.  The role of the incubator is to 
actively oversite projects coming on board.  Unless we have someone we 
can point to who is doing that active oversite and reporting any issues, 
then I believe we cannot (as easily) show oversite.

For example I simply haven't got the bandwidth to be intimately involved 
in all incubating projects.  However I do believe that as an Incubator 
PMC member I have a responsibility to all of them.  I therefore want to 
have a level of comfort that there is someone who I can go to in order 
to gain confidence in the project's progress.

As a parallel, the board looks for PMCs for each TLP.  However there is 
a nominated individual (the chair) that the board goes to for all 
questions.  The expectation is that the PMC as a whole is driving the 
project, not the chair, but there needs to be someone that is 
responsible to the board.

At the end of the day, I think it will in 99% of cases be a matter of 
semantics, but I do believe putting it in place will make the 1% easier 
on everyone.  (And after all, it's that last 1% that has the capacity to 
cause the most problems.)


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