incubator-general mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Leo Simons <>
Subject Re: PPMCs and oversight
Date Tue, 30 Dec 2003 16:35:24 GMT
Stephen McConnell wrote:

> My response was related to the on-going debate about invididuals 
> versus group reponsibilities.  What I described is role of an 
> individual lined to both an incubating project and to Apache at 
> large.  I descibed the benefit that such a "real-person" can bring to 
> a new group of people comming into Apache.  I noted a certain level of 
> responsibility that exists in this scenario - reposibility towards the 
> new project and reposibilities towards the PMC.  As others have 
> pointed out - this isn't saying this role is responsible for doing 
> this or that - instead - its someone to ask questions "what is the 
> infrastructure@apache list" - "do I need to worry about X or Y" - 
> "where can I go to do this or that" - someone that going the extra 
> step beyond just subscribing to a list.  For new project members that 
> person is undertaking to work with the new team, to assist when 
> needed.  On the other side the equation member of the Incubator PMC 
> can place some level of confidence that every new new project has 
> "people" connected with both Apache, the Incubator PMC, and the 
> project.  Yes - as people invoked in an incubated project learn about 
> what is Apache then the roles of guidance, assistance, help, etc. drop 
> away.  In the just the same way people within the Incubator PMC will 
> observe that the members of the project are acting as a community, 
> making their own decisions, setting their own agenda, getting ready to 
> leave.
> Now what this is all about is the notion of "responsibility".  Nicola 
> is arguing the the PMC is responsible - I argure that groups cannot be 
> reponsible because groups don't do that - groups enable emergent 
> characteristics - things like concensus, decisions, policy, 
> gueidlines, and in the case of Incubator - transient infrastructure.  
> On the other hand, individuals can say "I'll take that extra step" and 
> in doing so make a commitment to both the PMC and a new team to 
> facilitiate a process.  Now, I know Nicolas going to jump on this as 
> say all of that stuff about "one person cannot do it alone" - and I 
> think Nicolas is missing the point - sure than can be lots of people 
> doing lots of things - instead - it is about one person accepting a 
> level of responsibility - saying - "yes, I'm going to the extra step 
> on this project" and that means "I'm taking a risk and it also means 
> that I'm partially accountable for the result (sucessful or otherwise)". 

I think it is good that there are one or more individuals that will commit
themselves to helping out a new project. In my mind, that involves
someone (really, can be just about anyone) sending out a message that
says something along the lines of "I volunteer". That's a good thing.
It's also a good thing to say "I volunteer to help shepherd this project
through incubation".

What is not a good thing is when something like that starts obscuring
responsibility, accountability, but most of all information flow. It is
bad when I receive private e-mails about the moin wiki, about avalon,
about incubation, any of that stuff I'm involved in, because it
invariably hides information. In your average business process it may
be an option to have managers be a hub of information flow, but that's
a luxury we cannot afford, basically because volunteers are less
dependable than paid staff. We have mailing lists instead.

This is something projects should learn right away, not after they 'get

Anyway, that's my opinion, you have yours;  lets focus on finding a
middle ground.


To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message