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From Leo Simons <>
Subject [RT] How to graduate
Date Wed, 21 Jan 2004 00:07:20 GMT
Since there were some questions lately, here's some of my thoughts about 
what projects in incubation should be doing to graduate. We haven't 
graduated that many projects before, so what exactly it entails is not 
set in stone. Nor do I think it will be anytime soon, as setting things 
in stone is hard work!

When are you ready?
Before you graduate, you need to be confident...

* ...that the people tracking your progress actively get an idea of what 
you're up to (and have gotten a chance to point you at some i's to dot 
and t's to cross). You need to get the feeling there's a consensus 
around the incubator that you're ready.

* your own abilities to function well within apache without the 
help of the incubator. If you don't know yet what all that entails, 
you're not ready.

* ...that your status file reflects reality, that everyone involved 
agrees on its contents, and that there are no action items left.

* ...that you've followed all parts of the incubation procedure (and 
where they're vague, the intentions behind them) and that you know what 
to do upon graduation, procedure-wise.

* ...that everyone actively involved with the project (committers, 
(P)PMC members, mentors, ...) agrees that the project is ready for 

If you're confident in all of this, you're likely ready to graduate. If 
you're not, it's probably not very likely the PMC will be :D

The Actual Graduation Procedure
The important formal part is that the Incubator PMC votes (which happens 
according to the 'standard' apache policy of simple majority on 
non-technical votes, a roughly 72 hour voting period unless someone 
requests otherwise, etc; the vote is done on the general@incubator list 
and non-PMC members are welcome to express their opinion) on the project 

In order to make the vote go smoothly, talk about it before you actually 
hold one, include a summary of all important info in the call to vote, 
including links to status files, significant reports or bits of info, 
etc etc. Basically, the standard "common sense" applies. And if you're a 
graduation candidate, you should know what that common sense is, actually :D

Once the vote passes, tally the result, move the status file to the 
succes subdirectory, update links, update website, post a vote summary, 
announce the happy news to the appropriate lists, notify the appropriate 
pmc, take care of any infrastructural things that need to happen 
(subdomain config for a TLP, for example), and do other things that need 
doing (if you don't know what those are, see above).

Besides those hopefully rather obvious things, a new TLP requires a 
board resolution, which requires a basic project charter, a list of PMC 
members, a proposal for a PMC chair, and probably some nice and formal 
words just for fun. You can find examples in the board meeting minutes 
( You will 
probably want a PPMC vote on the draft resolution before you submit it 
to the board.

It's your own responsibility
The PMC is not likely to decide on its own that you should graduate, nor 
is it likely to take the neccessary steps to make it happen. You should 
take those steps and ask the PMC to decide when you think they will 
decide in favour. The PMC is not for "doing" things, just for oversight 
and approval. Regardless of the fact, of course, that there are lots of 
people on the PMC who do things (like write this e-mail :D), it's not 
what the PMC does.

ASF projects do self-management...and once you are managing yourself, 
the Incubator PMC will probably be very happy to transfer responsibility.

This is just my understanding of basic procedures and my own opinion. 
It's not representative of an "official" PMC or board opinion or decision.

Also, don't wait for official positions, opinions, or decisions. We're 
not laywers, so we don't do a lot of things "officially" if we don't 
really need to. Just take a look at what people have said, what 
consensus seems to be, etc. Moreover, take a look at what *you* think.


- Leo Simons

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