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From Justin Erenkrantz <>
Subject Re: a few steps before approving a project
Date Wed, 31 Aug 2005 18:09:48 GMT
--On August 31, 2005 11:01:29 AM -0700 Cliff Schmidt 
<> wrote:

> I'd like to suggest a few changes to the process of approving new
> project proposals.  The purpose of these changes would be to allow the
> ASF to consider big picture issues related to the acceptance of new
> projects into the Incubator, which isn't as likely to happen with our
> current set of rules where any of our 30+ PMCs can approve a new
> project for incubation and where the Incubator PMC itself has a pretty
> informal process for evaluating new proposals.


> Here are some of the ideas I have in mind (note that some are
> dependent on the implementation of others):
> - change the Incubator PMC charter (not that we have a official
> charter) to include approving of all new projects, so that once a
> sponsor PMC (if not the Incubator PMC) approves a new project, the
> Incubator PMC still has to give a final approval.


I'd also be fine if it were semi-lazy consensus - that is, along the lines 
of what the board does for PMC additions - an Incubator PMC member must ack 
a proposal approved by a sponsoring PMC and then there is 72 hours for 
someone to register an objection.  If there's an objection, the process 
halts and waits for a full vote by the Incubator PMC.

> - ensure all proposals use the same standard template -- we've
> recently gotten proposals that simply copied some other proposal they
> saw -- we're not really making sure that any one set of standard
> questions is answered.


> - add a question to the template asking whether the person(s)
> proposing are aware of similar open source projects inside or outside
> the ASF.  I'm not suggesting that a project wouldn't get approved if
> there is some similar high profile open source project, but at least
> we are explicitly asking the question and getting the information.


> - consider having a formal liaison at a few key external open source
> communities to give a friendly notice to whenever the Incubator PMC
> knows there's a proposal that could be controversial.   This really
> only works if we add the new proposal question mentioned above and
> create a more centralized process of looping the Incubator PMC in
> *before* a project is approved.

Good idea; not necessarily a formal change; but a good idea to help us 
ensure everything goes smoothly (as it can).

> - require that the Incubator PMC loops in the PRC on any project that
> could have any chance of media attention (either because of the
> overall significance of the project, the potential for controversy,
> expected vendor press releases, or the opportunity to release a joint
> statement with some other organization).


> I really don't want to add more process than necessary, but as the
> ASFs importance continues to grow, I think there a few issues that
> should be addressed with each new project, and I'm hoping steps like
> these could help that to happen.  Of course, an incubating project
> isn't an officially endorsed ASF project, but we still call it "Apache
> foo" and it's certainly perceived by the outside as being an action by
> the ASF when it is accepted for incubation.

I think these set of steps can help resolve some hiccups we've had with 
recent Incubating proposals.

Thanks.  -- justin

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