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From Cliff Schmidt <>
Subject Re: a few steps before approving a project
Date Thu, 01 Sep 2005 21:29:27 GMT
Thanks, Dims -- I really appreciate the response!  

Comments and responses to your questions below.


On 9/1/05, Davanum Srinivas <> wrote:
> Please see below:
> On 8/31/05, Cliff Schmidt <> wrote:
> > - 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.
> +1. It does not have to be a formal VOTE on the pmc mailing list. It
> could be a note from PMC chair to general@ after a week or so. If
> something crops up in that time frame, PMC Chair can ask for a VOTE.
> > - 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.
> +1 Absolutely (We do this already, but its because we are lazy :)
> > - 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.
> +0 Folks involved know better than to waste everyones time duplicating
> work. But If this list makes you sleep better, sure. But i don't
> really think it will help much.
> > - 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.
> -0 (leaning toward -0.25/-0.5) for formal liaison. Don't want
> pre-existing preudjices to judge the proposal.
> Incubator our sandbox. -0 to have a pre-sandbox-sandbox. Let's do
> whatever is needed in public. What are u worried about here? press? I
> thought we are here to share our work and make the world a better
> place. Not focused on poll numbers or what the press says.

I was thinking this liaison notice would happen after the sponsor PMC
has voted to take on the project, but before the Incubator PMC gives
its final approval.  I imagine there could be the occasional case
where the Incubator PMC finds out something that would cause the
consensus to believe that accepting the proposal would not be in the
ASF's best interest.  However, in most cases, this liaison would just
be a chance to politely negotiate any potential PR issues before
officially accepting the project for incubation (when press releases
may or may not occur and when reporters start interviewing people).

> > - 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).
> +1 Question is when do u want this to happen BEFORE the proposal hits
> the general@incubator or after that? Again, don't want a
> pre-sandbox-sandbox.

I've always been in favor of public proposals (and have ensured that
was the case in each of the three ASF project proposals I've been
involved in).  So, I definitely am not saying that the PRC must be
looped in before anyone proposes or discusses a proposal on a public
list!  However, I think there's value in getting the PRC looped in
before officially *accepting* the project for incubation.  I haven't
ever noticed a lot of press as a direct result of incubator
discussions, and I think there's a big difference between the press
that can be made about the discussion of a proposal and what can be
made of an Apache decision to start an incubating project.

> > 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.
> Am ok for calling it just "Foo" if it helps avert problems.

Why don't we just require all new projects be named "Not-Apache Foo"?  ;-)

I don't have a strong feeling on this issue, but I do think that as
long as there is any press about projects being started at Apache, and
especially when we require the projects to use the "Apache" prefix in
their name, we need to consider that such action reflects on the ASF
as a whole -- no matter how many times we try to explain the concept
of incubator graduation.  The other issue is that, if we know of an
issue that people are likely to ask about, we should be prepared with
an answer, whether the project has graduated or not.

I guess this is really about allowing the opportunity to prepare a
media response for our actions -- accepting a project for incubating
is an ASF action, one that can be very interesting to the press and
the software industry in general.


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