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From David Blevins <>
Subject Re: Mentors - the more, the merrier? [WAS Re: [VOTE] Accept Heraldry into the Incubator]
Date Thu, 13 Jul 2006 19:54:37 GMT

On Jul 12, 2006, at 6:20 PM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:

> Although history documents an unfortunately strong human tendency  
> towards
> delegating to a hierarchical authority, the ASF philosophy is peer- 
> based,
> not hierarchical.  The PMC Chair is a legal requirement, not a  
> community
> one, and a fallback in case of community failure.
>> From the inception of the project, we want to instill in it the ASF
> philosophy of peer-based collaboration.  Putting someone First Amongst
> Equals is the start of a road to excuses and dependence instead of
> collective responsiblity.  I would prefer that we help indoctrinate  
> people
> on taking collective responsibility.

I think it's critical for everyone to internalize the peer-based  
in their ASF duties, although legally and structurally we do have a
hierarchy.  We have the distinction of Non-Committer, Committer, PMC
Member, PMC Chair, ASF Member, and Board Member (not listed in any  
Each comes with an increased amount of responsibility and  
This is how we operate.  It also means your actions can have a far  
impact on your peers, which is why it's critical to carry out your
responsibilities with a true peer focus.

So, yes, we have a peer-based philosophy which is naturally at odds with
our hierarchical organization.  Handling that balance is the true  
sign of
someone who "get's it."  This is exactly what we should be teaching  
in the

People need to know and understand the compromises that exist and why  
exist.  Anything less than that starts to look hypocritical and only
creates communities that aren't able to handle the natural conflict  
peer-based and hierarchical.

So I'd say +1 to having a chair for the PPMC.  I might even go as far to
say that grooming a chair from the list of developers be one of the
graduation requirements, though I'm less sure about that point.  Maybe
you'd start with one of the mentors as chair then, maybe half way  
incubation, start grooming a new ppmc chair from within the project.   
don't graduate till they all "get it", completely.


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