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From "Greg Stein" <>
Subject Re: release voting
Date Wed, 20 Dec 2006 04:02:57 GMT
On 12/11/06, Roy T. Fielding <> wrote:
> > Can a PMC chair veto a release?
> No.  A chair only counts as one vote.  A chair's only special powers
> are to receive things officially and ensure that the PMC does vote.

Euh... no. Nowhere is that stated in the ASF Bylaws. They're quite mum
on what the Chair can do.

The Chair *is* an officer of the corporation, though, and that implies
a lot more than what you've stated. An officer can make binding
decisions for the corporation. In the case of a project VP (the
Chair), they can effectively do anything necessary within the realm of
their project that is appropriate for that project. Consider:

       RESOLVED, that the office of Vice President, Apache Labs be and
       hereby is created, the person holding such office to serve at
       the direction of the Board of Directors as the chair of the
       Labs PMC, and to have primary responsibility for management of
       the projects within the scope of responsibility of the Apache
       Labs PMC; and be it further

All of our TLP resolutions have that paragraph. With that paragraph,
and VP status, I consider the Chairs to be able to do just about
anything that is in the best interests of their project (and not
counter to other interests of the ASF).

The ASF Bylaws basically restate the above:

   "...the chairman of each Project Management Committee shall be
    primarily responsible for project(s) managed by such committee,
    and he or she shall establish rules and procedures for the day
    to day management of project(s) for which the committee is

I've always interpreted the VP as the one to define the rules of the
PMC. They are the actual "hand of power", but the Board expects them
to operate that power in a certain way. If they misuse it... well,
that's the end of that. Those expectations are things like voting
procedures, consensus rules, blah blah blah. There is a cultural
definition of *how* the VP should act, but when push comes to shove,
I've told Chairs on a number of occasions, "dood. you're an officer of
the corporation. *you* make it work. you have extremely wide leeway
when it comes to handling your problems."

When Ken dumped the entire Geronimo PMC, he did that under his rights
as a VP of that project. He felt that was the appropriate action at
the time. I believe he had every right/ability to do that, and the
Board backed his right to do so. Now... if we saw Chairs doing that
every other week, there'd be hell to pay. Again, there is an
expectation of behavior, but there is actually very few written

In this case, if we saw a Chair taking unilateral actions within a
project, we'd call him to the carpet and demand an explanation. If he
had a good one, then alright. That's how it works.


Greg Stein,

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