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From Leo Simons <>
Subject Re: Mentors and members
Date Thu, 12 Apr 2007 19:54:38 GMT
On Apr 10, 2007, at 7:46 PM, Craig L Russell wrote:
> I'm confused.

I can imagine. I think everyone is confused. That's what you get when  
you try and write these process descriptions so formally, since the  
actual process is not as formal. The "A mentor is... a permanent  
member of the [ASF]" description on that page is wrong insofar that  
it doesn't reflect reality. In fact, the entire description of a  
mentor is a bit off if you ask me.

  > A Mentor is a role undertaken by a permanent member of the Apache  
Software Foundation

nope. But they're always committers and they always know "how the ASF  
works" (insofar as anyone knows :-)).

  > and is chosen by the Sponsor

nope. Mentors are chosen by the podling, the incubator PMC, the  
Sponsor, or themselves. "I'll volunteer to mentor if you'll have me"  
is a common phrase.

  > to actively lead in the discharge of their duties (listed above).

I don't see that list. It's a confusing sentence to me. "Mentors work  
to make sure no mentoring is needed, i.e. make sure that the podling  
becomes a self-managing community" seems clearer to me.

  > Upon acceptance by the Incubator PMC, the Mentor automatically  
becomes a member of the Incubator PMC.

Not completely true. They have to subscribe (or be subscribed to) to  
the private@ mailing list, the subscription request must be approved,  
an e-mail must be sent to private@, and then the Incubator VP must  
send a request for an ACK message to the board@, then the board has  
to ACK, and then the Incubator VP must update a file in SVN, and then  
they're a PMC member. The "automatic" word comes from the fact that  
the IPMC doesn't vote on this seperately.

  > A Mentor has specific responsibilities towards the Incubator PMC,  
the Sponsor and towards the members of the assigned Podling.

Hrmpf. A mentor has rather undefined and vague responsibilities,  
namely to "do mentoring".

> The Process Description [1] seems to be clear:
> The Mentor is automatically made a member of the Incubator PMC

See above. Of course this implies that when the IPMC votes on a  
proposal it'd better check that it accepts the mentoring list. Of  
course, it's really hard to figure out whether a particular person  
would be a good mentor for a particular project in a particular  
timeframe. Fortunately, it is always easy to add a mentor, or for a  
non-mentor to fill in a few mentoring gaps.

> , and reports to both the PMC and the Sponsor about your overall  
> health and suitability for eventual inclusion within the Apache  
> Community (or recommendation to terminate).

Hmm. The podling community as a whole should be responsible for  
reporting. Mentors can (and do) fill the gap until the community is  

> If there should be a separate vote, there's no mention of it  
> anywhere. Is this just old information in need of updating?

Well it seems it does need updating, but no, there's no seperate vote.

> Or is it the intent that after receiving a Sponsor's request to the  
> Incubator to accept a candidate, someone on the IPMC starts a vote  
> to accept the non-Member proposed Mentor(s) as an IPMC member?


> And then separately, the IPMC votes to accept the candidate as a  
> podling? The implication is that if not all proposed Mentors are  
> IPMC members, the vote to accept the candidate is out of order.
> I'll be happy to propose a patch once I understand what it should say.

Thanks Craig! Process descriptions always seem hard to read and  
write, ways to improve the wording are always sought...

- Leo

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