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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Earned autonomy
Date Mon, 06 Feb 2012 00:41:41 GMT
On Sun, Feb 05, 2012 at 01:26:47PM -0600, William A. Rowe Jr. wrote:
> It might be worthwhile to require 3 ASF members on the initial release,
> 2 on the next, 1 on the following and then trust the committee to follow
> the established precedent.


Instead of automatically decreasing the count, the device I'd suggest is for
the ASF Members on the committee to vote to grant binding votes to individual
contributors who they believe have demonstrated a thorough understanding of
the Apache Way.

Release Managers would be prime candidates; given the challenge of getting an
incubating release out the door, an RM will likely have acquired greater
expertise than many ASF PMC members who have been voted directly into TLP
PMCs.  Just being an RM might not be enough, but it would be left to the
judgment of the ASF Members / Mentors to vet and vote on candidates.

The canonical path towards project autonomy would thus be to make three
incubating releases with three different contributors serving as RM.

This mechanism incentivizes the following healthy habits:

  * Release early, release often.
  * Share crucial responsibilities and disperse knowledge amongst multiple
  * Learn ASF documentation and relevant legal issues (thoroughly enough to
    pass muster in the eyes of the ASF Members / Mentors).

I don't worry too much that promoting individuals one-at-a-time will create a
class of pseudo-BDFL contributors who are "more equal" than others.  Every
project is going to have people who contribute disproportionally; what we
want is for those people to do less coding and more community building and
small-m mentoring.

> projects should earn incremental trust and authority.

+1 for incremental increases in autonomy.

+1 for making it clear that the increased autonomy is *earned*.

We want newcomers to internalize ASF values.  We want them to understand both
how much we care about doing things the way we do and why.

We also have oversight responsibilities that it would be best if we
relinquished progressively.

Marvin Humphrey

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