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From "Mattmann, Chris A (388J)" <>
Subject Re: Incubator, or "Incubation"?
Date Thu, 02 Feb 2012 02:22:53 GMT
Hi Bill,

On Feb 1, 2012, at 3:26 PM, William A. Rowe Jr. wrote:

> On 2/1/2012 5:11 PM, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) wrote:
>> On Feb 1, 2012, at 2:25 PM, William A. Rowe Jr. wrote:
>>> I'd modify your proposal just a smidge.  Keep an Incubator VP with a very small
>>> operational committee just to help move the podling through the entire process
>>> of wrangling the necessary proposal, votes and board resolutions.  Some amount
>>> of process documentation would remain under that VP and their committee.
>> I think this modification adds overhead that I think we have already. ComDev
>> can provide this guidance and I think that's what the natural purpose for it is.
> Simply, there needs to be someone (backed by a committee with specific individual
> responsibilities, if that person likes) to shepherd state changes into a board
> resolutions, ensure they hit the board agenda, maintain what we call the
> 'incubation web site' today, and answer inquiries about 'how do we go about X?'
> You can suggest that the directors, members and site-dev people take on all of
> those tasks, but we know that randomly distributed responsibilities don't work
> out so well.  That's why there is now a collection of these VP roles at the ASF.

But I didn't suggest those set of people. You did. And I purposefully didn't suggest
them just as you purposefully threw them up as people you wouldn't think were
right for the role to illustrate your point. As you hint at below (and that's where
I'll respond), my proposal suggests empowering the actual chairs of the committees
of podlings as those responsible. That's the role of the Champion and it's no different
than the role of a VP, let's be done with it and say the Champion is the initial Podling
VP, subject to the same rigamarole and replaceability, rotation, whatever that any
chair is. The point is: podlings can start acting like projects from day 1, that's what
we encourage. They *are* projects. And if they aren't, we'll find out soon enough.

>>> Take "VP, Project Incubation" out of the role of judging incoming or graduating
>>> projects.  Leave general@ for the process of submitting a proposal to come in
>>> as an incubating podling or leave by way of graduation, the attic, or graveyard
>>> (full purge in the rare case of questionable IP provenience).
>>> Make every podling a proper PMC to include its mentors.  Make a choice between
>>> including all listed initial contributors, or instead, have the mentors promote
>>> the actual contributors given time and merit, based on a well thought out and
>>> somewhat predictable flowchart.
>>> Have ComDev drive the effort to ensure all projects are nurtured by finding new
>>> mentorship of old, graduated projects as well as incubating projects who had
>>> their mentors.  This might avoid some cases of the board imposing a full PMC
>>> on established projects.
>>> Most importantly, have the voting by the full membership on general@ to recommend
>>> to the board accepting a podling or graduating a podling to a TLP.
>> If the full membership is making the recommendation then i see no need for a VP
>> Incubator and I think it should be disbanded. However, I agree with your statements
>> above and think they jive with my proposal. 
> I view this more as giving the members the opportunity to raise questions and issues
> of how a particular project proposal would fit here, which is what they do anyways.
> This only makes it more formal.  You keep the VP simply as the record keeper and
> executor of the decisions on general@.

I agree with your sentiments towards the membership's role. However, I maintain, 
I still don't think you need the VP of the Incubator; it's just extra overhead that's not

>>> Why?  Given
>>> the example of the hotly contested AOO podling, if the membership (represented
>>> by Incubator PMC members) did not ultimately have the discussion that was held,
>>> and if the board had 'imposed' accepting AOO on the foundation, it would have
>>> done internal harm.  Now maybe only 50 of the members care to review proposals
>>> and cast such votes.  That's OK, they are still representative of the membership.
>>> If a member wants to gripe on the member's private list, they can be gently but
>>> emphatically nudged to take their concerns to the general@ discussion of the
>>> proposed project.
>> Yes yes yes. Perfect. That's right. Let the membership VOTE for the proposal 
>> and then recommend to the board. That's a great idea. And I guess that would
>> mean that general@ stays around. I could live with that so long as the VP 
>> Incubator and the IPMC is discharged. As I said, I think they have more than
>> served their purpose. 
> Well, the scope of general@ shrinks dramatically, although it can continue to be
> a place for a recently approved project to holler "help, we need more help!".

+1. Super +1. Yes, I agree.

> You might view the VP as overlapping the Champion.  

Yep, I do. 

> But do we want every one
> of the Champions to have to be intimately familiar with the form of the board
> resolutions, or consolidate some of the book-keeping?

Sure, we do. That's what a VP does, and what a Champion should do too. 
I propose that a Champion is just the VP, while the podling is in the Incubation

>  VP Project Incubation
> works with those Champions.  Much like the foundation-wide security@a.o team
> works with all the individual projects as a resource, but isn't responsible
> for the oversight of individual project security defects.

Yeah, I get what you're saying. You say the VP Incubator is a resource, but to me
the role is the head of a committee that just adds extra burden and overhead to 
what should inherently be distributed and decentralized.

> I don't see this working without an appointed coordinator.

I do :) just with the coordinating living within the project, just like TLPs, 
and that's the Champion/VP of the podling.


Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Senior Computer Scientist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 171-266B, Mailstop: 171-246
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

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