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From Benson Margulies <>
Subject Re: Retirement decision making
Date Wed, 28 Nov 2012 13:42:56 GMT
I have only one point of discomfort with Ross' writing here.

Ross's position, in this and other messages, seems to me to be that it
a podling can persist indefinitely, so long as (a) it has involved
mentors, and (b) there's no ongoing violation of Foundation policy.

I have two reasons to wonder about this.

1: My recollection of the original set of messages from the Board by
way of Sam were that indefinite residence in the incubator was a
problem, even well properly supervised.

2: While I appreciate that mentors are not entirely fungible, I tend
to think in terms of a limited pool of volunteer effort, so indefinite
incubation worries me.

Neither of these are a reason to change the short-term outcome of
Chuckwa, one way or the other. I'm thinking of starting a Wiki page on
the Incubator's mission and scope that might result in a clarification
of (1). As for (2), Ross' formulation in this message, and in others,
is to help the community to find consensus by offering a constructive
logical view. It's always better to do that than to reach, or worry
about, an impasse.

On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:35 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
>> The current vote thread for retirement of Chukwa, coupled with some of
>> the other discussion threads, raises some questions that need to be
>> resolved.
>> How do we make retirement decisions?
>> says:
>> "Before following the retirement steps, the remaining developers of
>> the project should be informed and vote should happen on the projects
>> dev list. After the vote, the IPMC must vote on the general list to
>> retire the project.
>> In some cases the developers of a project might be opposed to
>> retirement, while the IPMC is in favour because its members cannot see
>> a succesfull graduation now or in future. In this case the IPMC
>> _decides_ about the retirement."
>> In general, Apache projects strive to reach decisions by consensus,
>> using votes to memorialize consensus.
>> In the Chukwa case, there seems to have been a consensus some months
>> ago about how things would proceed. However, I don't think it's
>> reasonable to view that decision as a self-operating process in which
>> the community pre-decided exactly how and when the plug would be
>> pulled. Actually deciding to retire the project, over the objections
>> of even one of its contributors, is a decision point that the
>> community has to cope with -- however frustrating this may be for
>> mentors.
>> So, in hindsight, it would have been good to have a [DISCUSS] thread
>> in which the mentors could present their view, Eric could argue back,
>> and other people could pose questions of clarification. If people
>> really want to compare to Wink, someone could do the necessary
>> slogging to bring forth real comparative data for Wink.
>> But let's imagine that we have a DISCUSS thread and a clear lack of
>> consensus. In essence, that's what the current [VOTE] thread amounts
>> to. Now what? Do we say, 'well, in the absence of consensus, we must
>> continue the podling'? Do we say this even in the absence of enough
>> mentors willing to supervise it?
>> I stupidly posted an initial version of this question to private@, and
>> Ross replied with some very clear thinking on this, which I trust that
>> he will re-send to this thread. I'll stop here and wait for that.
>> --benson
> Here are Ross' remarks:
> In my opinion retirement should not be a decision made by a VOTE of the IPMC.
> Firstly, the ASF is not governed by votes, it is governed by
> consensus. Secondly, in votes people often pile on without doing the
> appropriate background work (a +/-1 is easier than discussing the
> various options to reach consensus).
> Votes in the ASF are usually used to confirm consensus that has
> already been achieved through discussion. So, in addition to
> supporting your suggestion to have a [DISCUSS] thread before a [VOTE]
> thread I suggest we follow the following guidelines with respect to
> podling retirement:
> 1) If the PPMC unanimously recommends retirement, it gets retired. No
> need for a VOTE, just notify the IPMC, leave for 72 hours minimum and
> retire it.
> 2) If the mentors say it should be retired but the PPMC does not
> unanimously agree then the podling should seek to recruit new mentors.
> No need to VOTE, just get on with it.
> 3) If there insufficient mentors willing to continue working with the
> project then the IPMC has a problem to address on a case by case
> basis. The shepherd role ensures that these cases are spotted during
> the reporting process. If necessary a [DISCUSS} thread can be started
> and a sensible plan is developed (which may include a VOTE to retire,
> at this point there should be no -1's as a -1 needs to be backed by a
> willingness to act and thus this should have been surfaced in case 2)
> above.
> Note, this is exactly what happens with board oversight of TLPs, the
> language and role titles change but in general the board merely
> implement the wishes of the community. The only time the board makes
> an actual decision is when the community is breaking down for some
> reason. This is done on a case by case basis after spending time
> trying to understand the situation (case 3) above)
> Ross

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