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From Christian Grobmeier <>
Subject Re: Thoughts about formalizing the role of shepherd
Date Mon, 14 Jan 2013 20:33:18 GMT
On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> The problem I'm looking at is indeed the chronic lack of reliable
> mentor presence in the projects, as witnessed (maybe) by the signoff
> statistics in January.

With shepherds you might spot problems and bring them to the table.
But it does not fix the problem of mentors going awol, putting more
mentor energy into a project. I mean, we have often releases on
general@ which have trouble to get necessary votes.

I believe "Shepherds" are good as they are now, but I do not see a
reason for making them more formal or make up rules for them.

> There's 'tear down the incubator' -- decide that the chronic leakage
> of mentors means that the whole system we have is not working. I
> can't, personally, state an alternative.

You need people who think of the Incubator as they would think on the
others project they commit. Committed people.
If the system is tied to committed people and they are none, we have a problem.

I have learned that by Jukkas passion and commitment.

If we would find a way to motivate people to spend some time here, we
won. The question we need to ask: what is preventing people from
investing their valuable spare time into the incubator?


> Thank you for reminding me of the idea of a champion.
> If folks would rather focus on seeing if we can make something of
> that, fine with me.
> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM, Ross Gardler
> <> wrote:
>> Why would adding another formal role solve the problem that saw the
>> creation of shepherds (missing mentors)?
>> Are you tackling a different problem now?
>> Unless there is a really solid reason for it I would be concerned about
>> crating structure in the incubator that isn't present in the ASF proper.
>> Should this new role be a better use of the existing champion role,
>> complete with the handing over of that title to a PPMC member before
>> graduation and a progression to PMC chair upon graduation? We discussed
>> this some time ago and agreed it was a good idea but we never really
>> carried it through.
>> Ross
>> Sent from a mobile device, please excuse mistakes and brevity
>> On 13 Jan 2013 08:46, "Benson Margulies" <> wrote:
>>> Right now, a shepherd assignment is a temporary job. It starts as the
>>> reports for a cycle begin to come in, and it ends when the shepherd
>>> feels that he or she has done what makes sense in terms of reporting
>>> to the community and, in some cases, delivering some constructive
>>> nudges to the projects.
>>> I've been thinking about an alternative, but it may not be popular.
>>> In my alternative, the IPMC organizes itself as follows:
>>> At the top of the pyramid, tied down to the Aztec altar, is me, the
>>> chairman.
>>> Next down are the 'vice-chairs', currently known as the shepherds.
>>> Each of these people is responsible for a group of projects, dispersed
>>> across the reporting cycle. The shepherd, at least, tunes into the
>>> reports, but also checks in during the three-month reporting period --
>>> particularly if we have identified issues that the project needs to
>>> address.
>>> Next we have the mentors, who are 'inside' the projects, offering
>>> guidance, coaching, and supervision. However, the fact is that we
>>> don't have enough volunteers to have multiple, active, tuned-in
>>> mentors for all of the projects all of the time.
>>> Last, but hardly least, are the freelance members of the committee,
>>> who tune in on things like release reviews.
>>> If we adopted this plan, we'd add a shepherd slot to the metadata for
>>> each project, and I, as chair, would take action if the designated
>>> shepherd wasn't available to do a review for a project in a reporting
>>> cycle. Either I'd do it myself, or I'd put out a call for assistance.
>>> I'm not going to defend this scheme tooth-and-nail. If folks prefer
>>> the current approach, I'll focus on fixing the schedule to make it
>>> easier to make it work.
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