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From Andrew Purtell <>
Subject Re: Incubator report sign-off
Date Mon, 29 Dec 2014 20:32:07 GMT
Agreed, it's not worth debating project lead as a formal or informal construct. I don't think
we are on the same page. Certainly some projects have a de facto lead that coincide with Chair
and I'm pretty sure in some cases that is an honorary arrangement agreed to by the community.

> On Dec 29, 2014, at 11:51 AM, Rich Bowen <> wrote:
>> On 12/29/2014 01:45 PM, Andrew Purtell wrote:
>> There are honorary and practical reasons why a project may view the PMC Chair and
the project leader as one in the same.
>> Honorary: The community elevated one member as lead and assigned the Chair role out
of respect.
>> Practical: The PMC Chair has the power to dissolve the PMC, and is an officer of
the Foundation. Nobody else on the project has such power nor indemnification. "Secretary"
as a term does not adequately encompass that.
> That's all well and good, however:
> 1) I'm not aware of even a single time that the PMC chair has actually unilaterally dissolved
the PMC, and I think the board would have serious objections if that were to actually happen,
as it would indicate pretty serious community failure.
> 2) ASF projects don't have project leads. Sure, a project may, at one time or another,
have a person that is clearly at the forefront of decision making, but to designate them a
project lead indicates dysfunction in a collaboration-based structure.
> This seems a tad of a diversion from the topic, but definitely worth mentioning.
>>> On Dec 29, 2014, at 6:46 AM, Rich Bowen <> wrote:
>>>> On 12/23/2014 03:34 PM, sebb wrote:
>>>>>> Flex had three great mentors, but to expect them to be the PMC Chair
>>>>>> graduation would have been problematic.  They were great mentors
>>>>>> they had lots of experience from their work on other Apache projects,
>>>>>> thus didn’t have time to stay active on a new TLP, plus they really
>>>>>> weren’t users or developers of the technology, just our coaches
on the
>>>>>> Apache Way, and thus wouldn’t be good Chair candidates as they
weren’t as
>>>>>> invested in the technology.  But they did stick around on at least
>>>>>> private@ lists and continue to do so even 2 years after graduation
>>>>>> we consult them on occasion.  To require that a mentor be an active
>>>>>> contributor limits the kinds of technologies that can come to Apache
>>>>>> only those who can interest someone with a lot of spare cycles.
>>>>>> IMO, the mentors job is to teach, not to lead.
>>>> The job of the PMC chair is almost entirely administrative.
>>>> They are the link between the board and the PMC and their main role is
>>>> to ensure the board gets timely reports and to feed back comments from
>>>> the board.
>>>> If a PMC is relying on the chair to drive it forward technically, then
>>>> I think something has gone wrong with the PMC.
>>> Indeed. Big +1 on this.
>>> There are some projects that I've been watching lately where the PMC chair is
viewed as the project lead, and that has a number of problems that go along with it. The PMC
chair is a secretary, whose job is to file the right paperwork. A *hugely* important role,
but not a technical lead role.
>>> --
>>> Rich Bowen - - @rbowen
>>> - @apachecon
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> -- 
> Rich Bowen - - @rbowen
> - @apachecon
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