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From Shane Curcuru <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Apache NetBeans Incubator Proposal
Date Sat, 24 Sep 2016 12:32:35 GMT
Good questions all.

Emilian Bold wrote on 9/24/16 5:18 AM:
> I assume there is a reason the list is called initial. It doesn't have to
> be perfect.

Correct.  The whole point of Incubation at Apache is to show that the
community can learn to self-govern by following Apache processes - and a
key point of self-governance is responsibly adding new committers.

In my experience, it's far better to just start incubation at this point
rather than worrying about getting the *initial* list perfect.

> We should differentiate between a contributor and a committer.

Within an Apache project, anyone can be a contributor by submitting some
code (docs, tests, etc.) for review.  But *only* committers have write
access to any Apache source repositories.

To contribute small changes (via email or a bug), a committer can take
your work and just check it in (presumably giving you credit somehow).

To contribute large changes - if they're accepted by the project -
Apache will ask you to sign our ICLA confirming that you're licensing
this IP to the ASF with sufficient rights so that an Apache project can
then ship that change under our Apache license.

You *must* sign an ICLA before you can get your commit bit.  So part of
the process is ensuring the initial committers all sign the ICLA before
they actually have commit access.

> A lot more people contributed patches via bugzilla than actually committed
> them in the Mercurial repository themselves.

I keep hearing one important thing in this discussion - "contributed".
As in, the past tense of contributions, done in the past.

Merit in the past is nice, but does not count directly (IMO) for current
committership.  I believe the initial committer list should be made up
from individuals who have both contributed meaningful work in the past,
and who have clearly shown an interest in helping the community to grow
during Incubation with their meaningful work.

Being an Apache committer isn't about status, it's about actively
working on the project today and in the near future.

> The reason being it was not a very common thing to get committer access.
> Furthermore, while I am a contributor and do have commit access and the
> Oracle CLA on file most of my contributions don't show up under my name.
> They show up under the name of the Sun / Oracle employee that got assigned
> to the Bugzilla issue where I posted my patch.
> Considering how large NetBeans is I assume we will not have a short
> incubation so there will be plenty of time to add committers.

More to the point, any healthy Apache top level project (TLP) is always
working to find new helpful contributors and vote them in as committers.

- Shane

> Pe sâmbătă, 24 septembrie 2016, Mark Struberg <> a
> scris:
>> Consider you did contribute 300 important patches to NetBeans over the
>> years. Wouldn't it hurt your feelings that you are not enlisted on the
>> initial committers list?

P.S. To be blunt: that's not the point.  If you're looking at this as a
popularity game, that's immaterial.  Is someone *currently* working on
the project, and do they intend to keep helping?  If so, yes, put them
on the list.  If not - no matter how much work they did long ago - then
they probably shouldn't be on the list.

I expect that during the Incubation process a number of past NetBeans
contributors will show up and re-engage.  That's great!  Once the
podling sees that these contributors are really doing some new work -
not just talking on the mailing lists - then the PPMC should vote them
in as committers.

>> But otoh the initial list of committers is not important for the ASF _if_
>> the PPMC makes a good job.
>> Because if such a person comes knocking then some of the 'old' NetBeans
>> lords&ladies will hopefully recognise the person and any other PPMC member
>> will at least check the commit history for his/hers contributions.
>> And if someone shows up who already contributed lots of good things in the
>> past and would like to become active again, then it's just a matter of 72h
>> (VOTE time) to get him on board.
>> BUT: we must clearly communicate that we start with a limited committer
>> list simply because WE fail to compose a correct one from the very start.
>> But people should know that we will fix this list over time.
>> LieGrue,
>> strub
>>> On Saturday, 24 September 2016, 7:46, Emilian Bold <
>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>> So on one hand the initial commiters list is not something so
>> important and
>>> we should realy just be careful about the PPMC then vote more commiters
>>> during incubation.
>>> On the other hand the initial commiters list is super important.
>>> Is there some actual incubation documentation clearing this up?
>>> I think it's a big administrative task to compile a perfect list. It's
>>> not
>>> only about who has commit rights on the current repository, there are
>> also
>>> many that contribute good patches via Bugzilla, etc.
>>> Also, each individual would have to be contacted and agree to be on the
>>> list which also implicitly means they will sign the Apache CLA.
>>> I do not believe the initial commiters list could fracture the community
>> as
>>> long as we provide a clear path to become a commiter.
>>> I maintained a NetBeans fork for a customer but it was a lot of work to
>>> backport fixes, etc. Nobody is going to go through all that trouble just
>>> out of spite because they were not on the initial commiter's list.
>>> --emi
>>> On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 2:25 AM, Roman Shaposhnik <
>> <javascript:;>>
>>> wrote:
>>>>  On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 1:48 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz
>>>>  < <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>  > Hi Wade,
>>>>  >
>>>>  > On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:38 PM, Wade Chandler
>>>>  > < <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>  >> ..I can say as a long time contributor who is not on the initial
>>> list, I
>>>>  >> understand, think it is fine, and agree that being added once we
>>> get
>>>>  into
>>>>  >> the actual incubation phase makes sense...
>>>>  >
>>>>  > Thanks!
>>>>  >
>>>>  > As someone who has mentored several projects here in the last ten
>>>>  > years or so I think although people sometimes see a lot of value in
>>>>  > being on the initial committers list they should not, IMO.
>>>>  >
>>>>  > What very often happens during incubation is some people who were on
>>>>  > this list almost never contribute to the project, and other expected
>>>>  > or unexpected people show up, do great things and get elected as a
>>>>  > result.
>>>>  >
>>>>  > Also, as mentor I will recommend reviewing the list of committers and
>>>>  > PMC members shortly before graduation, to give the opportunity to
>>>>  > people who didn't actually become active to gracefully retire - if
>>> the
>>>>  > project governance works it's easy to come back later by becoming
>>>>  > active, and the project benefits from having a roster that reflects
>>>>  > the reality of active contributors.
>>>>  >
>>>>  > So in summary people shouldn't put too much value on the initial
>>> list
>>>>  > of committers, it's just that - an initial list, a kind of draft
>>> that
>>>>  > will evolve during incubation, and probably evolve a lot for a large
>>>>  > project such as NetBeans.
>>>>  Well, but they do. In fact, when I was a VP of Incubator a few years
>>>>  ago I had to deal with a formal escalation brought to the ASF level
>>>>  by somebody who felt unduly left out of that initial list of
>> committers.
>>>>  If the code one wrote is going into ASF -- and especially if it is a
>>>>  non-trivial amount of code, one can certainly expect some
>> considerations.
>>>>  This is the same principle as ASF postulates when we say that we
>>>>  don't fork the communities. We truly don't. That's why for a
>>> project
>>>>  as large as NetBeans I think it is important for us to inquire what
>>>>  kind of due diligence was done to get the list of initial committers
>>>>  just right. Otherwise it is going to be OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice
>>>>  type of situation all over again (not that commiters was the key
>>>>  issue there -- but you catch my drift).
>>>>  >> ...I am able to contribute as much as I can at this stage
>>> anyways...
>>>>  >
>>>>  > Indeed, and that stays true once incubation starts. Even though an
>>>>  > Apache PMC ultimately makes all the project decisions, they are
>>>>  > expected to listen to their community. The "community"
>>> section at
>>>>  >
>>>>  maturity-model.html
>>>>  > expresses that.
>>>>  Right. And all I want to get out folks on this thread at this point is
>> two
>>>>  things:
>>>>   #1 admission that past contributions will be valued a LOT when it
>>>>        comes to somebody requesting to be added as a committer to the
>>>>        project during incubation
>>>>   #2 a bit of explanation of what was the process to arrive at initial
>> list
>>>>  of
>>>>        committers
>>>>  >> ...getting into building a thorough list before hand will
>>>>  >> certainly take time away from higher priority items at this
>>> stage...
>>>>  >
>>>>  > Yes, that's why the NetBeans mentors pushed to avoid adding people
>>> to
>>>>  > the list of initial committers before the incubation vote starts, as
>>>>  > for a popular project that's a lot of work with no real value as
>>>>  > mentioned above.
>>>>  I disagree. Like I said -- being a VP of incubator having to deal with
>>>>  that type of escalation was not a fun place to be in.
>>>>  Thanks,
>>>>  Roman.
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