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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <>
Subject Re: Is the incubator out of control?
Date Fri, 23 Dec 2005 14:11:55 GMT

On Dec 23, 2005, at 4:07 AM, Justin Erenkrantz wrote:

> If any ASF PMC believes it is in the best interest of the  
> Foundation to
> accept a podling and they are willing to dedicate resources  
> ("people") -
> then anyone on the Incubator PMC has no standing to challenge that
> decision.  When a PMC approves a podling, the only thing the  
> Incubator PMC
> can decide is whether the project can "leave" the Incubator.
> Even without a PMC, if *one* of our members out there thinks a  
> project is
> worth doing and they can write something mildly resembling a  
> charter down
> on paper, that's all I need to hear for a +1.  The project *they*  
> believe
> in deserves the institutional support of the Foundation.  We can  
> not be
> second-guessing people's motives as to why they believe it's a good  
> idea.

I am no longer convinced of this.  Having the Incubator PMC there as  
a "check and balance" is a good thing as it requires engagement from  
others interested in this aspect of ASF life.  It prevents one  
individual or one PMC from being able to make significant social or  
technological change, or at least ensure that there is a  
theoretically impartial observer keeping track.  It allows interested  
members and other community members to "put their money where their  
mouth is" on this topic, and join the Incubator PMC to help out.

I think that there's little downside to this.  A check on the  
Incubator PMC is the board - any member or PMC could appeal to the  
board in the event that they believed their proposals were not being  
treated fairly, or if the Incubator PMC was behaving in general in a  
way they disagreed with.

And the board has to answer to the membership.

> Cynics like me are the *worst* possible judges of what's cool and  
> what's
> not.  That's the fundamental problem I have with this entire  
> thread: people
> are trying to limit the growth or exclude projects.  How?  On what  
> basis?

I agree here - I would never want to exclude based on technology.  I  
do the thought experiment from time to time and ask myself which  
projects I would have excluded if ordered to limit growth at the ASF,  
and I never have a good answer. Maybe not let those "toaster language  
bytecode people" in?  I think our current java communities are a  
*huge* asset.  How about the pointy-bracket folks?

We need to actually increase our technical diversity here - we have  
no real Ruby-oriented communities, nor any coherent .NET identity,  
and I think that's going to hurt us in the long run.

> To do so is to bang our collective heads on the wall: closing our  
> borders
> is to forget where we came from and why we're here at all.  -- justin



Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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