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From Joe Schaefer <>
Subject Re: Fwd: mentoring individuals as well as projects
Date Wed, 01 Feb 2012 17:32:23 GMT
----- Original Message -----

> From: sebb <>
> To:
> Cc: 
> Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:13 PM
> Subject: Re: Fwd: mentoring individuals as well as projects
> On 1 February 2012 15:54, Marvin Humphrey <> wrote:
>>  On Wed, Feb 01, 2012 at 01:54:18PM +0000, Ross Gardler wrote:
>>>  My point is that when we help guide individuals who demonstrate a
>>>  willingness to contribute those individuals often grow in capacity.
>>  There was a memorable post on another ASF list a few months ago which 
> compared
>>  Apache's decentralized leadership model to that of military 
> organizations and
>>  contrasted it with the stiff hierarchical model common in the corporate 
> world.
>>  It linked to an article which studied the question of why "military 
> service --
>>  particularly service in the crucible of combat -- is exceptionally 
> effective
>>  at developing leaders."[1]  The article author's answer, in part:
>>   Secondly, military leaders tend to hold high levels of responsibility and
>>   authority at low levels of our organizations.
>>  Top level PMCs at Apache are largely autonomous, but when it comes to 
> binding
>>  votes on releases, podlings are wholly dependent on IPMC members whose
>>  attentions often wander.
> AIUI, a Mentor must be an IPMC member, and a podling should have at
> least 3 mentors, so a podling is not *wholly dependent* on the IPMC.
> Far from it. It's only when a podlings own mentors are lacking or AWOL
> that it is necessary to solicit votes from the IPMC at large.

Leaving the reality of the claim that 3 mentors are actually active on
any given podling, the fact is nobody expects those mentors to actually
review commit activity.  Unfortunately that is exactly what the org
expects of any real effort at providing oversight.  We are at absolutely
no risk of being sued for damages for any of the minor licensing nitpicks
general@incubator happens to notice on a given release, whereas we are
going to assume full liability for errant commits that plagiarize the
independent work of others without fully respecting the copyright license
on that code.

I believe this is what Marvin is alluding to when he points out that
compentent IPMC oversight is little more than an illusive myth on most
of our podlings.  We rely on the committers to police themselves and
we trust that they do, but we do not, as a group, empower such people
to perform that work on behalf of the IPMC.  Which is not the lesson
I learned from httpd about how subproject oversight is typically handled
in a peer-based society.

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