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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <>
Subject Re: Nomination of Chris Mattman for the IPMC Chair (was: Re: NOMINATIONS for Incubator PMC Chair)
Date Sat, 04 Feb 2012 05:48:21 GMT
On 2/3/2012 8:41 PM, Ross Gardler wrote:
> Lets not forget that the model referred to *included* the IPMC. The
> IPMC once had a useful function, it was a safety net for fledgling
> communities.

The IPMC never served that purpose.  Projects were scuttled even in
its first year.

The IPMC served to take the complexity of bringing in new code off of
the board of directors.  Little more.

The IPMC in turn replaced Jakarta as the repository of interesting
experiments that might or might not fly, and similarly replaced Jakarta
as the home of vague and uncertain direction for new efforts.  Nothing

A large percentage of the first 25 incubating efforts are failures,
not because of the incubator, but in spite of it.  The incubator
failed to increase the success rate of the average effort.

And the board would have failed in bringing in new efforts, and the
Incubator would have failed as spectacularly as Jakarta, except that
Chris and others recognize the few good bits to be gleaned from the
whole experiment, and can relieve the board of the majority of the
headaches it was avoiding, in partnership with ComDev.

We now not only internalize, and can voice the process, but we have
documented the process.  Anyone can read it.  Any member can help
mentor it, and point people to the appropriate docs.

The incubator truly is done.  It is the most public, most ineffective
old boys club ever to infest OSS.  It has digested and documented all
of the useful bits, and persists in infernally arguing over the rest
of the undocumented and mostly irrelevant bits.  It does so in a very
embarrassingly public way.

There are three memes to associate with those who resist the change
that Chris has correctly proscribed;

 1. Lack of control is hard.  We all want authority.  The incubator
    gave every member a podium and soapbox to stand upon and speak
    across with authority.  And even in discord and disagreement, we
    are ASF members, so clearly we individually know better.  [Given
    the number of ASF members leaving the incubator recently, one
    might question that.]

 2. Fear of missteps is hard.  We've watched every project at the ASF
    teeter, occasionally trip, and rarely but significantly fall upon
    their 'face' due to missteps.  So it's hard to give up control
    because we know better how to avoid all that.  [The administration
    and day to day activity of incubator would suggest we don't].

 3. Risk of failure is hard.  There will be projects which are going
    to fall flat whether the incubator provides them 24x7 counseling
    or makes them do all the work themselves.  There is nothing that
    the present IPMC does which alleviates or even mitigates this fact.
    [In spite of everyone's best intentions.]

The incubator is a classic story of too many cooks spoiling the broth.
There is no more added value which can be offered by the situation
at the incubator today.  The results of the incubator in terms of
documentation and process are excellent.  It's time to eliminate the
differentiation between 'not yet a project' and 'a full project too
long neglected' and focus all ASF resources across the board at all
of the projects, incubating and established, and stop wasting time
hoping that some special sauce only from the back kitchen makes that

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