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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Process, policy and best practice
Date Mon, 01 Apr 2013 22:22:55 GMT
On 1 April 2013 22:20, Shane Curcuru <> wrote:

> On 4/1/2013 2:19 PM, Luciano Resende wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 10:32 AM, Ross Gardler <
>> >**wrote:
>>> On 1 Apr 2013 18:28, "Luciano Resende" <> wrote:
>>>  On Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 2:58 AM, Ross Gardler <
>>>> wrote:
>>> ...
>  Since then the IPMC has been discussing the idea of handing off the
>>>>> documentation parts of their responsibilities to ComDev. This is just
>>>>> discussion item and is in no way a decision at this point.
>>>>> The idea, as I understand it, is not to pass over any of the podling
>>>>> oversight responsibilities, only the documentation of ASF policies,
>>>>> processes and best practice.
>>>> ...
>  If the budget is not a pre-requisite, how do envision a small PMC like
>> ComDev, taking responsibility of a big task, that the current owner and a
>> much larger PMC has not been able to handle ?
> Luciano has an excellent point in that there's not much to discuss until
> ComDev sees some clarity on what is being asked.

This came up about a year ago on the IPMC and I pushed back. At the time
people were calling for the IPMC to be disbanded. I brought the idea to
ComDev but made it clear that I was concerned it was simply moving the
problem. The ComDev PMC seemed happy to allow me to push back. I did,
however, commit to revisiting this if the IPMC got its house in order.

In many ways the IPMC has got its house in order. Podlings are graduating
and the oversight role of the IPMC is now well managed. It's for this
reason that I bring this up again.

I agree (mostly) with Shane's observations below. That doesn't mean it is
necessarily a good idea, but it does mean it is one worth looking at. I
also agree with Martijn who said:

"Because 150+ people tasked with oversight, documentation of processes and
procedures of podlings, TLPs and themselves, discussing different views of
the past, present and future might not be able to agree to anything, but a
small team tasked with just documenting process might get the job done
without too much bike shedding."

The role of ComDev would not be to define policy, only to document and
curate it. As Greg said when this first came up over a year ago - most of
the actual writing is done.

As to Luciano's question of whether this can be achieved without a budget,
I agree this is a really important question. A further question is whether
the ASF will see sufficient benefit from any such investment. That is a
question for the ComDev PMC to discuss with the Board if people see
sufficient value in taking on this role.

For now I would suggest we ask ourselves if moving such activity to ComDev
will provide any measurable benefit to the foundation. If there is benefit
then we should figure out how we can realise it.


> I do however think this could be an excellent idea, precisely in part
> because ComDev is smaller and more focused.  I could imagine ComDev
> changing it's scope to effectively serve as an information shepherd on all
> of the* content focused on our technical communities. I.e.
> not only serving as owners of community.a.o, where we have friendly
> overviews and pointers to other info, but also editorial owners of things
> like /dev.  This doesn't mean setting policy for technical matters or svn
> instructions - this more would mean (I'm imagining) taking responsibility
> for making the technical information there more understandable and better
> organized.
> The issue with the IPMC and the Incubator is multi-fold:
> - Operations.  Overseeing podlings and voting in new ones, graduating
> ones, etc.  This is *not* anything to do with ComDev.
> - Policy setting.  This is the IPMC (or other relevant ASF officers)
> setting official minimum required policy for the incubation process. This
> is *not* anything to do with ComDev.
> - Explaining to the world what the Incubation policies are and guiding
> newcomers through how IPMC Operations work.  This one bit is something that
> ComDev *might* be able to help with, if I'm seeing what Ross is getting at.
> Personally, I find the incubator site maddening in terms of explaining to
> a normal human what the heck to do.  There's a chance that if ComDev wanted
> to help, people here could make significant improvements merely by better
> explaining the incubator - without having to make policy or podling
> decisions.
> That in particular is something that could make use of a hired technical
> writer, if separately we thought that spending was warranted.
> Make sense?
> - Shane

Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)

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