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From "Mattmann, Chris A (398J)" <>
Subject Re: Incubator structure (was Re: Vote on personal matters: majority vote vs consensus)
Date Thu, 04 Apr 2013 15:50:40 GMT
Hey Ross,

-----Original Message-----
From: Ross Gardler <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013 6:22 AM
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: Incubator structure (was Re: Vote on personal matters:
majority vote vs consensus)

>On 4 April 2013 09:06, Greg Stein <> wrote:
>> On Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 8:20 PM, Ross Gardler
>> <> wrote:
>> > On 31 March 2013 17:08, Mattmann, Chris A (388J) <
>> >> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Why is it so hard to see that the board is already watching those 22
>> >> nascent projects in the same manner they watch the 137 TLPs?
>> >
>> > Because they are not watching with the same manner. They are
>>delegating a
>> > huge range of tasks such as IP oversight and mentoring to the IPMC.
>> I believe this is simply a matter of training and mentor oversight.
>That is the key issue.
>I can name many really good mentors. The problem is that prior to the new
>processes introduced by Jukka we had a great many projects that stagnated
>because of inattentive mentoring. The current IPMC reporting process picks
>those up and addresses them internally within the IPMC. This is the reason
>that we have seen more podlings graduate in the last year.

I see it a teeny bit differently (though later emails from you and
Greg seem to have brought our ideas into alignment).

You directly equate Jukka's processes with graduating so many
podlings. While I think Jukka's processes were great, they were a
means to an ends -- they along with some key IPMC members who are
active (you will see later that you are in that short list of active
ones ^_^) are the reasons more podlings graduated. Coupled with
Joe's experiment, and coupled with the removal of the IPMC 3 +1s
for releases which both came before Jukka's time. Another key was
the clarification of the role of Champion and Champions really
stepping up.

Note that those burdens being removed are precisely the initial
steps towards the removal of the meta committee that is the IPMC
since both steps in effect reduced the power of the umbrella to
stall and stagnate podlings.

I went back, starting in March 2012 [1] when Jukka took over to
cull a list of shepherds and active mentors that signed off on at
least 1 report for the IPMC (before there were shepherds). Here is
the list and tallies for each month that the mentors signed off on
at least 1 report. Note in tallies below I count the mentor or
shepherd Nx per month so if they signed N multiple reports, they
still get a count of N. I went ahead and uploaded these scripts to
[2] in case folks are interested in how I tallied (note I also
removed some nonsense from these files by hand mainly stop words
since I didn't do a ton of data cleansing):

Mentors [ tallies per month since March 2012]
18 rgardler
  18 bdelacretaz
  16 mattmann
  15 phunt
  15 kevan
  13 tomwhite
   9 jukka
   9 jim
   7 greddin
   7 cdouglas
   7 adc
   7 Alan
   6 joes
   6 bodewig
   6 ate
   5 wave
   5 tommaso
   5 omalley
   5 olamy
   5 elecharny
   4 simonetripodi
   4 lresende
   4 hwright
   4 gstein
   4 gianugo
   4 Gates
   3 struberg
   3 nick
   3 mnour
   3 jbonofre
   3 coheigea
   3 Struberg
   3 Petracek
   3 Mark
   3 Gerhard
   3 Cabrera
   2 wavw
   2 twilliams
2 rfrovarp
2 marrs
2 ddas
   2 cutting
   2 berndf
2 ant
2 Ralph
   2 Olivier
2 Lamy
   2 Goers
   2 Devaraj
   2 Das
2 (struberg)
   2 (rgoers)
   2 (gates)
   1 yegor
   1 wrowe
1 thorsten
   1 rfeng
1 mfranklin
1 line
   1 jvermillard
   1 grobmeier
   1 generic
   1 dkulp
   1 dennisl
   1 dashorst
1 brett
   1 bmargulies
   1 asavory
1 Williams
   1 Upayavira
   1 Tim
   1 Reddin
   1 Martijn
   1 Lundberg
   1 Greg
   1 Fisher
   1 Dennis
   1 Dave
   1 Dashorst
   1 (wave)
   1 (greddin)
   1 (gates@)

If we cut off the above at 3 sign offs or more, we see that there
are 31 mentors that fit that criteria. If we say at least 6 sign
offs on reports in the last year (averaging less than 1 sign off
every 2 months) then that number drops to 15.

The point being that whatever number we pick any of those 15-31 (or
whatever N) mentors could simply be considered candidates for these
new VPs for incoming projects without an Incubator whilst the
incoming projects are learning the Apache way from their 3 ASF
members and others in the community. In fact, this is really what
the role of the Champion is now. Sort of a provisional podling VP
until the incoming project community VP (aka "real" VP) is elected.

>If we remove that aspect of the IPMCs oversight then who will catch these
>projects that don't have mentors actively looking after them? It will be
>the boards responsibility to do that. I contest that this does not scale.
>We need a solution that will scale appropriately whilst also removing the
>inefficiencies introduced by a large IPMC.
>>> Ross says the Board pays less attention to these (by implication) than
>>> say the 137 TLPs at present. Ross is one Director. Good for him.
>> I, personally, pay as much attention to the PPMCs as I do to TLPs. I'm
>> active in the IPMC and thus have more visibility. That doesn't mean they
>> should be expected to by me or by anyone else.
>If we alter the incoming-project mechanism, then yes: maybe we
>> *should* expect the Directors to read the reports with a little more
>> attention. But if we demand that N ASF Members track the podling, and
>> approve the report, then sure... the Board may be able to
>> delegate/slack a little bit on those reports.
>In principle this is fine, but in principle the IPMC already demands that
>ASF Members track the podling so what is changing?

Nada really which is one of my points that my proposal is in fact
wholly incremental, and not a consideration between "evolution" and
"revolution".  In fact, Bill Rowe put it well as does Greg. I'm
really just pushing the idea of "Incubation, yes". "Incubator, no".

And I'm even saying we should probably have the notion that these
podlings are provisional and we can even note that in the Board
report, I think Greg was suggesting that too somewhere. Then at
some point, after all looks well the podlings can simply request
the Board that their provisional status is removed (likely around
the time that they can elect a new VP).

>> Point is: the Incubator is not the only solution here. Think about
>> other options. Maybe the Board can accept the podling, and designate
>> some pseudo-VPs to be held responsible?
>OK. This seems to be similar to my overlapping proposal in a different
>message to allow the board to sponsor podlings. Are we onto something


>> >> I know other directors (Greg IIRC at least) didn't want the Incubator
>> >> specific podling reports to go away (and to only have the summary
>> >> at the top of the Incubator report).
>> >
>> >
>> > I don't think any of the Directors want them to go away. But board
>> reports
>> > are not what the IPMC is about. That is the reporting process within
>> > foundation and provides the level of oversight into the PPMCs that the
>> > board requires. But the IPMC does *much* more than submit a monthly
>> > report with a verbatim copy of the podlings individual reports.
>> Agreed! And this is a very important point that seems to be left behind
>> bit.
>> I would counter that the IPMC doesn't tend to satisfy this
>> oversight/educational role consistently well. In the end, it simply
>> depends upon the Mentors' attention. There are very few (none?)
>> solutions to that basic problem.
>I don't think I fully agree with that today (12 months ago I would
>agree). The shepherding process has caught a great many situations where
>mentors are inattentive and has addressed them directly. II do agree it
>be further improved (hence my original proposal as one way of doing this).

December 2012 [3] is the first appearance I see of the shepherd
process.  Whilst it may have been discussed and used before (which
I haven't the time or energy to look up mailing list threads yet),
it wasn't actually put into the board reports until only 4 months
ago. I don't think we have enough evidence to point to that yet as
the sole cause for better oversight by the IPMC.

On the other hand, as I mentioned, things like the Champion discussion,
removal of 3 +1s from IPMC on adding new people, the "experiment
by Joe", and more active mentoring seem to be the cause.



Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Senior Computer Scientist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 171-266B, Mailstop: 171-246
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

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