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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: Apache project bylaws
Date Thu, 03 Oct 2013 13:23:16 GMT
On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 12:09 AM, Alex Harui <> wrote:
> On 10/2/13 12:58 PM, "Marvin Humphrey" <> wrote:

>> Rather than a "rewrite", I suggest proposing small, incremental, reversible
>> changes.  Governance is easy to mess up.
> Well, "small, incremental" was hard to do given the significantly
> different information this document must now convey.

I appreciate the labor you've put in, but what we have here is akin to a
big patch on highly sensitive mission-critical code for which there are no
tests.  I hope we can find a less costly way to integrate your efforts.

> I tried to keep as
> much as possible yet incorporate feedback from Doug and Roy.

Even if it was "wrong", people have been quoting from that document,
referencing it and following its guidance for a long time.  I'm quite
irritated that something "wrong" has persisted for so long and has been used
so many times as the basis for settling disputes.

My take is that if that fundamental a document is "wrong", something is
dreadfully "wrong" with how hard-won wisdom gets handed down at the ASF.

Let's step back for a moment and reassess what we're trying to accomplish.
We're starting with a voting document which is apparently "wrong" and trying
to make it quasi-authoritative.  But when we're finished turd polishing, there
will still be no boundaries demarcating where the authoritative stuff begins
and ends.

We have this problem with the Incubator website, too.  It started off with
buckets of poorly-thought-through text scooped out of mailing lists and dumped
into version control.  Years later, certain portions of it have been carefully
wordsmithed or even negotiated under high heat; as a result, making a minor
change has the potential to obliterate a great deal of other people's hard
work.  But from just looking at the surface, you can't tell what's garbage and
what's crucial.

Personally, I'm not eager to spend a lot of cycles negotiating large revisions
to highly-utilized governance documentation under such a flawed regime.  I'd
rather that we limit ourselves to small tweaks, or if we're going to go all
out, draw up a set of default bylaws which will in the future be set off from
other documentation and subject to review-then-commit by some governing body
charged with oversight.

> Below is my
> proposed version, and below it is the svn diff in case that makes it
> easier to see what changed.  Most of the changes were made at the
> beginning.

The formatting of the diff is messed up because of line wrapping by your email
client.  Please take the time to present such a costly-to-review patch in a
way which accommodates your potential reviewers.  I suggest posting a link to
a persistent paste created using <>.

Marvin Humphrey

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