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From Chris Douglas <>
Subject Re: Next steps for various proposals (mentor re-boot, pTLP, etc.)
Date Wed, 21 Jan 2015 23:04:56 GMT
Benson, Alan-

Starting a new project is not aggression; it's how we try things that
should fail independently. I have no interest in participating, but if
you believe that we should e.g., have a small, active, junior-varsity
board responsible only for overseeing and guiding new projects: write
a proposal, convince people it's a good idea, and (if accepted) see
how it works in practice.

These interminable discussions are simulacra of work, empty of
practical consequence. Even if consensus were achieved, there is no
measurable benefit. Mentors MUST be DEDICATED (sec 3.1, 3.2, 5.4g) to
the project, EXCEPT when they're not, because WORK (sec 2.3b) and LIFE
(sec 2.3c) may interfere up to three (3) times per (Earth) lunar cycle
and this one time a SQUIRREL took out the power to my neighborhood and
I couldn't sign off on a REPORT. Whatever.

If you're on the IPMC, you (a) orient projects in Apache, so they can
find resources (b) run through a curriculum to give them a sense of
the foundation's expectations (c) let them figure out the rest
themselves. Around the necessity to perform some audit before the
project can release software from the ASF, there has grown a sincere,
but misguided idea that most projects' dysfunction can always be
traced to early, correctable errors. Even if it were true- and it
isn't- it doesn't justify the bureaucracy that keeps getting layered
over this first stage of a journey that's far more difficult and
interesting when lived, rather than documented. If one accepts that
even "mature" projects need (and have) monitoring, the leap to
removing the IPMC altogether is... more of a hop. Prove this wrong; it
would be genuinely instructive.

Nobody suspects either of you of trying to subvert anything. I'd go
further: nobody cares. An effective IPMC member is as relevant as a
receptionist behind an information desk: useful to all, essential for
newcomers, and forgotten by the time you reach the stairs. You have
ideas for tracking people who sit at information desks, or possible
training programs/documentation that would make the building easier to
navigate. If that's your thing: go for it, let us know if you find
anything interesting. But stop meeting where we're trying to work. The
majority of the IPMC is here to help particular projects join the
foundation, and this annual ritual is disruptive to that goal. -C

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 8:53 AM, Alan D. Cabrera <> wrote:
>> On Jan 21, 2015, at 3:39 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:03 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz
>> <> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 9:38 PM, Chris Douglas <> wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 11:57 PM, Bertrand Delacretaz <
>>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>> How is that different from pruning the current IPMC membership by
>>>>> removing inactive members?
>>>> Doing *that* would be straightforward. Take the set of mentors on currently
>>>> incubating projects, add the other half dozen who review releases, and set
>>>> everyone else to voluntary emeritus status. Done....
>>> Agreed - but I don't see how that improves things anyway, I don't see
>>> any problem caused by those inactive members.
>> The near-ad-hominem tone of this thread has extracted a reply in my own defense.
>> It is a misunderstanding, verging on willful, to claim that the V2
>> proposal is primarily intended to remove either inactive or noisy
>> persons from the group. it is a fabrication that there is any idea
>> that some person other than the board  might select an initial set of
>> people to further some particular agenda. The idea here of the small
>> group, extracted from something Ross wrote on the Wiki in 2013, is
>> that an incubator committee doesn't need to be big and it doesn't need
>> to grow via merit, if its only job is to accept the board's delegation
>> of a limited set of supervisory tasks. If you make a smaller group, it
>> might still contain vigorous disagreement, but on a scale where they
>> can manageably reach consensus. It would think less of the board if
>> they failed to select people likely to have some significant
>> disagreements.
> I resent your and Chris’ characterization of this thread.  All that’s been taking
place is a frank and civil discussion of opinions as to what the implication of some proposals
mean.  Your, and Chris’, attempt to characterize them as taking on an ad-hominem tone suggest
to me that we are poking at the Achilles heal of the Iv2 proposal and Chris’ impromptu proposal
to fork the Incubator.
> At the heart of both there is a culling of IPMC members.  Sure, the new IPMC may have
"Oscar Madison” and “Felix Ungar” tossed into the same bag but that’s a distraction
from the real problem that I, and maybe Bertrand, are trying to point out.
> At the proposals' core is that there are IPMC members who want to participate but would
be left out and in the end the “problems” with the Incubator would not be resolved since,
as Chris accurately puts it, we will have distilled dysfunction.
> But is it dysfunctional?  Only when it tries to be like a school of business and come
up with new and improved processes for bringing in new projects instead of focusing on the
core problems which don’t go away, tooling and mentor accountability.  Otherwise, I think
we do a pretty good job.  We make mistakes, sure, but mistakes will always be made and I think
we’ve made good, focused, incremental pivots to address their causes.
> Regards,
> Alan

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