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From "P. Taylor Goetz" <>
Subject Re: Shepherd Shortage for December Report
Date Thu, 03 Dec 2015 01:21:08 GMT
to;dr;: I bring up some points below that Marvin already addressed well later in his reply.
In short, I still think we need a way to address absentee mentors that doesn't overburden
the report manager. 

I'm relatively new to the ipmc, so forgive me up front if I'm opening up old wounds... I know
there have been related threads.

> On Dec 2, 2015, at 5:53 PM, Marvin Humphrey <> wrote:
> It's not a concern -- it's a blessing. The shepherd institution needs to die.

Then I'd say let it die. My only concern is that that it offers a way for non-members an entry
path to the ipmc. If we eliminate it, there should be an alternative for new IPMC candidates
to show interest and demonstrate merit.

> There's been a shepherd shortage for years. What happened this month
> is that I took a bunch of people who were effectively inactive out of
> the shepherd rolls, so their absence is more obvious at the top of the
> report.
> The expectation that it is shepherds who review and comment on podling
> reports, rather than Mentors, is harmful.

That seems like a problem with documentation of the shepherd role -- and varying degrees of
individual interpretations.

I see a lot of podlings with deadbeat mentors (e.g. Ones that offer to mentor a proposal,
then go dark until graduation and suddenly reappear). I think we need a way to address that.
If mentors are absent, what's the fallback if there are no shepherds? Is it the IPMC self-policing
such things?

I'd like to say just change the text from "shepherd/mentor notes" to "IPMC/mentor notes",
but that could open up a whole can of worms.

> Furthermore, shepherds do not fulfill their original purpose of
> preventing problem podings from falling through the cracks.  That
> problem is more effectively addressed by having the Report Manager
> flag podlings who have failed to turn in a signed-off report for 2
> months running.

Excellent point.  Checking the box is easy. Digging into mailing lists to see if mentors are
actually engaged is a different story, and is a lot of work for the report manager (if that's
who is responsible for it).

> For those who value cross-podling feedback, the best opportunity for
> that is to comment on the DRAFT report, spawning rich conversations on
> general@incubator.  I'll be sending out that DRAFT next Monday.

That seems like a great forum for such discussions, and provides a way for non-ASF members
to show involvement in the incubator.

There could still be cases where podlings (or their mentors) fall through the cracks, but
I would hope that such cases are eventually caught and corrected.

> Marvin Humphrey

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