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From Ate Douma <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Apache NetBeans Incubator Proposal
Date Sun, 25 Sep 2016 11:03:49 GMT
On 2016-09-25 12:15, Ate Douma wrote:
> On 2016-09-25 05:22, Geertjan Wielenga wrote:
>> It really is impossible for us to follow all the (in many cases
>> contradictory) advice we have been given re the initial contributors list.
> Hi GeertJan,
> I've gone through this whole thread again and IMO there really isn't so much
> contradictory advice :-)
> The general advice really is, including from the NetBeans Champion and other
> mentors to not blow up the initial contributor list before the acceptance
> of the project.
> The argument Roman Shaposhnik brought forward about a past case where he had to
> deal with a single individual who felt left out, IMO is/was just a single case.
> Relevant for sure, but AFAIK also very uncommon and more like a one-off case.
> The other, and very valid, point brought from Roman was that it should be made
> very clear what criteria was used to select the initial committer list.
> Further down I'll provide *my view* on what that criteria is or should be.
> But I'll start with disagreeing with the second part of his point, that (quote):
>   "IT MUST BE THE SAME for when somebody comes-a-knocking".
> Disagreeing with this might seems odd and at odds with how the ASF works, but I
> think it does not, or at least, it will not.
> For a project as large and with such a huge history as NetBeans, there is no
> way we (ASF) will be able to *judge* who is rightfully put on that list, nor
> who has been left out erroneously.
> Meaning: a 'complete' initial committer list (for such a project) never can be
> put together proper.
> Trying to do so, like by going through all the history and enumerating all past
> contributors, IMO is a bad idea and will make things worse and more unclear,
> even more 'unfair'.
> And such a list will most certainly NOT be proper from an ASF POV, in the sense
> that we strive for a healthy and active committers and (P)PPMC list of people
> seriously engaged NOW. Project members who actually "do" stuff (doers decide).
> Past contributors who do want to re-engage again most certainly need to be
> valued and be admitted to become committer, but IMO better do this *when* they
> come knocking (actively) than enlisting them upfront.
> Having to 'prune' a huge, and likely too huge, list of initial committers
> before NetBeans graduates to TLP is going to be far more 'painful' than voting
> in active contributors when they actively show up.
> Which also is far more in line with "the Apache Way", more 'fair' so to say.
> Coming back to the maybe odd POV that the selection criteria for initial
> commmitters list does not have to be the same as that for future committers.
> IMO it simply cannot be 'equal' for a project like NetBeans.
> The primary role and responsibility for such initial committers is to get the
> project rolling and admit new committers base on *their* judgement.
> So the most important, and IMO only crucial, criteria for selecting the initial
> committers list is that those people are trusted to "do this right".

And important for the community to realise: the IPMC and the assigned mentors 
are there to help them to do this right!

> They can and will vote in new committers as soon as they come knocking, based
> on their past contribution *and* their (intended) active participation.
> Based on merit for the *new* Apache NetBeans project, not (just) their past
> contributions, no matter how small/large that might have been.
> And for that reason, an initial committers list must be fairly sized, with
> enough diversity, spread out interest, and with recognition and be trusted by
> the NetBeans community. And then: stop there.
> The initially proposed committers list IMO already was 'good enough'
> for this purpose. And AFAICT nobody questioned the list to be unfair or not
> 'good enough'. Of course adding one or two extra who were overlooked and are
> expected to help make a difference and speed up the process still is fine.
> So my strong advise is to stick to the original list.
> And to first discuss it with the Bertrand as Champion and the other mentors
> before modifying the proposal further.

Just to make sure: I'm not objecting against the proposal changes you made so 
far to further clarify initial committers affiliations.
But (bold) marking people out who have provided code contribution in the past
IMO isn't and shouldn't be seen as a single or even most important criteria.
As mentioned before all forms of participation and contributions are valued
within the ASF, and not all committers are required to commit :-)


> Kind regards, Ate
>> Here's what I propose:
>> 1. We make the initial contributors list as detailed as we can, i.e., I
>> have already started doing this, grouping individual contributors in
>> specific categories and also indicating which ones have contributed in the
>> past, in most cases the recent past, i.e., these are the ones with most
>> direct skills who are likely to begin contributing as soon as possible.
>> Yes, most of these are from Oracle, which makes sense since we're moving to
>> Apache precisely in order to open up the governance model so that more can
>> participate.
>> 2. When in doubt, we will follow the advice of our mentors over the advice
>> of those who are not our mentors.
>> 3. We will show in the initial contributors list what each of the initial
>> contributors is planning to contribute, as concretely as possible, to show
>> that we have a list of contributors who really want to and are planning to
>> contribute as soon as they're able to do so.
>> 4. I don't believe anyone will fork NetBeans for not being on the initial
>> contributors list nor do I believe that anyone will want to be on the
>> initial contributors list as some kind of desire for status -- everyone on
>> the list is known in one way or another in the community or has worked on
>> NetBeans for years from within Oracle. These are all people who are
>> committed to NetBeans and to its future in Apache.
>> 5. At the end of incubation, we will go through the list very thoroughly.
>> Anyone who has not contributed will be contacted to confirm that they'd
>> like to be removed from the list before we become a TPL. I see no problems
>> in that regard, I'm sure people who don't end up committing will have no
>> problem being removed from the list at that stage and being voted in again
>> if/when they change their mind later.
>> Hope the above works for everyone and thanks everyone for all the energy
>> everyone is putting into this process.
>> Thanks,
>> Geertjan
>> On Sun, Sep 25, 2016 at 3:47 AM, Shane Curcuru <>
>> wrote:
>>> toki wrote on 9/24/16 8:04 PM:
>>>> On 22/09/2016 05:18, Roman Shaposhnik wrote:
>>>>> had a non-trivial amount of commits to then Sun NetBeans between
>>> 2002-2008. He then drifted away from the
>>>>> project but would be interested, potentially, re-engaging.
>>>> Is it possible to create a "master list' of everybody who has
>>>> contributed, when they contributed, and roughly how much they
>>> contributed?
>>>> If so, then:
>>>> * send everybody on that list an ICLA to fill out and return;
>>>> * Include that list as an appendix to the Incubation Paperwork. Call it
>>>> _Individuals who, on request will be considered to be part of the
>>>> Initial Committer List_, once the appropriate paperwork has been signed
>>>> and submitted;
>>>> * The _Initial Committer List_ consists of people who have signed and
>>>> submitted the appropriate paperwork, and requested to be on the list;
>>> My advice is to leave the initial committer list as-is, and then wait to
>>> see who actually shows up to do work on the project during the
>>> incubation process.
>>> Part of what the IPMC looks for during incubation is can the podling
>>> community self-govern, a large part of which is voting in new committers
>>> in an appropriate fashion.
>>> Separately, when a podling is ready to graduate, and the IPMC votes to
>>> recommend graduation to the board, the actual committer and PMC lists
>>> for the top level project sometimes change versus the whole committer
>>> list during incubation.  People who never show up to actually work on
>>> the podling probably should not be left on the committer list for the
>>> future top level project.
>>> - Shane
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