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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject [DISCUSS] Responsibilities and Improvements (was: Re: Whimsy general@ subs check (was: .... introduce "[DISCUSS]" threads for podling ... release candidates))
Date Fri, 01 Mar 2019 17:46:09 GMT
Hi -

> On Mar 1, 2019, at 7:23 AM, Kevin A. McGrail <> wrote:
> On 3/1/2019 5:12 AM, Justin Mclean wrote:
>>> The Board isn't gonna worry about something like that.
>> I wasn’t expecting the board to say anything re that, but the IPMC could of.

Many PMCs contain what could be called inactive PMC members. The concern is if that makes
any difference or impedes the active IPMC members. I’m not sure how inactive IPMC members
are impacting the functioning of the IPMC.

Members who join just to vote on a Proposal ought to be (a) a proposed Mentor or (b) an initial
PPMC member.

> I personally don't know the impact of that statement either.  Sometimes
> opinion in a report and a call to action is helpful.
> What can I do to help fix this issue?

A number of issues were raised in these threads. I don’t think that extra people on the
IPMC is the issue with the highest priority. Davor and others raised some points around Mentors
and what it means to be one. Myrle had an excellent incremental idea to soften the role of
IPMC votes on releases to be advisory reviews. In addition, Jim clearly asks the real question
of what value does the Incubator provide podlings? And is it serving its purpose and following
The Apache Way.

With those issues in mind:

(1) The purpose of the Incubator is to introduce project communities of individuals to The
Apache Way and help them come into alignment with those principles. Currently, I think that
the "Legal Shield” value has been elevated above the Community aspect. Communities are harmed
because coming to the ASF can be a sharp, direct change in how they operate and this is a
negative disruption. In some podlings the Community aspect of the Apache Way is harder than
Legal and in others Legal is harder. To graduate both must be accomplished. Some podlings
are very successful while still in the Incubator while others atrophy.

(2) With this service orientation what are the duties of Mentors? Here is my non exhaustive
- Boot the Podling Community by making sure that podling community is setup in Apache Infra
with Mailing Lists, CLAs, SGAs, LDAP, Code Repositories, Issue Trackers, etc. 
- Make sure that decisions are memorialized on the Mailing Lists and how that benefits the
- Make sure that the PPMC is recognizing contributors and growing the community.
- Make sure that the podling’s releases meet ASF Legal, Distribution and Release policies
and why that is important.
- Make sure that the podling understands Branding issues in order to protect their community.
- Make sure that the podling understands the ASF committee structure in order to find services.
- Do all of the above in a gentle, respectful manner.
- Keep track of the above to protect the podling.
- Guide the podling in how to report to the IPMC (and later the Board)
- Defend the podling if the IPMC or Apache is too demanding.

Yes that is a big list and for each podling can be a large responsibility for a mentor. It’s
a high bar and I am sure I don’t always succeed. Between the three or four mentors for a
podling experience will tell us that one or two mentors will never engage and the longer it
takes to boot the podling community the more who will drop. Some podling’s already have
community members who understand The Apache Way and these do very well.

(3) With the above duties what are the responsibilities of the IPMC? Here is my list.
- Evaluate podling proposals and determine if the project is suitable.
- Make sure that podling Mentors are actively helping.
- Recruit more Mentors as needed.
- Tracking the progress of podlings towards graduation. Trust but verify reports.
- Review podling releases to assure that they trend towards alignment with Apache Policies.
- Recommend podling graduation to the Board.
- Retire podlings that are not viable or who wish to move on.
- Report to the Board.

I would like to suggest (repeat) some improvements. Some of these are more a change in emphasis.

(A) On general@ replace [VOTE] on releases with [DISCUSS] or [REVIEW]. The podling would do
the release and the review would consist of both Release and Distribution Policy compliance.
- 3 or more PPMC votes are still required.
- It is an open question about how many IPMC votes we should require. Is it 0, 1, or 3?

(B) Explicitly evaluate Podling Proposals for the following:
- if the PPMC has several Apache Members the IPMC should recommend direct to TLP.
- explicitly make sure that
	(i) there is at least one mentor who is experienced via successful incubation.
	(ii) that the mentors all have a clear understanding of the Apache Way.
	(iii) that they currently have enough free time to do the necessary work.
- confirm what SGAs will be required and assure that these will be signed quickly. (Podlings
and Mentors have trouble if it takes the better part of a year for the SGA to happen.)
- the above may require updates to the proposal template.

(C) Formalize the Shepherd role as follows.
- Permanently assign a Shepherd to every podling.
- The shepherd tracks mentor engagement.
- The shepherd tracks progress of podlings and updates the content/podlings/${podling}.yml
- The shepherd “sends” report reminders and is a backstop for the Mentors. 
- Shepherds are IPMC members whose touch is generally very light like the Board is with TLPs

(D) Recruit Mentors.
- The IPMC should send periodic emails to members@
- The IPMC should periodically ask ComDev if there is anyone active there to recommend as
a Mentor.

(E) Change the IPMC structure (this depends on whether we change the podling release VOTE
- IPMC members are reduced to those who have successfully mentored a project through to graduation
and affirmatively wish to remain on the IPMC.
- Other mentors are like committers and are either Apache Members or voted on by the IPMC.
- Shepherds are IPMC members.
- Only IPMC votes are binding on accepting proposals.
- The IPMC could vote to recommend that a proposal be direct to TLP.

The hopeful net result here is that the IPMC will have a lighter and more efficient approach
to incubating projects.

Please think about this before responding with “spread the flow” criticisms. In response
please do not over snip the proposals.


> -- 
> Kevin A. McGrail
> Member, Apache Software Foundation
> Chair Emeritus Apache SpamAssassin Project
> - 703.798.0171

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