[GRASS5] Proposal: RFC 1: Project Steering Committee Guidelines

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Wed Apr 26 23:53:45 EDT 2006

Markus Neteler wrote:
> Dear all,
> to better illustrate the idea of a GRASS Project Steering Committee (PSC),
> I have drafted a document:
>  RFC 1: Project Steering Committee Guidelines
>  http://mpa.itc.it/markus/grass61progman/rfc/rfc1_psc.html
>  In CVS: rfc/RFC1_PSC.dox
> The content is heavily inspired by the related documents from the
> GDAL, Mapserver and Mapbender projects.
> As stated in this document: It is desired to keep the administrational
> overhead as low as possible. However, for strategic decisions a more
> formal approach for decisions is needed.
> Please take a look and comment since it is a Request for Comments (RFC).


Item (12) indicates that addition and removal of members from the
committee is handled as a proposal to the committee.  But the introductory
text indicates that PSC members are voted in by the committers.

I'm not sure how broad the committer base for GRASS is, but potentially
you could actually extend the PSC to include all committers, thereby
removing that concept.  The main downsides (in my mind) to having a large
PSC is that:

  1) If you need to override a veto, you need an absolute majority of all
     PSC members which could be hard to assemble if you have a lot of not
     very active members.

  2) It increases the chance you will have an obstructionist member who
     will frequently veto things causing lots of disruption.

The GDAL and MapServer TSC/PSCs take the approach that the PSC itself
appoints new members and I think this is ok as long as the broader
community considers the PSC legitimate and supports them.

Other notes:
  o I would encourage you to add a list of initial members in the
    bootstrapping section.  Unless some of them are controversial, it
    might make sense to include all the folks already nominated earlier
    in the year.  And with all due respect to your modesty, I think you
    would be the obvious initial chair.

  o Well, I was going to complain it isn't too clear in regard to things like
    when is an RFC vs. a simple mailing list vote required but then we never
    clarified that for MapServer either and things seem to work.  The key there
    was that we trusted Steve Lime (benevolent-chairman-for-life) to make
    process decisions if necessary.  So I don't know that you need to be more
    specific in GRASS either.

  o While there is no formal indication of it in the MapServer PSC RFC, we
    have taken the position that on major non-technical matters (such as
    joining OSGeo) the PSC "polls" the larger mapserver community for support.
    Ultimately the PSC decides but it is unlikely to pursue a major
    non-technical change if polling reveals serious reservations in the
    community.  Once again, it is likely not necessary to work this into the
    document.  We can leave such decisions up to the PSC.  A PSC that loses
    the support of the broader community is a failure, so they can be expected
    to act sensibly.

  o I think non-technical RFCs, or even technical ones that have a substantial
    effect on users, might be handled on the main user mailing list rather than
    the dev list.  We are expecting to have such a distinction in the revised
    MapServer RFC-1 as it goes from being a "technical steering committee" to
    a broader "project steering committee".  We have avoided handling simple
    technical RFCs on the user list to avoid too much uninteresting noise on
    the user list.  Well, uninteresting to the average user at least.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGF, http://osgeo.org

More information about the grass-dev mailing list