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

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Thu Apr 27 11:55:21 EDT 2006

Radim Blazek wrote:
> Then PSC will not be very operational. Often when we are discussing
> something in the list everybody add his opinion and wishes so that
> it the issue becomes vague. I thought that the role of PSC
> would be to pick up important questions and well formulate them for
> voting which can be better done in smaller group.


First, I would say that the chair of the PSC is responsible for
verifying that proposals are "well posed".  That is that they are
sufficiently precise that they can be voted on.

Second, while everyone can express an opinion and suggestions, it is
up to the proposer whether they wish to incorporate these suggestions.
Generally speaking they would reissue their proposal with adjustments
after an initial discussion phase.  At the point when the proposal goes
to vote whether the proposal is accepted or not can be establish by
examining the +1 and -1 votes.  The others (-0, +0, abstain, etc) can
be ignored but might give the proposer a sense of whether there is
good support.

So, as long as the proposal is not vague then the result should not
be vague.

> Why using the majority is not smooth?

The problem is that if 4 people vote for something and 3 vote against it,
and it is considered passed anyways it can result in alot of bad feelings.
The "Apache way" is to try and reach consensus.  Any sort of overruling is
seen as a last resort.

> I think that two business days is too short in any case, I would suggest 1 week.

For some items I think you will find this drags out the process, but it is
up to the GRASS community to decide on the time.  I would stress that
normally complex or potentially controversial proposals are circulated
once for discussion before being revised and resubmitted for voting.  So
given this cycle there is normally a reasonable amount of time for

>> Please note that I am just trying to explain the rationale why things
>> are done the way they are currently in MapServer (and in most/all Apache
>> projects as I understand it).  GRASS is well within it's rights to
>> use it's own voting mechanism.
>>> 'Contributors with vote' will be all contributors (not only developers)
>>> who did substantial contributions to the project. Initialy it can be persons
>>> mentioned as candidates for PSC. New 'contributors with vote'
>>> can be accepted by voting.
>> I don't see any reason not to name all existing committers, and other
>> substantive contributors to the PSC as long as they are willing/interested.
>> As long as you don't need full votes very often a large-ish PSC is not a
>> bad thing (IMHO).  I think PSC's in Apache are literally all the developers
>> with commit privileges.
> IIRC Glynn already declined to participate in PSC. I dont know if he
> wants to vote about important issues but I believe that he should have
> a possibility. My impression so far was that PSC will not include all
> contributors.

I guess I didn't see Glynn's email about not participating in the PSC
and I'm not sure of the reasons.  Even if he is not a member he could
express his opinions on proposals which would presumably be influential
on the PSC members.

> At least here  http://mpa.itc.it/markus/grass61progman/rfc/rfc1_psc.html
> is clearly divided 'The GRASS Steering Committee' and
> 'The GRASS Developers' and there is also written that
> 'This group votes for the members of the GRASS PSC.' (developers).
> That is why I asked to give vote to all contributors.

MapServer and GDAL have used a smaller PSC partly because we try to be
pretty free with providing folks with commit priveledges.  But it is
quite reasonable to define a fairly large PSC that includes everyone
you consider a substantial active contributor.  All I would suggest is
that you need to be precise about who is a member.

OK, I am really really going to try and leave this topic to discussion
within the GRASS community for at least one day before I throw in my
opinions again. I don't mean to monopolize the discussion.  I just find
it very hard to not get involved!

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

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