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Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC)

Each Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) helps its Podling learn how to govern itself. It works like a PMC but reports to the Incubator PMC instead of to the ASF Board. Initially, it is composed of the Podling’s mentors and the initial committers. The PPMC is directly responsible for the oversight of the podling, and it also decides who to add as a PPMC member.

For general information about PMCs, see the PMC FAQ.

Private Email List

A private email list named private@project lets the PPMC discuss confidential topics. Most communication should be on the Podling’s dev list! The private list is only for confidential discussions that should not be made public, such as the suitability of a particular individual to become a committer or a member of the PPMC. See the ASF How it Works section entitled Balancing confidentiality and public discussion.

The mentors should verify that all PPMC members are subscribed to the private list. The Whimsy Podling Roster shows who is subscribed, and any subscriber can send a "ping - please reply" message to check who is actually "listening" to the PPMC list.

Don’t mix private and public lists in posts!

  • Don’t post to both the dev and private lists. Each member of the PPMC should be on the dev list, so posting to dev is sufficient.

  • Likewise, don’t post to both the Incubator general and Incubator private lists. Each member of the Incubator PMC is on the Incubator general list, so posting to the general list is sufficient.

Podling Status Reports

On a monthly basis, the IPMC collects reports from each incubating project and sends them to the ASF Board. Watch the Incubator general email list for when these become due.

The Incubator report includes the status of a subset of the incubating projects. Currently, new Podlings report to the Incubator monthly for the first three months, then quarterly after that.

The PPMC does not have to fill out the report itself; the PPMC is just responsible for making sure that it gets filled out. It is better to discuss the report on the dev list and ask everyone to contribute to it. If Mentors disagree with the posted report, they should say so; otherwise, the Incubator PMC assumes that the report speaks for the community.

Please use the existing format and don’t change the subject headers. Note that we update the template from time to time, so be sure to use the one we provide and not a previous report.

Here are the points to address: - Is there anything that the Incubator PMC or ASF Board specifically needs to address? - Are there any legal, infrastructure, cross-project or personal issues that need to be addressed? - Are there any stumbling blocks that impede the podling? - What has been done (releases, milestones, etc.) since the last report? - What are the plans and expectations for the next period? - Are there any recommendations for how incubation could run more smoothly for you? - Are your mentors active and providing help? - etc. (your own thoughts on what is important would be helpful!)

Mentors must sign off on podling reports. - If there is no mentor sign off, the IPMC will not accept the report from that podling; it will have to submit a new report in the following month.

Add your podling reports to the Incubator wiki: - Add each podling report to the Incubator wiki - Follow the instructions in your report reminder, and post on the <Month><Year> page, with the provided template

Project Status Page

In addition to the quarterly status reports, each Podling has a page on the Incubator web site that tracks its status (see the complete list for examples). Instructions for updating the status page are in the Incubator web site guide under Edit your project status report.

Maintaining the Podling Roster

Maintain your podling roster in Whimsy Podling Roster. Going forward, the content in projects/$podling.xml is deprecated.

Adding committers

Adding committers is one of the most important functions of any PMC, including Incubator podlings.

There are no ASF-wide rules on how to decide when to invite someone to become a committer. Each podling needs to adopt an approach that works for it. Some ASF projects have a high bar requiring significant contributions before considering someone as a potential committer; other projects grant it more freely to anyone who shows interest in contributing. Experience shows that it’s best to keep the bar low.

Most projects use formal [DISCUSS] and [VOTE] threads on the private email list, and others use a more "lazy" consensus approach. For more information, see commit access and the ASF How it Works document, which explains meritocracy and roles.

The podling Incubator reports should document any committers added since the previous report.

If the podling decides in favor of the potential committer, it offers committership to the nominee. If the nominee accepts the responsibility of being a committer for the project, the nominee formally becomes an Apache committer.

The proposer then asks an IPMC member (typically one of the mentors) to follow the documentedprocedures to complete the process. If the nominee is already an Apache committer on another project, the IPMC member can add the nominee as a committer on the podling via the Whimsy Podling Roster.

The proposer then directs the new committer to the Apache developer’s pages, to the Apache Incubator site and to the Incubator Committers Guide for important additional information.

Projects which wish to have all committers also be PPMC members should follow the "Voting in a new PPMC member" guide below.

Voting in a new PPMC member

It should be a goal of a podling to have all committers participate in the PPMC. The PPMC should take an active role in watching committers develop as community participants. They should identify those who are participating at a community level (not just a technical one), and approach them with an offer of PPMC membership.

Any member of the PPMC can propose a new member of the PPMC. The proposal should be discussed in private on the PPMC’s private email list, with a subject line of "[DISCUSS] Joe Bob PPMC membership". If there is consensus that the proposed member is suitable, there should be a formal vote with the subject line of "[VOTE] Joe Bob PPMC membership" on the PPMC’s private email list.

If the vote is successful, a member of the PPMC sends a message to the PPMC private email list, with the subject line of "[VOTE][RESULT] Joe Bob PPMC membership". The nominating PPMC member should send a message to the IPMC ( with a reference to the vote result in the following form:

To: private at
CC: private at
Subject: [NOTICE] Joe Bob for PODLING PPMC

Joe Bob has been voted as a new member of the *PODLING* PPMC. the vote thread is at: *link to the vote thread*

After the PPMC sends the NOTICE to the IPMC the PPMC should formally invite the proposed member.

In the email you send, replace PODLING with your podling’s actual name, and replace Joe Bob with the person’s actual name.

After sending the NOTICE, the PPMC should invite Joe Bob to join it, using message like this.

Once the proposed member has accepted, a moderator for the PPMC mail list accepts the new member’s subscription request.

Direct the new member to this page for PPMC membership information.

Adding mentors

At times, it may be desirable to add a mentor to a podling. A mentor must be an IPMC member. People who are not IPMC members can still help out in an informal capacity.

IPMC members are free to volunteer to mentor a podling. To do so, they should mail the podling stating their intentions. The podling should then decide whether it wants to add the mentor. If the Podling decides to add the mentor, it should do so in the Whimsy Podling Roster.

If a podling is in a position where they feel they need a new mentor, they can drop an email on the general incubator email list to try to recruit a one.

Removing a mentor

Occasionally it may be necessary to remove a mentor who has been too busy to participate or who has gone silent. After discussing it with the PPMC you can have someone with access (another mentor) remove the mentor via Whimsy.

PPMC and Binding Votes

The only time when a PPMC member’s vote is binding is for the addition of new PPMC members and committers. Release votes are only binding for IPMC members.

The binding status of a person’s vote is not related to the email list that the vote occurs on.