Estimated Reading Time:

Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC)

The Podling Project Management Committee (PPMC) helps a 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 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 Mail List

A private mail list, named private@project, lets the PPMC discuss confidential topics. Most communication should be on the Podling’s dev list! The private list is used 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 titled Balancing confidentiality and public discussion.

The mentors should verify that all PPMC members are actually subscribed to the private list. Mailing list moderators can request the list of subscribers using ezmlm commands, 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 general is sufficient.


The lists used to be named project-ppmc or pmc@tlp, so you may see those names referenced in other ASF documentation or in the mail list archives. It was resolved that these lists should be named private to make it clear that they should be used for confidential discussion, not as a general purpose way to contact (P)PMC members.

Podling Status Reports

On a regular basis, reports from each incubating project are aggregated and sent to the ASF Board. Watch the Incubator general mail list for when these become due.

The Incubator reports to the ASF Board monthly and includes status for a subset of the incubating projects. Currently new Podlings report to the Incubator monthly for the first three months, then quarterly thereafter. The reporting schedule is generated from podlings.xml.

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

Please add the following items: - Project name and one-line summary. - Date of entry to the Incubator. - Top three items to resolve before graduation.

Here are the points to be addressed: - 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?) - Check that the project’s Incubation Status file up to date. (Also provide the URL.) - 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? - etc. (your own thoughts on what is important would be helpful!)

It is required for mentors to sign off on podling reports. - Mentors must sign off on the podling report. If there is no mentor sign off, the report from that podling will not be accepted and they will be moved to monthly, expected to report next month.

Podling reports get added to the Incubator wiki - All podling reports must be added 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 the 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.

This is one of the primary sources of information about your podling’s status to the Incubator PMC and to the general public. Be sure to keep it updated as your podling progresses!

Maintaining Podling Roster

Podling rosters are maintained in Whimsy. Going forward, the content in projects/$podling.xml is considered deprecated.

Adding new committers

Adding new committers is one of the most important functions of any PMC, and Incubator podlings are no different.

There are no ASF wide rules on how to decide when to make someone a committer, podlings need to agree an approach that works for them. Some ASF projects have a high bar requiring significant contributions before someone is considered, other projects grant it more freely to anyone who shows interest in contributing. Some projects use formal [DISCUSS] and [VOTE] threads on the private mailing list, 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 new committers added since the last report.

Once the decision has been made the proposer 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 Incubator PMC member (typically one of the mentors) to follow the documented procedures to complete the process. If the nominee is already an Apache committer on another project, the Incubator PMC member simply updates the SVN authorization settings to include the nominee as a committer on the podling.

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.

For projects which wish to have all committers also be PPMC members, the "Voting in a new PPMC member" guide below should then be followed, noting that if desired it is possible to run a joint committership and PPMC vote, providing that the guidance for both is followed.

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 into community participants, 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 private alias, with a subject line of [DISCUSS] Joe Bob PPMC membership. If there is consensus that the proposed member is suitable, then there should be a formal vote in the PPMC private alias, with the subject line of [VOTE] Joe Bob PPMC membership.

If the vote is successful, the proposer should send a message to the PPMC private alias, with the subject line of [VOTE][RESULT] Joe Bob PPMC membership. The message id of the [VOTE][RESULT] message should be preserved for notifying the Incubator PMC. The nominating PPMC member should send a message to the IPMC ( with a reference to the vote result’s message id of 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*

It should noted that there is a grace period of 72 hours from when the above NOTICE is sent to the Incubator PMC to when the proposed member is formally invited. This is an important part of the overall process. Failure to do this can result in an embarassing situation for people involved.

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

After 72 hours, Joe Bob should be invited to join the PPMC, using a sample message like this.

Once the proposed member has accepted, the moderator for the PPMC mail alias will accept the new member’s subscription request.

The new member should be directed to this page for PPMC membership information.

The nominating member should also update the PPMC membership section of the Podling’s status file. For projects which choose to always make new committers also PPMC members, simply updating the committer list and ensuring that a statement such as "The PPMC consists of all the committers and mentors listed here" is generally sufficient.

Adding new mentors

At times, it may be desirable to add a new mentor to a podling. Under all circumstances, a mentor must be an IPMC member.

IPMC members are free to volunteer to be a mentor to a podling as they see fit. To do so, they should mail the podling stating their intentions. The podling should then decide if it wants to add the new mentor or not. If a decision has been reached to add the mentor, then all podling documentation should be updated to reflect the change (podlings.xml, projects/{podling}.xml) and the incubator be notified of the change as well.

If a podling is in a position where they feel they need to add a new mentor, they may want to drop a mail on the general incubator mailing list to try to recruit a new mentor.

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 them via Whimsy. An email will be generated by Whimsy so no email to the list is needed.

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 to IPMC members.

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