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

The Incubator report includes status for 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 will assume that it speaks for the community.

Please use the existing format and don’t change the subjects. Note that the template is updated from time to time so be sure to use once provided and not a previous report.

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? - 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!)

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 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.

Maintaining Podling Roster

Podling rosters are maintained in Whimsy Podling Roster. 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 with 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. Experience has shown that it’s best to keep the bar low.

Most projects use formal [DISCUSS] and [VOTE] threads on the private mailing 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 new committers added since the last report.

Once the decision has been made, the podling 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 documentedprocedures to complete the process. If the nominee is already an Apache committer on another project, the Incubator PMC 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 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 also 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. 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, then 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 message should be sent 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*

Please note that there is a grace period of 72 hours from when the NOTICE is sent to the Incubator PMC to when the proposed member should be 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 person’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, a moderator for the PPMC mail list will accept the new member’s subscription request.

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

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. People who are not IPMC members can still help out in an informal capacity.

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 the Podling decides to add the mentor, then the mentor should be added to the Whimsy Podling Roster.

If a podling is in a position where they feel they need a new mentor, they can 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.

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.