Apache James Project Guidelines

This document defines the guidelines for the Apache James Project. It includes definitions of how conflict is resolved by voting, who is able to vote, and the procedures to follow for proposing and making changes to the Apache James products.

The objective here is to avoid unnecessary conflict over changes and continue to produce a quality system in a timely manner. Not all conflict can be avoided, but at least we can agree on the procedures for conflict to be resolved.

People, Places, and Things

Apache James Project Management Committee

The group of volunteers who are responsible for managing the Apache James Project. This includes deciding what is distributed as products of the Apache James Project, maintaining the Project's shared resources, speaking on behalf of the Project, resolving license disputes regarding Apache James products, nominating new PMC members or committers, and establishing these guidelines.

Membership in the Apache James PMC is by invitation only and must be approved by consensus of the active Apache James PMC members. A PMC member is considered inactive by their own declaration or by not contributing in any form to the project for over six months. An inactive member can become active again by reversing whichever condition made them inactive (i.e., by reversing their earlier declaration or by once again contributing toward the project's work). Membership can be revoked by a unanimous vote of all the active PMC members other than the member in question.

Apache James Committers

The group of volunteers who are responsible for the technical aspects of the Apache James Project. This group has write access to the appropriate source repositories and these volunteers may cast non-binding votes on any technical discussion.

Membership as a Committer is by invitation only and must be approved by consensus of the active Apache James PMC members. A Committer is considered inactive by their own declaration or by not contributing in any form to the project for over six months. An inactive member can become active again by reversing whichever condition made them inactive (i.e., by reversing their earlier declaration or by once again contributing toward the project's work). Membership can be revoked by a unanimous vote of all the active PMC members (except the member in question if they are a PMC member).

Mailing list

The Apache committers' primary mailing list for discussion of issues and changes related to the project ([email protected]). Subscription to the list is open, but only subscribers can post directly to the list.

Private list

The Apache James Project's private mailing list for discussion of issues that are inappropriate for public discussion, such as legal, personal, or security issues prior to a published fix. Subscription to the list is only open to Apache James PMC members and Apache Software Foundation Members.

    Topics to be discussed on the private mailing list:
  • Discussion of board reports. PMC members need to report quaterly project activity to the Apache board of directors, which is done through reporter.apache.org. Prior report submission, the draft should be discussed on the private mailing list
  • Discussions of new committers, new PMCs, including proposition discussions, votes and process follow up.
  • Handling of security vulnerability reports, and CVE publication.

Other topics should be discussed/voted on server-dev instead.

GIT

All of the Apache James products are maintained in shared information repositories using GIT on git-wip-us.apache.org. The Apache committers have write access to these repositories; everyone has read access via anonymous GIT.

Consensus

As a community we are seeking consensus in our decision making.

We actively rely on lazy consensus for most of our decisions, be them validating xref:contributing.adoc#_how_to_contribute_some_code[code changes], enacting design decisions.

Voting

    Some decisions might require to vote:
  • releases
  • establishing a new sub-project
  • retiring sub-projects
  • taking a decision when lazy consensus failed.

Note that we encourage discussing the issues prior to trigger a vote. That way bad surprises may be avoided ahead of time.

Any of the Apache James Committers may vote on any issue or action item. However, the only binding votes are those cast by active members of the Apache James PMC; if the vote is about a change to source code or documentation, the primary author of what is being changed may also cast a binding vote on that issue. All other votes are non-binding. All committers are encouraged to participate in decisions, but the decision itself is made by those who have been long-time contributors to the project. In other words, the Apache Project is a minimum-threshold meritocracy.

The act of voting carries certain obligations -- voting members are not only stating their opinion, they are agreeing to help do the work of the Apache Project. Since we are all volunteers, members often become inactive for periods of time in order to take care of their "real jobs" or devote more time to other projects. It is therefore unlikely that the entire group membership will vote on every issue. To account for this, all voting decisions are based on a minimum quorum.

Each vote can be made in one of three flavors:

+1
Yes, agree, or the action should be performed. On some issues, this vote is only binding if the voter has tested the action on their own system(s).

+-0
Abstain, no opinion, or I am happy to let the other group members decide this issue. An abstention may have detrimental effects if too many people abstain.

-1
No. On issues where consensus is required, this vote counts as a veto. All vetos must include an explanation of why the veto is appropriate. A veto with no explanation is void. No veto can be overruled. If you disagree with the veto, you should lobby the person who cast the veto. Voters intending to veto an action item should make their opinions known to the group immediately, so that the problem can be remedied as early as possible.

An action item requiring consensus approval must receive at least 3 binding +1 votes and no vetos. An action item requiring majority approval must receive at least 3 binding +1 votes and more +1 votes than -1 votes (i.e., a majority with a minimum quorum of three positive votes). All other action items are considered to have lazy approval until someone votes -1, after which point they are decided by either consensus or a majority vote, depending upon the type of action item.

Votes are to remain open for 72 hours after which the developer who put forth the vote should tabulate the result and send this to the mailing list. A developer should be sensitive to holidays that could dampen participation in the vote.

Section for new committers

First congratulation for your involvement!

As part of the process to become a committer, the following steps should have had been emailed to you:
  • Signing of Contributor License Agreement
  • Establishing an Apache profile with the Apache secretary.
  • Access will directly be granted on theJIRA, the ASF Git repository and the ci.
  • Extra steps should be taken for Github access (see below).
  • A PMC should have had announced your nomination. If you have not already been doing it, we strongly encourage you to write an email on public mailing list, presenting you, and your motivations toward contributing on Apache James. A reply to the announce would do the trick!

Accessing Apache GitHub as a Committer

  • Verify you have a Github ID enabled with 2FA
  • Enter your Github ID into your Apache ID profile
  • Merge your Apache and GitHub accounts using GitBox (Apache Account Linking utility). You should see 3 green checks in GitBox.

Wait at least 30 minutes for an email inviting you to Apache GitHub Organization and accept invitation.

After accepting the Github Invitation verify that you are a member of the GitHub Apache James team.