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From Matei Zaharia <matei.zaha...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Improving governance / committers (split from Spark Improvement Proposals thread)
Date Sat, 08 Oct 2016 21:11:07 GMT
This makes a lot of sense; just to comment on a few things:

> - More committers
> Just looking at the ratio of committers to open tickets, or committers
> to contributors, I don't think you have enough human power.
> I realize this is a touchy issue.  I don't have dog in this fight,
> because I'm not on either coast nor in a big company that views
> committership as a political thing.  I just think you need more people
> to do the work, and more diversity of viewpoint.
> It's unfortunate that the Apache governance process involves giving
> someone all the keys or none of the keys, but until someone really
> starts screwing up, I think it's better to err on the side of
> accepting hard-working people.

This is something the PMC is actively discussing. Historically, we've added committers when
people contributed a new module or feature, basically to the point where other developers
are asking them to review changes in that area (https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/SPARK/Committers#Committers-BecomingaCommitter).
For example, we added the original authors of GraphX when we merged in GraphX, the authors
of new ML algorithms, etc. However, there's a good argument that some areas are simply not
covered well now and we should add people there. Also, as the project has grown, there are
also more people who focus on smaller fixes and are nonetheless contributing a lot.

> - Each major area of the code needs at least one person who cares
> about it that is empowered with a vote, otherwise decisions get made
> that don't make technical sense.
> I don't know if anyone with a vote is shepherding GraphX (or maybe
> it's just dead), the Mesos relationship has always been weird, no one
> with a vote really groks Kafka.
> marmbrus and zsxwing are getting there quickly on the Kafka side, and
> I appreciate it, but it's been bad for a while.
> Because I don't have any political power, my response to seeing things
> that I know are technically dangerous has been to yell really loud
> until someone listens, which sucks for everyone involved.
> I already apologized to Michael privately; Ryan, I'm sorry, it's not about you.
> This seems pretty straightforward to fix, if politically awkward:
> those people exist, just give them a vote.
> Failing that, listen the first or second time they say something not
> the third or fourth, and if it doesn't make sense, ask.

Just as a note here -- it's true that some areas are not super well covered, but I also hope
to avoid a situation where people have to yell to be listened to. I can't say anything about
*all* technical discussions we've ever had, but historically, people have been able to comment
on the design of many things without yelling. This is actually important because a culture
of having to yell can drive away contributors. So it's awesome that you yelled about the Kafka
source stuff, but at the same time, hopefully we make these types of things work without yelling.
This would be a problem even if there were committers with more expertise in each area --
what if someone disagrees with the committers?

Matei


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