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OWF Incubation Policy

Page history last edited by Danese Cooper 15 years, 10 months ago

DRAFT Document copied liberally from http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Incubation_Policy.html


Table of Contents


  • Incubation Policy

o About this Document

o Changing this Document

o Objectives of the Process

o Overview of the Process


  • Entry to Incubation

o Proposal

o Approval of Proposal by Parent

o Acceptance By Incubator

o Creation of Podling


  • Incubation Activities

o Setting Up a New Podling

o Ongoing Activities

o Review of Activity

o Disputing an Assessment

o Continuation


  • Podling Constraints

o Branding

o Releases

o Use of Open Web Foundation Resources


  • Exiting the Incubator

o Minimum Exit Requirements

o Termination of a Podling

o Migration as a Top Level Project

o Migration as a sub-project

o Post-Graduation Check List


  • Roles Defined

o Incubator Project Management Committee (PMC)

o Chair of the Incubator PMC

o Candidate

o Champion

o Parent

o Mentor

o Editor

o Contributor

o Open Web Foundation Member

o Open Web Foundation Board


Incubation Policy


The Open Web Foundation has adopted a policy to set-up and run all projects through an Incubator Project Management Committee (referred to as the "Incubator PMC" in this document) charged with "accepting new products into the Foundation, providing guidance and support to help each new product engender their own collaborative community, educating new contributors in the philosophy and guidelines for collaborative development as defined by the Members of the Foundation, and proposing to the Board the promotion of such projects to independent PMC status once their community has reached maturity".


The Incubator PMC is tasked with the following responsibilities:


  • the acceptance and oversight of new projects submitted or proposed to become part of the Foundation;
  • providing guidance and ensuring that projects under its purview work according to the Foundation's philosophy and guidelines for collaborative development; and
  • regularly evaluating projects under its purview and making the determination in each case of whether the project should be abandoned, should continue to receive guidance and support, or should be proposed to the board for promotion to independent project status as part of an existing or new Foundation PMC.



About this Document


This document is the normative reference for the policies and procedures put in place by the Incubator PMC for the Incubation process, which is used by the Incubator PMC to discharge their duties as described above.


It contains the minimum requirements that all new projects must meet before they will be fully accepted into the Open Web Foundation.


The document makes use of the terms MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, RECOMMENDED, MAY and OPTIONAL. Where capitalised, these terms are to be used as per the definitions found in http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt?number=2119.





This document does not apply outside the process of Incubation. Policies and processes that need to be met by projects under incubation are not mandated (by this document) for other projects and sub-projects within the Open Web Foundation



Relationship to Other Documents


This document is the normative set of requirements for Incubation. Where other documents are in conflict, this document should be taken as correct.



Changing this Document


The contents of this document are formally approved by the Open Web Foundation Incubator PMC. All changes must be authorised by the Open Web Foundation Incubator PMC .



Objectives of the Process


To provide a clear path for potential projects and sub-projects within the Open Web Foundation to move from proposal stage through to full independent PMC in such as way as to ensure :


  • new projects and sub-projects are developing products according to the Open Web Foundations's philophy and guidelines for collaborative development;
  • Intellectual Property Rights on work initially submitted by the project are formally and legaly cleared according to the terms of the Open Web Foundation IPR Policy (link here); and
  • only those projects that meet the Open Web Foundation's requirements are fully accepted into the Open Web Foundation.



Overview of the Process


The incubation process covers the establishment of a Candidate, acceptance (or rejection) of a Candidate leading to the potential establishment of a Podling and associated incubation process, which ultimately leads to the establishment or a new Open Web Foundation Top-Level-Project (TLP) or sub-project within an existing top-level Open Web Project.





Entry to Incubation


Please read the guide to the process in conjunction with this policy.


In order to enter the Incubator, a Candidate MUST


  • be nominated for incubation by a member of the Open Web Foundaiton ("The Champion"); and
  • be approved by a Parent.





To start the approval process, a proposal MUST be submitted to the Parent project. Please read the Guide For Proposals.



Approval of Proposal by Parent


The decision to approve the Candidate proposal MUST be taken on a vote by the Parent project, in accordance with that Entity's charter.



Acceptance By Incubator


Upon a successful result, the PMC Chair of the Parent SHOULD request the Incubator PMC take on the Candidate as a new Podling. The request, which should be sent to the Incubator PMC on the general list, MUST contain the following information:


  • a reference to the results of the vote (so as to provide an audit trail for the records);
  • a reference to the Candidate's proposal;
  • the Mentors, nominated by the Parent, who will guide the Candidate through the Incubation Process. At least one nominated Mentor MUST be a Member of the Open Web Foundation.


Any Incubator PMC member can send an acknowledgement that the request was received, then a 72 hour waiting period starts. After this time has elapsed and no Incubator PMC member objects, the status file may be committed to SVN and the Podling started. If any Incubator PMC member says "hold" before the 72 hours are up, a formal discussion/vote will be conducted.


The nominated Mentors MAY be immediately accepted by the Incubator PMC. However the Incubator PMC MAY also suggest replacement Mentors. The Incubator PMC has the final choice of Mentors.



Creation of Podling


Upon acceptance by the Incubator PMC, the Candidate becomes a Podling under the care of the Incubator PMC.


Upon acceptance by the Incubator PMC, the Podling's Mentor becomes a member of the Incubator PMC (should they not already be one).




Incubation Activities


The following sections detail the minimum activities that must be undertaken by the various parties during an Incuabation process.


Setting Up a New Podling


Once a proposal has been accepted and the podling created a Mentor SHOULD initiate the creation of:


  • the project status page;
  • the mailing lists;
  • the repository space;


Your project's mentors are able to undertake many of the setup tasks. See notes about how to request project resources such as new Editor accounts and new mailing lists. (Note that an Editor account will not be created until a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) has been recorded.)


Your project Editors and PMC members need to become familiar with the Open Web Foundation's Infrastructure information and in particular the PMC notes. Also see the Incubator PMC Guide.



Ongoing Activities


The progress of a Podling SHALL be tracked in a "project status" document. This SHALL be stored in and so become available at


The "project status" document SHALL include the following minimum content :


  • status of setup tasks;
  • all exit criteria (see Exiting the Incubator);
  • status of Podling against exit criteria.


The Mentors MUST ensure that the "project status" document is up to date at all times. See these instructions .



Review of Activity


Each Podling in Incubation SHALL undergo a regular review of progress by the Incubator PMC. Such reviews SHALL occur at least quarterly. The Incubator PMC MAY, at their discretion, choose to review individual Podlings with greater frequency. The Incubator PMC SHALL inform Podlings of review dates at least 4 weeks in advance.


At least one week prior to each review, the Mentor MUST produce a report for the Incubator PMC detailing overall progress with a focus on the preceding review period. It is RECOMMENDED that the report be based on the "project status" document for the Podling.


After each review, the Incubator PMC SHALL produce an Assessment of the project. The Assessment SHALL contain one of three recommendations:


  • that the Podling be Terminated;
  • that the Podling continue in Incubation; or
  • that the Podling be Graduated from Incubation.


Termination and Graduation are discussed in more detail in section "Graduating from the Incubator" .



Disputing an Assessment


If the Podling or Mentor disagree with an assessment, they MAY request the Incubator PMC review the report. Such a request MUST include a details of what the Podling and/or Mentor is disputing, and their reasons for doing so.


Upon receipt of an Assessment Dispute, the Incubator PMC SHALL review the request and provide feedback to the Podling and Mentor. Such feedback MAY include a change to the original Assessment.


Should the Podling and/or Mentor still disagree with the contents of the report, they MAY appeal to the Board of the Open Web Foundation. Such an appeal MUST include


  • the original assessment;
  • the request for review to the Incubator PMC;
  • the response from the Incubator PMC; and
  • the reason the Podling and/or Mentor still dispute the report.


The Board of the Open Web Foundation MAY, after reviewing the appeal, choose to


  • ammend the incubation Assessment;
  • validate the assessment of the Incubator PMC; or
  • take any other action it deems appropriate to the circumstance.


The decision of the Board of the Open Wev Foundation is final.





A recommendation by the Incubator PMC for continuation of incubation SHALL include development recommendations. The Incubator PMC SHALL ensure that the recommended actions are tangible and quantifiable.


The Mentor SHALL review the contents of the continuation recommendation and ensure that the development recommendations are carried out over the following review period.




Podling Constraints


While in Incubation, Podlings are constrained in the actions they can undertake.





Please consult the guide to Podling Branding.





Podlings are not yet fully accepted as part of the Open Web Foundation. No release made by a Podling will be endorsed by the Open Web Foundaiton. Unendorsed releases may be made by Podlings subject to the following policy.


Podlings in Incubation SHALL NOT perform any releases of software without the explicit approval of the Incubator PMC. Such approval SHALL be given only after the Incubator PMC has followed the process detailed in these guidelines, and SHALL NOT occur until all Intellectual Property Rights have been legally addressed according to the Open Web Foundation IPR Policy.


Therefore, should a Podling decide it wishes to perform a release, the Podling SHALL hold a vote on the Podling's public -dev list. At least three +1 votes are required (see the Open Web Foundation Voting page). If the majority of all votes is positive, then the Podling SHALL send a summary of that vote to the Incubator PMC's general list and formally request the Incubator PMC approve such a release. Three +1 Incubator PMC votes are required. Below is an example showing how an incubating project managed this process:


  • Post to the Podling -dev list calling the vote.
  • Post to the Incubator's general list requesting approval from the Incubator PMC.


Should the Incubator PMC, in accordance with these guidelines vote to approve the request, the Podling MAY perform the release under the following constraints :


  • the release archive MUST contain the word "incubating" in the filename; and
  • the release archive MUST contain an Incubation disclaimer (as described in the previous section), clearly visible in the main documentation or README file.


Releases for podling MUST be distributed through



Use of Open Web Foundation Resources


The Podling is not yet an Open Web Foundation project, and it should thus always refer to the Incubator Project Resource usage Guidelines, that are as follows.





Please consult the Guide to Podling Websites for the current policies for websites.



Exiting the Incubator


This section describes the requirements and process for graduating from the Incubator.


Minimum Graduation Requirements


Prior to graduation, a Podling needs to show that :


  • it is a worthy and healthy project;
  • it truly fits within the Open Web Foundation framework;and
  • it "gets" the OWF Way.


This is achieved by imposing a set of Graduation Criteria that, when met, will demonstrate these objectives.


Therefore, to successfully graduate from the Incubator into the Open Web Foundation, a Podling SHALL meet the minimum requirements detailed below. The Incubator PMC MAY set additional requirements at their discretion. Such additional requirements MAY be proposed by the Mentor or the Parent, however only the Incubator PMC is authorised to formally place such requirements on a Podling.


The minimum Graduation Criteria requirements that a Podling SHALL meet prior to being graduated to the Open Web Foundation are :


  • Legal


o All copyrightable material such as specification text is licensed under the Creative Commons - BY license

o Any code licensed under an OSI-Approved License

o IPR clearance complete

o CLAs on file.

o Check of project name for trademark issues


  • Meritocracy / Community


o Demonstrate an active and diverse development community

o The project is not highly dependent on any single contributor (there are at least 3 legally independent committers and there is no single company or entity that is vital to the success of the project)

o The above implies that new committers are admitted according to Open Web Foundation practices

o Open Web Foundation style voting has been adopted and is standard practice

o Demonstrate ability to tolerate and resolve conflict within the community.

o Release plans are developed and excuted in public by the community.

+ (requirement on minimum number of such releases?)

+ Note: incubator projects are not permitted to issue an official Release. Test snapshots (however good the quality) and Release plans are OK.

o Engagement by the incubated community with the other Open Web Foundation communities, particularly infrastructure@ (this reflects my personal bias that projects should pay an nfrastructure "tax").

o Incubator PMC has voted for graduation

o Destination PMC, or Open Web Foundation Board for a Top Level Project, has voted for final acceptance


  • Alignment / Synergy


o Use of other Open Web Foundation subprojects

o Develop synergistic relationship with other Open Web Foundation subprojects


  • Infrastructure


o SVN module has been created

o Mailing list(s) have been created

o Mailing lists are being archived

o Issue tracker has been created

o Project website has been created

o Project ready to comply with Open Web Foundation mirroring guidelines

o Project is integrated with GUMP if appropriate

o Releases are PGP signed by a member of the community

o Developers tied into Open Web Foundation PGP web of trust


Termination of a Podling


If you receive a recommendation for termination then you have a problem. Chances are that there are either legal or structural problems with your project that in the opinion of the Incubator PMC are not resolvable within a reasonable time frame. A termination decision is basically time to close down the project. However, you do have the right to appeal a termination decision with the Board of Directors and/or your Parent. You should be aware that several Members of the Board are also Members of the Incubator PMC and as such, an appeal is unlikely to be successful.


Graduation as a Top Level Project


In cases where a Podling has successfully completed Incubation, and is graduating from the Incubator to become a Top Level Project, the Incubator PMC SHALL provide a recommendation to the board that the Podling is ready to gradualate. The recommendation SHALL include a draft resolution for the board to vote on.


Graduation as a sub-project


In cases where a Podling has successfully completed Incubation, and is graduating from the Incubator to become a sub-project within an already existing Top Level Project, the Incubator PMC SHALL provide a recommendation to the TLP that the Podling is ready to graduate.


Post-Graduation Check List


See Graduation Guide.


Roles Defined


Definitions of the roles involved in the Incubation process:


  • Incubator Project Management Committee (PMC)


The Project Management Committee is responsible to the Board for administering the Incubator Project in the manner specified in the founding resolution.


The roles and responsibilities of the PMC are described and discussed .


  • Chair of the Incubator PMC


The person appointed by the Board of Directors to have primary responsibility for oversight of the Incubator Project, its policies, and policy implementation.


  • Candidate


A proposal for incubation. Described in detail .


  • Champion


A Member of the Open Web Foundation who supports a Candidate's application for Incubation and who supports and assists the Podling through the Incubation process.


  • Parent


A Parent SHALL be either:


  • the Board of the Open Web Foundation;
  • a Top Level Project (TLP) within the Open Web Foundation (where the TLP considers the Candidate to be a suitable sub-project); or
  • the Incubator PMC.


This role and its responsibilities are discussed .


  • Mentor


A Podling has one or more Mentors, one of which MUST be an Open Web Foundation Member. Mentors are chosen by the Parent to actively monitor the podling, guide the podling in the Open Web Foundation Way, and report its status to the Parent and the Incubator PMC. All Mentors must be members of the Incubator PMC. A Mentor has responsibilities toward the Incubator PMC, the Parent, and the community of the assigned Podling.


  • Editor


Access to Version Control for a given Podling or Graduated Project will be limited to a group of Editors (with rights similar to Committers in a code project)


The Candidate shall declare an initial set of Editors. On acceptance of a candidate project, the assigned Mentors shall be given access to the Podling's repository for the duration of the incubation process. This is to allow the Mentors to perform their incubation duties, and is for administrative purposes only. To be given full Editor privileges, such as the right to add new code or spec versions to the repository, the Mentor must earn them as would any other potential new Editor. In some cases, the Mentor may be part of the initial set of declared Editors, but this is not a requirement of the Incubation process.


  • Contributor


Contributors to a given Podling or Graduated Project can earn promotion to Editor status through direct contribution of work on the project. Such promotion should not be granted lightly, and should follow a vote public within the project community, called by an existing Editor on the project.


  • Open Web Foundation Member


Participants who have consistently positively contributed to the establishment and growth of the Open Web Foundation may be nominated for election as Open Web Foundation Members. OWF Members share responsibility for electing additional Members as well as the OWF Board, and for participation in day to day decision-making relating to the running of the Open Web Foundation as needed. They also serve as Mentors for Candidates and Podlings to help ensure that each project has the best chance of understanding and practicing the OWF Way.


  • Open Web Foundation Board


Yearly elections determine which Members will serve on the OWF Board of Directors. The Board meets regularly, and their meetings are open to any Member, or to any Contributor by Invitation.


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