What are expected qualifications for an AC member?
- Community. The prime consideration for AC membership has always been: Is there a demonstrable track record of contributions to the community. We have lots of really smart technical people at Eclipse who are perfectly happy doing a great job on the one project that they are working on. I think the AC needs to be looking for people who are willing to go beyond their silo and make contributions to the community and to other projects.
- Mentorship. AC members may be pulled in as Mentors. Therefore, they should have some experience in Eclipse project leadership and a good understanding of the Eclipse Development Process and IP Policy. They should also be "linked in" to the Community such that they know whom to ask in case they cannot answer a question for a project that they might eventually be mentoring... though becoming an AC member should make a great stride towards getting "linked in".
- Time and Passion. New AC members should not get dormant immediately. Since the work of the AC is in order to improve the Eclipse Ecosystem as a whole for the benefit of all the projects, they should have some passion for that Ecosystem and be willing to invest some time for that (like about 4 hours each month minimum).
- Public Track of Contributions. AC membership is considered the highest level of Meritocracy. Therefore, proposed AC members should have some public track of records which shows, how they have helped the Eclipse Development process or ecosystem before. I'm thinking of mailing list / newsgroup answers, blog posts, FAQs, discussion contributions, and bugzilla bugs on the "Community" category.
- Authority. We'll want the AC to be perceived as a body of authority. Therefore I think that also AC members should be perceived as persons of authority in the domains that they come from. They should be "known" to the Community in good standing thanks to the contributions that they have made before. To me, "Authority" also conveys that AC members should show technical (software development) excellence in their respective areas, such that they are welcome as discussion partners for architectural questions.
- Alertness. In some sense, the AC is the "ears and the eyes" of the Eclipse Ecosystem. AC members are expected to be alert to problems or interesting developments in their respective area, and bring these to the attention of the AC. This includes interesting developments outside Eclipse itself, which can be articulated by means of a Blog syndicated at Planet Eclipse, for instance. The Bylaws of the Eclipse Foundation explicitly specify that the AC is for the "articulation" of the Eclipse Platform Architecture. This point of articulation actually is one of the reasons why PMC's and Strategic Members should be actively represented at the AC.
- Vision and Understanding. AC members should have some vision and understanding of what the Architecture of the Eclipse Platform as a Whole should look like.
There is actually some similarity to the new committer election process: people can help / contribute to the AC work by bugzilla comments, blogs, etc even if they are not members of the AC. After some contributions they can be voted in. Ideally, not only appointed members should meet these criteria, but also those representing a PMC or strategic member (though we cannot influence this, so officially the criteria should only apply for appointed members).
How Do I Become A Member of the Architecture Council?
Architecture Council members come from three sources as per the Architecture Council/Bylaws:
- first, each Top-Level Project PMC may appoint one member.
- second, by nomination and election, the Council can recommend new members for appointment by the EMO (N.B. the Bylaws state that the Executive Director can appoint members to the Council; while remaining consistent with the Bylaws, this nomination and election provides an avenue for the Council to recommend such appointments).
- third, Strategic Consumers as a group are entitled to designate one member.
- fourth, each Strategic Developer or Strategic Consumer with 8 or more developers working on Eclipse platform projects may appoint one member (unless an employee is already appointed).
At least once a year, the Architecture Council considers and elects new members. By convention, this happens in the first quarter of the year in advance of EclipseCon so that new Architecture Council members can attend the face-to-face meeting held at EclipseCon. The process is:
- Nominations are discussed in a phone meeting, and taken on the Architecture Council mailing list. Candidates must be current Committers on an Eclipse project.
- The chair calls for a vote whose duration is no less than one week.
- Voting is accomplished in the usual open-source manner, with each existing Council member voting +1, 0, or -1 on each candidate.
- Candidates must receive +1s from a simple majority of the existing Council members (not counting dormant members who did not vote, and not have any upheld -1s. Note that this requirement for a majority vote is a higher hurdle than the three +1s required for Committer elections, but this is by design: election to the Architecture Council is a sign of extremely high regard by the community.
- In case the simple majority is not reached, the AC may still decide to recommend a candidate by means of discussion during a face-to-face or phone meeting.
- The chair passes the nominations and recommendations of the Council (as evidenced by their votes) to the Executive Director who then, at his discretion, appoints the new members to the Council.
What is the term of Architecture Council members?
Members appointed by dint of PMC or Strategic Membership have no term limits. Members appointed by the EMO are appointed to two year terms as per the development process r2.4 (August 20, 2008) (It was three year terms in the previous process r2.3.1 of Jan 17, 2007, and no length of term had been specified in the previous version of the process). Members' terms can be renewed any number of times.
Members who are unresponsive to the business of the Council (for example, if they do not participate in the vetting and election of new candidates) can be removed by a simple three +1s, no upheld -1s vote of the Council. Technically, the EMO Executive Director will be asked to remove such members on a negative vote.