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Apertium is turning into a rather large and complex free/open-source project and is ready for the implementation of a more formal scheme for its governance. Important decisions such as, for instance

  • settling a higher-level dictionary format in the spirit of metadix
  • deciding which standard of a language will be adopted, as was done with Occitan
  • deciding if Apertium will be moving away from Sourceforge)
  • etc.

are to be taken in the immediate future in a way which is accepted by a large majority of the Apertium community.

Currently (January 19, 2009), the project has 6 administrators: ftyers, g-ramirez, mlforcada, sanmarf, sortiz, and xgg, and 79 developers. These positions have all been appointed by a co-opting system.

Perhaps we need to draft a brief constitution, taking the following points into consideration:

  • How does one decide when a developer is appointed or dismissed (currently, administrators have freely appointed developers, and no developer has been dismissed)
  • Should decisions affecting the engine and compilers be handled differently from those affecting a language pair or other components?
  • How does one decide when a developer becomes administrator (this decision has been taken similarly to the previous one)
  • Defining voting rights to take decisions:
    • do all decisions need the same degree of consensus?
    • should developers have the right to vote?
    • should the vote of everyone have the same weight? For instance, should it depend on the number of commits?
    • will there be vetoing rights?
    • how large a majority will be needed to adopt a decision?

Process to write a constitution[edit]

  • 1st. Every developer sends to apertium-stuff a list with 6 developers s/he thinks should be part of the group of 9 people that will write a proposal on how to take decisions and this sort of things.
  • 2nd. The 9 most voted people make a proposal.
  • 3rd. The rest of developers may propose amendments to the original proposal.
  • 4th. The final proposal is approved or rejected in a referendum in which all developers can vote.

NOTE: To participate in the process one needs to be a developer before November 11.

First stage: Voting[edit]

Votes should be sent to the apertium-stuff mailing list, before the deadline of: December 11

Table of votes registered to date:

Person Votes
Fran 10
Mikel 10
Felipe 9
Gema 9
Jimmy 9
Sergio 8
Juan Antonio 5
Jacob 4
Mireia 4
Miquel 1
Unhammer 1
Víctor 1
Xavi 1
People who voted
Juan Antonio


Things not to forget (Mikel)[edit]

  • Defining the mission of Apertium as a project
  • Defining the roles (perhaps not all of them) and how people acquire those roles: user, developer, admin, module maintainer, member of the assembly, member of the executive committee
  • Who grants the license for each module of Apertium?

Sergio's proposal[edit]

Translations: Esperanto. English. The following text is only a draft. Please edit, add & remove freely.

Puede parecer una propuesta bastante antipática, pero se pretende agilizar la toma de decisiones lo más posible.

  • Los órganos de gobierno de Apertium son la Asamblea y la Comisión Ejecutiva.
  • La Asamblea está formada por un grupo inicial de miembros (por determinar). El número de miembros de la Asamblea de Apertium no tiene ningún límite.
  • Para acceder a formar parte de la Asamblea de Apertium basta con los votos de la mitad de los miembros de la Asamblea + 1 o bien por los votos de toda la Comisión Ejecutiva.
  • Para dejar la Asamblea de Apertium basta con no responder un mensaje de correo electrónico sobre el particular durante un mes o bien expresar la voluntad de abandonar la Asamblea.
  • La Comisión Ejecutiva está formada por cinco miembros de la Asamblea designados por esta para tomar las decisiones del día a día.
  • La Comisión Ejecutiva está dirigida por un Presidente y tiene cuatro vocales más, uno de los cuales ejerce de Secretario.
  • La Comisión Ejecutiva vota todas sus decisiones. El Presidente tiene tres votos en cada sufragio, mientras que los otros miembros solamente tienen uno.
  • Se sale de la Comisión Ejecutiva por las mismas razones que de la Asamblea o bien por decisión personal del Presidente de la Comisión Ejecutiva, que nombra a otro miembro de la Comisión de entre los miembros de la Asamblea.
  • La Asamblea únicamente decide sobre asuntos planteados por la Comisión Ejecutiva.
  • La Comisión Ejecutiva tiene la obligación de someter a la Asamblea las decisiones que afecten al trabajo de la mitad o más de los miembros de la Asamblea, pudiendo consultar en otros asuntos si así lo creyese necesario.
  • Una vez consultada, las decisiones de la Asamblea son ejecutivas: se prohibe utilizar a la Asamblea con carácter consultivo.
  • Las decisiones que la Comisión Ejecutiva toma sin consultar a la Asamblea son archivadas en un diario y son presentadas a la Asamblea, que las aprueba o reprueba en bloque.
  • La consecuencia de una reprobación de una gestión por parte de la Asamblea es la salida del Presidente y la elección de una nueva Comisión Ejecutiva por parte de la Asamblea.

Mikel's comments[edit]

  • I would propose a slightly larger executive committee, with 7, or perhaps 9 members, where the chairperson has a quality vote in case of a draw

English Translation[edit]

  • The governing bodies of Apertium are the Assembly and the Executive Committee.
  • The Assembly consists of an initial group of members (to be decided). The number of members of the Assembly of Apertium has no limit.
  •  ??
  • To leave the Assembly of Apertium it shall suffice to not send an email on the matter for a month or to express the desire to leave the Assembly.
  • The Executive Committee consists of five members appointed by the Assembly to make day to day decisions.
  • The Executive Committee is directed by a President and has four other members, one of whom acts as Secretary.
  • The Executive Committee votes on all decisions. The President's vote shall count as three votes, while those of other members as only one.
  •  ??
  • The Assembly decides only on matters raised by the Executive Committee? placement of "only" makes a big difference
  • The Executive Committee is obliged to submit to the Assembly the decisions which affect the work of half or more of the members of the Assembly and may consult on other such issues if they believe it necessary.
  • Once consulted, the Assembly's decisions are executive: prohibit the use of the Assembly in an advisory capacity.
  • The decisions that the Executive Committee takes without consulting the Assembly are filed in a journal and presented to the Assembly, which approves or disapproves in block.
  • The result of a vote of no confidence by the Assembly is the removal of the president and the election of a new Executive Committee by the Assembly.

Interesting reading[edit]