The nine-member board of the Apache Software Foundation meets once a month, via conference call. In between meetings, they conduct business in the traditional Apache fashion, on a mailing list (firstname.lastname@example.org). All PMC Chairs are required to subscribe to this mailing list, and other members are welcome to subscribe if they wish.
Each PMC is expected to submit regular reports to the Board. For newly graduated PMCs, reports are monthly; after three months, the PMC switches to a quarterly cycle.
Reports are due two full days before the board meeting - the exact date of
the board meeting can be found in the board calendar (
Most PMC Chairs e-mail their reports to the board list, so that members who don't want to keep up with the whole agenda can find and read the reports they're interested in. These e-mails should include [REPORT] in the subject line, so that those who are following the agenda know that this is information they're already receiving in another format!
Reports are submitted by adding them to the agenda file in Subversion
Directors can note their pre-approval of a report in the agenda file. They can also leave a comment or question, clearly delineated, within the agenda. This allows members and other directors to prepare themselves for the discussion, or to respond directly to the comments. Members can respond to those comments on the board mailing list, or directly in the agenda file.
Each meeting begins when the Chairman recognises a quorum. The Secretary then takes a roll call before proceeding to the rest of the meeting.
If the minutes of the previous meeting are available, the first item on the agenda is to approve those minutes. Sometimes the minutes can be delayed by a meeting (we're all volunteers!), but they're almost always available for the one after that. When the minutes have been approved, they are published as part of our Public Records.
The next item covers the Executive Officer Reports. The Chairman, President, Treasurer, Secretary and Executive Vice President report to the board each month. These reports are generally provided in the agenda file, but are sometimes delivered verbally and minuted appropriately.
After that, the board reviews reports from other officers, and from the Project Management Committees. Having pre-approvals and comments in the agenda allows the board to rapidly get through a large number of reports, while facilitating vocal discussion where necessary!
Special Orders are next on the agenda. These usually deal with the lifecycle of the PMCs: establishing new Project Management Committees, the graduation of projects from the Apache Incubator and the removal of projects to the Apache Attic, the appointment of new PMC Chairs, and so on.
As with other similar meetings, the ASF board meeting finishes with time for discussion items, and a review of outstanding action items. A brief chance for announcements, and then the meeting is adjourned!
ASF members can attend any board meeting. The practical details are included in the agenda file. In general, the meetings last between an hour and ninety minutes. You are strongly recommended to join the IRC channel if you join the call, both to get a full picture of what's going on, and to make snarky comments without disrupting the meeting!