What is the exact role of a lab sponsor?


Arnaud Le Hors
 

Hi all,

In an offline discussion the lab stewards were asked what the exact responsibility of a lab sponsor is. The current documentation doesn't really say anything, it just says that a lab proposal must have a sponsor.

The question triggered a discussion among the stewards which led to various tasks being proposed including:

- Determining when/if a lab should attempt to progress to a full-blown project within Hyperledger
- Determining when/if a lab has reached the end of life and would be something that should be archived (in conjunction with the lab stewards)
- Reporting to the TSC about the status of the lab
- To believe in the project. Questioning and guiding the project so that the aims are concrete. Ensure this before the proposal hits the labs, the sponsor has to be convinced before s/he signs on.
- Help the project participants write its proposal, guiding them.
- Keep tabs on the ongoing work, helping spread the word in the wider community to encourage participation as well as look for adoption in various venues
- Generally function as a mentor.

However, I fear that putting so much responsibility on the sponsors which only a few people qualify for risks to seriously limit the number of labs we can manage, which is contrary to the whole idea.

My understanding was that the primary responsibility of the sponsor was to endorse the proposal because the idea was brought up when we were discussing ways to avoid the labs becoming a dumping ground for everything and anything people might want to propose. So, I take the sponsorship role to be primarily about making a first assessment of a proposal and backing it up by putting their name behind it.

I have no problem with sponsors doing more if they choose to of course, I just don't want that to become a requirement. So I would be happy to define the role of sponsors as something like:


The role of the sponsor is to officially endorse the proposed lab, indicating in doing so that they believe the proposal is worthy of being given a space among the hyperledger labs. Sponsors may also serve as mentors to the project but how much sponsors are involved in the lab beyond its launch is up to them.


Tracy suggested I put that up for the TSC to consider. So, here we go.
I would appreciate if this could be put on the TSC agenda along with my previous proposal to extend the list of possible sponsors to include the staff which is somewhat related and which has fallen off the radar.

Thanks
--
Arnaud  Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Web & Blockchain Open Technologies - IBM


Vipin Bharathan
 

Hello Arnaud,
The proposals I made were (taken from your list)
- To believe in the project. Questioning and guiding the project so that the aims are concrete. Ensure this before the proposal hits the labs, the sponsor has to be convinced before s/he signs on.
- Help the project participants write its proposal, guiding them.
- Keep tabs on the ongoing work, helping spread the word in the wider community to encourage participation as well as look for adoption in various venues
- Generally function as a mentor.  

All the bold items- are what I would fully support as requirements which corresponds to your proposal:

The role of the sponsor is to officially endorse the proposed lab, indicating in doing so that they believe the proposal is worthy of being given a space among the hyperledger labs. Sponsors may also serve as mentors to the project but how much sponsors are involved in the lab beyond its launch is up to them.  

As far as HL staff being able to propose new labs; I believe that it is a completely different animal.
It is inimical to the concept of Hyperledger as an open source community. This is what I heard during the discussion on the TSC.

Best,
Vipin


On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 1:10 PM Arnaud Le Hors <lehors@...> wrote:
Hi all,

In an offline discussion the lab stewards were asked what the exact responsibility of a lab sponsor is. The current documentation doesn't really say anything, it just says that a lab proposal must have a sponsor.

The question triggered a discussion among the stewards which led to various tasks being proposed including:

- Determining when/if a lab should attempt to progress to a full-blown project within Hyperledger
- Determining when/if a lab has reached the end of life and would be something that should be archived (in conjunction with the lab stewards)
- Reporting to the TSC about the status of the lab
- To believe in the project. Questioning and guiding the project so that the aims are concrete. Ensure this before the proposal hits the labs, the sponsor has to be convinced before s/he signs on.
- Help the project participants write its proposal, guiding them.
- Keep tabs on the ongoing work, helping spread the word in the wider community to encourage participation as well as look for adoption in various venues
- Generally function as a mentor.

However, I fear that putting so much responsibility on the sponsors which only a few people qualify for risks to seriously limit the number of labs we can manage, which is contrary to the whole idea.

My understanding was that the primary responsibility of the sponsor was to endorse the proposal because the idea was brought up when we were discussing ways to avoid the labs becoming a dumping ground for everything and anything people might want to propose. So, I take the sponsorship role to be primarily about making a first assessment of a proposal and backing it up by putting their name behind it.

I have no problem with sponsors doing more if they choose to of course, I just don't want that to become a requirement. So I would be happy to define the role of sponsors as something like:


The role of the sponsor is to officially endorse the proposed lab, indicating in doing so that they believe the proposal is worthy of being given a space among the hyperledger labs. Sponsors may also serve as mentors to the project but how much sponsors are involved in the lab beyond its launch is up to them.


Tracy suggested I put that up for the TSC to consider. So, here we go.
I would appreciate if this could be put on the TSC agenda along with my previous proposal to extend the list of possible sponsors to include the staff which is somewhat related and which has fallen off the radar.

Thanks
--
Arnaud  Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Web & Blockchain Open Technologies - IBM


Brian Behlendorf
 

In order to accomplish the goal of "avoid the labs becoming a dumping ground", it's important that a lab project not just sound like a good idea at inception, but that there be some ongoing accountable connection between that lab and the TSC.  We don't want the oversight overhead of a TLP.  But it should not be nil, or haphazardly done.  That list of responsibilities sounds about right.  At steady state, it will not be much burden at all on a sponsor.  The sponsor doesn't have to be a coder on it, doesn't have to be a domain expert in the problem it's trying to solve, and we should be fairly limited in our expectations of status reports.  But if things go sideways we do need someone looking out for the broader HL community and reputation to either corral it back to a happy place or raise an issue with the stewards. 

I think we should also internalize that the Labs doesn't have to be a home for /all/ code that builds on or is related to Hyperledger's other projects.  We can always create a wiki page linking to third party code sitting on github or elsewhere.

Brian

On 11/28/18 10:10 AM, Arnaud Le Hors wrote:
Hi all,

In an offline discussion the lab stewards were asked what the exact responsibility of a lab sponsor is. The current documentation doesn't really say anything, it just says that a lab proposal must have a sponsor.

The question triggered a discussion among the stewards which led to various tasks being proposed including:

- Determining when/if a lab should attempt to progress to a full-blown project within Hyperledger
- Determining when/if a lab has reached the end of life and would be something that should be archived (in conjunction with the lab stewards)
- Reporting to the TSC about the status of the lab
- To believe in the project. Questioning and guiding the project so that the aims are concrete. Ensure this before the proposal hits the labs, the sponsor has to be convinced before s/he signs on.
- Help the project participants write its proposal, guiding them.
- Keep tabs on the ongoing work, helping spread the word in the wider community to encourage participation as well as look for adoption in various venues
- Generally function as a mentor.

However, I fear that putting so much responsibility on the sponsors which only a few people qualify for risks to seriously limit the number of labs we can manage, which is contrary to the whole idea.

My understanding was that the primary responsibility of the sponsor was to endorse the proposal because the idea was brought up when we were discussing ways to avoid the labs becoming a dumping ground for everything and anything people might want to propose. So, I take the sponsorship role to be primarily about making a first assessment of a proposal and backing it up by putting their name behind it.

I have no problem with sponsors doing more if they choose to of course, I just don't want that to become a requirement. So I would be happy to define the role of sponsors as something like:


The role of the sponsor is to officially endorse the proposed lab, indicating in doing so that they believe the proposal is worthy of being given a space among the hyperledger labs. Sponsors may also serve as mentors to the project but how much sponsors are involved in the lab beyond its launch is up to them.


Tracy suggested I put that up for the TSC to consider. So, here we go.
I would appreciate if this could be put on the TSC agenda along with my previous proposal to extend the list of possible sponsors to include the staff which is somewhat related and which has fallen off the radar.

Thanks
--
Arnaud  Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Web & Blockchain Open Technologies - IBM


-- 
Brian Behlendorf
Executive Director, Hyperledger
bbehlendorf@...
Twitter: @brianbehlendorf