Important: MacPorts PortMgr Changes

James Berry jberry at
Tue Sep 30 09:18:00 PDT 2008

As many of you know, MacPorts is loosely governed by the "PortMgr"  
team, which is currently made up of three people: Markus Weissmann,  
Juan Manual Palacios, and James Berry.

We each love MacPorts, and hope to see it continue to prosper and grow  
in the future. And we want to continue to contribute to the success of  
MacPorts as our time and professional lives allow in the future.

But we each also have other significant professional and personal  
commitments that have made it difficult for us to put what we feel is  
an appropriate amount of time, energy, and enthusiasm into MacPorts in  
recent months and years, to the extent that we feel that additional  
day-to-day leadership is needed to ensure continued success and growth  
for the MacPorts project.

So we want to propose some ideas to get new leadership blood into  
MacPorts, while retaining the systemic knowledge and continuity that  
our continued presence can allow. We therefore want to put the  
following plan forward for community comment (and hopefully,  
thereafter, implementation):

(1) That the MacPorts community elect a new slate of PortMgr  
individuals, probably three people, to continue to guide day-to-day  
MacPorts operations and direction.

(2) That the three of us move into an Elder-council ("advisory board",  
"trustees", "steering committee", etc), which will continue to help  
out and give guidance as needed, and watch over the long-term health  
of MacPorts assets such as domains and finances.

The idea for the Elder council is based on our experience in the last  
several years. We've hesitated to make changes to PortMgr because we  
didn't want to disrupt continuity, but that has meant that PortMgr has  
stagnated as year-by-year changes in our lives affected our respective  
abilities to effectively govern day to day. We (collectively) need the  
ability to make swifter more responsive changes at the PortMgr level,  
while also ensuring the longer term continuity of the community and  
the infrastructure it relies on.

We propose that PortMgr members be appointed by the community and have  
full control of all day-to-day operations of MacPorts. The Elder  
council will give advice and help to PortMgr members as requested, or  
as they see fit, but will not have the ability to replace or remove  
PortMgr members: that responsibility lies with the community. The  
Elder council might from time to time add or remove its own members:  
it's primary function is to oversee the long-term health and direction  
of the project, including long-term assets such as finances and  
domains. We also see the Elder council as a broader group from which  
PortMgr can draw for help if its members become temporarily  
preoccupied with life.

We have asked Jordan Hubbard, the father of MacPorts, to join us on  
the Elder Council, and he has given his tentative acceptance.

We'd like to ask for community comment on this plan, following which  
we hope to call for new PortMgr nominations and election in the coming  

We believe that successful nominees for the portmgr positions will  
have demonstrated an active participation in the MacPorts community,  
will have the technical and organizational skills to help lead and  
direct the project, and will have the time, energy, and experience to  
make and inspire great contributions to the project.

The PortMgr team: Markus, Juan, and James

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