Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities that people can assume in the project are based on merit. Everybody can help no matter what their role. Those who have been long term or valuable contributors to the project obtain the right to vote and commit directly to the source repository.


Users are the people who use the products of the Project. People in this role aren't contributing code, but they are using the products, reporting bugs, making feature requests, and such. This is by far the most important category of people as, without users, there is no reason for the Project.

When a user starts to contribute code or documentation patches, they become a Contributor.


Contributors are the people who write code or documentation patches or contribute positively to the project in other ways. A volunteer's contribution is always recognized. In source code, all volunteers who contribute to a source file may add their name to the list of authors for that file.


Contributors who give frequent and valuable contributions to a subproject of the Project can have their status promoted to that of a "Committer" for that subproject. A Committer has write access to the source code repository and gains voting rights allowing them to affect the future of the subproject.

In order for a Contributor to become a Committer, another Committer can nominate that Contributor or the Contributor can ask for it.

Once a Contributor is nominated, all of the Committers for a subproject will vote. If there are at least 3 positive votes and no negative votes, the Contributor is converted into a Committer and given write access to the source code repository for that subproject.

The first stage of the process is that the result of the vote thread should be carbon copied to the pmc list by the existing committer who will be executing the required process. An email should be sent to the prospected committer offering them committership preferrable with the from header set to an email address and the reply-to header set to pmc at (so that the reply will be recorded on that list). Note that non-pmc members will need to add a additional reply-to header so that they receive a copy.

This is an example offer letter:

Dear Contributor,

The Portals project would like to offer you commit privileges.
We have been impressed with your contributions up till now, and
believe that your involvement will improve the quality of the
libraries we produce.

It is important that you realize that these commit privileges give
you access to the specific Portals project repository for which you
are involved with. They do not provide commit access to any other
Apache based project. Those projects will have to grant you commit
privileges themselves.

If you are interested in having commit privileges, please just let us
know, and we will setup an account on It would expedite
the process if you could provide your preferred account name and
possibly a public SSH key. This process could take a few days once
we get this information.

We all hope that you accept this invitation.

The Portals Project Management Committee.

Once a positive acknowledgement has been received, the new Committer should be sent an acknowledgement. This acknowledgement is a good time to ask for their preferred ASF user name. Here is an example acknowledgement letter.

Dear Committer,

Thank you for accepting our invitation.

If you have not already done so, please sure to submit the
Contributor License Agreement to the Apache Software Foundation

Once the Contributor License Agreement is submitted, please reply to me
with the your preferred ASF login name.

Please review the Newbie Committer FAQ
<> and the other materials
on the website that describe your role as a Committer.

We are honored that you have accepted our invitation and are
sincerely grateful for your assistance. We look forward to working

The Portals Project Management Committee.

Once the preferred ASF login name has been received from the new committer, an email should be sent to: root at requesting that the account be created. A carbon copy must be sent to the pmc at It is recommended that your official email address be used to send this information. Failure to follow these instructions may result in the request being delayed or ignored. The following information must be included in the email:

  • The name and email address of the new user. (ie: John Smith <>);
  • Suggested account userid. This is optional (ie: jmsith);
  • The project that the user should be given access to (ie: Portals Foo);
  • The results of the votes. In other words, the names and email addresses of the committers who approved the addition;

Here is a template:

    {real name} is a new {project name} committer. Please setup his account.
    Name: {desired apache login}
    Email: {committers email address on the ASF lists}
    Projects: {comma separated list of ASF projects to which access should be granted}

    Vote: {url to vote thread on mailing list archive}

The actual account will not be set up until the Contributor License has been received and filed. This may take a few days so please be patient.

Note 0: If a committer already has an account on the server and the committer needs commit access to additional projects, then all that needs to be done is to have the user notify with the results of the voting (as documented above) and the user will be given access. In other words, the root email address should only be used on the basis of new account creation.

Note 1: All committers will be given access to the portals site module on request. In other words, committers should be able to update the main Portals website.

Emeritus Committers

At times, Committers may go inactive for a variety of reasons. The Portals PMC has defined a specific status of Emeritus Committer to deal with these inactive committers.

The status of Emeritus Committer is defined by the following policies:

  • Any current committer in a Portals subproject can ask to become an Emeritus Committer of this subproject at any time
  • Any committer that has not participated in the sub-project in the last year (ie not committed anything in the sub-project repository and not posted anything in the mailing-lists) will automatically be converted to Emeritus Committer of this sub-project.
  • An Emeritus Committer is listed as such on the subproject website but doesn't have any privilege on the sub-project, e.g. no commit privileges, no voting rights, etc...
  • Any Emeritus Committer of a subproject can ask to become full Committer on the sub-project development list. He or she will automatically be accepted as Committer without vote.

A list of some of our current Committers and Emeritus Committers can be found in our Project Credits.

Project Management Committee (PMC)

Committers who frequently participate with valuable contributions may have their status promoted to that of a "Project Management Committee Member". This committee is the official managing body of the Portals Project and is responsible for setting overall project direction. In order to become a Member, someone on the PMC must nominate the Committer. The individual may then be approved with a 3/4 majority of the PMC.

To view the Project Management Committee bylaws, click here.

A list of our current PMC Members can be found in our Project Credits.