Technical committees

The technical committees are responsible for managing all technical affairs of Foundation Motown. Maintaining, improving and extending the Motown software are the main responsibilities of the committees. The board delegates the corporate direction to the technical committees. The technical committees are responsible for translating the corporate direction in the technical realization of all projects. The technical committees are expected to follow corporate policies in terms of licensing, branding, infrastructure and so on, but are expected to manage their projects independently. Each technical committee reports quarterly to the board of directors. The committees can vote on new committee members and introduce candidates to the board of directors. The commissioning of a new member should always be approved by the board of directors.


Motown projects are managed by Technical Committees (TCs). TC members are both elected committers and assigned contractors to decide the release strategy for the project. TC members are expected to act as individuals, making decisions for the best interest of the project when acting on TC or development lists.

Currently, all TC members are part of one committee, the corporate technical committee, which is responsible for maintaining, improving and developing the Motown software. When the Motown organization growths the board of directors can assign additional project TC’s. Each project’s TC will be independent. TCs are free to set community and technical direction for their project, and are directly responsible for overseeing releases and the healthy development of their communities. TCs are responsible for ensuring their project follows certain core requirements set by the board or the corporate technical committee of the Motown foundation. Core requirements could encompass following Legal, Branding, and Infrastructure related requirements, along with ensuring their community operates within the basic outline of the Motown foundation.

TC members nominate and cast votes on electing new committers from the group of contributors. TC members also nominate and vote on new TC members, but a final agreement of the board is needed for someone to become a TC member. TC members also have binding votes on any project matters.


The board creates new TCs to manage specific named projects by resolution at monthly meetings. The board appoints a chair of the TC when creating the TC.

TC Chairs serve as normal TC members, with one vote on project matters just like other TC members. The primary duty of a TC chair is providing quarterly reports to the board about the health and status of their project. TC chairs are expected be aware of any board concerns about the project, and are responsible for working with the TC as a whole to address any board concerns. Changes in PMC chairs are only made by board resolution at monthly meetings.

When TCs elect new potential TC members, the chair of a project sends an APPROVAL e-mail to the board. After a 72 hour wait – and assuming that the candidate accepts the offer of membership – the TC chair may update the official roster of the members of that TC. The process is designed to ensure that all TC changes are explicitly approved by the board, and the waiting period ensures that all directors have a chance to object or comment on any improper changes.

As official committees of the Motown foundation, TCs provide the legal oversight of project operations and releases, ensuring that software releases are made on behalf of the Motown foundation as an organization, and not as individuals. This helps to ensure that any legal liability for the products of Motown projects is borne by the Motown foundation and not by our committers individually. All TC chairs provide quarterly reports to the board, which ensures that the board has oversight of all the projects of the Foundation.


Currently all communication concerning technical issues is handled in a Google Group or on Github issues. A distinction between these two communication resources is made.

The Motown Google Group is the first stop for general inquiries about Motown or specific support issues (e.g. getting help setting up Motown). It’s also a good forum for discussions on how to use Motown, what the roadmap is or which new functionality to expect.

Github issues is used for more technical, code related discussions. Bugs, newly developed features or improvements in a Motown fork, a pull request can be sent to the specific TC.

We strive to communicate as transparent as possible. Private lists should only be used for matters that require confidentiality, such as discussing personnel matters or inviting new committers or PMC members, or security-related issues that have not yet been publicly disclosed.


It is possible for TCs to sponsor regular or occasional in person meetings, teleconferences, or IRC chats to brainstorm project ideas, but are expected to bring all information back to public lists for further discussion and to make final decisions.


TC members can help to ensure a healthy and diverse project community by ensuring the project’s communication is welcoming to newcomers and that community standards are promoted.

TCs are expected to report on the health and diversity of their project’s community to the board. While there are no strict requirements on the makeup of TC members (in terms of employment or affiliation of the individuals on the TC), the board does expect PMCs to operate independently. TCs that are unable or unwilling to ensure their actions are on behalf of the whole community will be contacted by the board and required to make corrections.


The board does not provide technical direction for any of its projects or activities; every TC is free to manage its technical direction independently. TCs are the governing body for their project, and are expected to manage the project’s technology in the best interest of the whole project community.