OK, and I also wanted to mention something about the Apache Town Hall meeting. When I decided to go to it, it was really out of a sense of obligation. You see, I've been to a number of things that were called "Perl Town Hall Meeting" and they were, without exception, a chance for uninformed people to complain about things that they did not understand well enough to look up, let alone express opinions on. You'd get perhaps one useful remark in 10, if you were lucky, and the other 9 were people demanding strong typing in Perl, saying that Perl should support some kind of OO syntax, asking for some kind of respository of Perl modules ... that sort of thing.
So I was less then enthused by this event from the start.
Wow. Was I wrong.
Almost all of the people in attendance were Apache committers. Almost all of the current ASF members were there. And comments were all relevant, educated, eloquent, and informed. We talked about the structure of the ASF, the growing pains of an 8-member group becoming a several-hundred member foundation with thousands of participants. We talked mostly about why someone would want to become a member in the first place, what the benefits and responsibilities are, and how we have failed to adequately educate the committers about the benefits of membership, leading to a real disconnect between members and those that are not (yet) members, a feeling that there's a deal of elitism, and other harsh feelings.
The conversation was of such high quality, it was darned hard to believe that it was really going on under such a frequently-misused name.
Also important to note was that people were remarkably civil. Even when expressing rather unpleasant things, even personal remarks about individuals, when they had to be made, were kept civil and uninflamatory. It would be nice if people could carry this same attitude back to the mailing list.