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From Ceki Gülcü <>
Subject What is a healthy community? WAS: log4net 1.2.9 beta release
Date Sat, 12 Mar 2005 16:20:49 GMT

In order to avoid prejudicing log4net, I would appreciate if we could 
distinguish between the log4net case and the *general* question of what is 
a healthy community.

It seems to me that no one dares challenge the mythical 3 committer 
requirement because of the fear of retribution. The thinking goes likes 
this. If I challenge the 3 committer rule, then my project would look like 
it does not have a healthy community, so its better to swallow the pill and 
pretend the 3 committer requirement fits the bill on every occasion. In a 
nutshell, if the first one to step forward gets whacked, no one will dare 
to step forward. The rule will never get challenged. Time will buttress it 
as tradition, with chances of successfully changing it diminishing over time.

Please note that I am not claiming that the 3 committer requirement is 
entirely without justification. Obviously, the ASF does not want to end up 
holding the bag for zombie projects. The existence of 3 active committers 
appears like a simple and measurable way of ensuring longevity. But is it 
really that simple? How do you define an active committer? Is 
it  frequently exercising voting rights? Participating in discussion 
groups? Coding?

My impression is that the 3 committer rule has not avoided several Apache 
projects from becoming zombies. Instead of only admitting failure-proof 
projects, we should perhaps take a chance with small yet innovative 
projects. At the end, doesn't death await most software projects?

Just my 2 unsolicited cents.

At 04:22 PM 3/12/2005, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
> > Knowing log4X does not necessarily mean knowledge of log4Y, especially to
> > the extent of taking over a project if and when the need arises.
> > Would you care to clarify what you mean exactly by the term "taking
> > responsibility"?
>The ASF does not exist to sponsor projects with a lifespan measured by the
>participation of a project founder.  ASF projects are expected to be managed
>by healthy communities of a critical mass in order to ensure the long-term
>continuation of the project.  That is the responsibility of the PMC, and of
>the Incubator PMC when deciding whether or not a project is ready to
> > Many smaller "component" projects do not require several active
> > One core developer is all that is required to get the project going.
>Getting going is not the same as leaving the Incubator.  And what happens
>when that person leaves?  The ASF is not SourceForge.
> > Such projects' needs can be attended to by a loose community of
> > semi-active committers.
>Having a loose community of semi-active committers on a mature project is
>not the same as not having a community.  Do you have such a community for
>each of the log4X packages?  One to "[take] over a project if and when the
>need arises"?
>         --- Noel

Ceki Gülcü

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