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From Geir Magnusson Jr. <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Graduate Derby from the incubator
Date Fri, 22 Apr 2005 14:21:16 GMT

On Apr 22, 2005, at 8:40 AM, Leo Simons wrote:

> On 22-04-2005 13:47, "Geir Magnusson Jr." <> wrote:
>> On Apr 18, 2005, at 12:59 PM, Cliff Schmidt wrote:
>>> ...
>> I'd love to see what some people think about the community - go look 
>> at
>> the lists.   That is what I looked at first, and it gave me 
>> confidence.
> Derby seems to be doing well at a casual glance. Kewl :D
>> <favorite_legal_hobby_horse_du_jour>
> Remember the rule is not just there for legal reasons. (I won't bother 
> to
> comment on the legal stuff.)

I don't think it's there for legal reasons.  But it does give 
recognition to the status of the employer of a committer, in a way that 
I think is inconsistent with how we treat the IP issues related to that 
employer.  But we digress :)

> Are you confident that Derby would continue to thrive if IBM stopped
> dedicating resources to the project?

Is that the important question?  Or is the question "Are the derby 
committers that work for IBM only doing it because IBM is telling them 
to?"   Or is the question "Could the Derby committers that work for IBM 
continue to do so after IBM stopped dedicating resources?"  (see 
"favorite_legal_hobby_horse_du_jour", and yes, we digress again...)

I assume the answers are "no" and "yes", respectively.

> Could the one non-IBM-affiliated
> committer along with a hypothetical third person keep the project 
> afloat and
> running smoothly?

The answer must be "yes", because we're willing to let the project out 
of incubation with that third person, right?  The number has been the 
stated objection.

> It doesn't sound like you think so.

I don't think I'd ever have bet-the-farm certainty on any project. I 
track what's going on in Derby, and think that there is clearly 
awareness of the issue, and there's positive efforts that indicate they 
want to solve it...  I am willing to let that process continue under DB 
project, but happy to accept the consensus that others don't, and will 
work to fix here.  No biggie. :)

> Do all the Derby committers really think that's the case right now?
> Remember that Geronimo was in incubation a lot longer than Derby has 
> been so
> far, for good reason.

Right, so wallclock shouldn't have anything to do with it.  (or if it 
does, lets state that)

> Remember that the Directory project was started in an
> entirely different fashion and its community makeup is different in 
> many
> ways. Two apache members in their active committer list at least I 
> think,
> and several more apache regulars I believe. Don't compare apples and 
> pears
> ;)

The stated issue is the # of committers, but the more important issue 
in my opinion is rate of committer increase, because as you noted, they 
need just 1 more to satisfy the letter of the law, and I think that it 
is the spirit of that law that is really the important factor.  (I 
would even argue that the incremental increase of 1 additional indep 
committer makes no material difference to the overall outcome of the 
project...)  It also has technical complexity issues that we saw (and 
see) in Geronimo.  For those reasons, that's why I think they are 

I'm not trying to change the incubation status for Derby.  I'm fine 
seeing Derby work out the committer issue here.  I'm just trying to 
discuss some of these issues - raise awareness about our somewhat 
inconsistent treatment of employers, and explore how simple hard and 
fast rules don't always capture what we're trying to achieve.  It's a 
mix of subjective and objective factors...



Geir Magnusson Jr                                  +1-203-665-6437

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