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From Brian McCallister <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Graduate Derby from the incubator
Date Sun, 03 Apr 2005 15:51:10 GMT
On Apr 3, 2005, at 11:02 AM, Rodent of Unusual Size wrote:

> At least one person from the DB PMC has voted in favour of graduation,
> which I hope means that the project understands the issues of
> assuming oversight and feels comfortable doing so.  Having more
> people from the DB PMC/project weigh in on the vote would be
> nice. :-)

DB PMC hat on:

The only thing weighing on me about graduating Derby is that all the 
committers, but one, work for the same employer. There are a number of 
other folks under consideration, but they aren't committers (yet, 

Ken makes a good point about it not being a TLP, and the DB PMC 
prodding the developer community growth. I have to agree with this 
argument, especially when I put it next to the DdlUtils project 
(commons-sql) with, er, two committers.

Derby depends on nothing else at Apache (except ant for its build), and 
is depended on by nothing else at Apache. This is *good* from a 
technical point of view, but is a weakness from a community health 
point of view.

To use DdlUtils as an example again, despite that project having only 
two (active) committers on the project, another Db project, OJB is 
dependent on the project (which is a big chunk of the reason we want to 
get it out of the commons sandbox), and has a strong motivation 
therefore to keep it going. OJB has a pretty good sized committer base, 
and has already pushed past the ~retirement of the initial project 
leader (who still pokes his head in on big design issues, but is 
otherwise pretty much inactive). So, despite DdlUtils having a small 
committer base when aiming for the same level in the ASF hierarchy 
(subproject), it has a much larger developer community strongly 
motivated to maintain it, even if they are not committers on it now.

Derby has a much larger committer base, but that committer base is 
rather homogenous by ASF standards. No other ASF projects I am aware of 
(except maybe Geronimo?) actually use Derby right now, or use it in 
such a way that swapping out to HSQLDB isn't trivial. This lack of 
dependency is good, technically, but does not build a strong community 
support system (if all the BeanUtils committers were hit by trucks, 
there is no real doubt that other Struts folks would step in 

DB PMC hat off:

I don't doubt the long-term viability of Derby. It is a great project 
which works well, and has a responsive and growing developer community. 
Even if the IBM committers were to be informed they were no longer 
allowed to contribute under terms of their employment, I am confident 
that despite the slowdown that would occur, the developer community 
would step up (the db pmc would just need to do more work in the 

I don't know "official ASF policy" on subproject acceptance (if there 
even is such a thing), so have timeboxed my voting decision so that I 
can learn more before having to chime in =)


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