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From Leo Simons <>
Subject Non-final materials in final ASF materials (was: Re: ActiveMQ and ServiceMix reports)
Date Fri, 17 Mar 2006 17:02:02 GMT
On Thu, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:10:50PM +0000, James Strachan wrote:
> On 3/16/06, Davanum Srinivas <> wrote:
> So we could include the incubating ActiveMQ code inside an actual production
> Geronimo release - provided the ActiveMQ jars keep (their current name) of
> incubator-activemq.jar? If so thats great, we can start integrating the
> Apache ActiveMQ code into Geronimo ASAP - yay!

I don't think the incubator is supposed to be telling the geronimo PMC what it
can and cannot put into its releases. I think the incubator is supposed to be
talking about the releases of incubating projects (like indeed, ActiveMQ) only.

Now, without my incubator PMC hat on (but as a user of and contributor to ASF
software and part of its community) I think it totally sucks ass if production
releases contain non-production stuff, unless it is *very* clear which parts
are non-production stuff, they are not "enabled" or "run" by default, and all
the appropriate warning signs (*use this at your own risk*) are added (Re:
experimental modules in HTTPD, or experimental modules in the linux kernel).

Your quote above (for people reading along: this is probably out of context at
least a little, go read the entire thread) scares me a whole lot since it seems
to mean you don't necessarily think the same way.

If I had an infrastructure hat on (currently mostly inactive there) I would
have absolutely no problem pulling a release from ASF hardware if, when opening
it up, I saw such a common sense rule not being followed. I know I've been
tempted to do that several times (most of the big ASF projects I know mess
this up, in particular when maven was brand-new projects would ship software
that had SNAPSHOT know, shit happens), but I don't think I
ever did.

In the case of incubating projects, it may sometimes also be the case that IP
vetting is not (properly) done yet, and that is stuff you really shouldn't ship
at all (I don't know about ActiveMQ, I suspect it is all fine IP-rights-wise
since it has been open source for so long). But validating the IP is all in
order for a release is not something the incubator PMC is responsible for when
it comes to software not under its review, that is something the PMC publishing
the release is responsible for.

> One more question then... ActiveMQ 4.0 is long overdue - I get asked when
> its gonna be released everyday by someone somewhere :). We were originally
> hoping to release it last year when most of the development was done but
> then the incubation process started and we've been treading water a little
> waiting until we thought we could actually ship some release candidates then
> the full 4.0 GA. (Which is why there's not been as much developer discussion
> as last year; we've mostly been in bug fix mode for months waiting until we
> can release 4.0).
> Up to now I'd thought we could only do a 4.0 release after leaving the
> incubator. I remember last time I looked the incubator policy talked in
> terms that podlings could only do "milestone" releases. Though I just reread
> the policy document
> and it doesn't seem to even mention that world any more.  So I guess that
> means we could go ahead and start trying to do the 4.0-RC-* releases and try
> get the full 4.0 release out - provided the Incubator PMC approves the
> release and we release the code as "incubator-activemq" with all the
> necessary disclaimers to avoid any confusion & to ensure users are aware the
> code is still in the incubator.
> Is this correct or have I got the wrong end of the stick again? :)

The real answer to that is not about the policy, its about why it is there and
what it tries to accomplish.

I don't know the policy details, but as a general rule, we (as in the incubator,
the geronimo PMC, the apache community, all the other communities, the ASF as
a legal institute) should be actively discouraging users (eg the people that
ask you about those releases and don't know what "incubation" means nor how to
get stuff from our SVN) from /using/ software that is in the incubator.

The policy is (supposed to be) a codification of that general rule. Using keywords
such as "alpha", "beta", "milestone", "release candidate" and the like is another
way that we tend to use to accomplish the same thing -- get people to test drive
our stuff but only deploy in production at their own risk.

At least IMNSHO.

Without knowing much about it, I suspect that in the ActiveMQ case, there should
be a bunch of release candidates ASAP (from the incubator following those
processes) and then the "final" release should not be released from the incubator,
since otherwise you don't reach the goal of not having end users using incubated
stuff in production.


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