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From "Thomas Dudziak" <>
Subject Re: Thoughts on Umbrellas, Federations, and Communication
Date Wed, 08 Mar 2006 15:50:44 GMT
On 3/8/06, Noel J. Bergman <> wrote:

> ASF projects are supposed to be about a community managing a project.  So
> the warning signs include large disjoint communities, e.g., Jakarta, the old
> XML project (which, itself, was a Jakarta spin-off), etc.
> So, good project boundaries are considered to be administrative, rather than
> ontological.  On the other hand, there are good reasons for considering
> ontological domains.  And as we disband umbrella projects, we have been
> losing
> communication within ontological domains that cross the administative (TLP)
> boundaries.
> One of thing things that the we need to look at is how to improve
> communication across projects.  Perhaps having some ontological mailing
> lists would be part of a solution.
> What ideas and views do others have?

I was pondering about this for quite some time (in fact I was going to
prepare some notes for ApacheCon).
The main problem IMHO is that there is more than one axis to take into
account, and I believe, the administrative is the least important one.
E.g. when I was researching my Java-XML talk for the last ApacheCon, I
found three projects in Apache but only one was in XML which I would
have found logical as a user. The others were in WS and in Jakarta.
As far as I'm concerned, every project can be top-level in terms of
administration (if they want to, e.g. the Jakarta 'model' has some
merits when a project is too small). But of course, I'm ignoring other
factors here such as legal and organisational ones (e.g. the role of
A bigger problem is that they are top-level in terms of visibility to
the outside world. There is no coherent, as you say, ontological
presentation. Some TLPs go along these lines to some degree (e.g.
logging, XML, DB), but most do not. What we probably need is
communities, ontological coherent groups of projects, that even may
overlap. E.g. there is clearly overlap between, say, Geronimo and
Tomcat, or between Geronimo and DB, mostly stemming from the very
nature of EJB.


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