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From <>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Catacomb
Date Fri, 19 Sep 2008 08:55:39 GMT
 This is a proposal to enter the incubator.

See for the most
up-to-date version.

As Champion we have Gianugo Rabellino <gianugo at> from the

We look forward to comments and discussion.


= Catacomb Proposal =

== Abstract ==
Catacomb is a WebDAV repository module for use with the Apache WebDAV
module, mod_dav.

== Proposal ==
Apache mod_dav parses WebDAV and DeltaV protocol requests into
operations on a repository providing persistent storage of resources and
their properties. The default repository for mod_dav is provided by a
separate module, mod_dav_fs, which stores resource bodies as files in
the filesystem, and stores properties in a (G)DBM database.

Catacomb provides a replacement for mod_dav_fs called mod_dav_repos that
stores resources and their properties in a relational database using
mod_dbd from the apache project for database abstraction. The primary
advantage of this approach is the searching capabilities of the database
are used to implement the DASL protocol. Additionally, the database
allows straightforward implementation of the versioning capabilities of
the DeltaV protocol.

By shifting to relational database technology, Catacomb is a platform
that contains important aspects of typical document management systems:
the ability to store large numbers of documents, and search over their
metadata. Furthermore, it is possible (via source code modification) to
change the set of predefined properties stored in the main schema of the
relational database. Properties in the main schema are faster to search.

== Background ==
Catacomb was initially developed at the University of California, Santa
Cruz (UCSC) in 2002 headed by Prof. E. James Whitehead. Catacomb was
designed as a reference implementations for WebDAV search and locating
DASL. Also, main pieces of the WebDAV-DeltaV protocol (RFC 3253) support
originated from this time.

Since 2006 major parts of the development come from the german aerospace
center (DLR) and Catacomb gained support for the access control protocol
(RFC 3744) and database abstraction with apache mod_dbd.

== Rationale ==

The maintainers and developers of Catacomb are interested in joining the
Apache Software Foundation for several reasons:

 * Apache has a widely recognized name, which will help Catacomb get an
increased visibility and acceptance.
 * It might open the door for sharing ideas or cooperation with other
projects, such as mod_dav or Jackrabbit.
 * Catacomb would like to benefit from Apache's infrastructure.

== Initial Goals ==
Though the bulk of catacombs initial development is complete and the
server is running stable, there are still some large areas for future
development. Some areas we hope to focus on in Apache:

 * Finish of the Access Control Protocol extension
 * Building up an automated testing environment
 * Implementation of WebDAV transaction methods 

== Current Status ==

=== Meritocracy ===
The initial development was done at UCSC and released as Open Source
software under the Apache Software License. Since release, many
developers have adopted the server and submitted significant patches.
Later, the DLR take care of the most modifications and changed the
license in agreement with all developers to ASL2. Large portions of the
codebase are now managed by those most familiar with and responsible for
them. Any potentially controversial change is discussed on the public
mailing list
( and good
suggestions are frequently implemented.

=== Community ===
Catacomb is used in many organizations which are interested in the
advancement of the catacomb development. Many of these have at least one
developer that joined the catacomb mailing list and so the mailing list
is the most important communication platform. The catacomb community
encourages suggestions and contributions from any potential user and

=== Core Developers ===
The initial core developers will come from UCSC. Many of these
developers are still interested in the advancement of the project.
Furthermore there are a lot more commiters from other companies which
supports catacomb for years now. There is at least one Apache Member
together with one other Apache committer.

=== Alignment ===
Catacomb is a module for Apaches Webserver. This is why Apache httpd is
the most important dependency for catacomb. And catacomb is also a
particularly good fit for Apache due to integration potential with other
projects, specifically mod_dav and Jackrabbit.

== Known Risks ==

=== Orphaned products ===
Despite to its small number of committers, there is no risk of being
orphaned. The project now exists for several years and there is a
constant core-community which have a long-term interest in use and
maintenance of the code. 

=== Inexperience with Open Source ===
Catacomb was started as an open source project in 2002. Many of the
committers have experience working on open source projects and there are
also at least one developer which has experience as committer on other
Apache projects. 

=== Homogenous Developers ===
As mentiont above, the current list of committers includes developers
from at least two different companies plus many independent volunteers. 

=== Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
At this time, many of the code comes from different companies like the
DLR. Because the DLR is a research facility, many of the work is done by
students working on their diploma thesis. 

=== Relationships with Other Apache Products ===
At this time, the only dependency to other apache projects is apaches
http server. Another project which implements advanced parts of the
WebDAV protocol is Slide/Jackrabbit. But this two project have different
objectives and a different target audience so that there is no direct
competition between these project. In contrast to that, the developers
could learn much from each other when implementing advanced protocol

=== A Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===
The catacomb project exist quite successful on their own and could
continue on that path with no problems at all. We expect the Apache
brand could help to increase the visibility of the project and so maybe
more developers could be interested in the project.

== Documentation ==
 * The existing project page could be found here:
 * The Catacomb Architecture:
 * The Catacomb mailing list with archive:
 * The Old mailing list archive:

== Initial Source ==
The initial source was hosted at Since 2006 the project is
hosted at tigris. The svn repository could be found here:

== Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan ==
The complete catacomb code is under apache software license 2. The
complete codebase that is hosted at Tigris will be contributed.

== External Dependencies ==
At this time, there are no external dependencies. 

== Cryptography ==

== Required Resources ==

=== Mailing Lists ===
 * catacomb-dev
 * catacomb-users
 * catacomb-commits

=== Subversion Directory ===
 * per usual ASF guidelines 

=== Issue Tracking ===
 * Bugzilla (??)

== Initial Committers ==
 * Jim Whitehead <ejw at> UCSC
 * Sung Kim <hunkim at> UCSC
 * Pan Kai <pankai at> UCSC
 * Markus Litz <markus.litz at> DLR
 * Steven Mohr <steven.mohr at> DLR
 * Tim Olsen <tolsen718 at> !LimeWire
 * Elias Sinderson <elias at>  UCSC
 * Chris Knight <Christopher.D.Knight at> NASA
 * Gianugo Rabellino <gianugo at> Apache
 * Ricardo Rocha <ricardo at> Apache

== Sponsors ==

=== Champion ===
 * Gianugo Rabellino <gianugo at> Apache

=== Nominated Mentors ===
 * Gianugo Rabellino <gianugo at> Apache
 * Markus Litz <markus.litz at> DLR

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