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From Niall Pemberton <>
Subject Re: Diversity as an insurance policy (Was: [VOTE] Graduation of Apache Pivot)
Date Wed, 05 Aug 2009 21:44:43 GMT
On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 2:39 AM, Ralph Goers<> wrote:
> On Aug 4, 2009, at 2:10 AM, Jukka Zitting wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Bertrand
>> Delacretaz<> wrote:
>>> In such a case, the key point is, do the people who write the code
>>> listen to the community?
>> That's certainly good, but IMHO not really the key point as it doesn't
>> address the case when those people lose interest. A community that
>> actually writes the code is much stronger than one that just helps key
>> committers do that job.
>> The River and PDFBox podlings that I'm currently mentoring are good
>> examples of projects where community input was valued and taken into
>> account by the key committers, but when they no longer had
>> time/interest the projects essentially stopped as there was nobody to
>> continue the work. PDFBox seems to have overcome that problem now and
>> River is showing some positive signs, but both cases have required
>> (and still require) quite a bit of mentoring to get them going again.
>> Besides all the other good things diversity brings it's also an
>> insurance policy for the project, and that's what I think the
>> Incubator should be looking for as a graduation criteria.
> You are trying to predict the future. Good luck with that.
> The rules are there because we have a belief that meeting them will give the
> project the best chance to succeed. I would argue that if this is your
> measure you should take a look at Logback and SLF4J. The number of people
> who have commit rights is very small (essentially 1 in the case of Logback).
> But Ceki is a recognized expert in the field and is passionate about
> logging. The odds of his abandoning the project are about equal to that of
> him getting hit by a truck.

OK we have a similar example here at the ASF - when Craig McC. left
Apache Shale it slowly died - and AFAIK become the first project to
join the Attic. So Ceki decides to become a Yak farmer in patagonia
and maybe the same thing happens to SLF4J. I'm in two minds about
Pivot's graduation - but I do believe that for its long term health it
needs to get more people actively working on the code.


> But there are severl active participants in the
> projects (myself included) and many more who stop by and ask questions.
> Using these projects as an example is perhaps not the best from a community
> perspective because Ceki has no intention of running them like Apache
> projects. But even if he did, by these standards the projects might never
> make it out of the incubator. Even if those of us who would like them had
> commit rights I can guarantee that 95% of the commits would still be Ceki's.
> From my perspective we should be evaluating projects based on whether they
> are building a healthy Apache community where we have sufficient belief that
> the project will be able to sustain itself without further mentoring. IMO,
> trying to factor in "what ifs" about what will happen if certain committers
> leave, unless they have shown signs that that is likely, is not a very good
> indicator of success. Over the course of time a project is in the incubator
> I would expect that mentors to have a good sense of what the level of
> commitment is and would use that as part of their recommendation for
> graduation.
> Ralph

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