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From "Allen Pulsifer" <>
Subject RE: Apache Incubator Proposal
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 13:53:40 GMT
> When this question comes up I've been asking the commenter to give a
reasoned estimate for how
> many volunteers will be needed.  I'm generally seeing that 20 core
developers are needed for project
> maintenance.  Some suggest more is needed for incubation, but I think this
might be a shifting parade
> of experts that we tap for specific tasks, to supplement the core project.

This is my educated estimate.  The code base is large and complex.  It is
not impossible to understand, but it takes a fair bit of time to get up to
speed on it (6 months to a year).  In order to have ongoing development, I
think you need at least 5 people working on the code.  It has been suggested
that volunteers, working on their own time, are sufficient for other
projects, so the ASF likes to see that.  IMO, that is not going to cut it
with the OpenOffice code base.  With the OpenOffice code base, you need a
minimum core of people working on the code full time who are paid to work on
the code.  That means this project cannot be ongoing with only volunteers.
If there is no one paid to work on it, development will essentially stop.
Five people is also a rough minimum.  With five, you will have slow (perhaps
even glacial) progress.  Ten would be better.  I would guess that you need
at least 20 or more people paid to work on the code full time to keep it
running like it was.

Backing up the core paid developers, I think you need at least 50 volunteers
doing QA, documentation, web site development, support, etc.  I say 50
because of course some are going to be more active than others, so that 50
would include some doing more work than others.  But the 50 would give you a
good base to work from.  Of course, it would also be possible to put the
project into "maintenance mode" with less than 50 volunteers, but if you are
going to have ongoing development, I think you need at least 50.

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