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Subject Re: Apache Incubator Proposal
Date Wed, 01 Jun 2011 18:24:07 GMT
Ross Gardler <> wrote on 06/01/2011 12:21:23 PM:

> There are only two initial committers identified in the proposal. Why 
> only two for such a large codebase?

We could have put a much longer list of IBM names on this list, developers 
familiar with the code base via their work on Lotus Symphony (which is our 
OpenOffice based project).  But then we could have been criticized for the 
proposal being too dominated by IBM.  It is clearly our intent to grow 
this project, both from our corporate developers, but also by recruiting 
new members to the project, including developers from related open source 
projects (see my previous note) 

>From a practical perspective it would have been impossible to do all of 
that recruitment without this proposal becoming public prematurely. So the 
majority of the recruitment will occur during incubation.  We obviously 
don't graduate from incubation with only two.  But it should be enough to 
get the ball rolling. 

> It's going to be very hard for two committers to manage and maintain 
> this code.


> The proposal states "Both Oracle and ASF agree that the 
> development community, previously fragmented, would re-unite under ASF 
> to ensure a stable and long term future for" What 
> evidence is there to support this bold statement? And who are the "ASF" 
> that made this statement?
> "The initial developers are very familiar with open source development, 
> both at Apache and elsewhere. " I don't see any obvious engagement of 
> either of the initial committers with existing ASF projects and the 
> proposal does not provide any evidence for the claimed familiarity. 
> Existing experience is, of course, not required for entry into the 
> incubator. I'm just wondering if I've missed something?

I am "robweir", committer (inactive) for Apache Xalan.

> There is a statement that "Oracle will assist in the transition and 
> migration from", I am probably reading too much into it, 

> but why is there not a statement that Oracle intend to continue 
> development once the transition is complete?

Companies don't write code.  People do.  The intent is to get the best 
developers we can to continue working on this project, regardless of the 
former or current affiliations. 

Oracle owns the copyright to the code and is is the one legally permitted 
to contribute it under Apache 2.0 license.  This is because they required 
copyright assignment to Sun/Oracle as part of their CLA for OpenOffice. So 
they aggregated and owned all copyrights.  But that does not mean that 
they were the sole developers on  And they are not the sole 
contributors on this proposal.

To graduate from incubation we would need to demonstrate diversity, which 
is defined in part as "not highly dependent on any single contributor". So 
I think we need to look at the composition of the project community as 
whole and not base a decision on the presence or absence of any single 

> I hope my questions don't push you onto the defensive, that's not my 
> intention. This is going to be a hard project to bring into the 
> incubator given the recent history of

Certainly graduating a project from incubation of this magnitude will 
require much work.  We would not have made this proposal if we were not 

> As you will no doubt know, the incubator is not a place for code dumps 
> and I expect that recent events will make plenty of people worry that 
> this is, in fact, a code dump. By answering these questions I hope you 
> can start to address these concerns for the Incubator PMC.

Is there any feasible way that I can prove, in advance, that a project 
will be successful?  Is there any concrete step I can take now to prevent 
people from worrying?  A little skepticism is warranted.  But my 
understanding is that this is why we have the Incubator, for projects to 
prove themselves.



> Ross
> On 01/06/2011 16:41, Luke Kowalski wrote:
> > The following project is being sent in as an incubator candidate.
> >
> > regards
> > luke
> >
> >
> >
> >
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