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From Hadrian Zbarcea <>
Subject Re: [Proposal] TinkerPop: A Graph Computing Framework
Date Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:26:43 GMT

Hi Marko,

Thanks for your proposal. I followed and used tinkerpop for a long time 
and it is indeed a brilliant open source project. I think I understand 
the motivation to move the project governance to the ASF and it makes 
sense. I volunteer to be a mentor, should the project be accepted (which 
I am confident of, knowing the merits of your project). You'll need at 
least 3 mentors and a champion as well (do you have any ASF member in 
mind for that role?). The proposal needs a tiny bit of work as well.

Good luck,

On 12/17/2014 02:09 PM, Marko Rodriguez wrote:
> Hello,
> My name is Marko A. Rodriguez and am a co-founder of TinkerPop 
> ( There has been positive pressure on us (both 
> internally and externally) to move TinkerPop to The Apache Foundation. 
> This email contains our proposal and I, on behalf of TinkerPop, thank 
> you for spending your time reading it.
> Take care,
> Marko.
> ------------------------------------
> *A. Abstract*
> TinkerPop is a graph computing framework written in Java -- 
> <>. TinkerPop started in 
> 2009 and is currently in the milestone series of 3.0.0.  Graph system 
> vendors such as in-memory graph libraries, OLTP graph databases, and 
> OLAP graph processors can provide a TinkerPop implementation 
> ( Once the 
> core TinkerPop interfaces are implemented, the underlying graph system 
> can be queried using the graph traversal language Gremlin. TinkerPop 
> was designed to be used at any scale and as such, can be leveraged by 
> both single-server and multi-machine compute clusters. For many, 
> TinkerPop is seen as the JDBC of the graph computing community 
> (
> *B. Proposal*
> Since its inception in 2009, TinkerPop has been open source, free to 
> use. Initially the license was BSD, but as of TinkerPop3, the license 
> is Apache2. The TinkerPop team is composed of developers as well as 
> representatives from numerous graph system vendors 
> ( TinkerPop 
> has done its best to remain vendor agnostic and works closely with 
> vendors to ensure that the constructs within TinkerPop are able to 
> accommodate the requirements of the underlying graph system. To date, 
> over 12 graph system vendors provide TinkerPop implementations. We 
> believe that by joining The Apache Foundation, our vendors, users, and 
> contributors will feel more comfortable in terms of legal protected, 
> in terms of wider-adoption, and in terms of project stability.
> *C. Background*
> TinkerPop was founded in 2009 and has had steady, active development 
> since. Over the years, the Gremlin query language within TinkerPop has 
> been adopted by various JVM languages and as such, there exists 
> Gremlin-Groovy, Gremlin-Scala, Gremlin-Clojure, Gremlin-JavaScript, 
> and the like. In many ways, Gremlin is seen as a traversal language 
> style that can be readily adopted by developers --- on and off the 
> JVM. TinkerPop is not bound to the JVM in that developers wishing to 
> interact with a TinkerPop-enabled graph system can leverage Gremlin 
> Server which provides "over the wire" communication as well as the 
> entry point for non-JVM language bindings. TinkerPop is being used is 
> production graph-based applications around the world and is only 
> getting better with age.
> *D. Rationale*
> The graph computing space has grown over the years to encompass 
> numerous graph database and graph processing systems. TinkerPop was 
> created as a unifying framework for interoperability, language 
> standardization, and data model standardization.  This framework makes 
> it simple to "plug and play" the back-end graph implementation without 
> affecting the developer's code. This is analogous to the way in which 
> JDBC allows users to swap relational databases while keeping the same 
> programming interface. TinkerPop also brings together OLTP systems 
> (graph databases) and OLAP systems (graph processors) by providing a 
> single query language, Gremlin, for executing graph algorithms 
> transparently over either type of system.  Finally, TinkerPop unifies 
> single-machine systems and distributed systems, presenting an 
> identical user experience within the boundaries of the computational 
> space and time constraints of the underlying graph system.
> *E. Initial Goals*
> The goal of this proposal is to migrate TinkerPop to The Apache 
> Foundation to 1.) get more exposure to the project and 2.) legally 
> protect the developers and contributors of TinkerPop.
> *F. Current Status*
> TinkerPop is planning to release TinkerPop 3.0.0.GA early 2015 -- 
> January or February. We would like to release TinkerPop 3.0.0.GA under 
> The Apache Foundation.
> *G. Meritocracy*
> Anyone is welcome to join TinkerPop as a contributor. If an individual 
> provides successful code updates, documentation updates, etc. then 
> they are asked to join TinkerPop contributors. Once inside TinkerPop, 
> they are able to voice their opinions/thoughts on the direction of the 
> project. Moreover, TinkerPop actively seeks vendors who leverage 
> TinkerPop in their offering to place a representative on TinkerPop 
> contributors who can speak on behalf of their organization as it 
> relates to the requirements of their graph system. Every year or so, 
> we list inactive members and request their permission to purge them 
> from TinkerPop contributors. In this way, we try and keep the 
> TinkerPop contributors to the most active, participating members.
> *H. Community*
> There are 25 TinkerPop contributors which, of those, 12 are 
> representatives from the various graph system vendors in the market 
> today. The TinkerPop mailing list has over 1500+ subscribers with a 
> flow of approximately 10 emails a day
> (!forum/gremlin-users 
> <>).
> *I. Core developers*
> The primary developers are Marko A. Rodriguez 
> ( <>) and Stephen 
> Mallette ( Over the years, numerous 
> individuals have come and gone from TinkerPop. Other significant 
> contributors include Peter Neubauer, Joshua Shinavier, James Thornton, 
> Matthias Bröcheler, Daniel Kuppitz, Bryn Cooke, and others. Note that 
> there are numerous individuals that participate in the TinkerPop 
> ecosystem by providing language bindings and system implementations. 
> While not contributing to the core codebase per se, they support 
> TinkerPop via their software and lecture outreach.
> *J. Alignment *
> TinkerPop is licensed Apache2. The OLAP reference implementation that 
> distributes with TinkerPop is based on Hadoop 
> ( <>) and Giraph 
> ( <>). There has been 
> a push from vendors and commercial organizations interested in 
> ensuring TinkerPop has the legal support of a software foundation. We 
> believe The Apache Foundation to be a great home for TinkerPop.
> *K. Known Risks & Abandoned projects*
> TinkerPop is currently at TinkerPop 3.0.0.M6. By joining The Apache 
> Foundation, there is a significant amount of code and time that has 
> passed since TinkerPop's inception. However, we have done our best to 
> secure CLAs from contributors and have never gotten into a legal or 
> political issue.
> *L. Inexperience with Open Source*
> The primary developers of TinkerPop have been providing TinkerPop 
> source and releases open source and in full public view since 2009 via 
> both our GitHub repository and our public mailing lists. We pride 
> ourselves in professional software, documentation, and aesthetics. 
> With its integration to numerous graph systems in the market, 
> TinkerPop is truly a masterpiece in a open source technology --- 
> working with both open source and commercial entities to ensure a 
> solid, respected project.
> *M. Homogeneous Developers*
> The contributors to TinkerPop run the full gamut of software 
> engineering expertise. From low-level data serialization to high-level 
> server interactions, TinkerPop has contributors able to work at the 
> requisite level. The codebase is complex as it deals with numerous 
> area of software engineering including: distributed computing, open 
> standards, language bindings, query language compilers, OLTP 
> databases, OLAP processors, etc. Over the years, we have gathered a 
> significant level of talent and as a whole, have all grown as engineers.
> *N. Reliance on Salaried Developers*
> TinkerPop is open source and no individual is paid for their 
> contributions except for our logo designer. All the logos and 
> documentation graphics are released Apache2.
> *O. Relationships with Other Apache Projects*
> TinkerPop currently leverages Hadoop, Giraph, and in the near future, 
> will integrate with Spark. Internally, the project leverages Maven3, 
> Apache Configuration, and Apache Commons.
> *P. An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand*
> TinkerPop is primarily interested in The Apache Foundation for the 
> legal support and protection it can offer our developers and users. 
> Numerous large software organizations have urged TinkerPop to join a 
> foundation so that they may more easily provide contributors from 
> their organization and moreover, maintain confidence in building 
> products atop TinkerPop. With that said, TinkerPop does respect The 
> Apache Foundation brand and believes that by joining The Apache 
> Foundation, we will further boost the recognition and prestige of our 
> product. Finally, note that a TinkerPop book is slated for 2015 
> ( Combining The Apache Foundation and a 
> long awaited book should ensure a new uptake of contributors, users, 
> and promoters.
> *Q. Documentation*
> TinkerPop takes pride in its documentation:
> AsciiDoc:
> JavaDoc (core):
> JavaDoc (full):
> *R. Initial Source*
> TinkerPop is currently hosted on GitHub.
> *S. Source & Intellectual Property Submission Plan*
> There are no known claims to violations of intellectual property.
> *T. External Dependencies *
> TinkerPop relies on open source and commercial vendors. We maintain 
> representatives from the various graph system projects on TinkerPop 
> contributors. These vendors, in turn, provide TinkerPop adaptors to 
> their technology and in fact, some of them provide TinkerPop as the 
> sole interface to their system.
> *U. Cryptography*
> None.
> *V. Required Resources*
> The only resource we see moving forward and if Apache wishes, is to 
> fund our logo designer when we need a logo. We currently spend about 
> $500 a year on logos. Please look through our documentation to see how 
> much we love giving character to our work. If this is not something 
> that Apache can do, then we will continue funding the creation of our 
> artwork as we have done in the past.
> *W. Mailing Lists*
> We currently have 2 mailing lists:
> Gremlin-Users (public user forum): 
> <>
> TinkerPop-Contributors (private contributors forum): <private>
> *X. Subversion Directory*
> TinkerPop uses GitHub for its source control.
> *Y. Git Repository*
> TinkerPop's GitHub account is:
> *Z. Issue Tracking*
> TinkerPop uses GitHub's issue tracker for tracking issues: 
> *AA. Initial Committers*
> TinkerPop's contributors are listed here and all those that provide 
> source code commits have signed a CLA.
> *BB. Affiliations *
> None.
> *CC. Sponsors*
> IBM (Kelvin Lawrence and Todd Moore) were the primary proponents of 
> pushing TinkerPop to join The Apache Foundation. The vendors that 
> support TinkerPop are listed here: 

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