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From "John D. Ament" <>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Pony Mail
Date Fri, 20 May 2016 02:26:01 GMT

I'm a bit curious, what does the proposed plan to gain by going through
incubation, instead of becoming a TLP directly?

Is it the community diversity aspects, to bring in non-infra team members
on to the code base?


On Thu, May 19, 2016 at 2:55 PM Daniel Gruno <> wrote:

> Hi again folks,
> I would formally like to open up a discussion on the following proposal
> for the Apache Incubator:
> Pretty version can be found at:
> text-only version follows:
> ################################
> Abstract
> Pony Mail is a mail-archiving, archive viewing, and interaction service,
> that can be integrated with many email platforms.
> Proposal
> Background
> Pony Mail began as a response to two things; the lack of diversity in
> mailing list archives that are less bureaucratic all-or-nothing and more
> fluid way to interact with mailing lists than what is typically offered,
> and the lack of a performant system that solves this issue. Modern users
> of software want to jump right into a discussion they see, but cannot
> normally do so in a mailing list driven environment because of the rules
> generally surrounding said environment. Pony Mail, along with a select
> handful of newer archive systems, provides an interface that allows
> people to just hop into a thread, and take part. Without the need to
> subscribe, download the mbox archive, load it into your MTA, and
> respond.
> As Rich writes in a very short essay:
> You see a thread in which someone is WRONG ON THE INTERNET! You need to
> correct them. How do you do this today? You kinda don't. If you really
> wanted, you could download mbox files (and who the hell knows where they
> are?) and then try to get them into your mail client (which never works)
> and then reply to it. Which will break threading, because you did
> something wrong. Then you tear out your hair. PONY MAIL TO THE RESCUE!!!
> (sound of hoof beats)
> Rationale
> One of the oft-heard complaints about Apache's development model is that
> mailing lists are an old person's tool, and web-based communication -
> forums - are the way to go in the 21st Century. Providing a
> full-featured forum-like interface to mailing lists is one goal,while
> keeping all of the enormous benefits that mailing lists already provide.
> Asecond goal is to provide the ability to "jump in" to a mailing list
> conversation - even one that was a while back, without the convolutions
> that a mailing list requires. That is, to join this conversation the old
> way, one would have had to subscribe to the mailing list, download an
> mbox, and import it into ones mail client, in order that I be able to
> reply to this message with correct threading. With Pony Mail, one has to
> do none of those things, but can simply reply using the Web UI. To us,
> this is a HUGE benefit for building community. The requirement to jump
> through hoops to join a mailing list conversation drives away a lot of
> people (at least, anecdotally, it does) and if we can remove that
> barrier I think we'll have an easier time of drawing a new generation
> into our projects.
> Initial Goals
> The initial goals of transitioning to the ASF is to expand and grow both
> the Pony codebase and community, and ensure the project's continued
> growth and stability through forming a diverse and reliable community,
> in which the various facets of developers and contributors help keep the
> project up to date with latest developments and technical as well as
> social needs.
> Current Status
>     Meritocracy:
> The bulk of the code has been written by Daniel Gruno to date, but has
> had oversight from other committers, and mentors.
>     All members of the Pony project and wider community have a deep
>     understanding and appreciation for the ASF meritocracy ideals, and
>     are almost solely current ASF Members.
>     Community:
>         The community is currently heavily focused within the ASF, and
>         more specifically the Infrastructure group. This is to be
>         expected given the nature of how the code came into existence in
>         the first place. It should be noted that we have started
>         reaching out to other groups who we know are using mailing list
>         systems and therefore also rely on mailing list archive
>         interfaces.
>     Core Developers:
>         Almost all core developers are ASF members, and are already
>         intimately familiar with the Apache Way.
>     Alignment:
>         Pony will be very in line with ASF practices and processes as
>         many of the founding members are long term ASF members and
>         committers.
> Known Risks
>     Orphaned products:
>         We are not aware of any issues with orphaned products related to
>         this project. Pony Mail relies on a set of CSS3 templates as
>         well as some very stable programming languages. We have no
>         reason to believe these would be orphaned or, should they become
>         orphaned, that it would impact the development of the project.
>     Inexperience with Open Source:
>         Most of the current committers are already ASF members and
>         committers, we do not believe there to be any concerns around
>         OSS inexperience.
>     Homogenous Developers:
>         While the current mix of people involved in the project spans
>         several continents with a wide variety of skills and experience,
>         a long standing relation with the ASF applies to all committers
>         (even the non-ASF people in this proposal are intimately
>         familiar with the ASF), and we believe there to be a very
>         homogeneous culture in terms of development, IP and release
>         processes.
>     Reliance on Salaried Developers:
>         While two of the committers in this project are salaried
>         developers with regards to Pony, the project was founded outside
>         of corporate interests, and is primarily driven by people either
>         working for or with ties to non-profit organisations. We see no
>         issues regarding possible strong-arming or otherwise skewing
>         project focus, nor do we believe that absence of salaries would
>         deter people from committing to this project.
>     Relationships with Other Apache Products:
>         Pony Mail uses at least Apache HTTPd with mod_lua as its
>         end-user facing delivery mechanism. Many of the commiters are
>         also involved with this PMC.
>         Pony also utilises ElasticSearch which is based on Lucene.
> Documentation
>     Documentation will initially be in the source tree, and be part of
>     the initial code inclusion.
> Initial Source
>     The initial source was written under the Apache License v/2.0 from
>     the beginning, and is available at:
> Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan
>     We know of no legal encumberments in the way of transfer of source
>     to Apache. Portions of the software (sans dependencies) is already
>     owned by the ASF, other portions privately, but it will be granted
>     to the ASF in its entirety.
> External Dependencies:
>     ElasticSearch backend (Apache License v/2.0)
>     Apache HTTP Server front-end with mod_lua loaded (Apache License
> v/2.0 for httpd, MIT for Lua)
>     Python 3.x for importing/archiving (PSF License)
>     Lua 5.1 or 5.2 + lua-cjson (MIT License, lua-cjson is optional)
>     Bootstrap/JQuery (MIT License)
> Cryptography:
>     Pony employs no cryptography other than what TLS-enabled web sites
>     served by HTTPd might use.
> Required Resources:
>     Mailing lists: It would be rude not too, given this project should
> archive them.
>     Subversion Directory: Nope
>     Git Repositories:
>         - incubator-ponymail.git - incubator-ponymail-site.git
>     Issue Tracking: JIRA or GitHub Issues
>     Other Resources: Dev stack, PoC Stack, HipChat Channel
> Initial Committers
>     - Daniel Gruno < >
>     - Tony Stevenson < >
>     - Richard Bowen < >
>     - Ulises Beresi < >
>     - David P Kendal < >
>     - Francesco Chicchiriccò - < >
> Affiliations
>     Daniel Gruno - Quenda IvS
>     Tony Stevenson - pctony ltd, VocalIQ Ltd
>     Richard Bowen - Redhat, inc.
>     Ulises Beresi - Datastax, inc.
>     David P Kendal - Quenda IvS
>     Francesco Chicchiriccò - Tirasa S.r.l.
> Sponsors
>     Champion: Suneel Marthi < >
>     Nominated Mentors:
>         Andrew Bayer < >
>     Sponsoring Entity:
>         The Apache Software Foundation
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