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From Benjamin Young <>
Subject RE: [DISCUSS] Pirk Incubation Proposal
Date Tue, 07 Jun 2016 14:50:23 GMT
Looks like a great project!

I'd like to propose (early!) that you consider changing the name from Pirk, however. It's
too close to things that could easily be offensive or misunderstood.

My personal recommendation would be "Piranha" has several more options if you search for `pir*` or `*pir` or even

Beyond that, it looks like you're off to a great start!


-----Original Message-----
From: Ellison Anne Williams [] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 9:02 AM
Subject: [DISCUSS] Pirk Incubation Proposal

Hi All,

We would like to discuss the proposal of a new project to the incubator - Pirk.

Pirk is a framework for scalable Private Information Retrieval (PIR).

The proposal is contained below and can also be found on the wiki at

Looking forward to the discussion -


Ellison Anne


= Pirk Proposal =

== Abstract ==
Pirk is a framework for scalable Private Information Retrieval (PIR).

== Proposal ==

Pirk is a software framework for scalable Private Information Retrieval and is meant to provide
a landing place for robust, scalable, and practical implementations of PIR algorithms. The
initial scalable PIR algorithms of Pirk were developed at the National Security Agency.

== Background ==

Private Information Retrieval (PIR) is an area of computer science and mathematics that enables
a user/entity to privately and securely obtain information from a dataset, to which they have
been granted access, without revealing, to the dataset owner or to an observer, any information
regarding the questions asked or the results obtained. Employing homomorphic encryption techniques,
PIR enables datasets to remain resident in their native locations while giving the ability
to query the datasets with sensitive terms.

== Rationale ==

Although PIR has been in existence for over twenty years, it has largely remained an academic
discipline with very little robust or scalable implementation. Pirk not only provides implementations
of novel scalable PIR algorithms, but it provides a framework into which robust, scalable,
and practical PIR may be developed.

Pirk fits well within the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) family as it depends on numerous
ASF projects and integrates with several others such as Hadoop and Spark. We also anticipate
developing extensions/adaptors for several other ASF projects such as Kafka, Storm, HBase,
and Accumulo in the near future.

== Initial Goals ==

 * Ensure all dependencies are compliant with Apache License version 2.0 and that all code
and documentation artifacts have the correct Apache licensing markings and notice.

 * Establish a formal release process and schedule, allowing for dependable release cycles
in a manner consistent with the Apache development process.

 * Establish a process which allows different release cycles for the core framework, extensions/adaptors,
and additional algorithms.

 * Grow the community to establish diversity of background and expertise.

== Current Status ==

=== Meritocracy ===

We will actively seek help and encourage promotion of influence in the project through meritocracy.
We will discuss the requirements in an open forum. We will encourage and monitor community
participation so that privileges can be extended to those that contribute.

=== Community ===

Pirk currently has a community of developers within the U.S. government. In open sourcing
Pirk we plan to grow the community to a broader base of industries and will work to align
the interaction of our existing community.

=== Core Developers ===

The initial core developers are employed by the US Government. We will work to grow the community
among a more diverse set of developers and industries.

=== Alignment ===

Pirk was developed with an open source philosophy in mind and the Apache way is consistent
with the approach we have taken to date. Further, Pirk depends on numerous ASF libraries and
projects including Hadoop, Spark, Commons, and Maven. We also anticipate extensions and dependencies
with several more ASF projects, including Accumulo, Avro, HBase, Storm, Kafka, and others.
This existing alignment with Apache and the desired community makes the Apache Incubator a
good fit for Pirk.

== Known Risks ==

=== Orphaned Products ===

Risk of orphaning is limited though it is important to grow the community.
The project user and developer base is growing and there is already operational use of Pirk.

=== Inexperience with Open Source ===

The initial committers to Pirk have limited experience with true open source software development.
However, despite the project origins being from closed source development we have modeled
our behavior and community development on The Apache Way to the greatest extent possible.
We are committed to the ideals of open source software and will eagerly seek out mentors and
sponsors who can help us quickly come up to speed.

=== Homogenous Developers ===

The initial committers of Pirk come from a limited set of entities though we are committed
to recruiting and developing additional committers from a broad spectrum of industries and

=== Reliance on Salaried Developers ===

We expect Pirk development to continue on salaried time and through volunteer time. The majority
of initial committers are paid by their employers to contribute to this project. We are committed
to developing and recruiting participation from developers both salaried and non-salaried.

=== Relationship with other Apache Projects ===

As described in the alignment section, Pirk is already heavily dependent on other ASF projects
and we anticipate further dependence and integration with new and emerging projects in the
Apache family.

=== An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===

We respect the Apache brand and desire to adopt its community building principles. Our desire
is to build and foster an open source community around scalable, robust PIR  which aligns
with the Apache tenets. Further, Apache is a natural home for Pirk given our existing dependencies
and alignment with ASF projects.

=== Documentation ===

At this time there is no Pirk documentation on the web. However, we have documentation included
within the application that details usage. Using incubator infrastructure we will be rapidly
expanding the available documentation to cover things like installation, developer guide,
frequently asked questions, best practices, and more.

== Initial Source ==

The core codebase is written in Java and includes detailed Javadocs and feature documentation.

== Source and Intellectual Property Submission ==

The Pirk code and documentation materials will be submitted by the National Security Agency.
Pirk has been developed by government employees. Material developed by the government employees
is in the public domain and no U.S.
copyright exists in works of the federal government. NSA has submitted Corporate Contributor
License Agreement to the Apache Software Foundation; the Software Grant Agreement is forth

== External Dependencies ==

We believe all current dependencies are compatible with the ASF guidelines.
Our dependency licenses come from the Apache v 2.0 and Eclipse Public v1.

== Cryptography ==

Consistent with we believe Pirk is classified as ECCN
5D002. In the event that it becomes necessary we will engage with appropriate Apache members
to ensure we file any necessary paperwork or clarified any cryptographic export license concerns.

== Required Resources ==

=== Mailing Lists ===


=== Source Control ===

Pirk requests use of Git for source control (git://
We request a writeable Git repo for Pirk with mirroring to be setup to Github through INFRA.

=== Issue Tracking ===


=== Initial Committers ===

 * Tracy Brown <tbrownpirk at gmail dot com>, CLA submitted
 * Christopher Harris <Chris.Harris010 at gmail dot com>, CLA submitted
 * Walter Ray-Dulaney <raydulany at gmail dot com>, CLA submitted
 * Jacob Wilder <jacobwilder.opensource  at gmail dot com>, CLA submitted
 * Ellison Anne Williams  <eawilliamsPirk at gmail dot com>, CLA confirmed
 * Joe Witt (Hortonworks) <joewitt at apache dot org>, CLA confirmed

== Sponsors ==

=== Champion ===

 * Billie Rinaldi (Hortonworks) <billie at apache dot org>, IPMC Member

=== Nominated Mentors ===

 * Billie Rinaldi (Hortonworks) <billie at apache dot org>, IPMC Member
 * Joe Witt (Hortonworks) <joewitt at apache dot org>, IPMC Member
 * Josh Elser (Hortonworks) <elserj at apache dot org>, IPMC Member

=== Sponsoring Entity ===

We request the Apache Incubator to sponsor this project.

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