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From Geertjan Wielenga <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Apache NetBeans Incubator Proposal
Date Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:50:53 GMT
Hi all,

Indeed, I now have greater clarity on the initial contributors list thanks
to meeting John Ament this afternoon.

The initial contributors list is somehow a magic list. Anyone on the list
will, once the proposal has been voted on and accepted, automatically be
contributors to the Apache NetBeans project. Anyone not on the list will
need to be voted in by the initial contributors, which is a process that
could be fast, but is still a process and can be avoided by inclusion in
the initial contributors list. Everyone on the initial contributors list is
automatically part of the PMC. Anyone added to the contributors list after
the proposal has been accepted needs to be voted into the contributors list
and can also be invited by the PMC members to join the PMC. At the end of
the incubation period, the contributors list will be examined and those who
haven't contributed can be approached to ask whether they'd rather not be
removed from the list. Anyone on the list when the project leaves
incubation gets write access to the project for the rest of their life.

I may have misinterpreted something, though I hope the above covers the
whole of it. I hope someone will clarify on the points I may have

If the above is accurate, we do need to work on the initial contributors
list prior to voting on the proposal, quite aside from the infra assessment.

The following categories of people need to be approached to invite onto the
initial contributors list:

1. Everyone who has contributed to NetBeans over the past 6 months or so
who are currently not one of the 26 Oracle employees currently on the
initial contributors list. These are all Oracle employees, as well as at
least one other, who is already on the initial contributors list --
Emmanuel Hugonnet from Red Hat who has contributed the WildFly plugin to
the NetBeans repository and continues to develop it there. I am not sure
how many additional initial contributors this will result in, I estimate
potentially around 20.

2. Everyone who has created or provided a NetBeans plugin over the past 6
months or so. Not only will these people need to sign an individual
contributors agreement, but also a software grant agreement, to enable
their code to be contributed to Apache NetBeans. Not everyone who makes
functionality available will be relevant to contributing their code to
NetBeans, in some cases they may simply want to continue making plugins
available rather than direct source code contributions. Some of the plugin
authors are from organizations, e.g., the TypeScript plugin is provided by
developers at a company called Everlaw, who may or may not want to make
their code directly available to Apache NetBeans. Other plugins provide
useful bits of functionality, e.g., several of the plugins by Benno
Markiewicz fall into this category, which should simply be part of Apache
NetBeans rather than being provided as plugins. Caoyuan Deng is another
example, working on the Scala plugin, as well as the developers who have
worked on the Python plugin. I estimate that the number of initial
contributors from this category number at least about 20.

3. Ex-employees from Sun and Oracle who have worked on NetBeans in the past
and may want to get involved again. Here I'm thinking of people such as
Milos Kleint who worked on, for example, the Apache Maven integration, as
well as several others, including Radim Kubacki (developer of and Jesse Glick, as well as Ralph Ruijs, plus several more.
In this category, I estimate about 10 to 20 people might be applicable.

4. Random other people, e.g., Wade Chandler, who has been participating in
this thread, and has been working recently on Groovy enhancements for
NetBeans IDE. This is not a separate plugin and there are other cases where
there are potential individual contributors who don't fall into the above

5. Anyone else who I may have skipped above, e.g., the person Roman was
referring to earlier, and anyone who volunteers after we send a few e-mails
to the various NetBeans mailing lists.

6. A final point about "intent" and "interest" in John Ament's mail above.
There are two types of these -- those that are definitely going to be
contributing because their software depends on NetBeans, e.g., Microchip's
MPLAB X is an IDE on top of NetBeans IDE, and the related developers have a
very strong interest in committing themselves to Apache NetBeans. I propose
we do keep this category of people in the initial contributors list, which
is why I put them there initially -- they are different to someone who may
have a vague idea about one day maybe contributing. This may seem a strange
category and the argument could be made that they should only be added once
they actually contribute during incubation. For this category, however,
since their interest is so strong and visceral because their business
literally depends on NetBeans, we keep them in the initial contributors
list and, in the unlikely event that they do not actually contribute during
incubation, we remove them at the time incubation completes and TPL is

Thanks and hope the above covers everything. At the end, we could have
about 100 additional people on the initial contributors list, though that
is a very rough estimate. I do believe the above can be done quite quickly
though and will be complete by the time the infra assessment is done.

Looking forward to feedback!


On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 6:30 AM, John D. Ament <>

> I spoke with Geertjan this afternoon.  We both happened to be at the same
> popular java conference in San Francisco.  I did give him some advice on
> the current initial contributors list.  Basically two notes:
> - Add new members based on merit, not because prior to joining they are
> interested.  The way he explained it to me, many of the initial committers
> are interested in giving back to Netbeans.  They aren't able to due to the
> licensing model from Oracle but are willing to under Apache.  This doesn't
> mean they will or will not contribute, but there is an intent.  It may be
> better to add them to the project as they begin contributing.
> - Ensure that everyone who has contributed to Netbeans in the past is aware
> and eligible to be a contributor.  There may be past employees who want to
> still give back.  Or even present employees who are now working on other
> projects.  They shouldn't necessarily be excluded from the list because
> they don't currently work on Netbeans right now.
> I do see some issues for the project if they miss people from the list.
> Voting in committers can be seen as a pain, especially if it is a
> potentially large list (I'm fairly certain that the initial committers list
> here is the largest of any project so far at Apache).
> I also want to make sure that the infra assessment is done before voting
> starts, just to make sure we're all in alignment on what is being expected.
> John
> On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 6:28 AM Stian Soiland-Reyes <>
> wrote:
> > I'm very convinced :-)  I think the Netbeans proposal is ready for a
> > [VOTE]!
> >
> >
> >
> > On 22 September 2016 at 13:57, Wade Chandler <>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > >> On Sep 22, 2016, at 08:27, Shane Curcuru <>
> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Jochen Wiedmann wrote on 9/22/16 1:43 AM:
> > >>> On Thu, Sep 22, 2016 at 7:18 AM, Roman Shaposhnik <
> >> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>> Still, the question remain -- for somebody like that, what would
> a
> > criteria
> > >>>> to be added as a committer after the project enters incubation?
> > >>>
> > >>> Projects decision.
> > >>
> > >> Exactly so.  This would be a podling just like every other podling,
> and
> > >> the IPMC would expect the PPMC to start operating like an Apache
> > >> project.  That is, when new people come to the podling and contribute
> > >> work, and help the work of the podling, that after a time the PPMC
> will
> > >> discuss them, then vote them in as new committers.
> > >>
> > >> Past merit (i.e. past contributions) is a great help to a new
> > >> contributor to a project, both because it's easier to get started, and
> > >> because the community already has a feel for how they act and can
> help.
> > >> But it in no way IMO directly leads to current merit.  Old
> contributors
> > >> normally would be voted in as committers only once they actually start
> > >> doing new work on the project.
> > >
> > > Perhaps we need to clarify what you mean by “old contributor” … Do you
> > mean those currently contributing to the imported project, those who have
> > contributed at some time in the past, but not in X days/months, or anyone
> > not on the initial committer list? If the latter, then why would this be
> > true for a current OSS project coming to ASF? If this is exactly the
> case,
> > then more emphasis is put on the initial committer list IMO, and that
> seems
> > an unnecessary distraction, and an artificial limit, but if it must be
> that
> > way it must, and if not, then great, but please clarify.
> > >
> > > I ask this because I recently contributed some things for Groovy
> > support, and intend to work quite a bit on those features. I have
> > contributed quite a bit to the form (UI editor), J2EE, and Java SE
> modules
> > in the past. I don’t want to suddenly be hindered just because the
> project
> > moves to the ASF where I have to “start over”; I have invested quite a
> > number of years into NetBeans and it’s community.
> > >
> > >> On Sep 22, 2016, at 07:00, Stian Soiland-Reyes <>
> > wrote:
> > >>
> > >> Agree - but the initial committer list is also an opportunity to show
> > >> you really mean open development, and that it's not just business as
> > >> usual with Friends & Family on the list.
> > >>
> > >
> > > Understood, but the impression still has to be on the community all the
> > rules of merit apply regardless of perception. I have faith Gj and many I
> > know on that initial list will make sure anyone who has made solid code
> > contributions to NB, who also want to contribute in the ASF, will be fast
> > tracked per prior NB community decisions. We are operating off this
> > assumption now; community and Oracle included per my understanding.
> > >
> > >> One of the freedoms a project gains from moving to ASF is (somewhat)
> > >> relief from institutional political considerations.  A new intern at a
> > >> company would no longer just be given carte blance write access
> > >> without first engaging with the whole community and earning merit
> > >> through contributions. Of course each community decides how high or
> > >> low the bar should be to earn committership - but the bar should be
> > >> the same for anyone.
> > >>
> > > I 100% agree with this. I think it is definitely that the rules have to
> > apply to everyone equally including employees of a company including the
> > donor. I don’t imagine someone who falls outside categories of merit in
> the
> > current NB process now should suddenly be committers at ASF. Committers
> > should be committers. Those who were well on their way to earn committer
> > status should be considered, and it should be rare they are not promoted.
> > Those not committing code or submitting patches now, should start from
> the
> > premise they have to earn committer rights, and the project should
> enforce
> > that as a minimum; merit isn’t about free trophies or we’d all have
> > doctorates or be in the NFL or NBA :-D
> > >
> > >>
> > >> I found for several podlings that people (myself included) who were
> > >> perhaps dormant "contributors" before the Incubator 'woke up' after
> > >> being added as an equal peer on the initial list. The beginning of a
> > >> podling; while sometimes struggling a bit with bootstrapping, is also
> > >> a chance for a project to review many of its practices and to build
> > >> common ownership - reduce the "us and them" feeling.
> > >>
> > >
> > > Sure; IMHO a sane committer of old should be a sane committer of new;
> if
> > they want to be involved. My understanding in the current NB processes
> that
> > is true now. Certainly in an OSS world people come and work as they can,
> > and sometimes they can do more than other times. Sometimes they
> necessarily
> > have to become dormant; children, jobs, friends, life… In the NB
> community
> > we understand this and respect it; a work life balance.
> > >
> > >> I think Netbeans has the balance somewhat right - but I would hope
> > >> there would be more engagement on their existing lists to more openly
> > >> invite anyone who wants to join; or at least make it clear that the
> > >> whole of the community (read: mailing list) gets to influence project
> > >> decisions.
> > >>
> > >
> > > Yes, everyone on the lists “influences” the project now, but not
> > everyone on the mailing list gets “committer” rights or the same
> influence;
> > even in Apache projects that I have seen. We have a merit based process
> for
> > that now. In the ASF us non-Oracle employee committers should then gain a
> > higher level of influence as it becomes community driven versus single
> > entity driven; we certainly have to step up though! … like Spiderman’s
> > Uncle Ben said … great power; great responsibility.
> > >
> > > My assumption or expectation perhaps is roughly (and I imagine it will
> > be close) 1) if you were a committer to NB, per its already existing
> rules,
> > then you are in 2) if you were already submitting patches to “show you
> know
> > what you are doing” per the current rules, then you are in 3) if you were
> > not an active contributor, then you have to step up and show merit. This
> > essentially models the current NB process, and per my involvement with
> > different Apache projects over the years, is roughly like a lot of them.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Wade
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ===================
> > >
> > > Wade Chandler
> > > e:
> > > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > To unsubscribe, e-mail:
> > > For additional commands, e-mail:
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Stian Soiland-Reyes
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> > To unsubscribe, e-mail:
> > For additional commands, e-mail:
> >
> >

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