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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: Incubation Pain Points
Date Tue, 18 Jun 2019 18:47:30 GMT
Hi -

Very interesting talk. It reminds me of Oracle’s donation of OpenOffice.

Would you share your 10 points in text via email?

Best Regards,

> On Jun 14, 2019, at 3:57 AM, Geertjan Wielenga <> wrote:
> Just as a quick follow up, I watched this YouTube recording of a session I
> did last year on the NetBeans move to Apache again today and, it's been a
> while since I watched it last, but I think it still really nails it in
> terms of the pain/gain continuum of transitioning a project to Apache, in
> all its bleakness. :-)
> Gj
> On Thu, Jun 13, 2019 at 10:29 PM Geertjan Wielenga <>
> wrote:
>> Speaking on behalf of myself only, though note I am PMC chair of NetBeans,
>> which went through a protracted (nice way of saying ‘complex’) incubation
>> because of its size (‘very large’) and history (20+ years) — the key to any
>> new culture is to adopt its traditions and to fight them as little as
>> possible. And one can’t really understand the culture until one is in it.
>> It’s hard to really prepare — other than to admire projects like Maven or
>> TomEE and to want and aim to be like them, regardless of the contortions
>> required to get there.
>> Gj
>> On Thu, 13 Jun 2019 at 21:10, Dave Fisher <> wrote:
>>> Hi -
>>> Here are some thoughts I have to improving Incubation. These are not
>>> really new, but I think we should discuss where and how best to apply these.
>>> (1) Champions need to very clear that the ASF expects Community decisions
>>> not BDFLs. Burnout is one factor to highlight why community is important.
>>> Vendor independence is important and part of why BDFLs don’t fly. In the
>>> last few years we have deemphasized the role of Champion and I think we
>>> need to list out some of the duties a Champion has to both the prospective
>>> podling community and the Incubator.
>>> (2) We should help existing communities plan their entry into Incubation
>>> with their proposals. Currently TVM is moving their community over before
>>> repositories. That might be a better approach for many communities as it
>>> will assure that (a) the existing community keeps its current velocity and
>>> (b) they are making community decisions on list before actual development
>>> is moved over.
>>> (3) Having a lower impedance to release and code changes would really
>>> help. We are already having this discussion. A very radical idea might be
>>> to move a lot of the License, Notice and Dependency work away from the
>>> Release Vote and instead do periodic and potentially automated audits of
>>> repositories. This would follow the REVIEW suggestion, but make it more
>>> automated and based on tooling.
>>> (4) Relinquishing control of admin rights on GitHub repos is an
>>> impedance. I understand why this is done from an Apache Infrastructure
>>> perspective, but it is a surprise to podling communities. Making sure that
>>> a new podling knows fully what to expect before transferring repos would
>>> really help manage expectations.
>>> (5) Failure to incubate is not failure. Currently 63 podlings have
>>> retired and there are two or three additional retirements soon. 4 or 5
>>> podlings moved on or back to where they were. The why of retirement could
>>> be analyzed, but it would need to look into mailing list archives because
>>> the information in podlings.xml is not always clear and is sometimes more
>>> diplomatic than the reality.
>>> See for an intriguing chart.
>>> Regards,
>>> Dave
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