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From Geertjan Wielenga <>
Subject Re: Incubation Pain Points
Date Thu, 13 Jun 2019 20:29:18 GMT
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.


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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