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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: [Summary ]Re: [TEST+VOTE] Lenya 1.2 Release
Date Mon, 14 Jun 2004 07:51:56 GMT
On 14 Jun 2004, at 01:14, Noel J. Bergman wrote:

> I am having some difficulty reconciling some of your comments, so 
> please
> take the time to clarify for my (and judging from Gianugo Rabellino's
> comments, that of others) benefit.

I gather so, and I think I might have collapsed too many orthogonal 
reasonings into a single mail. Let me try to clarify my position so 
that we can move on.

> Fair warning: this message is likely to come across as harsh.  That is 
> directed at you.

No worries, mate. I've been through worse, and I know you have good 
intentions. ;-)

> Steven Noels wrote:
>> Noel J. Bergman wrote:
>>> What is your take on the readiness of Lenya to leave the Incubator,
>>> and on the question of putting out a milestone?  Just as a reminder,
>>> the distribution would have to be tagged as an incubator 
>>> distribution,
>>> not an ASF release.
>> My take is that - at last, and pushed forward primarily by the group 
>> of
>> non-Wyona, newbie committers - the urgent need for release and exit 
>> has
>> been recognized and is in the process of being addressed adequately.
>> For one reason or another, this has never been pushed forward by the
>> original donators, but now, the momentum has changed to a positive
>> effect.
>> All this being considered, I'm +1 on release and consecutively exit
>> from the incubator.
> Leaving aside the fact that Lenya has posted several "RC" 
> distributions to
> without proper process or approval, why is there an
> "urgent need for release"?

At long last, there is a tangible urge to release, originating from new 
Lenya folks. I think this shift in direction marks an important new 
fase in the project, and it should be applauded upon. Maybe stating 
they should release and consecutively exit is one convoluted step too 
far, but what I see now is the start of self-governance of the Lenya 
community, and I think this signifies the (community) project is 
maturing. If these folks want to release, they should be able to. If 
you think exit should be their first goal before that, fine with me. I 
think they should be able to release and exit, in whatever order that 

>   And why release first, exit later?  Why not get
> cleaned up, exit and then have a real release?  Personally, I suspect 
> that
> the "ability" to do the aforementioned "releases" has been a factor
> underlying the lack of impetus within Lenya to get clean and exit.

It used to be, but this has apparently changed, even to my own surprise.

> Thinking on it, we should probably delete those files, which were never
> approved by either the Incubator or Cocoon PMCs.  Baring commentary to 
> the
> contrary, I will do so within the next day or so (leaving time for
> legitimate contrary views).

I don't think anyone will complain about you doing so. These were test 
packagings of Lenya, and while the process of getting these files there 
shows a lack of understanding, maybe even ignorance of the release 
rules of the people who were steering the project at that time, I think 
we bashed them enough onto their heads with the few rules they have to 
abide to, so that this isn't likely to happen again.

> I do appreciate the desire to exit, and would like to know that if 
> Lenya
> does exit to Cocoon that the oversight issues that appear to have 
> previously
> marked the Lenya incubation have been corrected.  I am much more 
> concerned
> about the Lenya community than the release of its code, and see the 
> former
> as gating the latter.  You're also making a similar statement:

Lenya has an awkward history IMHO. It has been force-fed into the bowls 
of the ASF upon the idea that a community was more important than code, 
and because of pet-peeves of people: the ASF needed a CMS project, and 
Lenya would be a community seed for that - regardless of the community 
aptness to serve as one. The original Lenya folks were clueless about 
the Apache Open Source Way, but felt so much "invited" into the ASF 
that they figured they were doing a good job. The original number of 
committers was bloated, and their communication about the incubation 
status of Lenya was tendencious at best. Wyona didn't do a great job at 
opening up the project to the outside world (other than dumping code 
into public CVS), and there wasn't much direction or shared project 
ownership. Besides, there was a recurring theme of all CMS-related 
activities being integrated under a single vision that I can understand 
the sheer reluctancy of new committers to take the steering wheel and 
getting things done, so everybody kept quiet/indifferent and waited for 
Godot to appear.

What I see now is people empowering themselves and caring only about 
the project, not about all the peripheral dreams or company ambitions. 
This is a tremendous shift in project governance. I think the ASF needs 
to acknowledge and endorse this shift and give these people the ability 
to continue their course. Whether this course will be successful, we 
will only know within a year or so. I hope these folks will be able to 
attract new committers and continue what they started.

>> I'll be carefully looking after ASF brand abuse however in the
>> forthcoming months. This entire incubation episode has left me with
>> dubious feelings: for a long time, I've been thinking that Lenya would
>> be a sad example of premature ASF donation. It is good to see that 
>> some
>> volunteers finally stepped up and managed to create real momentum, and
>> I can only hope they will last for a long time. Lenya will still need
>> to acquire more external contributors to help them with this effort.
> I'm glad to hear about the latter part of that paragraph, but you have 
> to
> admit that the first part of the paragraph is enough to give one 
> pause.  So
> please explain why we should have a incubator release while there are 
> still
> so many questions regarding the viability of the community?  Yes, you 
> are
> indicating that there are new members within the Lenya community who 
> are
> focused on doing everything properly.  Great, but I'm still trying to
> understand why there is a need to put out a distribution rather than 
> put all
> of the energy into helping Lenya conclude incubation and then release.

As I said, it's just a matter of the community maturing, and feeling 
two urges at the same time. Order isn't very important here.

I hope this clarifies things a bit, feel free to nag me with other 


Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source Java & XML            An Orixo Member
Read my weblog at  
stevenn at                stevenn at

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