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From Greg Stein <>
Subject Re: AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:14:03 GMT
On Tue, Dec 20, 2005 at 04:49:29PM -0800, Martin Cooper wrote:
> Some comments:
> 1) This appears to be two proposals rolled into one. One is to incubate a

Yup. And Adam responded with the dreaded "subproject" word.

We determined a good while back that "umbrella" projects are bad. So
*starting* a project with the notion of subprojects is not necessarily
a good thing. Thankfully, this proposal lumps them into one community
(while the umbrellas divided them, which was the primary failing). But
lumping these two (somewhat disparate) project spaces into one seems
like it could be a problem. Especially given words about "pluggable"
and "no special tie-in". So if there isn't intended to be any special
tie-in between the two sides, then why shove the two communities

It would seem this proposal ought to be divided into two.

> 2) Various comments have been made regarding multiple ASF projects
> addressing the same area being OK, and indeed a good thing. While I

Yeah, although that has (historically) been based on taking different
approaches to a problem space, rather than simply tackling it with
different lines of code. I seriously doubt the AJAX space is
well-developed enough to identify very different strategies which
would lead to it being "acceptable" to kickstart two competitive
projects at Apache.

We're also about community here, so I would *expect* that if Dojo
decided to arrive at Apache, then it would go in *this* community
rather than start a second. Keep the communities together and working
on the space. If there is a real determination that the two think
about the approach dramatically different(!), then okay... maybe two
projects, but I'm a bit doubtful.

> Personally, I am less than happy at seeing yet another large project
> proposed from a corporate source (and IBM at that), along with a dozen new
> committers who have not earned their merit at the ASF as most committers
> have. I feel the ASF is losing its way, and becoming a repository for
> corporate open-sourcing along with taking on responsibility for building
> communities around corporate code bases. I suspect I'm in the minority at
> the ASF, and I'm undoubtedly in the minority here in the incubator.

I share this concern, and Sanjiva also agreed with your concern.

A *lot* of code has been arriving at the ASF and many companies have
been seeking to do PR around those contributions and activities. I've
been starting to lean to a mode where (maybe) we simply won't provide
quotes to third parties about code they've provided. If it isn't an
Apache project (yet), then why should we talk about it?

And yeah: arriving via the Incubator is also a neat way to avoid our
standard meritocratic process. Diversity is also a question, and
whether there is true diversity in thought rather than simply in
numbers of committers.

Is there a solution? Nothing objective, I'd think. Maybe the Incubator
should only accept projects which have already established themselves
as open source projects? But what do we do about brand new ideas that
people want to spin up within the Incubator? Or what about projects
that the ASF determines that it really wants to be involved with?
(J2EE and J2SE to name our two precedents) Should the Incubator just
handle small-ish projects that are software-granted and destined to
existing PMCs?

I don't have an answer, but I share your unease with the spate of
corporate contributions over the past year or so.


p.s. for those on this list who are not familiar with my protocol, I'm
  sending this as rather than my apache address; that
  means I'm speaking as "Greg" rather than in my official capacity;
  thus, don't read any ASF policy/leanings into the above.

Greg Stein,

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