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From Sylvain Wallez <>
Subject Re: AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:50:35 GMT
Leo Simons wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 20, 2005 at 04:14:22PM +0100, Sylvain Wallez wrote:
>> I'm quite puzzled by this proposal. As I understand it, its mainly about 
>> a set of Eclipse plugins for Ajax applications and the Zimbra library 
>> that, among other features, provides a set of SWT-like widgets.
> How is that puzzling?

Because the proposal mixes two different concerns, the runtime and the 
IDE (see the "subproject" and "no tie in" discussion) and because 
generic tooling is something unusual at the ASF.

>> So the questions are:
>> - is the ASF the place for Eclipse extensions? I don't deny the ability to _existing_
project to host their tooling, but this isn't the case here.
> IMHO that's a very valid question to which the current answer from the incubator is "yes,
if there's sufficient interest from existing ASF members" with "sufficient" somewhat under
discussion. I'll suggest that changing the answer to that question should be tackled independently
of this proposal.
> IANAL. But from talking with Cliff at AC it seems there's not neccessarily a licensing
barrier either.

That's not a licensing question, but more a general OSS community 
question. The ASF isn't alone in the OSS world, and there has been some 
recent precedents where incubating projects have made other OSS 
organizations uncomfortable. I don't say the OSS world should be 
technically partitioned (e.g. server-side at Apache and IDE at Eclipse), 
but that we should at least try to play nice with other organizations 
and coordinate our activities.

Back in August, Cliff proposed a few modifications [1] to the incubation 
proposal process, and IMO the current proposal shows how much these 
modifications are needed.

>> - why incubate an Ajax library that none of the current ASF projects 
>> uses nor plans to use, unless I missed something?
> for all the usual reasons. "ties with existing ASF projects" is a question
> we sometimes ask but the rationale for even asking the question has never
> been written down in an email before (I think). I think what you're "missing"
> is 2 years of history in how we're doing incubation (which often involves
> "stuff that no existing ASF project uses or plans to use" when incubation
> started, like, ehm, Harmony, or Geronimo, or SpamAssassin, or ...)
> (...)

See my answer to Sam: the current proposal is very different from 
SpamAssassin or Harmony.

> I personally feel that wanting to draw projects into the ASF *just* because
> other ASF projects want to use that stuff is Pretty Bad(tm). It should be
> easy and accepted and encouraged for ASF projects to use stuff that lives
> and breathes outside of the ASF if you ask me.

Sure, and that's what many projects actually do (and you know how many 
external dependencies Cocoon has!). Now I don't see why it is bad to 
propose to an external project to join the ASF, to ensure more 
visibility and long-term sustainability when that external project 
already has a lots of merits and is used by several ASF projects.

This is a win-win situation: we help the growth and healthiness of the 
external project, and by doing that we solidify the foundations on which 
our own projects are built.

> (...)
> Hmm. I think your email is more puzzling to me than the original proposal :-)
> (A heavyweight java-based IDE for doing what's essentially designed as
> "lightweight" seems easier to just fix the embed-java-in-the-
> browser problem, like Stefano is doing with Piggy Bank...oh well...)

Hehe, this comment actually shows how confusing the proposal is: it's 
not about embedding fat clients in the browser, but about on one side a 
general-purpose IDE and on the other side a specific client-side library.



Sylvain Wallez                        Anyware Technologies           
Apache Software Foundation Member     Research & Technology Director

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