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From Raphaël Luta <>
Subject Re: AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2005 15:40:23 GMT
Sam Ruby wrote:
> Raphaël Luta wrote:
> <snip>
> Overall, there is clearly strong interest in AJAX at the ASF, whether it
> be based on Zimbra or Dojo or whatever.  Furthermore, the proposal needs
> to be revised, particularly to incorporate the people who have expressed
> an interest in participating and creating ties to other projects.

I completely agree that there's a strong interest in AJAX from many Apache
communities, Portals included. It's something many people in many communities
are trying to figure out how to best tackle, however so far I've never seen
Zimbra mentioned in an Apache community in this regard.

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Criteria
>> ========

<sniping some parts to keep mail shorter>

>> * Community:
>>   none
> A bit overstated.  There is a community, but it has yet to be incubated
> and certified as following the Apache way.

I can't see any existing community described in the proposal, I can't find
any public forum about Zimbra AJAX toolkit and everything I get from Google is
press releases, whitepapers and conferences.
If you could point me to an existing online public community, I'll gladly admit
I am overstating the current situation.

>> * Core developers:
>>   no existing Apache committer or Apache member
> That's the initial proposal.  The proposal was immediately was met with
> several volunteers.

It was indeed met with interest from several Apache committers, that doesn't
make them core developers though since they are not part of the current
development effort.
It does show a potential for community building.

>> Warning signs
>> =============
>> * Orphaned products:
>>   Apparently no
> I'm not certain what you are trying to say here.

Trying to express that the toolkit doesn't seem to be orphaned as it is probably
actively used by Zimbra other products.

>> * Homogenous developers/salaried developers:
>>   Definitely yes, all work for 2 companies with strong hierarchical
>> ties in
>>   the proposed committer base
> Again, the proposal was immediately met with volunteers.  I will state
> that everybody involved fully understands that the current level of
> diversity certainly would not meet the incubator's exit criteria for a
> project - and everybody supports the goal of building a diverse community.

My point was more than given the huge number of initial committers I would
expect it to grow to at least 35-30 committers with all new committers from
external parties before such a community could be called "balanced".
Starting from scratch and getting to this level is a *huge* task, especially
if you don't have another established community as a userbase.

> To help you see it another way, take a look at the following link:
> AJAX is hot.  People outside are watching.  IBM and Zimbra will
> undoubtably get a lot of press people asking questions.  My experience
> has been that such people are well trained in saying "no comment", but
> the fact is that there is interest, and at some point it makes sense to
> meet such interest with facts.

I'm seeing and am actually actively looking because Ajax has some
critical impact on web applications and portals in particular.
One of the key comments I frequently see is:

Why does <this/that project> have to be in the ASF ?

and frankly I can't think of a good reason why the ASF would want to
kickstart a brand new AJAX community. Several other exists, are working
well and are compatible with our IP, why create something new within the
ASF rather than join those existing communities ?

>> As is, I can't see a single reason to support the proposal ans see
>> several to
>> vote a strong -1 on it in its current form :
>> - The proposal is too large to incubate, it's hard enough to create a
>> community
>>   from scratch around a single well-defined goal and codebase, rolling 2
>>   together is suicide in my book.
> I don't mean to minimize the concern, but we have incubated larger.  As
> we have seen in this and other donations - IP lawyers are very
> interested in clearly delineating the precise origins of each component.
>  As such, we've overstressed the separate nature of these pieces.
> Just to be clear: the goal is to build one community.

Yes we have incubated larger but not always to very good results and
tackling something with as many different pieces is definitely a big

>> - I don't see any benefit for the ASF and several drawbacks (more
>>   hard work and strain on resources, possible PR complications,
>> additionnal
>>   strain on friendly relations with other OSS groups like Eclipse)
> There definitely is interest in AJAX at the ASF.  If not Zimbra, then
> Dojo.  And as Sanjiva and Dims have eloquently put it
>     I have no patience for any kind of "this space is mine, you keep to
>     yours" type nonsense. I totally agree that the only discussion here
>     should be does ASF want to take this on or not, not on whether
>     Eclipse folks feel it "rightfully" belongs there or not.
> and
>     I really don't mind if Apache gets into Eclipse tools/plugins. We do
>     have Eclipse plugins in Axis2 project. We also have another plugin
>     for running Geronimo inside WTP. So it's not a new thing and the
>     proposal has my +1.  Please pardon me for being blunt, I don't
>     really care about what happens inside IBM/Eclipse or who said
>     what/when. All i know is that we have a proposal in front of us and
>     as a community we take it or leave it or ask for changes if we think
>     they are needed.

I personnally feel otherwise: one of the ASF pillar is open cooperation.
We do our best to make it happen within our communities and I feel we
should do our best to make it happen with external communities as well.
There are some reasons sometimes when ASF decides to start a project
that can be percieved as unecessarily competing with other established
groups, IP being the primary one, and I have no problem with that.
However, simply disregarding the opinions of other communities is to
me the opposite of open cooperation and consensus based approach we're
trying to promote.

I think it's a worthwhile goal of spreading our vision to newly incubated
communities but if it just makes us look as arrogant bastards from the
rest of the world, I definitely feel we should restrain.

>> - There's no mentor yet ! Bad sign...
> Again, two volunteers within moments of posting alone.

None of them qualified under the current incubation policy.

>> In summary I see this proposal as a high risk, low value offer to the ASF
>> and would definitely pass on it.
> I don't want to minimize the risk, but I do think you have
> underestimated the interest/value.

I think I understand the value and interest of AJAX. I just don't see
how this proposal brings value to the ASF. Can you tell me what you
see as benefits (for the ASF) for incubating this project ?

Raphaël Luta -
Apache Portals - Enterprise Portal in Java

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