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From Martin Sebor <>
Subject Re: Corporations and the incubator
Date Sat, 31 Dec 2005 02:27:25 GMT
Sanjiva Weerawarana wrote:
> On Sat, 2005-12-24 at 13:00 -0700, Martin Sebor wrote:
>>>Don't do a press release.  An incubating project is not officially  part 
>>>of the ASF, and a press release will imply that the project is  part of 
>>>the ASF.  This one really makes ASF members angry, so don't  go here.
>>Press releases are a means for companies to announce noteworthy
>>events to the public. 
> ...
>>>Don't "just" print some t-shirts with the ASF logo or the incubating  
>>>project's logo.  See "Don't do a press release" for reasons.
>>I see nothing wrong with printing T-shirts or other promotional
>>items as long as their design is approved by the ASF. 
> I disagree on both counts - while going thru incubation it is important
> to recognize that a project is *not* part of the ASF until it completes
> incubation. If we allow people to do press releases, print t-shirts and
> coffee mugs etc., then the rest of the world has no way to distinguish
> between a real ASF project and an incubating one. 

I would be surprised if anyone made a decision of any consequence
based on what they saw on a T-shirt or a coffee mug :) I certainly
don't see that happening if the mug or T-shirt simply urges people
to check the project out and get involved in its development, and
when it carries the required disclaimer.

> We don't allow code releases from the incubator except with carefully
> minted words.

The requirements I know of are the word "incubating" in the name
of the tarball and the disclaimer at the top of the project's README.
With that and with the approval of the Incubator PMC, podlings are
permitted to do releases. So if that's good enough for the actual
code why not for the mug or T-shirt, especially when the approval
comes from the Board itself?

> Given we can't do that with t-shirts,

Pardon my ignorance but how is that a given? I ask because I've read
two contradictory opinions. When asked informally, at least three
ASF members (one of them a Board member, and one of them our mentor)
responded favorably to our request to print T-shirts promoting the
STDCXX podling.

> its best to just say
> no. Press releases could have the disclaimer text- but the reality is
> that when the story gets carried by various folks they drop that stuff-
> the story simply isn't powerful enough with a disclaimer. So we end up
> losing.

My concern is that by restricting how we can talk about new efforts
in the incubator and to whom, the ASF makes it exceedingly difficult
for podlings to build up communities around them. Since the ASF has
accepted the donated projects I would expect it to want to do its
best to help them succeed. Instead, my impression from discussions
such as this one is that there is an atmosphere of distrust of new
projects, especially those donated by third parties.


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