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From Janne Jalkanen <>
Subject Re: UIMA [WAS Re: Suspending Projects]
Date Fri, 20 Feb 2009 10:15:29 GMT
> My pet hypothesis (or maybe I'm just looking for excuses) is
> this: UIMA is heavily used in academia.  Now academics have no
> problems with open source, to the contrary.  But they have an
> overwhelming need to publish and build up a reputation.  So
> they like to publish their source code on their own web site,
> where it's clear it's their work, rather than contribute to
> some community effort.  If you look around, you'll see all
> manner of university efforts around UIMA, but very little of
> that code finds its way back into the ASF repo.

FWIW, I've noticed this with JSPWiki too - there are at least three
(maybe four-five) separate forks of the JSPWiki codebase within the
academia, with little contribution back to us.

There are a few additional reasons for this: 

* The authors feel that their code is not mature enough for inclusion,
  and often they may be right - code is created to solve a specific
  problem and on a proof-of-concept level with little regard to
  e.g. maintainability.

* Often, the forks are not maintained after the paper is completed and
  published.  The authors move to different subjects, and have little
  interest to keep working on the codebase (which might be needed in
  case of invasive modifications)

* It brings them no benefit to contribute back, since there is little
  attachment to the project itself.  What's important is their
  modifications; the project itself is just necessary noise which
  allows them to tinker with their grand ideas.

(Yeah, I worked for the uni for three years ;-)


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