incubator-general mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Otis Gospodnetic <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Move Lucy to the Incubator
Date Tue, 20 Jul 2010 14:58:15 GMT

----- Original Message ----
> From: Chris Hostetter <>
> To:
> Sent: Sat, July 17, 2010 6:23:09 PM
> Subject: [VOTE] Move Lucy to the Incubator
> I would like to call a vote for accepting "Apache Lucy" for incubation in  the 
>Apache Incubator. The full proposal is available below.  We ask the  Incubator 
>PMC to sponsor it, with myself (hossman) as Champion, and mattmann,  upayavira, 
>mikemccand, and hossman volunteering to be Mentors.
> Please  cast your vote:
> [ ] +1, bring Lucy into Incubator
> [ ] +0, I don't care  either way,
> [ ] -1, do not bring Lucy into Incubator, because...
> This  vote will be open for 72 hours and only votes from the Incubator PMC are  
> ------------------------------------
>      Lucy is a sub-project which is being spun off from the Lucene TLP but  is
>     not yet ready for graduation.  We propose to address  certain needs of the
>     project by transitioning to an Incubator  Podling, and assimilating the
>     KinoSearch  codebase.
>     Lucy will be a loose port of the  Lucene search engine library, written in
>     C and targeted at  dynamic language users.
>     Lucy has two  aims.  First, it will be a high-performance C search engine
>      library.  Second, it will maximize its usability and power when  accessed
>     via dynamic language bindings.  To that end, it  will present highly
>     idiomatic, carefully tailored APIs for each  of its "host" binding
>     languages, including support for  subclasses written entirely in the
>     "host"  language.
>     Lucy, a "loose C" port of Java  Lucene, began as an ambitious,
>     from-scratch Lucene sub-project,  with David Balmain (author of Ferret, a
>     Ruby/C port of Lucene),  Doug Cutting, and Marvin Humphrey (founder of
>     KinoSearch, a  Perl/C port) as committers.  During an initial burst of
>      activity, the overall architecture for Lucy was sketched out by Dave  and
>     Marvin.  Unfortunately, Dave became unavailable soon  after, and without a
>     working codebase to release or any users,  it proved difficult to replace
>     him.  Still, Marvin carried  on their work throughout a period of
>     seemingly low  activity.
>     In the last year, that work has come to fruition:  major technical
>     milestones have been achieved and Lucy's  underpinnings have been
>     completed.  Additionally, other  developers from the KinoSearch community
>     have taken an interest  in Lucy and have begun to ramp up their
>     contributions.   The next steps for Lucy were articulated by the Lucene
>     PMC in a  recent review: make releases, acquire users, grow community.
>      To implement the Lucene PMC's recommendations and get to a release  as
>     quickly as possible, the Lucy community proposes to  assimilate the
>     KinoSearch codebase, which has been retrofitted  to use Lucy's core.  Lucy
>     still lacks a number of  important indexing and search classes; we wish to
>     flesh these  out via IP clearance work rather than software development.
>      Because Lucene is working to move away from being an "umbrella  project",
>     a long term goal of the Lucy project is to graduate  to an ASF TLP.  With
>     that in mind, it seems more  appropriate for the KinoSearch software grant
>     to take place  within the context of the Incubator, and that a Lucy
>     podling  and PPMC be established which will ultimately take responsibility
>      for the codebase.
>     There is great hunger  for a search engine library in the mode of Lucene
>     which is  accessible from various dynamic languages, and for one
>      accessible from pure C.  Individuals naturally wish to code in  their
>     language of choice.  Organizations which do not have  significant Java
>     expertise may not want to support Java  strictly for the sake of running a
>     Lucene installation.   Developers may want to take advantage of C's
>     interoperability  and fine-grained control.  Lucy will meet all these
>      demands.
>     Apache is a natural home for our project given the  way it has always
>     operated: user-driven innovation, security as  a requirement, lively and
>     amiable mailing list discussions,  strength through diversity, and so on.
>     We feel comfortable  here, and we believe that we will become exemplary
>     Apache  citizens.
>     * Make a 1.0 stable release as  quickly as possible.
>     * Concentrate on community  expansion.
>     * Expose a public C API.
>   Meritocracy
>     Our initial committer list  includes two individuals (Peter Karman and
>     Nathan Kurz) who  started off as KinoSearch users, demonstrated merit
>     through  constructive forum participation, adept negotiation, consensus
>      building, and submission of high-quality contributions, and were  invited
>     to become committers.  Peter now rolls most  releases.
>     We look forward to continuing to operate as a  meritocracy under the
>     established traditions and rules of the  ASF.
>   Community
>     Lucy's most active participants of  late have been drawn from the
>     KinoSearch and Lucene  communities.  Having been focused on features and
>      technical goals for a long time, we are considerably overdue for a  
>     release, and anticipate rapid growth in its  wake.
>   Core Developers
>     * Marvin Humphrey is the  project founder of KinoSearch, and co-founded
>       the  existing Lucy sub-project.  He is presently employed by Eventful,
>        Inc.
>     * Peter Karman has contributed to several  open source projects since
>       2001, including being a  committer at (a search
>       engine), (an ORM) and
> (web framework).  He is employed by American
>       Public  Media.
>     * Nathan Kurz is excited by the intersection of search  and
>       recommendations, and has been a KinoSearch committer  since 2007.  As
>       the owner of Scream Sorbet (, he  divides his
>       time between code and fruit.
>    Alignment
>     One Apache value which is particularly cherished by  the Lucy community is
>     codebase transparency.  We have  developed institutions which enable us to
>     measure and maximize  usability (see
>, and we feel strongly  that the
>     bindings for Lucy must present APIs and documentation  which are idiomatic
>     to the host language culture so that end  users can consume our work as
>     easily as possible.
>      The controlled competition of meritocratic community development is  also
>     very important to us.  There has been substantial  cross-pollination of
>     ideas between Lucene and Lucy, yielding  considerable benefits for both
>     projects.  The Lucy  developers envision that our host-language
>     sub-communities will  approach using and extending the library in distinct
>     ways; we  hope to harness the creative tension between them to drive
>      innovation, building productive relationships akin to the one that  
>     and Lucy have today.
>     A third  priority of ours is to be bound by existing Apache institutions,
>      for the protection of all our stakeholders.
>    Orphaned products
>     All core developers have been associated with  the project for several
>     years across multiple jobs.   However, at this time, the project would
>     probably not survive  the departure of Marvin Humphrey, so there is a risk
>     of being  orphaned.  Marvin has no plans to leave, but we have been
>      actively working to disperse his knowledge of the code base and
>      administrative responsibilities in order to make him dispensable.   
>     staggered badly after Dave Balmain's departure, we are  keenly aware of
>     this vulnerability and highly motivated to  eliminate it.
>   Inexperience with Open Source
>     The  core developers all have significant experience with open source
>      development, and include one present Apache committer.  We recognize  
>     we lack PMC experience and seek to address that deficiency  by using the
>     Incubator environment to educate ourselves and  prepare for responsible
>     self-governance.
>    Homogenous Developers
>     Our community is geographically  dispersed, with members in San Diego,
>     Oakland, and  Minneapolis.  We all work for different organizations.
>    Reliance on Salaried Developers
>     Marvin Humphrey has a great job  at Eventful working primarily on this
>     project and supporting  applications that use it.  Nevertheless, he is
>     extremely  dedicated to Lucy and is determined to see it through to the
>      point where it becomes self-sustaining, regardless of work  
>   Relationships with Other Apache Products
>      Lucy's relationship with Lucene of cordial "coopetition" has  produced
>     benefits for Lucene users in terms of indexing speed,  near-real-time
>     search support, and more.  We expect this  dynamic to continue delivering
>     improvements for all parties  involved.
>   An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand
>      Our desire to maintain Lucy's affiliation with Apache has less to do  
>     the brand and more to do with our conviction that  developing the project
>     The Apache Way under Apache institutions  is in Lucy's best interests.
>     However, we have to acknowledge  that during its time as a Lucene
>     subproject, Lucy has not  always fulfilled certain key requirements for an
>     Apache  project.  In particular, it has failed to "release early, release
>      often", and it has made minimal progress in expanding its  community.
>     We attribute some of our difficulties to the  what may have been excess
>     ambition in the original Lucy plan,  given the scope of the project and
>     the size of the initial  committer list:
>          The basic requirements for incubation are:
>            * a working codebase -- over the years and after  several failures,
>             the foundation  came to understand that without an initial working
>              codebase, it is generally hard to bootstrap a  community.
>     By rebooting the project with a working  codebase, we expect to avoid the
>     trap that ensnared Lucy's  first incarnation: we will release early,
>     release often,  accumulate users, nurture contributors, and grow our
>      community.
>     * Current Lucy website:
>     * Current Lucy Subversion  repository:
>     * Current  Lucy mailing lists:
>     *  KinoSearch Subversion repository:
>     * KinoSearch  Perl API documentation:
>     *  KinoSearch Discussion list:
>     The initial source will be a snapshot from the  KinoSearch subversion
>     repository.
>     KinoSearch is currently  under a GPL/Artistic license.  There are five
>     individuals  who have made multiple significant contributions to the
>      codebase and whose participation is either essential or would be very
>      helpful: Marvin Humphrey, Peter Karman, Nathan Kurz, Chris Nandor,  and
>     Father Chrysostomos.  All have been contacted and are  amenable to
>     re-licensing their work and contributing it to  Apache.  We will contact
>     as many other contributors as  possible; if there are any that we cannot
>     obtain permission  from, we will refactor to expunge their work.
>     The Perl bindings for KinoSearch currently depend  on a few CPAN modules
>     which do not have Apache-compatible  licenses.  It will be possible to
>     eliminate all such  dependencies if necessary.
>   Mailing  lists
>     * lucy-dev
>     * lucy-private (with  moderated subscriptions)
>     * lucy-commits
>     *  lucy-users
>     Lucy already has lucy-dev, lucy-users, and  lucy-commits mailing lists
>     under   Perhaps these could be deactivated and the
>     memberships migrated  to the appropriate lists under,
>     leaving  the archives as read-only.
>   Subversion  Directory
>     Lucy already has a Subversion directory at
> In keeping with  naming
>     conventions, it could be moved to
>   Issue  Tracking
>     Lucy already has a JIRA tracker: Lucy  (LUCY)
>   Other Resources
>     Lucy already has a  MoinMoin wiki at  It would be
>      convenient to keep it, especially since its current location is also
>      where it would end up upon TLP graduation, but we will defer to  the
>     wishes of the Incubator PMC if standard Incubator wiki  placement is
>     recommended.
>      NAME             EMAIL                      AFFILIATION              CLA
>     Marvin Humphrey  marvin  AT apache DOT org  Eventful                 yes
>     Peter Karman     peter AT peknet DOT  com   American Public Media   yes
>     Nathan Kurz       nate AT verse DOT com     Scream Sorbet            yes
>     Simon Willnauer  simonw AT  apache DOT org                           yes
>   Champion
>      * Chris Hostetter (hossman AT apache DOT org)
>   Nominated  Mentors
>     * Chris Mattmann (mattmann AT apache DOT org)
>      * Upayavira (upayavira AT apache DOT org)
>     * Mike  McCandless (mikemccand AT apache DOT org) (pending IPMC 
>      * Chris Hostetter (hossman AT apache DOT org) (pending IPMC  membership)
>   Sponsoring Entity
>     Lucy is currently  sponsored by Lucene as a sub-project. This proposal
>     advocates  changing Lucy's relationship with Apache from developing all
>      new code as a Lucene sub-project, to instead assimilating existing  code
>     (KinoSearch) under the sponsorship of the  Incubator.
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> To  unsubscribe, e-mail:
> For  additional commands, e-mail:

To unsubscribe, e-mail:
For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message