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From "John D. Ament" <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept Freemarker into Apache Incubator
Date Fri, 19 Jun 2015 23:08:31 GMT
+1 binding
On Jun 19, 2015 3:16 AM, "Jacopo Cappellato" <> wrote:

> Following the discussion in the thread [1], I would like to call a VOTE to
> accept Freemarker as a new Apache Incubator project.
> The proposal is available on the wiki at [2] and is also attached to this
> mail.
> The VOTE is open for at least the next 72 hours:
> [ ] +1 accept Freemarker into the Apache Incubator
> [ ] ±0 Abstain
> [ ] -1 because...
> Thank you,
> Jacopo Cappellato
> 1.
> 2.
> ======================================================
> Freemarker Apache Incubator Proposal
> Abstract
> Freemarker is a "template engine", i.e., a generic tool to generate text
> output based on templates. Freemarker is implemented in Java as a class
> library for programmers.
> Freemarker is a mature, widely used template engine. We propose to make
> Freemarker a top level project of the Apache Software Foundation, primarily
> so that it can build a stronger developer community, which provides more
> safety, stability and support to the large user base, and also helps
> evolving the engine and its integration with other projects (many of which
> are Apache projects).
> Proposal
> Freemarker is a "template engine"; a generic tool that generates text
> output (HTML web pages, e-mails, configuration files, source code, etc.)
> based on templates and changing data. It's not an application for end-users
> in itself, but a Java library, a component that programmers can embed into
> their products.
> Freemarker was originally created for generating HTML Web pages,
> particularly in servlet-based applications following the MVC pattern. It’s
> not bound to servlets or HTML, however.
> The Freemarker Template Language (FTL) is not a full-blown programming
> language like PHP. It’s a simple, specialized language (although among
> template languages it’s quite flexible). You meant to prepare the data to
> display in a real programming language, like issue database queries and do
> business calculations, and then the template displays that already prepared
> data.
> Freemarker 1.x was initially released under the LGPL license. Later, by
> community consensus, we have switched over to a BSD-style license. As of
> Freemarker 2.2pre1 (2003), the original author, Benjamin Geer, has
> relinquished the copyright in behalf of Visigoth Software Society, a
> nonprofit organization started by Jonathan Revusky. With Freemarker 2.3.21
> (2014) the license has changed to Apache License, Version 2.0, and the
> owner has changed from Visigoth Software Society to three of the Freemarker
> 2.x developers, Attila Szegedi, Daniel Dekany, and Jonathan Revusky. Apache
> License, Version 2.0, is the current license.
> Freemarker is a mature, widely used template engine. While it continues to
> have a large user base, the active developer community has become rather
> small at this point, and we think that the "Apache Way" governance model
> and being part of the ASF (together with other projects that are already
> using Freemarker) would help to bring new life and energy to the project to
> better support the maintenance and improvements of the Freemarker codebase.
> A larger community may also help to improve tooling (such as IDE plugins)
> and integration with popular frameworks (such as Spring MVC, Struts, etc.),
> which could foster the adoption of Freemarker. Last but not least, being
> under the Apache umbrella would put the project into a more trustworthy
> legal context, which also helps adoption, particularly among bigger
> corporate users.
> We believe that Freemarker should become a Top Level Project as opposed to
> a subproject because it has a long history and already a large feature set,
> codebase and documentation and there is a lot of room for innovation and
> improvement that would involve more community management; governance and
> autonomy to make its own direction and manage its own community may be
> important long term factors for the success of the project.
> Background
> A template engine is a template language with the basic infrastructure
> around it (configuring, caching, etc.). A template language is a language
> specialized on generating text based on changing data. Template languages
> like Freemarker Template Language are by design much simpler than general
> purpose languages, while providing convenient specialized language devices
> for tasks that are frequent during text generation.
> Template engines, like Freemarker, play an important role in applications
> that leverage the MVC (Model View Controller) pattern; for example, several
> web applications and web application framework implement the MVC pattern in
> the user interface layer: the appearance of a page can be changed without
> programmers having to change or recompile code, because the application
> logic (for example a Java program or a Groovy script) and page design (for
> example a Freemarker template) are separated. Freemarker is used to
> implement the View (V) component of the MVC pattern.
> Freemarker is also used for generating e-mail, configuration files, and
> pretty much anything that’s text. The same governing MVC principles apply
> there too, which helps to split the problem to more manageable pieces.
> Rationale
> Freemarker is a mature, stable, proven and feature rich template engine.
> While there are multiple alternative template engines for Java, after more
> than 15 years of life, Freemarker is still one of the most featureful and
> most widely used product in the category of templating engines for the Java
> platform. Despite its age, Freemarker still has potential to improve its
> functionality without breaking out-of-the-box backward compatibility, like
> fixing historical design mishaps, adopting proven ideas from template
> languages of other platforms, or to innovate with novel solutions to common
> templating problems.
> Freemarker is integrated in several proprietary and open source products
> such as Apache Struts, Apache OFBiz, Apache Camel, Liferay, Alfresco,
> Magnolia, and new open source frameworks such as Moqui. Some popular IDEs,
> including IntelliJ and Eclipse, have plugins for the development of
> Freemarker templates.
> With Freemarker joining the ASF, we hope that more developers would be
> able to join the effort and help improve and maintain the codebase, build
> new features and tools that could foster the long-term future of the
> product.
> Current Status
> Freemarker is a mature product created and maintained by a small open
> source community for more than 15 years.
> Currently Freemarker provides a fully functional implementation licensed
> under ALv2. The project home is at and the
> majority of development is coordinated via Sourceforge (
> and GitHub (
> The project sports detailed documentation and a big ecosystem of projects
> leveraging it. In fact, quite a few existing ASF project have various
> integrations with Freemarker (OFBiz, Struts, Camel etc.).
> Meritocracy
> Freemarker has been run by a few core project members with a few
> contributions coming from a wide community of participants in the project.
> In the past, core project members have emerged because of their activity
> and merits as contributors. The Freemarker community is open to new ideas
> and to revisit old ones.
> The committers and contributors that were actively involved in the project
> will be encouraged to join the new incubating community.
> We want to expand our developer and user community and run the Freemarker
> project in the "Apache Way" clearly signaling not only the licensing, but
> also the governance choice.
> Users and new contributors will be treated with respect and welcomed; they
> will earn merit in the project by providing quality patches and support
> that move the project forward. Those with a proven support and quality
> patch track record will be encouraged to become committers. Committers that
> will work for the growth and health of the community will be invited to
> become PMC members.
> Community
> There are currently just a few active core team members in the project and
> a small group of occasional contributors. The user base is quite large and
> composed by end users (developers using Freemarker for their job) and other
> open source projects.
> Core Developers
> Core developers are used to work in the openly governed communities. The
> core developers are not currently affiliated with the ASF.
> Alignment
> The Freemarker product is already licensed under ALv2 and has been created
> and maintained by an open source community for more than a decade.
> Freemarker has been integrated into Apache OFBiz, Apache Struts, Apache
> Camel, Apache Tiles and other projects. Becoming part of the ASF family can
> strengthen the collaboration with these and other projects.
> Known Risks
> While the Freemarker product is stable and very widely used, in the recent
> years the active core developer community practically has shrunk to one
> person (Daniel Dekany). The core group should grow by attracting new
> contributors in order to ensure continued maintenance in the future, and to
> win resources that helps Freemarker to evolve faster next to the
> maintenance burden.
> In fact, if Freemarker will be accepted in the Incubator, the main goal
> during the incubation phase will be attracting new contributors and growing
> the community with an "Apache Way" governance model.
> Orphaned products
> The Freemarker project is backed up by an open source community that has
> created and maintained the product for more than 15 years.
> Inexperience with Open Source
> The proposers are experienced open source developers. Freemarker to date
> has been developed as an open source project.
> Homogeneous Developers
> The Freemarker community is not backed up by any corporation and is
> diverse in terms of geography and backgrounds of developers.
> Reliance on Salaried Developers
> The Freemarker contributors are volunteers that are not paid for their
> contributions to the project.
> Relationships with Other Apache Products
> Freemarker is an independent product but there are some relationships with
> other Apache products. Freemarker currently uses some Apache products,
> mostly in its build process (for example Apache Ant, Apache Ivy, Apache
> Xalan). Freemarker has been integrated into other Apache products such as
> Apache OFBiz, Apache Struts, Apache Camel, Apache Tiles. Becoming part of
> the ASF family could strengthen the collaboration with these and other
> projects. Apache Velocity is similar in purpose to Freemarker and both
> address similar needs for a template language in text generating
> applications. However Freemarker and Apache Velocity have a very different
> philosophy, design and implementation and there is a sufficient user base
> and history for both projects to justify their independent existence.
> An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand
> While we intend to leverage the Apache ‘branding’ when talking to other
> projects as testament of our project’s ‘neutrality’, we have no plans for
> making use of Apache brand in press releases nor posting billboards
> advertising acceptance of Freemarker into Apache Incubator.
> Documentation
> A mature project website is available at In the website a
> complete manual is available:
> Initial Source
> Initial source is available on GitHub under the ALv2:
>         • The template engine
> itself
>         • Generates the
> Web site
>         • Transforms an XDocBook
> subset to HTML; used for the Freemarker Manual. (Also for the Web site in
> the future.)
> Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan
> We know of no legal encumberments in the way of transfer of source to
> Apache. The copyright holders are the three main contributors in the
> history of the project, of which one is the current maintainer and main
> actor in this incubation process. The other two have been contacted to sign
> the Software License Agreement.
> External Dependencies
> The dependencies all have Apache compatible licenses.
> Required Resources
> Mailing lists
>         • (moderated
> subscriptions)
>         •
>         • (commits, CI
> reports)
> Git Repository
>         •
> the template engine itself
>         •
> generates the Web site
>         •
> transforms an XDocBook subset to HTML; used for the Freemarker Manual (also
> for the Web site in the future).
> Issue Tracking
> JIRA Freemarker (FREEMARKER)
> Initial Committers
>         • Dániel Dékány, ddekany at
>         • Evangelia Dendramis, evangeliad at
> Affiliations
>         • Independent: Dániel Dékány
>         • Independent: Evangelia Dendramis
> Sponsors
> Champion
> Jacopo Cappellato
> Nominated Mentors
>         • David E. Jones - Apache Member
>         • Jacopo Cappellato - Apache Member
>         • Jean-Frederic Clere - Incubator PMC
>         • Ralph Goers - Incubator PMC
>         • Sergio Fernández - Incubator PMC
> Sponsoring Entity
> We would like to propose Apache Incubator to sponsor this project.

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