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From Ceki Gülcü <>
Subject RE: PMC official business
Date Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:55:25 GMT


I think the growth of Jakarta and other umbrella projects is a sign of 
success. Having too much is a nicer problem than having nothing or being 
plain ignored. I am a newcomer to the ASF and do not know very much about 
the Apache organization. What I know is that Apache has an excellent 
reputation. However, reputation is an asset that melts faster than snow in 
a hot day. When log4j joined the Jakarta umbrella many hesitant users 
decided to adopt log4j as their logging library.  Having log4j under Apache 
basically make the following statement: "there are many logging libraries 
but this one is Apache." Clearly our project benefited from this Apache 

I dare to hope that the reverse is also true. When good projects join 
Apache the reputation of the organization is strengthened. When 
jakarta-log4j was announced, one user wrote that "the best projects 
eventually became Apache projects." I can hardly imagine a better seal of 
approval. Inviting good projects to join our umbrella should be viewed as a 
win-win situation.

Coming back to the issue at hand, no one should underestimate the dangers 
of overstretching. I think that by letting the project commiters make most 
of the project related decisions the dangers of centralization and 
overstretching are alleviated. At the same time we need more cohesion. 
Guideline documents suggesting project decision making processes, a common 
project directory structure, a common project web look-and-feel, and 
solution to other commonly encountered problems could increase the cohesion 
between the different projects.

I feel that by being part of Jakarta I am part of a larger family of 
developers. As part of that family, I will use the tools produced by other 
members not because I have to but because I can. What I like most about OSS 
is the exhange of ideas. Being part of the Apache community makes it easier 
to share ideas and that makes it worth the effort.

Changing the scope of the Jakarta project alone will not have any tangible 
effect. (Here, I am assuming that the intend is to extend the scope not 
restrict it.) Defining the Jakarta scope is just one step in the right 
direction. The scope is a bit like a constitution. We also need a whole 
body of supporting guideline documents (legislation).

Before people sending flames, notice that I used the word guidelines and 
not rules. The last thing we need are more hard rules. Just my two 
centimes. Ceki

ps: On a related note, I don't think this discussion should be held on the 
ant-dev list. Shouldn't there be a list for project wide (Jakarta) discussions?

At 13:52 31.01.2001 +1100, you wrote:
> > I'll take the liberty of excerpting another statement from Roy Fielding:
> >
> >    So, in case anyone is wondering why these "umbrella projects" aren't
> >    working the way we'd like, I'd say it is because they exceeded their
> >    mandate.  I think they did so with extremely good intentions, and the
> >    board was kept
> >    somewhat informed along the way, but it certainly wasn't by design.
>I guess I don't have the full context here. When Roy says, "these projects
>aren't working", I have to ask to what he is referring. How and for whom are
>these projects not working? Is this coming from the project committers, from
>the PMC itself, from users?
>In the end I guess we are going to need to understand the role of the PMC.
>When the guidelines say the PMC "is responsible for setting overall project
>direction", what does that really mean in practice? How does it do carry out
>that role?
> >
> > What I am trying to do now is determine if there is, in fact a "Jakarta
> > community".  People working together towards common goals.  It was my
> > assertion that there was, but I must say that at the moment I'm a bit
> > underwhelmed by the number of responses to this query.
>If there is a Jakarta community, what are its common goals? If we say
>something broad like Server side Java, then there are other candidate
>technologies where there is little activity such as JMS, EJB, etc. When this
>has come up, it has often been stated that there is no need for Jakarta to
>pursue such technologies since there are other good OSS solutions for these.
>That is certainly a reasonable statement but if this is true, then what is
>to be Jakarta's charter?

Ceki Gülcü - Independent IT Consultant

av. de Rumine 5            Tel: ++41 21 351 23 15
CH-1005 Lausanne        e-mail:  or

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