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From Aleksey Yeschenko <alek...@apache.org>
Subject Re: DataStax role in Cassandra and the ASF
Date Sat, 05 Nov 2016 01:45:10 GMT
I have a feeling that you didn’t even bother to check out the mailing list threads that Łukasz
linked to.

I encourage you, and others, to first do so, instead of blindly assuming that their content
is inappropriate.

-- 
AY

On 5 November 2016 at 00:14:42, Chris Mattmann (mattmann@apache.org) wrote:

Thank you for sending this. I am not going to reply in depth now, but will do so to Kelly
and  
others over the weekend, but this is *precisely* the reason that I have been so emphatic 

about trying to get the PMC to see the road they have already gone done and the ship that
 
has already set sail.  

Those not familiar with Lucene and its vote to merge Lucene/Solr may want to Google the  
Apache archives around 2010 and see some of the effects of Individual organizations and  
vendors driving supposedly vendor neutral Apache projects. It’s not even conjecture at this
 
point in Cassandra. The Board has acted as Greg referred to else-thread, and we asked Jonathan
& the  
PMC to find a new chair (rotation is healthy yes, but we also need the chair to be the eyes
 
and ears of the Board and we asked for a change there). Mark Thomas from the Apache Board
 
also has a set of actions that he is working with the PMC having to do with trademarks and
 
other items to move towards more independent governance.  

Your experience that you cite below Lukasz is precisely one I found in Lucene/Solr, Hadoop,
 
Maven, and other projects. Sometimes the ship has been righted – for example in all of these
 
projects they have moved towards much more independent governance, welcoming to contributors,
 
and shared community for the project. However, in other cases (see IBATIS), it didn’t work
out, for  
various reasons including community issues, but also misunderstandings as to the way that
the  
ASF works. I know my own experience of being an unpaid, occasional contributor to some open
 
source projects has put me to a disadvantage even in some ASF projects driven by a single
vendor.  
I’ve also been paid to work on open source (at the ASF and elsewhere) and in doing so, been
on the  
other side of the code. That’s why ASF projects and my own work in particular I strive to
try and  
remain neutral and to address these types of issues by being welcoming, lower the bar to committership
 
and PMC, and moving “contributors” to having a vote/shared governance of the project at
the ASF.  

Thanks for sending this email and your insights are welcome below. The Apache Board should
hear this  
too so I am CC’ing them.  

Cheers,  
Chris  





On 11/4/16, 5:03 PM, "Łukasz Dywicki" <luke@code-house.org> wrote:  

Good evening,  
I feel myself a bit called to table by both Kelly and Chris. Thing is I don’t know personally
nor have any relationship with both of you. I’m not even ASF member. My tweet was simply
reaction for Kelly complaints about ASF punishing out DataStax. Kelly timeline also contained
statement such "forming a long term strategy to grow diversity around” which reminded me
my attempts to collaborate on Cassandra and Tinkerpop projects to grow such diversity. I collected
message links and quotes and put it into gist who could be read by anyone:  
https://gist.github.com/splatch/aebe4ad4d127922642bee0dc9a8b1ec1  

I don’t want to bring now these topics back and disscuss technical stuff over again. It
happened to me in the past to refuse (or vote against) some change proposals in other Apache
projects I am involved. I was on the other ("bad guy") side multiple times. I simply collected
public records of interactions with DataStax staff I was aware, simply because of my personal
involvement. It shown how some ideas, yet cassandra mailing list don’t have many of these
coming from externals, are getting put a side with very little or even lack of will to pull
in others people work in. This is blocking point for anyone coming from external sides to
get involved into project and help it growing. If someone changes requires moves in project
core or it’s public APIs that person will require support from project members to get this
done. If such help will not be given it any outside change will be ever completed and noone
will invest time in doing something more than fixing typos or common programmer errors which
we all do from time to time. Despite of impersonal nature of communications in Internet we
still do have human interactions and we all have just one chance to make first impression.
If we made it wrong at beginning its hard to fix it later on.  
Some decisions made in past by project PMCs lead to situation that project was forked and
maintained outside ASF (ie. stratio cassandra which eventually ended up as lucene indexes
plugin over a year ago), some other did hurt users running cassandra for long time (ie. discontinuation
of thrift). Especially second decission was seen by outsiders, who do not desire billion writes
per second, as marketing driven. This led to people looking and finding alternatives using
compatible interface which might be, ironically, even faster (ie. scylladb).  

And since there was quote battle on twitter between Jim Jagielski and Benedict, I can throw
some in as well. Over conferences I attended and even during consultancy services I got, I’ve
spoken with some people having records of DataStax in their resumes and even them told me
"collaboration with them [cassandra team] was hard". Now imagine how outsider will get any
chance to get any change done with such attitude shown even to own colleagues? Must also note
that Tinkerpop is getting better on this field since it has much more generic nature.  
I don’t think this whole topic is to say that you (meaning DataStax) made wrong job, or
you are doing wrong for project but about letting others join forces with you to make Cassandra
even better. Maybe there is not a lot of people currently walking around but once you will
welcome and help them working with you on code base you may be sure that others will join
making your development efforts easier and shared across community.  

Kind regards,  
Lukasz  

> Wiadomość napisana przez Edward Capriolo <edlinuxguru@gmail.com> w dniu 4 lis
2016, o godz. 18:55:  
>  
> On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 11:44 PM, Kelly Sommers <kell.sommers@gmail.com>  
> wrote:  
>  
>> I think the community needs some clarification about what's going on.  
>> There's a really concerning shift going on and the story about why is  
>> really blurry. I've heard all kinds of wild claims about what's going on.  
>>  
>> I've heard people say the ASF is pushing DataStax out because they don't  
>> like how much control they have over Cassandra. I've heard other people say  
>> DataStax and the ASF aren't getting along. I've heard one person who has  
>> pull with a friend in the ASF complained about a feature not getting  
>> considered (who also didn't go down the correct path of proposing) kicked  
>> and screamed and started the ball rolling for control change.  
>>  
>> I don't know what's going on, and I doubt the truth is in any of those, the  
>> truth is probably somewhere in between. As a former Cassandra MVP and  
>> builder of some of the larger Cassandra clusters in the last 3 years I'm  
>> concerned.  
>>  
>> I've been really happy with Jonathan and DataStax's role in the Cassandra  
>> community. I think they have done a great job at investing time and money  
>> towards the good interest in the project. I think it is unavoidable a  
>> single company bootstraps large projects like this into popularity. It's  
>> those companies investments who give the ability to grow diversity in later  
>> stages. The committer list in my opinion is the most diverse its ever been,  
>> hasn't it? Apple is a big player now.  
>>  
>> I don't think reducing DataStax's role for the sake of diversity is smart.  
>> You grow diversity by opening up new opportunities for others. Grow the  
>> committer list perhaps. Mentor new people to join that list. You don't kick  
>> someone to the curb and hope things improve. You add.  
>>  
>> I may be way off on what I'm seeing but there's not much to go by but  
>> gossip (ahaha :P) and some ASF meeting notes and DataStax blog posts.  
>>  
>> August 17th 2016 ASF changed the Apache Cassandra chair  
>> https://www.apache.org/foundation/records/minutes/  
>> 2016/board_minutes_2016_08_17.txt  
>>  
>> "The Board expressed continuing concern that the PMC was not acting  
>> independently and that one company had undue influence over the project."  
>>  
>> August 19th 2016 Jonothan Ellis steps down as chair  
>> http://www.datastax.com/2016/08/a-look-back-a-look-forward  
>>  
>> November 2nd 2016 DataStax moves committers to DSE from Cassandra.  
>> http://www.datastax.com/2016/11/serving-customers-serving-the-community  
>>  
>> I'm really concerned if indeed the ASF is trying to change control and  
>> diversity of organizations by reducing DataStax's role. As I said earlier,  
>> I've been really happy at the direction DataStax and Jonathan has taken the  
>> project and I would much prefer see additional opportunities along side  
>> theirs grow instead of subtracting. The ultimate question that's really  
>> important is whether DataStax and Jonathan have been steering the project  
>> in the right direction. If the answer is yes, then is there really anything  
>> broken? Only if the answer is no should change happen, in my opinion.  
>>  
>> Can someone at the ASF please clarify what is going on? The ASF meeting  
>> notes are very concerning.  
>>  
>> Thank you for listening,  
>> Kelly Sommers  
>>  
>  
> Kelly,  
>  
> Thank you for taking the time to mention this. I want to react to this  
> statement:  
>  
> "I've heard people say the ASF is pushing DataStax out because they don't  
> like how much control they have over Cassandra. I've heard other people say  
> DataStax and the ASF aren't getting along. I've heard one person who has  
> pull with a friend in the ASF complained about a feature not getting  
> considered (who also didn't go down the correct path of proposing) kicked  
> and screamed and started the ball rolling for control change."  
>  
> There is an important saying in the ASF:  
> https://community.apache.org/newbiefaq.html  
>  
> - If it didn't happen on a mailing list, it didn't happen.  
>  
> It is natural that communication happens outside of Jira. The rough aim of  
> this mandate is a conversation like that that happens by the water cooler  
> should be summarized and moved into a forum where it can be recorded and  
> discussed. There is a danger in repeating something anecdotal or 'things  
> you have heard'. If that party is being suppressed, that is an issue to  
> deal with. If a party is unwilling to speak for themselves publicly in the  
> ASF public forums that is on them. Retelling what others told us is  
> 'gossip' as you put it.  
>  
> "I think it is unavoidable a single company bootstraps large projects like  
> this into popularity"  
> "I don't think reducing DataStax's role for the sake of diversity is  
> smart."  
>  
> Let me state my opinion as an open source ASF member that was never  
> directly payed to work on an open source project. I have proposed and seen  
> proposed by others ideas to several open source projects inside (ASF and  
> outside) which were rejected. Later (months maybe years later) the exact  
> idea or roughly the same idea is implemented by different person in a  
> slightly different form. There is a lot of grey area there.  
>  
> How does that related to this http://www.datastax.com/2016/  
> 11/serving-customers-serving-the-community ?  
>  
> Remember the ASF is a volunteer organization. One desired effect of the  
> volunteerism is so that one single large company does not bootstrap or  
> control the project. (When my proposed ideas got knocked down, I had some  
> choices including complain to anyone that will listen, lick my wounds and  
> press on, or become less involved.)  
>  
> Whatever event has happened has happened. Like you, I only know of it  
> second hand so I will not comment.  
>  
> The volunteer committers can decide their own level of involvement. For  
> example, they can "double down" and use their free time to stay  
> involved. They can attempt to convince their organization that pulling them  
> back is the wrong move, or they can fall away.  
>  
> " The ultimate question that's really important is whether DataStax and  
> Jonathan have been steering the project in the right direction"  
>  
> Outside of the politics/litigation it is becoming normal for an ASF project  
> to rotate the PMC chair. It keeps things fresh, and helps avoid issues  
> where some may perceive control by one person/entity. Your question may  
> ultimately highlight an issue as ASF sees it, namely who is "steering" you  
> mention a corporate entity in your question.  





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