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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Is Apache Dead?
Date Sun, 11 Jun 2000 14:30:33 GMT
marc fleury wrote:
> [picture the sound of one big huge SNIP]
> stefano,
> first of all, my apologies for mispelling your name, I have a very bad
> memory for names.  

Don't worry, I happens all the time. :)

> I was very surprised by the calm and polite tone of your
> letter and it got me thinking that you boys really did not know what war is
> and, as you claimed, maybe it was better this way... my apologies, now that
> I think about it, you are probably right.

Thank you, I'm glad you changed your tone too. Despite the unlucky
experience you had with us (which I still believe it was due mainly to
misunderstandings from both sides), after three years of open source, I
learned that a nice, friendly and respectful tone is the best to
disengage a critical situation and restore a good communication.
> well then, I will change my pitch and I am sure the italian in you will
> appreciate this parallel.  

Well, I'm 100% italian and I do appreciate it.

> Imagine for a second that you are a Roman
> emperor, better yet a Roman senator, let's leave the role of the emperor to
> Brian (;-).  You are sitting there and Rome is big, Rome is powerful, Rome
> is respected.  You pride yourself in the "pax romana", that powerful new
> notion, that really made Europe, that one notion that under a ruler, a new
> geo political reality of unification can happen.  It is true, your pax has
> propagated to the far reaches of your world and you have laid a ground work
> that is to last many centuries.

Nice parallel, indeed.
> As a small outfit on the far boarder of the empire we once asked to join the
> roman empire, we brought our riches, our territories our soldiers and our
> city to your senators.   Your senators voted unanimously yes... it was
> overrulled.  From the far reaches of the empire it seemed as if something
> was rotten in the empire;0).

Yes, Marc, this is the key point. I perfectly remember that Brian just
suggested to wait until the jakarta and XML project have settled thus to
be able to dedicate more ASF bandwidth to this.

To follow your parallel, the senate was dealing with the annexation of
"Gallia" (Jakarta) and "Hispania" (Apache XML) at that moment and your
"small outfit" (no offense, really, just quoting your words) was not a
very high priority and our "emperor" suggested to wait until those
things passed to create a better substrate for this outfit to grow even

> Word on the battle fields is that the empire isn't that strong.  Word has it
> that the new barbarians, the commercial entities, are running amock and
> causing fear and damage on the boarders. Ever read "asterix"? we were
> fighting it alone, with a magic potion. We see it every day, our city is
> besieged by barbarians all the time!  Rome is but a distant ideal and the
> legions of Rome and their softness make us sad, their ideals are soft, their
> tactics are soft and even their politics are soft.  Out here it is war and
> war is our daily lot.
> Barbarians are at the gate, maybe already in,  and you refuse to see it.

This is an interesting vision. I honestly never "refused" to see
something myself, I'm too curious for something like this to happen.
Normally, when I "fail" to see something is because I was looking
someplace else or sleeping in my "pax romana".

You are suggesting that some of our moves might damage ourselves. I
think you are perfectly right, but I very humbly think we are perfectly
aware of this, at least I am for the projects to which I contribute
> When you talk to us about licenses and open source it feels to us like you
> are this big fat senator, coming down in his "portachair" and giving us
> lessons, when what is coming is all too clear to us... This arrogance from
> Rome is the only thing that keeps us nordics, french, russians on our toes
> and doubting about the mightness of Rome. Your talks sound hollow and your
> tactics outdated, you have grown soft in your comfortable roman world of pax
> romana... It is an illusion we stopped believing in some month ago... we
> fight it alone thank you, respect is too much to ask from us ...

What you see as "softness", it's required by the different perspective
we have. You create a project following specifications. We would like to
influence those specifications with our projects or create
implementations that can keep the standard as a fair and open commerical
growth substrate for all of us.

Are we getting less hacky? you have to, when you have to talk to suite
from IBM or Sun or Oracle or Apple.... but many of our "senators" are
very respected engineers in these companies and peace never harmed
anyone more than war.
> it will help if I laid it clearly
> 1- Don't assume everyone wants to join the "pax apache", 

We don't, trust me. We are perfectly aware of the difference in vision
between GNU and Apache. We respect GNU as much as GNU respects Apache.

> word on the street is your web server is dead

What do you mean? you mean that Apache will loose the market of web
servers, or that the ASF is not only based on the Web Server anymore?

Please, be more precise.

> 2- Integrate the hypothesis that you are peaking politically in your
> strategic equations <g> it will enable you to do a "harry seldon" thing and
> save the Foundation from many years of barbarian domination

Good suggestion.

> 3- Even your leaders say the server is dead.... (JavaOne, no names ;-) we
> believe in Catalina, but there are other players, you will see competition,
> get ready and you will win... let it run and you will die...

Oh, dude, I can't speak for the projects I'm not involved in, but for
the Java and XML side we are definately ready for the next fight. The
Pax Romana must be defended with aggressive changes, sometimes.

We are preparing the substrate for these changes.

> 4- It's a 80/20 thing, the 80 percent you achieved is amazing don't assume
> you have nuked the field.  We will tell you that the fact is that the WEB OS
> is a reality that you are far from grasping.  The 20 left even in your
> domain is tough...

Our plan is peace, not world domination. You can't "force" freedom (like
RMS is trying to do), you have to make it happen.

And differences are well understood and respected.
> Listen I need to go to ice-hockey tomorrow morning 6am so I won't go on much
> longer... but I look forward to seeing Federico on Monday at Sun and hearing
> that all in fine in the Empire, I strongly believe you have all the talent
> you need.  

Federico, Pierpaolo and I have been working on the Avalon project to
provide a solid foundation to all the project being developped under out
umbrella, but also open for others to join without requiring licensing
changes and general paradigm shifts. This is because we respect
differences and consider them valuable.

> So stay solid and don't let appearances lead you astray. The
> Java field is a difficult one.  The Open Source java field is even more of a
> real puzzle. 

I totally agree, but I'll tell you what: we have different views of the
world from inside this big community (Jon and myself don't agree on many
important things), but as long as respect is the fuel of our engine, no
unsolvable problems can arise.

James Duncan Davidson introduced the term of "software darwinism" and we
are applying it even inside our own projects (Catalina vs. Tomcat,
Cocoon2 vs. Cocoon1, etc...)

Don't necessary assume that because we appear compact and well assested,
there is no pulsing life inside. This is a dangerous understatement of
our power as a community.

> And the WebOS won't appear over night, it is an evolutionary
> thing.  Myself and others in our organization, as well as others in the java
> field (heard of Resin?) are pursuing this thing and we see it all too
> clearly.  There are no hard feeling towards Rome as we are grateful and in
> awe of what it has achieved.

Well, this was not exactly the tone of your first email :), but the
important thing is that we agree on standards and team to change them
when required.
> Finally, don't spread yourselves too thin... it was the demise of every
> great army.  Keep the project coherent it doesn't look this way today as
> your technological vision is soft and blurred.  GET IT IN FOCUS!!!!!!!.

Our technological vision is far from being soft and blurred. I hope you
find the time to talk with Federico about Avalon and the impact it might
have for the integration of our java projects.

Sure, there is nothing ready to show yet, and you're right: this is a
big puzzle. But we have many pieces of this puzzle and we are creating
the glue between them. Making sure our ideas and development models
filter back inside the Java specifications and the corporations that
collaborate with us.

It's a very different kind of war: it's called diplomacy. But I believe
our ability to fight this it's a measure of our strenght, not a measure
of our weakness.

> Peace love and good code,

Thanks. May the source be with you :)

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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