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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: [important proposal] Cocoon as official Apache project
Date Thu, 31 Oct 2002 10:45:14 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

  > Steven Noels wrote:

  > NOTE for others: Steven called me on the phone to apologize for the
  > tone of this email. So, please, people, let's keep the tone of the
  > conversation constructive.

That's a nice way of summarizing our phone call, even though its main
purpose was finding out that we were effectively misunderstanding each
other ;-)

But all is quiet now, and we live in peace & happily ever after.

<snip type="agree"/>

Maybe it's time for some clarification right now: what is this stuff all about?

Well, basically it's the itch/scratch scenario all too common to us. I
wasn't happy with the infrastructure ASF so kindly provides to us, it
being FreeBSD machines without decent Java support, and a Solaris
machine of which I heard already that it was quite difficult to
administer, let alone get access to it. And Forrest wanted to run its
automated bots on ASF equipment instead of on

Besides, we (Outerthought) had been hosting our own website for quite
some time with, and were very happy with
those people. We found out on a regular basis that other Apache people
were using the services of AO, too. AO positions themselves as an
Application Infrastructure Provider, basically managed server hosting,
but servers specifically configured for Java web hosting, with multiple
accounts/projects on one machine without interfering with each other.

So what I started thinking of was some kind of Sourceforge-like
infrastructure, but specifically aimed at Cocoon projects. The 'big
problem' I had with Cocoon-based development using the current ASF
infrastructure was that we had email lists and CVS, but no place to
'showcase' what we have been building _on_top_of_ Cocoon, or you had to
rent your own webserver - so I thought it would be nice to offer that as
a service to the community: a server where people can show what they
have been building using Cocoon, and host a number of other
community-related resources like the Cocoon Documentation Project, its
Wiki, the webapp version of Forrest, and whatelse: very similar to the
relationship between and

Funding the kickstart of such a thing was possible at that moment for
us, so I went talking with AO and we now have a machine up & running,
mostly ready to create user accounts and host projects. Finding the
time for readying a website explaining all this however was difficult,
so I was doing some background discussion with the people listed at the
bottom of, trying to find fellow supporters
(remember: so that we had some
kind of contingency plan of my own company failed to continue supporting
this initiative at some point in time.

I had the intention of broadly announcing this initiative on the Cocoon
GetTogether, and also to use as a platform for releasing
xReporter, our little database reporting engine on top of Avalon &
Cocoon, later during the year.

Then came the list, and the idea of
levelling/flattifying the current project hierarchy of the ASF, 
basically what has lead to Stefano's proposal of 'going top-level' with Already, I had been searching for a way for to become somehow 'officially endorsed' by the ASF, also
to provide some contingency to the community when Outerthought fails to
further support it. But again time constraints were cropping up, and I
didn't find the time nor the energy to write a proposal. The issue of an 
Infrastructure PMC at the ASF level has now been put on the todo list of 
Dirk-Willem van Gulik, which I happen to meet in two weeks on a 
conference, so maybe we'll be able to talk about it. All in all, the 
entire reorg thing has speeded up the willingness to change in the 
overall Apache community, it has provided the momentum to change things, 
but also it has increased the speed of conversation to a pace which is 
very difficult to keep up with, hence me being p*ssed off when Stefano 
comes up with a proposal basically ignoring what I had been doing before 
this entire reorg thing - luckily we were misunderstanding each other.

When Stefano wrote up his proposal about, I thought 
this would be the best way to go for - as Ivelin also 
suggested: all of us (current cocoondev supporters) are 'valued members 
of the Cocoon community' (speaking in all modesty!!!), and us managing 
the infrastructural concern of Stefano's proposal seemed like a Good 
Thing to me: this way, other people could come and help us, other
Cocoon-friendly companies could start sponsoring the hosting costs, etc etc.

Basically it's the scale of things and passing a certain treshhold that
brings the right people together to support this wonderful community:
the GetTogether for instance is the result of Bruno & I idleing away
over lunch, thinking what we (Outerthought) could do for our first
birthday. So we just decided to move forward with the idea of hosting 
some social/informative event around Cocoon - and suddenly, we found out 
we had an outstanding list of speakers volunteering to show up, the 
number of attendees started increasing much faster than we expected, so 
we had to find some additional sponsors, etc etc: given a certain number 
of people volunteering to share (relatively small) costs, we are able to 
provide this community with the resources it needs to further accelerate 
the further growth of Cocoon.

I was hoping to group also these infrastructure resources under one 
umbrella, to make sure people interested in Cocoon could come to a 
reference place, listing and showcasing all wonderful Cocoon-things. So 
I was very happy with Ugo willing to migrate Cocoblog to 
in the future, Andreas interested in migrating/merging, 
the Wiki being filled, and various people showing interest in (thanks Matthew, David, Ovidiu to name but a few).

And I hope this will become reality for being a
community-operated infrastructure resource for the 

And doing this while 'top-leveling' Cocoon seems like the right time to me.

So this has been on my mind since the end of Summer. Hope this clears up 
things, and that we can work from here :-)

Take care,

Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source, Java & XML Competence Support Center            

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