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From Steven Noels <>
Subject Re: Of One-man Efforts and the like
Date Sat, 21 Feb 2004 23:00:55 GMT
On 21 Feb 2004, at 18:56, Scott Robert Ladd wrote:

<lots of snippage ahead>

> Do I become more or less visible by "donating" Jisp to Apache? What do 
> I give up, and what do I gain? This thread is helping me answer such 
> questions.

I think it's safe to say to a proper donation (provided it is accepted) 
of Jisp to the ASF might result in higher visibility of Jisp, and 
consequently of its main author. It is up to your own judgment whether 
you are seeking this visibility and whether the associated 
responsibilities and your private goals balance out. As you seem to 
indicate your interests might be in a different area than the one we 
are using Jisp for, I'm not entirely sure about this path. OTOH, we 
have seen many less mature projects candidating for ASF adoption, so 
the ASF brand seems to be a precious good.

> Again, you find words I never wrote. I like people asking me questions 
> about Jisp; I am more than happy to support the package myself. My 
> annoyance is that I've had people who expect me to provide free 
> services because it's part of "free-as-in-beer Apache. I am annoyed by 
> specific case, not support in general.

As I tried to explain, ASF projects typically address the burden of 
support by spreading it across a *community* of developers and users. 
Still, no-one can or should expect support to be readily available, let 
alone for free, just because the license allows for free redistribution 
and use. These days, for-pay support seems to be a reasonable way to 
make money out of open source, but this shouldn't mean the license 
should forbid free commercial use and redistribution. I think usage 
licenses and support models are different things, and the license alone 
will not help you much in defending your commercial interests. People 
will be attracted to your services because they see the quality of your 
work, and because they shouldn't be afraid to use your work because of 
reciprocity clauses. And if they make serious use of your work, they 
will come after support if they need to anyhow. Or that's at least how 
it sometimes works for us.

>> The ASF was created exactly to wrap code with communities and protect 
>> indiviuals from lawsuits and general abuse, even private abuse like 
>> the one you have experienced.
> I applaud Apache's purpose. I think the FSF exists primarily to 
> promote the egos of certain people, as opposed to caring about the 
> needs of working programmers. Apache appears to have its heart in the 
> right place.

Thanks. :-)

>> Of course, at that point, even protected, this won't solve your 
>> marketing for you or the way you sell yourself to companies. In 
>> short, you are on your own for that and you can be successful or 
>> suck. We have examples of both kinds in the ASF.
>> But again, going the GPL way will lock you out of the ASF world, this 
>> means loosing all the visibility you had before.
> I'm not certain how "visible" I am in the "ASF world." You and others 
> point out that Jisp is a rather obscure, hidden, and easily-replacable 
> component of some parts of Apache; that doesn't sound like much 
> "visibility" to me.
> To attain visibility in Apache, I would need to do something more tha 
> Jisp, I suspect. And so the question becomes: Is there something 
> (beyond Jisp) that I can contribute, and will my increased 
> "visibility" attract customers who need my skills? That is the debate 
> I'm having with myself this weekend.

On the visibility of Jisp in Cocoon, I can only repeat what I and some 
others stated: it's not very visible for mundane users, and its use has 
been made a configuration setting (which is the case with most Cocoon 
components) so that it can be swapped out. And we are already 
investigating what other cache or persistency engine we could integrate 
instead of Jisp - possibly JCS 
( since they are 
confronted with the same issue ATM.

Now, about the visibility of a library like Jisp as a standalone 
project, I think you should investigate a bit of the history of Lucene 
( It used to be a one-man-effort by 
Doug Cutting (also "not quite" a college kid), which was known and 
appreciated by quite a few people (as Jisp is right now), but still it 
became really well known only *after* it became part of Apache. I'm not 
saying you *should* follow the path of donation and incubation, since 
this requires a lot of work and energy, I just want to show you that 
being part of a larger family could buy you something.

Hope this helps,

Steven Noels                  
Outerthought - Open Source Java & XML            An Orixo Member
Read my weblog at  
stevenn at                stevenn at

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