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From da...@cocoon.zones.apache.org
Subject [DAISY] Created: The meaning of Cocoon sub-project incubation
Date Mon, 31 Jul 2006 15:05:45 GMT
A new document has been created.

http://cocoon.zones.apache.org/daisy/documentation/1173.html

Document ID: 1173
Branch: main
Language: default
Name: The meaning of Cocoon sub-project incubation
Document Type: Cocoon Document
Created: 7/31/06 3:05:37 PM
Creator (owner): Helma van der Linden
State: publish

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<p>After years of software development and hundreds of developers coming in and
out, a concept crystallized around the ASF and it basically says:</p>

<p><strong>A development community is more important than the software that it
develops.</strong></p>

<p>The reason for this is simple: Software does not evolve by itself. Since
software lives in an environment which is continously changing, then software
that is perfect for the job today, might not be so in the future.</p>

<p>The existence of a healthy development community around code guarantees that
software evolution will evolve to fit the environmental constraints.</p>

<p>What does make a community "healthy"?</p>

<p>Again, after years of successes and failures, there is general consensus that
a development community is healthy if:</p>

<p>1) it exhibits diversity</p>

<p>2) it presents an open attitude toward confrontation, changes, and new
committers</p>

<p>Note that the above rules do *NOT* take into consideration technological
concepts: the ASF is *very* open to technological differences, so much so, in
fact, that technical considerations are left to the users or to the markets, but
are not filtered out by the Foundation itself.</p>

<p>The ASF cares *exclusively* about the quality of the communities and the
reason is mainly because a healthy community brings back more energy to the
foundation than it consumes (positive engine!), while a non-healthy community is
very likely to drain more energy from the foundation than it is able to donate
back.</p>

<p>The ASF can sustain its growth only if new efforts bring more energy into the
system than they use, thus contributing positively to the entire energetic
equation.</p>

<p>However building a community takes time and effort, expecially if it was
never done before.</p>

<p>For this reason, the ASF created the concept of "incubation" to allow healthy
communities to be bootstrapped.</p>

<p>A project under incubation is basically a project that is not yet considered
healthy enough to be able to give back to the Foundation more energy that it
consumes.</p>

<p>Many times incubation is done because lack of diversity. For example, if one
entity (company, group or individual) donates software to the Foundation, but
only people belonging to that entity work on it.</p>

<p>Diversity is important because it creates long-term stability. It has
happened in the past that, for example, a company goes bankrupt and all the
people who worked on the project are gone, leaving the project with no
development community. This is unacceptable because a project without a working
community drains an incredible amount of human resources and energy from the
foundation to fix things and normally much more than the project is able to give
back in the short term.</p>

<p>Incubation is a way to protect the ASF from the potential negative impact of
social problems happening inside the effort being under incubation.</p>

<p>Projects under incubation can develop the community qualities that will make
them exit the incubation period, or can simply die out. In this last case, the
effort is simply cancelled or kept there in a limbo until somebody else shows up
some interest.</p>

<p>Incubated projects are to be considered not ready from a community
perspective. Importantly, this does *NOT* mean any judgement from a
technological perspective but only from a community perspective! This is a
community of infants that need mentoring by older communities to achieve the
long-term stability that is valued by both the ASF and by the users who base
their effort on the software the ASF produces.</p>

<p>The Cocoon community will guide these sub-projects through their incubation
phase. They leave incubation when they feel that they are ready to defend their
exit intentions when needed.</p>

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