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From "Christian Grobmeier" <grobme...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Mission Statement for Commons...
Date Sun, 06 Oct 2013 19:44:06 GMT
James,

thank you.

I believe Commons is in a bad shape.

Look at Commons Collections. Before 4 years somebody
said Guava is more modern, he his answer seems to be widely accepted.
http://stackoverflow.com/a/1444467/690771
This guy said we have no generics. What did we do in the past 4 years?
http://search.maven.org/#search%7Cgav%7C1%7Cg%3A%22commons-collections%22%20AND%20a%3A%22commons-collections%22

Nothing. At least nothing visible. Its fine we have a beta. I wonder why 
we haven't managed
to officially release this? The last release is from 2008.

I did consider to put my JSON component to Commons. But I didn't. 
Reason: I really need the component
and I calculated how long it would take to release it here. I thought, 
it's not helping me
to develop it here. I simply don't have the time.

I thought a long while about it.

We had discussions like: do we really need Generics? It works without! 
Do we really drop an outdated JDK? We might have users
who run JDK 1.3! And so on. Finally this led us to the situation where 
almost all of our users seem to have JDK 1.3 and
are not interested in generics - in 2013. The users who want modern 
features go to Guava. We maintain legacy code. And seriously, a lot of 
code works without generics. This is no reason to not include them.

We discuss magic strings in the sandbox. Why? We don't need to discuss 
that. Before we release we can simply check Sonar. Safe the time to 
discuss. Fix it or leave it to Sonar to report it.

We seem to think perfect documentation is more valuable then quick 
releases. Is it?

We seem to be proud of our build. I am not. It's complex. It's no fun. 
Releases should be do-able in a short time, maybe
even automated.

It is so sad that lot of good features like Collections with Generics 
were blocked such a long time or drowning in discussions.

I agree we should support old users. But if we don't have the manpower, 
we can't support them. They need to accept we are moving on. We are 
blocked with our backwards compatible ideas and innovation is far away.

When I spoke to young developers about Commons they asked me if it still 
exists. Nobody of them is interested in our community.

For the mission statement I would wish to see things like that:

Commons Components…

…are released quickly and often
…do use modern JDKs and support old JDKs only as long as they are 
supported by Oracle
…we make use of modern Java features when they are available
…can be easily released
…can be released without having 100% perfect documentation or perfect 
implementations
…are build by Community who wants to learn, experiment and create new 
features more than by Community which wants to be backwards compatible 
for a long time
…are allowed to release major versions with api breaks as they want

Cheers
Christian



On 6 Oct 2013, at 20:30, James Carman wrote:

> All,
>
> The Apache Commons project seems to be languishing as of late and we
> need some rejuvenation.  Perhaps we should try to define our mission
> as a project.  What are our goals?  What do we want to accomplish?
> Who are our users/customers?  What non-functional qualities do we want
> our software to exhibit?  How do we want to conduct ourselves?  How
> often do we want to do releases?  What else?
>
> Sincerely,
>
> James
>
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