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From Bertrand Delacretaz <>
Subject Re: What are the basic, invariant rules of Apache projects?
Date Mon, 31 May 2010 10:17:25 GMT
Hi everybody,

Thanks very much for all your comments and additions - here's my final
draft for review.
I plan to post it on Thursday as I'm offline tomorrow and Wednesday.

I haven't taken all your suggestions into account, tried to keep the
post short, and found a way to not speak about "rules" as this is
really just information at this point.

This thread seems to contain enough material for a few other comdev
blog  post, so don't by shy ;-)


Final draft:

DRAFT: What makes Apache projects different?

Sharing a code repository with some other programmers might seem
enough to create an open source project, but the Apache Software
Foundation focuses on making projects sustainable in the long term,
and ensuring that our code is legally clean.

This means that our projects have to follow a (small) number of rules,
and a number of best practices have been established over the years.

Here's a quick description of how Apache projects are born and live on
- some of the items below are derived from the ASF's bylaws
(, others are just best
practices that evolved over time.

Projects enter the ASF via the Incubator, anyone can suggest a new
project as described on the Incubator website

A Project Management Committee (PMC) oversees each project on behalf
of its users, contributors, committers and the foundation itself.

New committers and PMC members are elected by the PMC based on merit.

Committers and PMC members are not necessarily ASF members, to be
members they have to be elected separately (see "roles" in

Each project has at least one private and one public
(development,"dev") mailing list which are the only official
communication channels for the PMC members and committers.

Discussions and decisions about people (such as the elections
mentioned above) usually happen on the project's private list, but
that's not a hard rule, each PMC can decide.

All other decisions happen on the dev list, discussions on the private
list are kept to a minimum.

"If it didn't happen on the dev list, it didn't happen" - which leads to:

a) Elections of committers and PMC members are published on the dev
list once finalized.

b) Out-of-band discussions (IRC etc.) are summarized on the dev list
as soon as they have impact on the project, code or community.

Where possible, decisions are made by consensus. The ASF has voting
procedures that projects can use to determine whether consensus has
been reached (

Releases are created according to the ASF's release rules
(, and all released software
uses the Apache License (

A formal PMC vote is required to publish a release. By voting to
accept the release, the PMC makes the release one of the foundation,
rather than simply one of the release manager.

Each PMC reports to the ASF's board of directors, usually quarterly.
The PMC's report mentions progress made, and any problems encountered.
Items of particular relevance to the board include community,
releases, development work and compliance with the ASF's rules and
best practices.

Trademarks and logos used by ASF projects belong to the ASF.

Don't hesitate to ask on the community development mailing list
( if you have questions about this - and
in the meantime, have fun at the ASF, commit early and communicate

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