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From Pierre Smits <>
Subject Re: ASF Status website and project health reporting
Date Fri, 03 Oct 2014 13:59:22 GMT
Hi Gabriela, All,

Thanks for your quick response. Just having mailing lists subscription
counts and absolute numbers of postings per month indeed don't say much.
Changes (both plus and minus) in those counts do say a bit more. But it is
the correlation between an aspect and others that make it more meaningful,
e.g. number of registrations vs active participants. Making all those
aspects easily accessible will help.

As such is reporting on the dept of (average) mail threads, meaning no of
threads with 1 posting vs no of threads with more postings. And reporting
on the average width of mail threads, e.g. the number of threads between
only non-committing contributors vs number of threads with interactions
between (non-committing) contributor, committer and PMC Members. Just a
handful of posters can create a lot of mails within the timeframe of a
month. And a lot of those parameters can be discussed.

Is a project with 1000 followers but with just a few contributors a very
healthy one in the eyes of the ASF? Maybe that discussion deserves another
mail thread?

I agree, subscribing to and unsubscribing from mailing lists could be done
in a more web2.0 and integrated way as opposed to the pre-2k methodology we
are using today. The same could also be applied to:

   - project registration and definition of project mailing lists
   - handling of committer and member doap files
   - handling of permission definitions for contributors,committers, PMC
   Members and ASF Members
   - handling of permissions in the various underlying tools
   - registrations, review and acceptance of iLCAs and other CA documents
   - etc

I must admit though that I don't know what the underlying tools are to
ensure that each of those tools work properly for the person using it. But
I suspect it involves a lot of manual handling. Others can elaborate on

Over the past months I have had thoughts about whether and how the main
work of the OFBiz project could support the internal processes of the ASF
as a whole and the projects under its umbrella. Based on my limited
insights regarding those processes and the knowledge I have regarding
OFBiz, this is feasible and achievable.
OFBiz has a lot of functionalities that can cater to Community Member
Services with respect to the list above, and more. One of our contributors
even has implemented a solution for a community based on OFBiz for one of
their customers (see the mail thread here: ).

But is that what the ASF wants?


Pierre Smits

Services & Solutions for Cloud-
Based Manufacturing, Professional
Services and Retail & Trade

On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 2:42 PM, Gabriela Gibson <>

> On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM, Pierre Smits <>
> wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Recently we exchanged some thoughts (twitter and otherwise) regarding the
> > status of Apache top level projects and about how the reporting by the
> > to the projects and the wider communities could be improved.
> >
> > Currently the status pages at regarding project
> > health (commit activity and mailing lists) don't allow drill down into
> > individual projects. Is it achievable to get this kind of functionality?
> >
> > Can we (as the ASF) also provide insights in number of people joining and
> > leaving the mailing lists of the projects and show what the trending
> topics
> > over the periods?
> > But also reporting on average depth and width of mailing list threads?
> >
> > I do believe that these kind of insights will help monitoring project
> > health and investigate where projects can improve regarding community
> > building.
> >
> >
> > I'm not so sure that mailing list subscription counts are very
> representative -- I recently unsubscribed from almost every forum I had
> ever joined because classification by labelling in gmail is a hit and miss,
> and the deluge of mails that were incorrectly sorted was too much.
> Instead, I use the web interfaces for those forums now.
> So, I would like to see the mailing list web interface be improved:
> Better thread navigation; and the ability to 'one-click (un)subscribe' to a
> given thread or a watch for keywords in the subject(subject to being logged
> in).  Being able to choose a digest or continuous format on a per-case
> basis would also be nice.
> If that could be done, collected statistics about participation would be
> far more reliable and informative.
> G
> --
> Visit my Coding Diary:

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