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From Shawn Heisey <apa...@elyograg.org>
Subject Re: On wearing multiple hats
Date Fri, 28 Oct 2016 13:46:09 GMT
On 10/25/2016 1:50 AM, Isabel Drost-Fromm wrote:
> Longer version: Every now and then I hear people complain either
> privately or publicly [1] that people working on Apache projects who
> are not paid to do that work and have don't have the luxury to
> participate full-time are facing a hard time getting into our
> communities. 

I'm a committer on the Lucene-Solr project, working primarily on the
Solr part.  I've had this role for about 3.5 years.  I am not a member
of the PMC.

The committer invitation came completely out of the blue.  Before that,
I had contributed a few patches via Jira, and some of them had even been
committed, but my biggest participation is being active on the Solr
mailing list and IRC channel.  I maintain Solr installations as part of
my job, but nobody has ever paid me for the work I do on the project,
and my employer has never made any demands of me in my role as
committer.  I definitely cannot work on Solr full-time.  I enjoy
participating, and I like to think that I'm part of a good open source
community.

I think I can safely say that our project has several people who are not
paid for their project work, and do not have significant spare time to
work on the project.  There are also a number of committers who DO have
jobs where I believe they are effectively paid to improve the project,
even if it's not a full job description.  It's hard to say whether those
relationships represent conflicts of interest regarding the health of
the project.  My cautious point of view is that there's no *immediate*
cause for concern with Lucene.

At least one of our committers knows almost nothing about Java, which is
significant because Lucene-Solr is a Java codebase. That person obtained
the role because of a strong willingness to help in other areas -- they
are active on the mailing lists, and they almost single-handedly
contributed a vastly superior Solr web interface before being invited as
a committer, using html, css, and javascript.

I'm not sure which Apache projects might fit the description you have
provided.  I am subscribed to a few other Apache project mailing lists,
for other Java technologies that Solr includes as dependencies.  Aside
from being far less active than the Solr community, those also appear to
work properly in the Apache Way like (IMHO) Lucene-Solr does.

Even if there are projects that work the way you have described, I'm
reluctant to endorse having the foundation "help" (read: interfere) with
their operation unless the project or its community specifically
requests it.  That should be reserved for projects that are completely
broken, not projects that have a few internal issues to work out.  If a
particular community feels that they have issues, I think it's mostly up
to that community (the PMC in particular) to make that determination and
deal with the problem.

All that said... there's likely room for improvement in some
projects/communities, even some that you'd say are healthy.

Thanks,
Shawn


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