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From Joe Bowser <>
Subject Re: Nomination for a new chair for Apache Cordova
Date Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:09:48 GMT
I think I need to go into why I don't like "The Apache Way" from the
view of the people that I actually care about, our users.  The people
who talk to me at conventions, and wonder why things are so slow,
broken and stupid.

1. All communication on the e-mail list

We've been breaking this one with Google Hangouts.  From my
understanding we can't make any decision on the Google Hangout because
that is against the Apache Way and some committer can't make the
hangout in theory.  The reality is that we have zero European
contributors and we manage to accomodate Tommy though magic of him
either being able to not sleep, or us picking a weird ass time that
screws over the East Coast.  Before we did hangouts, connect and
conference calls on a more regular basis and it was easier for us to
actually work on shit together instead of being in weird silos.

2. Bureaucracy > Community > Code

We've had numerous users complain about how we had to leave GitHub,
how hard it is to submit an issue, about API changes because of
Trademark Issues, and other issues pertaining to Apache Cordova
updates.  We've had people criticize our fix for the non-voting and
people criticize the voting.  We've basically had people criticize
everything that we've done to abide by the Apache Way because it makes
no sense.  If Community > Code actually meant something, we'd listen
to all the users we had before we donated PhoneGap to Apache and
created Cordova.  Just beacuse we're not httpd or OpenOffice doesn't
mean we don't have an active and passionate userbase that frankly
loves us and is passionate about this project far more than we ever
deserve.  We should do better to listen to them and push back against
bureaucracy that doesn't make sense.  It's not us being special
snowflakes, it's us fighting for the user!

3. Being bad at working with people and projects isn't funny

I really didn't find the SVN abandoning SVN and adopting Git funny
( because I was privy
to all the communications sent during the whole
not-voting-for-releases battle.  Everything is a big fight with
Apache, especially with people such as Jim.  The first e-mail I
remember receiving from Jim was the cced one basically telling us to
go pound sand, which is my first impression of how the Apache board
works.  Being assholes in private or public isn't funny, it's sad and
pathetic.  However, it appears to be the Apache Way, which is why I do
it on this list, albeit not nearly as hard as people do it on most of
the lists that I've seen.

I know that people don't care what anyone thinks of them, but that's a
bad attitude when you're trying to attract contributors, and when
you're trying to attract projects to the foundation.  Whether it's
hangover posts from the Git war, or other posts bemoaning the Apache
culture of RTFM when it comes to its arcane policies, this is actively
discouraging people from being involved with Apache at all, including
Apache Cordova.  I have some friends who were formerly with Apache, or
associated with the ASF that aren't because of it's toxic culture, and
it pisses me off that aspects of it continue, so yeah, I'm pretty
toxic to things that I see as toxic.  I'm not going to air all the
dirty laundry here.

Now, those are probably my main three complaints.  I already know that
there's going to be some defence about not caring what other people
think and popularity contests, and I don't view that as productive.
I'm not asking everyone to sing kumbaya, but it would be nice if the
ASF, and those trying to curry favour with the ASF, would stop
purposely trying to alienate the people who helped create this project
in the first place.  If you forwarded me an e-mail, even
unintentionally where you were abusive to myself or other people who
created this thing, I'll definitely remember that.

Now, I think I derailed this thread enough with my personal opinion.
I think Shaz should be our chair because I think he'll do a good job
at it.


On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM, Brian LeRoux <> wrote:
> Coming from Joe's perspective this is year 6 of the source code now known
> as Cordova. Jim and others have as much merit in our world as we clearly do
> in theirs. It is not uncalled for and very obvious where the sentiment
> comes from. Members of the board care deeply about Apache and we care
> deeply about Cordova. Finding a respectful and productive balance would be
> nice though clearly this is not mandatory.
> Anyhow, the very concept of PMC was always intended to be no different than
> committer in Cordova. This was understood and acknowledged during
> incubation. Despite the language of meritocracy there's a hierarchical
> pyramid at Apache (Contributor->Committer->PMC->Member) and we very
> deliberately chose to incorporate Committer and PMC Member at the same
> time.
> If you are good enough to land a patch you are good enough to be involved
> in the releasing of it. We have always intended to continue with a flat
> structure though given recent board "help" with releasing I could see this
> changing too.
> Simply put, ideally there is zero barrier to contribute and ship. Anything
> that gets in the way of contribution and releasing is inviting higher
> chance of project failure. Some of the Apache rules are build up of old
> policy that has become meaningless ceremony. We need to get better at
> acknowledging that for what it is and fixing Apache. (Another example would
> be eradicating the harmful concepts in meritocracy.)
> But back at Jim's comment: yes I very much do believe Shaz lives up the
> conveniently vague term "The Apache Way" as I understand it [1] but please
> do check the facts.
> [1]
> On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 6:17 PM, Andrew Grieve <> wrote:
>> Joe - totally uncalled for. Not sure where it even came from. If you
>> hate Apache so much, then why are you a *volunteer* on an Apache
>> project?
>> I'm fairly confident that there is not a good understanding of what it
>> means to be a PMC, or PMC chair, and Jim is spending his time to help
>> us out.
>> Jim - thank you.
>> On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 9:03 PM, Joe Bowser <> wrote:
>> > On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM, Jim Jagielski <> wrote:
>> >> There is one other aspect of the chair which, for a somewhat
>> >> newish PMC is important: The entire PMC is responsible for
>> >> ensuring that the project is run in a way which abides by,
>> >> and embraces, the "Apache Way"... when it doesn't, the
>> >> Chair needs to (1) know that the PMC is going awry and
>> >> (2) encourage the PMC to fix those problems and (3)
>> >> interact w/ the board if the PMC needs help in doing so.
>> >>
>> >
>> > So, who is to protect the PMC from yourself and rest of the board
>> > trying to destroy the project with insults and vitriol?  While I
>> > believe that Shazron is up to the task, I'm convinced that "The Apache
>> > Way" is the worst way to run a software project, and that the Apache
>> > Board spends all their time trying to find ways to debate itself into
>> > irrelevancy.  I wish that we never joined the ASF, and honestly when
>> > you told us that we should leave months ago, I welcomed it.  That
>> > being said, we're still here, despite your best efforts. We've seen
>> > what happens when the board tries to help, and it generally pisses a
>> > bunch of committers off, and ends up with people insulting each other
>> > personally.  This response to your first e-mail on this list should
>> > not come as any surprise.
>> >
>> > The fact is that Shaz fits well, because unlike me, he is diplomatic
>> > and won't tell you to jump off a cliff every time you or any other
>> > Apache person comes in and tries to interfere with our project.
>> >
>> >
>> >> Not knowing Shaz personally, how does that all fit in
>> >> with the nomination?
>> >>
>> >> On Apr 22, 2014, at 5:34 PM, Brian LeRoux <> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Hello Cordova community. To this point I've served as the chair for
>> >>> Cordova PMC.
>> >>>
>> >>> The duties of chair are solely administrative: board reports, and book
>> >>> keeping of committer nominations. Some projects at Apache have more
>> formal
>> >>> incantations. We have, so far, preferred to maintain our lightweight
>> >>> approach meaning a committer is a PMC member too. This involves
>> sending an
>> >>> email, updating a text file in SVN, and running a few perl scripts on
>> >>> Keeping those books is important if some day
>> >>> there is a dispute to the veracity of our source.
>> >>>
>> >>> In evaluation of  my current workload these additional book keeping
>> >>> responsibilities are not appropriate for me to prioritize and that is
>> not
>> >>> fair to Cordova.
>> >>>
>> >>> I'm going to step down as chair for Cordova and I would like to
>> nominate
>> >>> Shazron Abdullha to take on the role. Shaz has been with the project
>> since
>> >>> before it was called Cordova. He lands more code than most, interacts
>> >>> directly with the community more than anyone, and is committed to work
>> on
>> >>> Cordova solely full time. He'll be a better chair than I ever was.
>> >>>
>> >>> I won't be going anywhere and (I hope!) this means I can contribute
>> more
>> >>> code than emails in the future. We can be formal and go to a vote if
>> there
>> >>> is objection or interest in seeing someone else take the admin duties
>> on.
>> >>> Otherwise, I'll aim to shoot the board official notice early next week.
>> >>

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