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From Alex Karasulu <aok...@bellsouth.net>
Subject [status] What's going on here?
Date Fri, 31 Dec 2004 06:37:39 GMT
Hi all,

There are lots of things going on ...

Releases and Tradmark Issues
=====================

The attempt to release our products and the vetting of IP issues have 
made us confront some problems which we did not know of until now.  It's 
a bummer that we have to let go of some names we had fun with. However 
these names are not ours to use in the first place.  They were cute and 
fun but this project has so much to offer than just a snazzy name or 
two.  The substance and vision is going to overwhelm many when they 
realize what actually is happening here.  Furthermore as we come out of 
our shell slowly we have to do right as a respected ASF project.

So we're renaming the following subprojects:

Eve is renamed to the Apache Directory Server
Janus' will be renamed once a name is determined
SEDA will be renamed to sedang

*Please* if you have issues with any of these new names voice them 
soon.  I'll probably try to change them soon after the new year.

We have a vote out now for releasing naming, ldap (excludes snacc 
provider), and asn1 (formerly Snickers).  Hopefully we can fix the rest 
of the naming issues and also have them released in yet another round.

Directory Project Vision
================

Noel and I were conversing by phone about our vision and how perhaps its 
not really being conveyed properly.  The miscommunication of the vision 
was more apparent after some of the emails that were sent out, for 
example like this one:

http://wrongimpression.notlong.com/

People are begining to think we are a bunch of incoherent projects 
banding together without a mission to just gain mass within the 
incubator.  This unfortunately (after second thought) is a valid 
conclusion people can have when looking in at Directory from the 
outside.  It is very important for us to make sure people see our vision 
clearly.  Part of the misconception is that our vision has changed 
slightly.  Another reason is our website.  First perhaps its worth 
restating it now.  I probably will not do it much justice but I'll give 
it a shot.  I'd like to do it here in this email and on our website 
eventually by restructuring things a little bit and by painting pictures 
like this:

http://incubator.apache.org/directory/subprojects/eve/images/architecture.png

Our primary vision (others also outlined below) is to build an 
enterprise directory server platform (and its components) where other 
Internet services snap in to store their data in a directory so they may 
be managed using LDAP.  From the image above (which needs more 
elaboration) you'll see the architecture is designed so services like 
Kerberos and other services not shown like DNS, DHCP, ChangePW, UDDI et. 
cetera. will snap in.  These services will use a common networking layer 
(apseda, mina, or sedang) and back their data within the Apache 
Directory Server's backing stores without any network latency or going 
through the LDAP line protocol.

For the record we're not trying to compete with anyone here.  However 
this vision is very similar to another enterprise solution which we all 
know of.  Our long term vision is to ultimately be able to provide a 
similar turn key solution to the world outside of Windows.  We want to 
support *NIX and other operating systems even Windows in the same 
respect as does the unmentioned product.  We would also like the 
platform to become a cornerstone for application infrastructures.  Yes 
community building and other factors go into this picture as well 
however this is geared to be a technical vision. 

Other aspects to our vision include becoming the JNDI goto project and 
also becoming the one stop shop for all directory and naming concerns at 
the ASF that are outside of the scope of JNDI or even Java.

Why must we impart this vision?

Understandably people looking from the outside in at Directory are a bit 
perplexed.  They see these networking toolkits (several of them), ASN.1 
libraries, security APIs, and servers like Kerberos.  The only thing 
that makes sense initially is the LDAP server.  We must show them how 
this all fits together.  Our website fails to impart this vision and 
people wonder if we're just banding together to look like a community.  
So below I'd like to discuss some changes to the site that will get this 
vision across immediately so no one has any doubts about what we are 
doing here.  Also I want people to understand that there is a division 
of labor that is necessary where the core proficiencies of the 
individuals in this community are put to the best use.  Furthermore the 
skills are being applied to bring together a coherent product.  Hence 
not everyone needs to work on the same exact lines of code to be working 
together as a team.

The vision is huge.  Our goals are a massive undertaking to acheive.  
However the rewards and satisfaction to be gained is proportional.  We 
are benefiting from this architecture where DNS and DHCP servers are 
already partially implemented.  We're implementing protocol servers that 
naturally fit into the vision so rapidly its sick.  I think we can make 
this vision a reality and kick off yet another great Apache phenomenon. 


Website Changes
============

To reflect the vision we need to get a more thorough version of this 
image (as Noel recommended) onto the front page of our website.  It 
might also help to make the image into an image map that links to the 
approapriate project.  This is in addition to the menus and drill down 
structure we already have today.  I think this needs to be done along 
with a clear statement of our vision on the front page.  These are the 
most important changes.

Other changes I would like to push are more infrastructure related.  The 
CVS module we deploy generated sitedocs into is chewed up now with our 
gradual evolution, growth and all the renaming that has occured in the 
past as well as recently.  There are soooo many empty directories it's 
painfully slow to update a working copy or to commit things.  Noel and I 
spoke about having a staging area that can be rsynched to the html root 
for Directory rather than using CVS or even SVN.  This way we avoid the 
VCS bloat, simplify the process, and still have a copy available for 
infrastructure to reinstall incase the site is lost.

Cheers,
Alex


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