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From Richard Hirsch <>
Subject Re: Nobody from the ASF is helping (ESME) sustain or build momentum or community
Date Sun, 03 May 2009 09:25:46 GMT
I agree with Vassil in that the main issue deals with the creation of
exceptional open-source code and the different ways to build the community
to support such code. Much of the debate revolving around the ASF concerns
unspoken expectations - what should / can ASF provide emerging projects. As
Gianugo puts it

> The actual community building is however a task for the project itself: the
> ASF isn't Midas and won't be able to
> turn an unattractive project into sexy stuff that gathers time and
> enthusiasm from volunteers.

IMHO, the ASF provides the structure - based on years of experience - and
infrastructure to support such communities.  I
think all open-source projects want to succeed. There is always some hidden
hope that the ASF's Midas touch will lead to a stream of new developers
contributing to this success.  I think in the ASF the focus is on doing
things the "Apache" way as a means of creating this community.  Although ASF
can provide guidance based upon what has been successful in other Apache
projects, it can't be expected to do the grunt work for all its projects.
We could expect more "lessons learned" from other ASF projects coming from
the mentors but the actual application of these ideas has to come from us.

Speaking of grunt work, we should probably be considering what to do about
the necessity of rewriting the ESME codebase as  David and Erik describe. We
can have the best wiki in the ASF but ESME is a software project and without
a solid code base we aren't going to get very far.


On Sun, May 3, 2009 at 12:22 AM, Vassil Dichev <> wrote:

> Without trying to get into David's mind, I'd like to point out that
> David's blog post was more of a reaction to defend the Rails
> community. I must say it's possible to get the point across even
> without the unfortunate comparison with the ASF. The point is this:
> it's hard writing exceptional software. I think you both agree on one
> count: even guidance and support don't guarantee a groundbreaking
> software project. If success was easy to reproduce, someone would have
> discovered a way of generating groundbreaking software projects on a
> mass scale.
> Now I don't think that a software project has to be groundbreaking to
> be useful. I have no illusions that ESME is destined to be as
> groundbreaking as e.g. Rails. I still hope it has the chance to be
> useful.
> With that said, I hope that any heated arguments originating from the
> Rails scandal are over soon, because there are probably no two people
> who agree on which software is useful or groundbreaking. And the time
> and effort spent in a discussion like this could be spent creating
> software.
> Vassil

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