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From MaXiujuan <>
Subject Re: How contributors participate in this community?
Date Mon, 20 Feb 2012 09:39:46 GMT
Hi, Kevan,

  I am so grateful for your kindly and patient reply. These are all
valuable insights and comments, which mean a lot to me. 

On Sun, 2012-02-19 at 16:28 -0500, Kevan Miller wrote:
> Oops. Forgot about your email... Apologies for the slow response. Hope
> this helps...

Never mind. Please apologies for bothering you so much. And apologies
for so many questions below, please take your time and I am expecting
for any of your comments :P

> I would characterize both periods as 'open source' periods. At all
> times, the Apache Geronimo PMC has been responsible for the management
> of the Geronimo project. Not Gluecode, not IBM, nor any other company.

Thank you greatly for correcting me. Sorry, I took Geronimo in a wrong
way and now I realized that I hadn't learned it thoroughly when i heard
it together with "WAS CE"(i mean the community edition of application
server of IBM) on one of my school courses at the end of 2006. But i
still can't tell the difference between WAS CE and Geronimo, is WAS CE a
IBM version of Apache Geronimo? I am just curious about the relationship
of the two...

> Gluecode was a company providing support for Geronimo. In 2005, IBM
> acquired Gluecode. In both periods there were commercial interests in
> the Geronimo project. There are commercial interests in most open
> source projects. 

I'm not sure whether this question is proper: What does the "commercial
interests" mean? Does it refer to the company's business model, for
example, sth. like IBM's strategy on open source application server,
e.g. in my imagination, IBM wanted to support Geronimo for its WAS CE or

> Organizations like the Apache Software Foundation
> take steps to insulate their projects from these commercial interests.

What does "insulate their projects from these commercial interests"
refer to? I am very curious why to insulate, after all, it is quite
common in nowadays' open source projects with commercial sponsorship or
other kinds of involvement. Would those commercial interests lay burden
on OSS projects which would prefer to more free rapid technical

> There was no new protocol for obtaining commit privileges.

Thanks for the confirmation.

> There was a period of time where the project was following a
> Review-Then-Commit (RTC) policy, rather than a Commit-Then-Review
> (CTR). This may have have resulted in slower development (and thus
> indirectly impacted new committers joining the project).

Thanks, valuable point.

> A number of factors may impact participation in an open source
> project. Release schedules, news articles, etc -- all can lead to
> increased participation by a community (e.g. I would expect more bug
> reports to be generated after a major release, and then taper off over
> the lifetime of the major release).

Right, I did observe two increases of issue reports after Geronimo 1.0
was released and after 2.0-M was released. Then the issue reports
tapered off, just as you said. Results also show the ratio of issue
fixed was quite nice, (averagely 80% of user reports were all got fixed,
and the remaining reports were invalid or duplicated..),  suggesting
developers in Geronimo project have done a very good job:)

> The RedHat acquisition of JBoss is quite different, IMO. Personally, I
> would not equate an ASF project with an open source project like
> JBoss, which is essentially controlled by a company (JBoss and then
> RedHat).

Right, Thank you, now i know more about the difference between JBoss
project and Geronimo project.

> The departure of employees following an acquisition is not unusual.
> JBoss was "commercial". RedHat is "commercial". RedHat is also
> "larger". I expect there were a number of reasons why JBoss employees
> might have left: cultural, philosophical, and economic.

Exactly, it should be a problem when combining open source development
into a commercial environment, not existing in Geronimo, isn't it?

> I don't know what you mean by developers "leaving" (or how you're
> measuring this). I wouldn't want to discuss any individuals by name
> (or otherwise) on a public mailing list. 2003-2005 is, of course, a
> shorter time period than 2005-2010. People become involved in open
> source projects for a number of reasons (and also stop participating
> for a number of reasons). A company's interest in sponsoring employees
> to participate in an open source project could certainly play a role
> in this.

Currently I just focus on the commit activities of developers. By
"leaving", I mean a developer stopped committing code then she will not
included in my investigation. That is, I calculated the duration between
their fist SVN commit and the last SVN commit. There are still some
details to deal with, for example, if a developer finished the last SVN
commit over 1 year by the date I completed the data collection, I
assumed the developer had "left" the project. 

> Companies may ask their employees to participate in open source
> projects. IBM has (and continues to) sponsor participation in the
> Geronimo project. Some companies may have sponsored participation in
> Geronimo, but later decided to allocate their resources to other
> projects. Same is true for individuals.
Would you mind if i ask some questions about the "sponsor
participation"? Does that mean companies should give some money to ASF
for Geronimo? Or they just needs to allocate their employees to
contribute to Geronimo? 

Another question is: Do the employees from IBM full-timely work on
Geronimo? It seems those developers were quite productive measured
through their SVN commits.

> There are no process changes regarding Jira. You may find a
> correlation of increased Jira reports with major Geronimo releases (a
> period where more people may be using Geronimo, also a period where
> there may be more bugs in the software).

Right, refer to the above observation that there are two big increases
in the numbers of user-reporters and their reports right after releasing
Geronimo 1.0 and 2.0. I think these two increases show both of the cases
you described: both more people using new release of Geronimo and there
were many issues in the new release, right? 

> Use of Jira is encouraged (though not strictly required). It provides
> a way of tracking new features and functions that are added to
> Geronimo. It's also not unusual for developers to creat a Jira issue
> based on a user's report of a problem in an email, IRC message, etc.

Thanks for the details.

> >
> > I believe what Geronimo is doing has great implications for software
> > engineering, e.g, how to build a better community, what are the best
> > practices to attract participators. I would greatly appreciate any
> > comments you might have.
> Hope the above helps.

  I appreciate your help very much. They are quite precious for me.
Sorry to bother you again.

Best Regards,
Xiujuan Ma

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