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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: Back to the roots (was: Re: Suggestion: shtool)
Date Mon, 26 Apr 1999 01:45:20 GMT
>   Let me explain something: First, I've intentionally _not_ elected myself as
>   an ASF board member when you remember. And I'm convinced that my reasons
>   for this were similar to the reasons why other coders under us haven't done
>   it (I'm just guessing, I don't know it). But I will not explain this
>   decision. Public fact is just that I personally dislike _any_ politics
>   related to software and that I observe the currently ongoing ASF-hype with
>   mingled feelings. When I work on a piece of software I do this for mainly
>   technical reasons, usually because I want a better version, additional
>   features, less bugs, etc. And additionally also to get the credit for it,
>   of course. But I'm convinced that a piece of software dies whenever one
>   starts making politics with it and out of it. I know that mostly all don't
>   share my impression that ASF is politics, of course. It's perhaps only my
>   dogmatic opinion...

Ralf, now you are insulting me.  Perhaps if you had a better understanding
of politics you would understand what I have been doing and why I have been
doing it.  ASF exists to separate the legal and business issues of protecting
the Apache projects from the technical decisions within those projects.
It exists to do exactly what you want, but it can't do so if the people
it intends to protect are going to act like spoiled brats.  The ASF is a
membership organization and you are just as capable of setting its direction
as any of the other members.  The only difference between you and a board
member is that you haven't promised to devote a significant amount of time
to help run the business side of the organization.  That is your choice,
but you have no right to imply that the others who *have* promised to
devote their time are doing so for anything but the best of reasons.

This isn't about "back to basics" or needing more technical work and
less politics.  I have contributed more on the technical side of Apache
in the past six months than you have, by far, in addition to setting up
ASF.  As for ASF-hype, we haven't even announced its existence yet
(because, technically speaking, it doesn't exist yet).  There has been
no press releases.  Nobody outside of the core even knows who is on the
board of directors.  If you think the ASF-hype is already too much, then
be prepared to be severely disappointed.  The people who are doing all
the work on the business side of the project deserve recognition for
that work, and we don't have a CHANGES file for that.

We can't hide from the fact that Apache is successful.  We can't deny
the fact that someone like me is going to get several requests for
conference talks a month, hundreds of questions about variations on the
redistribution license, and quite a few queries about how other people
can contribute to the project even though they are not programmers.
I already get that now!  So far, we have been unbelievably fortunate
that some pompous ass hasn't bothered to sue us as individuals for some
imagined slight within Apache, and that is the only reason we haven't
been screaming for a corporate infrastructure in the past.  But that
doesn't mean we don't need one!

>   So, to make it clear, I can reverse Jim's sentence and reword it this way:
>   "participating in the AG only for personal gain and recognition without
>   _regular_ contributing code is bad". Because Apache is a just piece of
>   software and nothing more or less. And a piece of software lives only from
>   the regular contribution and maintainance of coders and not from politics.
>   Sure, some politics are always required, but when it gets too much the
>   software will suffer in the long-term. And currently the ASF-hype is
>   already too much in my personal humble opinion.

Well Ralf, you are wrong.  Apache exists right now because I was very aware
of politics when the group was founded and the three times it almost blew
apart in the first year.  The fact that you weren't involved in those
decisions doesn't make them any less real, nor does it lessen their part
in making Apache possible.  You would be amazed at how many seeming
"accidents" of history were due to a great deal of planning and effort
on the part of people working in the background, out of the spotlight,
simply trying to keep a good thing going.  Apache is far more about the
people involved in collaborative development than it is about the software
produced by those people -- if that were not the case, this would be work.

If you don't like the way ASF is proceeding [and this has nothing to do
with shtool, of which I have no opinion, never agreed with Jim's comments,
and has no relation to ASF whasoever as far as I'm concerned] then by all
means put in the effort to change it.  However, as I pointed out in private,
your opinion regarding contributions to AG is supported in writing by the
ASF proposals that were made to the board, so I have a hard time
understanding why any part of this conversation with Jim should result
in you making negative comments about the ASF.  Jim is not the ASF.

That's all I am going to say on this issue.  Just do me a favor and
don't destroy the project while I am on vacation.  To everyone else,
if you want to know more about what the ASF stands for and why, the
very beginning of a website is at <>.
Note that some of the links are broken because we haven't created the
info yet.  Please do not publish the URL outside the Apache-related
project lists.


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