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From Sander Striker <stri...@apache.org>
Subject Re: consider reopening 1.3
Date Sun, 16 Nov 2003 02:51:27 GMT
On Sun, 2003-11-16 at 01:12, Glenn wrote:
> Ok, so Apache2 uptake is slower than desired for some (not all) on this
> list.  That's only logical given the success and therefore inertia to stay
> with Apache 1.3.  But there are more than a few other factors mentioned in
> recent threads that are contributing to Apache2 development stagnation.
> Ignore for a moment that vendors have only recently begun shipping Apache2
> as the default web server instead of Apache 1.3.  Stas pointed out some
> serious problems.  I reformulate them slightly differently here.
> 
> - lack of clear leadership

That is a property of our development model.

>  and even basic direction scratch-an-itch development is fine and good, but
>  not in total chaos

The product is pretty mature.  The scratch-an-itch is mostly due to
bugreports, or own bug discovery.

> - cathedral development
>   it appears that more than a few serious discussions have not happened
>   on-list and instead happen on IRC or elsewhere (board rooms?) without
>   apprising the list of what transpired.  (Or have there been absolutely
>   no recent design discussions?)

This keeps comming back and back.  Yes, there are some loose discussions
on IRC sometimes.  But nothing is being hashed out there.  Most of it is
brought back to the list.
And at ApacheCon there are bound to be more discussions, given there
will be a large chunk of developers present.

[...]
> - insufficient (developer) documentation
>   sure, there's the source, but it takes a lot longer to wrap ones head
>   around the Apache2 paradigms than it did for Apache 1.3 BUFFs and such.
>   The barrier to entry is much higher; solid design documents would be
>   infinitely helpful

This is being worked on.  Also, documentation patches are always more
than welcome...

> - dwindling community
>   The apache-dev list focus on 2.0 /to the detriment of 1.3/ is at odds
>   with the rest of the world that relies on the venerable Apache 1.3

For a group of developers, whose time can be only spent once, it seems
no more than logical that they move on to the newest project.  Further,
the 1.3 tree is still in maintenance mode, and releases _do_ go out.

> - ...
> 
> Whether or not you take issue with any of the above and can provide
> (quite reasonable) defenses, I think you'll agree that the problems
> above exist to some degree or another.  My driving point is that
> action needs to be taken to keep this community fresh and vibrant.

Sometimes taking some time off is considered a good action aswell.
It may even be the case that some of us are taking time off, just
to return fresh.

> Since there is not enough time for the project leaders to address these
> issues by themselves, the obvious answer is that there needs to be more
> people involved to help shoulder these tasks.

The pool of resources in the Open Source world is smaller as one thinks.
For instance, do a cross-reference between projects and notice names
coming back, over and over again.  If you really think that there are
people interested in this project, and even have the required skillset
to make a difference, why aren't they here, knocking down our doors?

> So where do we go from here?
> 
> *** We need better patch management
> 
> Some suggestions were made in recent threads; I won't relist them here,
> but they have my full +1 support.  I hope those at ApacheCon hash
> something great out.
> 
> *** We need to get back many of the disenfranchised Apache 1.3 developers
> 
> Killing Apache 1.3 is not a good option.  There is a strong "business"
> need in many places to stay with Apache 1.3.

Who said anything about killing?  The 1.3 tree is maintenance mode.
That means, bug fixes only, no new features.

> The better option is reopening the 1.3 tree.
> Release 1.4 and open a 1.5 dev tree, with the specific intent on
> having the 1.4 release eventually map _directly_ into a _seamless_
> upgrade to Apache 2.x, with very easy and clear directions for using
> a reverse proxy for those legacy 1.3 third-pary modules.)  While
> upgrading is not hard for developers, Apache is not a simple product.
> We need an even-better (tm) way to get users from There (Apache 1.3)
> to Here (Apache 2.x).  Yes, more trees are extra work, but this
> community is rapidly deteriorating without them.

Ahum, let me understand this correctly... You are suggesting that we
spread out our scarce resources over even more trees?  What do you
think will happen if we do that?  If there is more work to be done,
in basically the same time, by the same people, won't progress slow
down even more?

> *** We need to get more people using Apache 2.x

Now that seems like a wise remark.  This is happening step by step,
we're nicely ramping up.

> Apache 2.x is not going to get any better than it is now until more
> people start using it in the real world (outside the lab).  Welcoming
> back the 1.3 developers and aiding the transition is one piece.
> Making this forum more responsive (e.g. with better patch management)
> is another.  Project leadership is the biggest key.

No.  Project leadership is not what this is about.  The group leads,
not a person, or small group of persons (unless you want to call the
PMC small).

> If the Apache project leaders put their heads together, give some
> direction to development and patch management, and ask for help,
> I'm sure there will be a groundswell of supporters, me among them.

We'll prolly discuss it this week, over drinks.  The first thing
for me to establish, is a view on what is causing the stagnation.

Sander

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