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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] release httpd mod_ftp-0.9.5 beta?
Date Tue, 15 Sep 2009 21:29:22 GMT
Gregg L. Smith wrote:
> Problems I see in no particular order;
> 1. Two subproject votes called simultaneously totaling 3 concurrent open
> votes (fcgid, ftp, ServerTokens OFF), and a one "let's get this ready to
> vote" (httpd 2.3.3). That's a lot to chew on, especially with all the
> other important concerns floating about at this time (mod_proxy, CVE's
> against mod_proxy_ftp, bug smashing in current branch).

I mentioned on another thread; the builds are very closely related, so it's
pretty simple to check them out side by side or put them into the same
server.  mod_ftp's installation is much simpler (although configuration
is much harder) just because we drop in a conf/extra/ftpd.conf.

> 2. Lack of knowledge of existence at user base level!

Not really a release issue at all.  But something we might do more to
promote.  I'd think moving from beta to GA might help that?  I'd been
stubborn about GA mostly due to protocol issues (almost entirely now
solved) and versioning, but have come to the conclusion that 0.9.X might
be a perfectly good GA, while 1.0.0 might introduce some API version
expectations and consistency for user/developers.

> 3. Policy that may be simply too restrictive on something at this stage
> of development.

That's not it, see the other note.  That simply isn't what the ASF is.
Code with a developer community is welcome, code without a developer
community is not (and user community is not relevant to the decision).

> 4. FTP servers are a dime a dozen.

Yup :)  I find it funny the number of them you can yum install/apt get
from any distro.  Certainly mod_ftp has a unique place in that spectrum
and doesn't really overlap any of the unix-user-account oriented flavors.

> Then again, maybe I should shut up.

There's no need; we are happy to explain why the policies exist.  Feel free
to ask "why?"

> Gut feeling tells me that if binaries were available, and were announced
> prominently in the user haunts, there would be quite a bit of noise on
> this module pro and con. Some folks however will understandably not
> touch anything labeled beta, worse yet, some people (like me) are lazy.
> I currently have this module sitting on two hard drives compiled (vc6 &
> vc9) but have not found an opportune time to learn how to configure and
> use it as I have other priorities that unfortunately at this point and
> time supersede it. I personally think it is a great idea regardless and
> plan to make said time for it in the near future.

The problem isn't binaries though, although we'll certainly make those
available.  But **we don't vote on binaries** :)  We vote on source code,
and people can do whatever with those sources.  We happen to compile them,
but so do others outside of the foundation.  Our votes are not even as much
about the quality, as the legitimacy of the release; that it is properly
extracted, packaged, licensed, that if it breaks the users can truly keep
both halves and do with it whatever they will.  And that our statement that
it is "the best version available" (not perfect version) is accurate.

That isn't to say users aren't valued, or that binaries wouldn't be helpful.

The first problem with fcgid was clearly docs.  We are working on that and
could use more folks' help.  When they become as expansive as the docs at I'll feel much better about the health of
the module here at httpd :)  You are right, while things live strictly at
dev@ they don't tend to grow a following.  Once we have a beta (and we now
have the votes for beta) I'm starting to plug together that structure for
the fcgid module as well, much like /mod_ftp/ pages.

(In fact, tagging 2.3.0 without putting it to a vote and releasing it was
a mistake, IMHO - we should have released early and often as the custodians
of this code ;-)

The problem with ftp is that two releases were scuttled for various reasons
and the code has not been released in over a year.  Kicking it back to the
incubator is unlikely to help.  FtpServer faced similar obstacles, the
Apache MINA community ultimately adopted it.  Although there are very
few developers, the PMC is committed to reviewing and voting on releases.

Apache httpd has the largest PMC of any project at the foundation.  And
yet in spite of the number of -users- and existence of good documentation,
we booted mod_aspdotnet out of here, because we didn't have a PMC who had
an interest in voting up or down any releases.  I'd hate for this to
happen to mod_ftp, and hope PMC folks are interested.  But if not, that
is the fate of abandonware; the ASF is not structured to ship code that
has a community of one or two.  And the ASF measures community by the
developers, not by the users, because we are a foundation of coders.

The one home for solo projects at the ASF, the Apache Labs, creates no
releases whatsoever.  That doesn't seem like a good solution either.
I'm glad to hear there is interest by a handful of PMC folks to test the
mod_ftp release now, and will give that some time to see if we have three
PMC folks who will offer their time for an occasional release.

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