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From Apache Wiki <>
Subject [Incubator Wiki] Update of "FOOproposal" by BertrandDelacretaz
Date Thu, 28 Oct 2010 11:32:42 GMT
Dear Wiki user,

You have subscribed to a wiki page or wiki category on "Incubator Wiki" for change notification.

The "FOOproposal" page has been changed by BertrandDelacretaz.
The comment on this change is: Initial proposal, committers and dependencies still missing.


New page:
= Apache FOO incubation proposal =

== Abstract ==
Apache FOO is a modular software stack and reusable set of components for semantic content

FOO is a temporary name, the project team is still working on a final name.

== Proposal ==
FOO components are meant to be accessed over RESTful interfaces to provide semantic services
for content management. The current code is written in Java and based on the OSGi modularization
framework, but other server-side languages might be used as well.

Applications include extending existing content management systems with semantic features,
and creating new types of content management systems with semantics at their core.

The architecture of the current (alpha-level) code consists of four layers:
 * Persistence: services that store (or cache) semantic information and make it searchable
 * Lifting: services that add semantic information to “non-semantic” pieces of content
 * Knowledge models and reasoning: services that enhance the semantic information
 * Interaction: intelligent user interface management and generation 

== Background ==
FOO comes out of the IKS project (Interactive Knowledge Stack,, a
research project funded by the European Community (EC) which aims to create a semantic content
management software stack.

One of the goals of IKS is for its software to survive the 4-year funding period of the EC,
which ends in 2012.

Developing its code in the open at the Apache Software Foundation, and growing a community
before IKS funding runs out, is the best way to ensure the sustainability of the FOO software.

For more background information, some articles and tutorials on FISE, which was the first
usable IKS module, can be found in the “FISE links” section of
== Rationale ==
Content Management Systems (CMS) can benefit from semantic add-ons in a number of ways, including
more intelligent linking, automatic or semi-automatic tagging of content, enhanced user interactions
based on intelligent and dynamically adaptable user scenario modeling, etc.

However, many CMS vendors and developers are not aware of or skilled enough in semantic technologies
to make effective use of them. Research in semantic technologies often happens in academic
circles which might not make their findings available in a way that’s easily consumable
by today’s CMS vendors and developers.

Some big companies are using semantic technologies behind the scenes to provide powerful services,
but that technology is usually not accessible to smaller vendors.

FOO aims to bridge these gaps by providing CMS vendors and developers with easy to integrate
semantic components that add value to their offerings.

At the same time, more experimental advanced semantic applications will be built on the FOO
stack, with the medium-term goal of enabling pure semantic-based content management applications.

== Initial Goals ==
 * Import the existing IKS code.
 * Clean up as needed to take advantage of Apache infrastructure (Hudson continuous builds,
 * Replace up any dependencies that do not fulfill Apache licensing criteria (we have identifed
just one at this time).
 * Create the FOO website and migrate IKS website/wiki information to it as needed.
 * Make a first release and publicize it to start growing the community.  

== Current Status ==
=== Meritocracy ===
As IKS is an EC research project with funding, it does not formally operate as a meritocracy.

However, due to the open source way of working adopted by the consortium, an informal meritocracy
has emerged within IKS.

We estimate that adapting to the ASF’s meritocratic way of working will be easy for the
initial set of FOO committers, as the differences to the current way of working are not dramatic.

=== Community ===
The IKS project plan includes an important effort to build a community around the software
that it produces. Several community workshops have already taken place, attended by more than
40 European CMS developers and vendors.

See for more info.

A community is emerging around IKS, and moving to the Apache project governance model should
help grow it - also by reassuring community members that the software will continue to be
available and maintainable once the IKS EC funding runs out.

=== Core Developers ===
The IKS consortium consists of seven academic research groups and six “industrial partners”,
companies active in the CMS space.

See for the list.

The current IKS software has been written by a group of about a dozen developers from this
consortium, with few external contributions until now. Members of the Clerezza community have
contributed some key pieces, and ties between both communities are strong.

=== Alignment ===
As many Apache projects have something to do with content management, obvious synergies exist,
which should allow us to grow the community from inside the ASF as well as from the outside.

== Known Risks ==

=== Orphaned Products ===
The IKS code as it stands now might be orphaned when the EC funding of IKS runs out at the
end of 2012.

That’s why we want to move to Apache now, to have a bit more than two years to make FOO
independent of its EC funding.

=== Inexperience with Open Source ===
The IKS team includes a number of very experienced Open Source developers, along with people
doing their first open source contributions.

Since the IKS consortium started writing code early this year, we have had ample opportunity
to bring everybody up to speed as to how open source works, and we’re confident that the
initial committers will quickly adapt to the ASF’s way of working.

=== Homogeneous Developers ===
The current developers are spread amongst the IKS consortium partners, with no dominant company
or organization.

=== Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
Until the end of 2012, the work of IKS consortium members is funded by the consortium, so
there is a “common boss” problem, and we can assume that most or all of that work is salaried.

Moving software development to the ASF, and especially growing a community to include committers
from outside the IKS consortium, should help reduce or eliminate this risk. Even IKS partners
using the software in their products will help reduce the “common boss” problem, as both
the IKS and the partner company will have a need for FOO software.

=== Relationships with Other Apache Products ===
The IKS software is written as a set of OSGi components and runs on Apache Felix, using the
launcher from Apache Sling.

It also uses several key components from the Apache Clerezza incubating project, along with
a number of other Apache libraries. Several Clerezza committers have been contributing in
IKS workshops, without being part of the IKS consortium.

Lucene/Solr will be used for indexing and search.

We also expect to use software from or collaborate with Mahout, Tikka, Jackrabbit, UIMA and

=== An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===
The brand is not what makes the difference for the IKS team, the motivation is the opportunity
to build and grow a community.

== Documentation ==
Existing components are documented at and
but that information is still incomplete due to the alpha status of most of that software.

== Initial Source ==

== External Dependencies ==
TODO (Bertrand): complete this based on mvn site output.

== Required Resources ==

=== Mailing Lists ===

 * FOO-private (moderated subscriptions)
 * FOO-dev
 * FOO-commits

=== Subversion Directory ===

 * [[]]

=== Issue Tracking ===
 * JIRA (FOO) 

=== Other Resources ===
We will probably request a wiki once the podling is setup, and access to a Hudson continuous
build server.

== Initial Committers and affiliations ==
TODO (Bertrand) add those

== Sponsors ==

=== Champion ===
  * Bertrand Delacretaz (bdelacretaz AT apache DOT org)

=== Nominated Mentors ===
We are looking for a total of 3 mentors. Volunteers so far:
  * Ted Dunning (tdunning AT apache DOT org)

=== Sponsoring Entity ===
Apache Incubator.

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