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From Apache Wiki <>
Subject [Incubator Wiki] Update of "WhatToExpect" by RobVesse
Date Thu, 20 Jun 2013 21:30:46 GMT
Dear Wiki user,

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

The "WhatToExpect" page has been changed by RobVesse:

Initial write up of What to Expect page

New page:
= What to Expect when you are Incubating =

This document has grown out of discussions on the general@i.a.o mailing list about the real/perceived
mismatches between expectations of people participating in codlings and the realities of the
Incubation process.

== Apache is a Volunteer Organization ==

Apache is staffed by volunteers, and a few paid, but overworked IT folks known as Infra. 

As such, there is a very good chance that you will
get different answers from different respondents, and responses may be
delayed.  This is not like your paid corporate job where there is
administration and infrastructure whose mind-share is fully dedicated to
serving you.

=== Culture ===

Apache has been around long enough and is large enough to have its own
culture, with its own societal rules and tribal history.   Lots of it is
written down, but sometimes it is hard to find.

Try to remember the last time you
started at a new company or team or club and how, even though there were
documents to read, there was always important stuff that you had to learn
some other way.  Apache is no different, but with volunteers, even less is
written down, and people's recollections of history can vary widely and
nobody is paid to serve your needs except Infra who are overloaded.

=== Participants ===

Some folks are quiet, some are noisy, some complain, some are
optimistic.  If you've worked on a large team, you've probably found this
to be true on that team as well.  Success usually comes from finding out
which folks you deal with are of which personality type, and how best to
work with those people.

=== Time ===

Time is often the barrier to progress at Apache, you should learn to expect
this and it is true of any volunteer organization.

Often you just have to be patient.  Pick your battles.  Prioritize your
needs.  Ask politely once for really important things, then plead again a
few days later.  Remember your [[|email etiquette]]!

Don't forget that people here are geographically distributed and may
be in very different timezones.  There may be a significant lag between
sending a communication and the intended recipient(s) even reading it, yet
alone having the time to actually act upon it.  A communication sent first
thing in the morning in your timezone may arrive in the middle of the
night for the recipient(s) so be prepared to wait for a response.

=== Help Others to Help You ===

Learn how to use an internet search engine.  Try to find information
before you ask.  The results may be hard to understand or confusing and be
careful about reading snippets without taking in some of the larger
context.  But then your question will be better defined.  Bonus if you can
quote a web page as part of your question.

Your mentors may get too busy to follow the details of activity in your
podling.  Use the [MENTOR] tag in the subject to try to catch their
attention.  Escalate to the Incubator IPMC if they still don't have time
to respond.

== Your Rights ==

Some folks want there to be a "bill of rights", but you don't have any
"rights" because there are no authority figures at Apache to enforce those
rights.  Any "violations" have to be dealt with "socially".  You can seek
help from the IPMC or even the board, but even they are volunteers and
will try to address the problem socially as well.  You can expect and
demand respectful discourse, but sometimes tempers will boil over.  That
happens in many workplaces, homes and other gatherings of people.  Expect
it here as well, even more so sometimes, as there are relatively few
face-to-face encounters to encourage civility and limit chances of

== Incubation Process ==

Expect the unexpected.  Sometimes, a document you find may be
out-of-date, and/or mention things that don't apply to you and when you
ask about it, you'll get a totally surprising answer.

Expect a ton of email.  The temptation will be to unsubscribe from
some of the lists you are told to subscribe to, but it is important to
learn how to filter out stuff and skim other stuff as it helps you learn
about the people and personalities you will be dealing with
post-graduation on occasion, and if you end up on your project's PMC, you
will be responsible for mining important information from that email

In certain circumstances, there are specific people charged with
certain responsibilities. Over time you can expect to learn who they
are, and where they hang out. Your mentor should be able to guide you
while you do learn. If, for whatever reason, they are unable or
unwilling to, you can ask on the incubator general list. If the optic is
too sensitive to discuss in public (eg a potential committer) you may
contact the incubator PMC at, failing that you
can escalate to the incubator ombudsman at 
(''The ombudsman is an idea under discussion and does not currently exist'')

At times the process will be frustrating but ultimately it is designed 
to get you to the goal of being an Apache TLP so be prepared to stick with 
it for the long term.

== Incubation Goals ==

Embrace diversity.  Every podling is a little bit different and your
new podling may not exactly match up against existing documentation or
prior history.  Ask for guidance, keep in mind that answers may vary, and
make your decision keeping these things in mind:

 1. The primary goal is to cover your and Apache's butt legally.  This may require you to
change build scripts and release packages in a way that is painful for you and your customers.
 2. Apache only officially releases source code.  This may be a pain point for any existing
customers used to downloading binary packages.
 3. At Apache, open source isn't just about making released source code available.  It is
about trying to get the community involved early and often before the source code is "release-ready".

While the two are very important from a legal perspective and are a blocker to graduation
ultimately 3 is the final blocker.  If your podling can not generate a sufficiently large
self-sustaining community then it is not going to succeed as an Apache project.

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