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From Jim Jagielski <...@jagunet.com>
Subject Why the Incubator? (Was: Re: Apache T-shirts)
Date Sat, 17 Dec 2005 15:23:24 GMT
Lest we forget, one major reason that the Incubator was started
was an effort to avoid and address the debacle that was the old
Jakarta project. As we recall, back then projects were being
added "willy-nilly", code was being committed with no real IP
clearance procedures, developers being given commit access
"like candy" and projects/developers/communities having little
or no understanding or appreciation of the ASF and the Apache
Way. This caused a major disconnect between Jakarta and the
rest of the ASF. So to ignore the community building and
"This is the way the ASF works" aspects of the Incubator
does a disservice to what is one of its main objectives, as
well as increases the risk of the return of those disconnects.

Now one common issue that the ASF and all project face is
the one in which companies (or at least their Marketing/PR
divisions), such as IBM or Covalent or Google or Sun or Day
or JBoss or RW or Apple or whoever, would like to take a ride
on the coattails of the Apache brand. It's something that
all of us have had to deal with. I think with Incubated projects
it's even more dangerous. For one thing, they may lack the
experience to avoid those concerns; another is that in
some/most cases, the code was donated by a singular entity,
and so the "perception" may already be there.

I agree totally that marketing and PR does a lot to
increase exposure and knowledge of podlings (and projects)
and thus can help a great deal in community building. But
I think allowing podlings the same sort of leeway enjoyed
by other ASF projects is just maybe a bit premature. I'm
totally for companies doing what they can to help, and for
them to get the recognition they deserve, as long as it
doesn't harm the community, or create confusion. Erring
on the side of caution I think is a wise course of action,
especially if it helps avoid some of the problems we've
seen with recent Incubated projects and outside press.

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