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From Raphaël Luta <>
Subject Re: AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
Date Wed, 21 Dec 2005 09:54:03 GMT
Martin Cooper wrote:
> <snip>
> Personally, I am less than happy at seeing yet another large project
> proposed from a corporate source (and IBM at that), along with a dozen new
> committers who have not earned their merit at the ASF as most committers
> have. I feel the ASF is losing its way, and becoming a repository for
> corporate open-sourcing along with taking on responsibility for building
> communities around corporate code bases. I suspect I'm in the minority at
> the ASF, and I'm undoubtedly in the minority here in the incubator. But
> there doesn't seem to be a way for the incubator to say "no thanks", other
> than by a podling failing the incubation process, and that seems wrong to
> me.

You may be in the minority but you're not alone, I'll admit to being *very*
uneasy on this proposal.
To me it raises all the possible incubation warning bells:


* Meritocracy:

  I don't believe it looking at the committer list.
  Who's going to argue with his VP of engineering ? To create a real
  meritocracy, you can't have an established hierarchy in the committership.

* Community:


* Core developers:

  no existing Apache committer or Apache member

* Alignment:

  no simple mission statement but trying two roll out 2 complementary
  sub projects into a single community.

Warning signs

* Orphaned products:

  Apparently no

* Inexperience with open-source:

  Limited experience if I judge by the number of OSS related hits tied to the
  proposed committer names on Google. Only 3 names get some hits.
  You can also how Zimbra as a corp currently gets it here:

* Homogenous developers/salaried developers:

  Definitely yes, all work for 2 companies with strong hierarchical ties in
  the proposed committer base

* No ties to Apache products:


* Fascination with Apache brand:

  True, just see prc@ activity.

As is, I can't see a single reason to support the proposal ans see several to
vote a strong -1 on it in its current form :

- The proposal is too large to incubate, it's hard enough to create a community
  from scratch around a single well-defined goal and codebase, rolling 2
  together is suicide in my book.

- I don't see any benefit for the ASF and several drawbacks (more
  hard work and strain on resources, possible PR complications, additionnal
  strain on friendly relations with other OSS groups like Eclipse)

- There's no mentor yet ! Bad sign...

- The odds of this project of successfully exiting the Incubator based on the
  diversity of community criteria seem very low to me: there are too many
  initial committers and most of them will have strong internal communication
  channels which will be invisible from the community.

- I don't believe most of the proposed committers would get committership
  on their own merit and I would hate the Incubator to become an easy way to
  bypass the meritocratic model of the ASF: work at IBM and get a free
  committership when they donate the codebase to the ASF ! Most of the time
  you end up with paid-for-committers that only last as long as they're told
  to work on the project. (This is not pure paranoia ;) just look at Pluto if
  you want to see it in effect)

In summary I see this proposal as a high risk, low value offer to the ASF
and would definitely pass on it.

Raphaël Luta -
Apache Portals - Enterprise Portal in Java

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