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From "Roy T. Fielding" <>
Subject Re: Various
Date Sat, 24 Jun 2006 00:04:03 GMT
On Jun 22, 2006, at 9:52 PM, Hani Suleiman wrote:

> I'm fairly astounded by the amount of email generated due to my  
> name being on the initial committer list.

I'm astonished that you didn't expect it.  Apache is a social  
that depends on trust, and one of the easiest ways to lose trust is to
take on a persona that doesn't accept responsibility for your own  

> It is interesting to note that all the people who have objected are  
> those who feel personally offended by some of my writing  
> (specifically, the tomcat and axis2 rants...ironically my tomcat  
> DefaultServlet rant was purely technical and did not degenerate  
> into my usual personal insult comfort zone).

I don't find your blog to be technical at all.  It is mostly just  
whining, even when everything you say is accurate.  It is not  

> I'm sorry that you can't take a little criticism, and while I will  
> happily admit that yes, I did insult you in ways that you probably  
> didn't quite expect, I fully stand by everything I said, and will  
> still insist that Axis2 and Tomcat are awful projects, that are  
> badly written and have only gotten where they are today due to  
> marketing forces, instead of technical merit.

Then fix them or write a replacement.  If you have time to entertain  
on your blog, then you have time to fix the open source that you  

> I am perplexed that you feel that a dislike of an Apache project  
> merits a membership rejection though. Does everyone at Apache love  
> every project there? If that were the case, then the whole  
> ecosystem is in a far unhealthier state than anyone on the outside  
> might suspect.

We live on criticism -- constructive criticism, that is. You don't  
think your blog is constructive, do you?  No, we don't all love each  
projects and we encourage participants to rethink entire  
architectures on a
regular basis.  Anyone who actually participated in a project,  
instead of
just whining from a distance, would know that.

> If Apache people feel that my technical abilities are not relevant,  
> and that what should matter in whether I am allowed in as a cxfire  
> committer is how willing I am to tow the party line, then I  
> shouldn't be on that list. Apache would be the first organisation  
> I've joined (or might have joined) that did not judge me on  
> technical merit; quite an irony considering the whole meritocracy  
> approach that Apache claims. This is, astoundingly, my first  
> experience of being judged not on technical merit, but on random  
> blathering that serves no particular purpose than ranting for  
> ranting's sake.

Meritocracy is based on what you have earned, not on your potential  
Right now you are one of the few individuals in the world with negative
Apache merit -- IMO, you cause more damage by your whining personal  
than you have contributed in your critiques as a user or developer.
In fact, the only person I can think of at the moment with more negative
Apache merit than you is Marc Fleury.  Are you happy now?

That doesn't mean you can't turn that situation around, start  
in a meaningful manner, and have a huge impact on future Apache  
It just means you are in a hole right now and should expect to dig your
way out before getting much respect here.  That is what asking to be a
committer is about -- gaining our respect so that we trust you to use  
infrastructure for good purpose without damaging any of our projects.

> Just to set expectations, I will not stop saying things like  
> 'Apache sucks', because I still do think that many of the processes  
> and members have some terrible flaws.

Why don't you just suggest a patch to the process?  Most of our
documentation needs improvement.  Saying "Apache sucks" without actually
contributing just means you are too lame to do better.

Members, however, are human.  If you think they have terrible flaws,  
find ways to work around those flaws (or find a nice way to fix those
flaws, if possible).  Apache is a collaboration and our processes are
designed to enable decisions to be made in spite of disagreement,  
there will always be disagreement when faced with design trade-offs.
Learning that is part of being a contributor.  If you want to be a whiny
little prick, then you don't need collaborators and we don't need you.

> I am not aware of any Apache membership requirements that state  
> that one's freedom of speech and expression are curtailed in any  
> way; it is after all an alleged meritocracy, all that matters is  
> how good the code I check in is, and how well I play within the  
> team I'm a member of. If the cxfire team at any point feels I'm a  
> liability rather than an asset, I would gladly leave. In fact I'd  
> like to think that I'm self-aware enough to leave way before they  
> feel the need to ask me to.

Again, you seem to have no clue what meritocracy means at Apache.
People who have been offended by you are saying that they think you
will be a negative influence on the project based on your past behavior.
Don't give me any trite excuses that your "blog persona" is somehow
different from your behavior as a professional -- that is bullshit and
you know it. Everything we do is part of being professional.  The
Internet is our workplace.

You are a human being.  Your actions impact other human beings.
You will be held accountable for those actions whether or not you
accept responsibility for them.  That's life.

Apache membership and project membership are two different things.
We do, frequently, accept project members who have been assholes in
the past.  Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn't.  I don't
think this case is any different and I expect some new project in
this space to be incubated if the contributors are willing, once
people figure out what is actually being contributed.

> I know plenty of Apache members who find many of the processes  
> cumbersome and onerous, yet are still active participants; nobody  
> seems to threaten them with being kicked out.

We don't need to.  For one thing, they have earned our respect and
have the right to fix our processes.  For another, they find out soon
enough that the processes exist to protect their own projects, and
they actually work when the shit hits the fan.

> I believe in cxfire, and think it's a superb project. I think  
> competition in this space is healthy, and think it's rather lame  
> that people like dims and sanjiva keep trying to cast doubts on the  
> validity of the project, just because it happens to eat into their  
> projected revenues. It does feel like there's a small amount of  
> hypocrisy going around, where people express concern that cxfire  
> has many IONA people involved, without noticing that most of the  
> objectors are WSO2 people, who (quite rationally) put WSO2  
> priorities ahead of Apache ones.

Being open and clear about company affiliations is a requirement for all
incubator proposals, due to past experience, and has nothing special
to do with IONA or WS02.  We get tired of repeating that to the same
people, over and over.  Hopefully, the docathon will result in better
documentation of the proposal process.

Sanjiva and Dims have already earned our respect.  I happen to agree  
you that competition is healthy, and I do wish that folks in the Web  
project would stop trying to fit all of web services into their own  
However, I also know them well enough to say that WS02 is not the cause
of their priorities, and all that they are trying to do is protect the
communal spirit of Apache projects.  They do that because they've grown
to care about Apache as a whole, in *addition* to their personal work,
and because they are used to the Cocoon way of doing things at Apache.
Each Apache project picks up its own culture and beliefs, in addition
to those learned from the old projects, and each has its own perspective
on what makes for a productive collaboration.

You, OTOH, don't know them well enough to suggest anything about their
priorities.  You are just behaving like a fool as a result and should
try to listen and learn before making it worse.

Obviously, everyone would prefer to have a perfect product.  I do not
believe that any single such thing exists -- a product is only perfect
if it exactly fits the needs of a given set of consumers, and not all
consumers have the same needs.  So, at best we can have many different
products in the same space, each with their own trade-offs to fit their
own target audience.  We gain from our ability to cut and paste between
projects when it suits our interests.  We need to accept that and  
it as a good thing, not disparage each other's projects just because we
don't understand their target audience.


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