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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <>
Subject Re: Checkpoint on Harmony (Re: [discussion] Harmony podling to ask for vote for graduation)
Date Fri, 20 Oct 2006 04:29:31 GMT
Sam Ruby wrote:
> William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
>> IMHO - the only reason to have a project (TLP or subproject, no matter) is
>> to release code.  Anything prior to a release might be a sandbox, it might
>> be a podling, it might be a lose alliance of the willing.  Whatever...
> [snip]
>> That said ... I don't believe anyone is saying Harmony must release it's
>> entire codebase to graduate.  Any working and usable component or part of
>> the harness could be released as 0.1 alpha version, the processes followed,
>> the issues raised and resolved.  With a codebase as large as Harmony, I sure
>> don't expect the whole ball of wax to be ready, or at the same level of
>> stability, all at once.
> Be aware that in the context of J2SE, a "release" must fulfill some
> compatibility requirements.  Included in this is a requirement not to
> subset.

Understood.  This can not be a J2SE release.  The question I raised is if
there can be part of the 'firmament' beneath the VM released.  Yes, I grok
that none of this shall be released as a J2SE VM - because the only J2SE VM
is a complete VM.

> Of course, one could simply manufacture a synthetic release for the
> purposes of satisfying a perceived incubation requirement, but honestly,
> that seems more like one of the "ticky-marks driven processes" I tend to
> see within my day job than anything I would expect to see at the ASF.

I certainly hope that the concept of 'releasing the code' isn't just a tick
mark - I'd imagined (contrary to other proposals flying around) that it's the
end goal of nearly any collaborative effort at the ASF, no?

> [snip]
>> So as much as I admire the enthusiasm of the entire community and know that
>> the vote will disappoint some folks, I'll repeat my root question; how does
>> incubation status interfere with progress of the Harmony project prior to
>> its first release?
> If you forgive me, let me propose a thought experiment.  Why don't we
> simply dissolve the board, and throw everything back into incubation?
> What would it hurt?  Projects obviously have been holding releases
> during incubation, many have had multiple releases.

I'm failing to see where you are going here, and made your post initially
really hard to follow.  Ignoring the above...

> No, that's not a serious proposal.  What I am growing increasingly
> concerned with is that we (collectively) have started to lose sight on
> what the mission of the incubator is.  Yes, not having a release is an
> indicator, but there certainly are other indicators.  No, I'm not
> advocating that we "rush" projects out of the incubator.

Absolutely, it's gotta be the question.  If whatever decisions are made
at the incubator don't reflect its mission, well, those decisions are
pretty pointless, eh?

> What I am looking for is a happy medium.  In particular, I would like to
> see is for the rate of disposition (either in a positive or negative
> manner) of projects in the incubator approximate the rate of creation.
> More succinctly: I want to see projects that are ready to graduate start
> graduating, not because it benefits them, but because befits the incubator.

+1 to keeping some equilibrium, and I hope all the mentors are watching the
ball.  The recent request by the board to highlight three of the biggest
obstacles might help define this.

-1 to simply pushing things out because our plate is full.  I'm not going to
object if folks start throttling on the front end; "please hang on to your
proposal, it seems like a worthy effort but the pipeline is too full" ---
which hopefully leads to a show of hands from a few new ASF members to take
on and mentor a few more projects.  I'm suggesting new blood/more blood, not
bleeding the current volunteers to death.

> Returning the subject back to Harmony, with regard to a release, what
> matters more to me is whether or not those who are directly involved
> with Harmony (which most decidedly does *not* include me) are interested
> in producing a release at this time.  If not, and if their reasons make
> sense, then I would be inclined to respect their wishes.

Which brings me back to your question, what's the point?  If the point is to
have a self-sustaining community, I'd argue that a codebase without a release
at all is in serious risk of ultimately stalling.  A codebase with users and
a community that relies on it has a built in healing factor, in which the
users themselves can step up to the plate, even if the -entire- development
community waved goodbye.  Or not, but that's then in the users' hands :)

And as far as their wishes go, nobody's addressing the question,

>> how does incubation status interfere with progress of the Harmony project
>> prior to its first release?

Can someone shed some light on this, please?

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