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From Roland Weber <ossf...@dubioso.net>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Poloka
Date Sat, 23 Aug 2008 07:48:27 GMT
Hello Serge,

have you contacted the WebServices PMC about sponsoring
this proposal? general@ws seems to be a good place to
pitch it and see how it fits into the existing web services
projects at Apache.
http://ws.apache.org/mail.html

The "Mentors" section is somewhat irritating, as the
Incubator also defines the role of a Mentor:
http://incubator.apache.org/incubation/Roles_and_Responsibilities.html#Mentor
Maybe you can rename the section to distinguish it
from the "Nominated Members"?

The "External Dependencies" section lists mysql-connector.jar
as GPL-licensed. Is the code using that JAR directly, or does
it access MySQL through a standard interface like JDBC?

The "Required Resources" section is meant to list the resources
you will need at Apache. "it exists" is not correct there, since
currently no Apache resources have been created for you.

The "Orphaned Projects" section says "no risk".
There is always a risk... Requests from individuals to
get source code is a sign of _potential_ users, which
_potentially_ could become developers at some time.
Major software companies can change their plans and
cut the funding for working on an open source project.
I wonder how the University Research Community will interact
with an open source community. Students working on a project
to get a degree might have a short-term interest, contributing
for a few months then loosing interest once they get their
degree - just when they could have become committers. So this
involvement depends on either students picking up a personal
long-term interest, or professors bringing in new students.
There's nothing wrong with that, but bringing in new people
requires some effort of the existing community to show them
the way. You can't run a project only with short-termers.
Also, community merit is earned by regular contributions
over a period of time. Students working on the project
will have to get involved in a continuous way, not by
working secretly on their thesis and dropping the result
onto the community in a big-bang style when they're done.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that all bad things
will happen and that the project is going to collapse.
Also, my university experience is somewhat outdated
(10 years ago) and certainly not representative. But
maybe you can change "no risk" to "low risk"? Turning
several interested people and parties into a working
open source community is not as easy as it may seem.

The "Meritocracy" section sounds as if there is no
meritocracy at all, and the "Community" section
(...managed and organized by MSRG...) as well as the
"Required Resources" section (...not available outside
of the MSRG) add to that picture. From what I read,
I believe you have a closed group of developers
(=researchers+students) and that MSRG manages the
development activities in a hierarchical way.

There is a small mismatch between the lists of
"Core Developers" and "Initial Committers".
You are not mentioned as a core developer, but you
probably will help with project organization,
web site and other things. Arno Jacobsen is not
mentioned as a core developer either, but the
"Mentors" section says:
<quote>
   Dr. Hans-Arno Jacobsen is the head of the
   Middleware Systems Research Group and he is
   leading all current research activities.
</quote>
Does the head and leader really find the time
to get his hands dirty with the code and docs
in the repository? Apache accounts are given to
people who have a need for them.


I'm not going to comment on the technical side
of the proposal. Web services are not my area
of expertise or interest.

cheers,
   Roland


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