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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: Diversity as an insurance policy (Was: [VOTE] Graduation of Apache Pivot)
Date Wed, 05 Aug 2009 01:39:46 GMT

On Aug 4, 2009, at 2:10 AM, Jukka Zitting wrote:

> Hi,
>
> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:10 AM, Bertrand
> Delacretaz<bdelacretaz@apache.org> wrote:
>> In such a case, the key point is, do the people who write the code
>> listen to the community?
>
> That's certainly good, but IMHO not really the key point as it doesn't
> address the case when those people lose interest. A community that
> actually writes the code is much stronger than one that just helps key
> committers do that job.
>
> The River and PDFBox podlings that I'm currently mentoring are good
> examples of projects where community input was valued and taken into
> account by the key committers, but when they no longer had
> time/interest the projects essentially stopped as there was nobody to
> continue the work. PDFBox seems to have overcome that problem now and
> River is showing some positive signs, but both cases have required
> (and still require) quite a bit of mentoring to get them going again.
>
> Besides all the other good things diversity brings it's also an
> insurance policy for the project, and that's what I think the
> Incubator should be looking for as a graduation criteria.
>

You are trying to predict the future. Good luck with that.

The rules are there because we have a belief that meeting them will  
give the project the best chance to succeed. I would argue that if  
this is your measure you should take a look at Logback and SLF4J. The  
number of people who have commit rights is very small (essentially 1  
in the case of Logback). But Ceki is a recognized expert in the field  
and is passionate about logging. The odds of his abandoning the  
project are about equal to that of him getting hit by a truck. But  
there are severl active participants in the projects (myself included)  
and many more who stop by and ask questions.

Using these projects as an example is perhaps not the best from a  
community perspective because Ceki has no intention of running them  
like Apache projects. But even if he did, by these standards the  
projects might never make it out of the incubator. Even if those of us  
who would like them had commit rights I can guarantee that 95% of the  
commits would still be Ceki's.

 From my perspective we should be evaluating projects based on whether  
they are building a healthy Apache community where we have sufficient  
belief that the project will be able to sustain itself without further  
mentoring. IMO, trying to factor in "what ifs" about what will happen  
if certain committers leave, unless they have shown signs that that is  
likely, is not a very good indicator of success. Over the course of  
time a project is in the incubator I would expect that mentors to have  
a good sense of what the level of commitment is and would use that as  
part of their recommendation for graduation.

Ralph



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