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From Niclas Hedhman <nic...@hedhman.org>
Subject Re: How to shorten the duration of incubation (Was: Insanity...)
Date Wed, 11 Nov 2009 06:08:33 GMT
On Wed, Nov 11, 2009 at 12:56 AM, Jukka Zitting <jukka.zitting@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 5:55 PM, Greg Stein <gstein@gmail.com> wrote:
>> My point above was the Board, at least in the past(*), has *not* been
>> happy about the average duration.
>
> The way I see it, there are three main things we could do to shorten
> the average duration of incubation:

Agree with your points...

> 1) Relax the exit criteria: Especially the diversity requirement is a
> major barrier for many projects. There have been various calls to
> relax the diversity requirements, but so far I see no consensus on
> that.

Diversity requirement is actually a derived requirement of "community
sustainability" to avoid a sponsoring entity to pull the plug of paid
developers. Another is number of active developers, ensuring that
community survives if the "main guy" get tired or is hit by bus.
So, in reality, it boils down to ASF "unwillingness" to deal with
project failures. But, ALL projects will fail, sooner or later. We
could also embrace this, and change the exit criteria to something
like "Do we think that this community will thrive for N years ahead?"
and apply that even though there are only 2 guys on it. And with Attic
getting better at folding up projects, we shouldn't worry too much
over failing communities.

> 2) Tighten the entry criteria: Many of the podlings that end up
> failing or taking a long time here are new projects that start from
> scratch or from previously closed codebases with weak or no existing
> project communities. We could significantly improve the average
> duration of incubation if we only accepted mature open source
> projects.

This is tricky. There are quite a handful of "Let's implement
JSR-1234, and I have this initial codebase..." kind of requests that
generally turn out well. I worry less about "new projects" than over
"mature closed ones" from companies lacking OSS experience.

> 3) Increase the amount of mentoring: The lack of mentor time and
> better (not necessarily more) supporting documentation gives
> unnecessary administrational and procedural headaches (failed release
> votes, etc.) to many podlings.

> Without more volunteers there's not much we can do about 3, which
> leaves the entry and exit criteria as the variables we can control.

Agree...

> I personally think that the exit criteria are good as they are (in
> hindsight, Abdera is a good example of a project that graduated with
> barely enough diversity of active committers), so if we do want to
> make the Incubator "work faster" my suggestion would be to start by
> raising our entry criteria. One way to do that would be to start
> requiring the three mentors to show higher levels of personal
> commitment than what we currently ask for.

And would Subversion qualify ??  Just kidding...

We could do both #1 and #2 ... and then there might be a bunch of
'stale' ones that we retire. And with a smaller number of incubating
projects, there should be more time for mentors on each one,
addressing your #3.


Cheers
-- 
Niclas Hedhman, Software Developer
http://www.qi4j.org - New Energy for Java

I  live here; http://tinyurl.com/2qq9er
I  work here; http://tinyurl.com/2ymelc
I relax here; http://tinyurl.com/2cgsug

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