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From Sander W G van der Waal <sander.vanderw...@oucs.ox.ac.uk>
Subject RE: [Proposal] Accept Jena into the Incubator
Date Fri, 12 Nov 2010 17:00:59 GMT
+1 (non-binding)

Sander

> From: Ross Gardler [mailto:rgardler@apache.org]
> Sent: 08 November 2010 23:37
> To: general@incubator.apache.org
> Subject: [Proposal] Accept Jena into the Incubator
> 
> I am pleased to offer, for your consideration, the following proposal to
> accept Jena, a semantic web framework into the incubator. The text of
> the proposal is copied here for your convenience and can be found at
> http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/JenaProposal
> 
> We currently have two mentors so we're looking for at least one more.
> 
> Note that there is already an overlapping discussion about interaction
> between this and other semantic web projects in the incubator. As
> champion of this proposal I have recommended that the Jena team
> participate in this discussion. I'm not able to speak for the Jena
> committers, but I am keen to see *appropriate* sharing of code between
> projects.
> 
> However, I don't believe that this should be forced upon the three
> projects as part of their incubation. Such collaboration should emerge
> through community engagement, with mentor guidance, rather than through
> incubator conditions of entry or graduation.
> 
> Comments and volunteers welcome.
> 
> Now for the proposal:
> 
> = Jena, a Semantic Web Framework =
> == Abstract ==
> Jena is a semantic web framework for Java, based on W3C standards.
> 
> == Proposal ==
> Jena provides a semantic web framework in Java that implements the key
> W3C recommendations for the core semantic web technologies of RDF and
> SPARQL.  Jena is a number of components and modules built on this core
> system.  It currently includes:
> 
>   * an API for working with RDF
>   * Parsers and writers for the RDF formats (RDF/XML, Turtle, N-triples,
> NQuads, TriG)
>   * an implementation of SPARQL, the W3C standard RDF query language
>   * multiple storage systems for RDF data including in-memory,
> file-backed, in SQL databases and in custom scalable storage systems
>   * an API for manipulation of OWL
>   * a rule-based inference engine
>   * an implementation of GRDDL for extraction of RDF from XML formats
>   * a standards compliant IRI library.
> 
> The project includes facilities based around this core to encourage the
>   creation of components and contributions both as part of Jena and also
>   as companion open source activities.
> 
> This proposal includes the main components of Jena: the main Jena
> download, ARQ, GRDDL, SDB, TDB, the IRI  library and Joseki.  Other
> components may be contributed later - we're  just starting with the main
> part of Jena for now.
> 
> == Background ==
> The W3C recommendations provide detailed specifications and it is
> important to follow these standards so that independently built
> applications can exchange data over the web.  Jena provides high quality
>   Java implementations of RDF input/output and storage so that
> application  writers can concentrate on the application, not the
> low-level details.
> 
> W3C Semantic Web: http://www.w3.org/standards/semanticweb/
> 
> Jena has been on !SourceForge since 2001.
> http://sourceforge.net/projects/jena/
> 
> == Rationale ==
> The open source project was originally created as part of a research
> activity in HPLabs.  In building new systems, the researchers identified
>   the value of a common platform that dealt with the low level details
> of  the standards.  This lead to engagement with the standards process
> and  the creation of a framework that provided a library to deal with
> the  details of semantic web standards.  This work was released as Jena.
> The  developers have contributed implementation experience back to the
> working groups.
> 
> None of the contributors now work for HP.  Providing a uniform
> contributor and licensing framework assists commercial use of Jena.
> 
> == Current Status ==
> Jena is already an established project with a large user base in
> industry and academia.  It currently uses a BSD-style three-clause
> license with a number of contributing copyright holders. Support is
> primarily provided via the jena-dev@groups.yahoo.com mailing list. The
> majority of the team was employed in HPLabs, and HP holds the majority
> of the copyright over the code - there are contributions from non-HP
> companies.  HP decided to close the research group as of October 2009
> and the people from HPLabs connected with the project have moved on to
> several different semantic web companies.
> 
> This change does not immediately affect Jena because the people who were
>   in HP still remain active contributors to Jena.  The project continues
> to be supported and actively enhanced.  There is now the  opportunity to
> become an open source project without a single large  organisation
> involved.
> 
> === Meritocracy ===
> The Jena team has always been self-determining; there has not been a
> project manager in charge of the effort.  Instead, it has grown through
>   individuals contributing to the codebase as part of their research
> activities.  The team has organised itself to create the framework for
> builds, releases and public support, and people who had worked on Jena
> in HP, and moved to other companies and institutions, have continued to
>   contribute.
> 
> === Core developers ===
> 
> Jena originated within a research activity in HPLabs, starting around 2000.
> Contributors to jena have been active in W3C working groups including
> chairing the "RDF Core" working group and acting as document editors on
> several other working groups.  W3C processes are public; jena contributors
> have been involved in public debate and decision making.  People have since
> moved on from HP to several semantic web forced companies and to university
> positions.
> 
> === Alignment ===
> Jena is already in use in many commercial systems as well as widely used
>   in academic research and teaching.  We want to continue making this
> easy  and at the same time encourage contribution in a well-known
> environment.
> 
> Jena is already pretty much run in a collaborative open development
> style with communication on mailing lists.
> 
> == Known Risks ==
> === Orphaned products & Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
> Jena is in use by companies we work for so the companies have an
> interest in its continued vitality.
> 
> The Jena team members are not employed to work on Jena specifically;
> while there is some development as part of their day-jobs, the team
> members do also contribute personal time as well.
> 
> === Inexperience with Open Source ===
> While Jena has been open-source since 2001, the majority of individuals
>   involved do not have wide experience of contributing to other open
> source projects, so the team members need to develop more skills in
> participating in open-source communities.
> 
> === Relationships with Other Apache Products ===
> Jena uses Xerces, Lucene, Apache Commons HttpClient and Apache Commons
> FileUpload.
> 
> Jena is used by Clerezza (in incubation).
> 
> === A Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ===
> Jena has an established community of users and is used in both academic
>   and commercial settings.  The Apache environment offers Jena the
> opportunity to expand the ways that more people can be involved and
> contribute, and hence to ensure the project is not dependent on the
> current members.  We hope that association with Apache will also
> encourage other open source projects that use Jena to help develop a
> healthy and vibrant semantic web open source ecosystem.
> 
> Apache offers us a clear licensing framework and support infrastructure
> which would reassure the many users of Jena who exploit it in commercial
> environments as well as those in other open source projects.
> 
> == Documentation ==
> Overview documentation, tutorials, topic-based how-tos and detailed
> !JavaDoc can be found at http://openjena.org/
> 
> == Initial Source ==
> The majority of the current codebase resides in the Jena project CVS/SVN
>   on !SourceForge.  Joseki is also on !SourceForge; we later decided to
> put all  projects under one SF project so this is a historical anomaly.
> The modules in the initial source are:
> 
>   * [[http://jena.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/jena/|Jena CVS area on
> SourceForge]]
>    * jena2 (the core system, include RDF, rules and OWL subsystems)
>    * iri (the IRI library)
>    * Eyeball and !EyeballAcceptance (a checker for RDF)
>   * [[http://jena.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/jena/|Jena SVN area on
> SourceForge]]
>    * ARQ (SPARQL query and update engine)
>    * Fuseki (SPARQL server)
>    * grddl (GRDDL implementation for Jena)
>    * SDB (SQL database layer for Jena)
>    * TDB (customer storage layer for Jena)
>    * Ymris (experimental rules engine)
>    * Experimental/Jena3 (experiment reorganisation of jena)
>   * [[http://joseki.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/joseki/Joseki3/|Joseki
> CVS area on SourceForge]]
>    * Joseki3 module.
> 
> == Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan ==
> 
> We are in discussions with HP, the largest copyright holder, about
> licensing to Apache and currently HP has indicated that it is willing to
>   do so in principle.
> 
> == External Dependencies ==
> Details of license of components used by Jena are available at:
> http://openjena.org/Licenses/index.html
> 
> The Jena GRDDL Reader has some additional dependencies:
> http://jena.sourceforge.net/grddl/license.html
> 
> We are heavily dependent on Xerces for both parsing and also for XML
> datatype support.
> 
> == Cryptography ==
> No specific cryptography.
> 
> == Required Resources ==
> Mailing lists
> 
>   * jena-private (with moderated subscriptions)
>   * jena-dev
>   * jena-commits
>   * jena-user
> 
> Subversion Directory
> 
>   * jena
> 
> Issue Tracking
> 
>   * JIRA
> 
> Other Resources
> 
>   * Hudson
> 
> == Initial Committers ==
> 
> The intial committers are the currently active developers for Jena.
> 
>   * Chris Dollin
>   * Paolo Castagna
>   * Damian Steer
>   * Jeremy Carroll
>   * Ian Dickinson
>   * Dave Reynolds
>   * Andy Seaborne
> 
> == Affiliations ==
> 
>   * Epimorphics Ltd: Dave Reynolds, Ian Dickinson, Chris Dollin, Andy
> Seaborne
>   * Talis Systems Ltd: Paolo Castagna
>   * University of Bristol: Damian Steer
>   * Top``Quadrant Inc: Jeremy Carroll
> 
> == Sponsors ==
> === Champion ===
> Ross Gardler (rgardler .at. apache.org
> 
> === Nominated Mentors ===
>   * Bertrand Delacretaz bdelacretaz .at. apache.org
>   * Leo Simons  leosimons .at. apache.org
> 
> === Sponsoring Entity ===
> Incubator PMC
> 
> 
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