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From Dave <snoopd...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [Proposal] Accept Jena into the Incubator
Date Mon, 08 Nov 2010 23:49:51 GMT
This is excellent news and a good proposal. I'm a Jena user myself and
would like to volunteer as a mentor for the new podling, if an
additional hand is needed.

- Dave


On Monday, November 8, 2010, Ross Gardler <rgardler@apache.org> wrote:
> 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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