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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Re: [PROPOSAL] Apache Rave project
Date Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:37:34 GMT
On 2/25/2011 4:25 AM, Troy Howard wrote:
> My point was:
> 
> Bill made a statement, which though rather neutral and ambiguous,
> seemed to indicate that he (or perhaps a silent mass of others) did
> not think the proposal was such a good idea, due to the risks
> associated with a significant amount of corporate support and
> involvement. At least, that's how I interpreted it. Since then, the
> response has been fairly one sided, supporting the project, and
> unfortunately, Bill has not responded to fairly direct questions about
> his intent or reasoning. I'd much rather be hearing more from him
> about this issue than continuing to express my opinions.

No, that's not what I meant at all.  I was simply offering a small nudge
to Ate that they frame this in terms of individual contributors (paid or
otherwise) who will do the work of making the project a success, beyond
initial code drops.

Yes, it's unambiguous that this project will succeed based on the software
contribution agreements and offers of code from all of the organizations
who are championing this effort.  But unlike many other valid, respected
standards and open source project bodies, corporations aren't members in
the Apache-style governance.  Even when a corp withdraws from a project,
as in the recent case of IBM retreating from Harmony to OpenJDK, the ASF
doesn't measure the impact of "IBM", but of individual contributors from
IBM who no longer have time and/or perhaps interest.

Several projects have come into the incubator on nothing but one or even
two corporations interests, with contributors, only to disappear when the
corporate interests shift, or the contributors realize how really difficult
it can be to collaborate with your competitors.  This particular proposal
reads very similar to other Open* incubation efforts which were failures
primarily from the same starting point, but had corporate pissing matches
to derail the effort to collaborate.  I would have liked to see more on
the subject of collaboration, and I would liked to have seen more about
how individuals were given work time to pursue their own interest in this
collective software effort, vs the corporate business case that there is
a (collective) business need for this software.  The former can lead to
a very successful project even when the corporate winds shift.

All of the above are not enough to earn a -1 from me, I certainly would
have said so in the first place.  This was merely a suggestion to reread
and potentially revise the proposal and ensure the participants were not
coming at this effort as they might for a W3C or JCP effort, where the
business case and corporate participation is usually the nexus.

And I would have privately chided Ate about how organization-heavy versus
what little detail about the contributors themselves was offered in the
proposal.  But we discuss the merits, risks and missteps of incubating
projects on general@, because this is how we learn from each others
successes and mistakes and to recognize ASF culture.

Please read all posts to general@ incubator from all ASF folks here as
simply ways to improve the chance of the proposal's or project's success,
unless the message has an explicit +/-1 (and even those are often reversible
if the concerns raised can be addressed).

Bill

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