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Subject Re: Corporate Contribution [Blondie's Parallel Lines...]
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 02:24:23 GMT
"William A. Rowe Jr." <> wrote on 06/02/2011 03:22:24 

> > On 02/06/2011 16:22, Jim Jagielski wrote:
> >>
> >> The initial list has grown and I expect it to continue to; up
> >> until it was announced, no one new about it, so it was kinda
> >> impossible to get a more comprehensive list. Now that people
> >> do know about it, people are signing on.
> > 
> > "IBM plans to commit new project members and individual 
> contributors from its global
> > development team to strengthen the project and ensure its future 
> success." [1]
> I have two remaining concerns with this statement.


> Corporate assignments are notorious at the ASF for disappearing
> communities.  Sometimes, there is momentum to keep going, often
> times there is not.  Communities are based on individuals.

And individuals are often employed by corporations, and are their jobs 
sometimes entail contributing to open source communities.  I think we all 
understand how this works.

But do you have any hard numbers, for example, showing a higher 
abandonment rate for projects with more corporate assignments?  That would 
be an interesting correlation to show.  Of course, we must also consider 
the projects that never came into existence at all, for lack of corporate 
sponsorship.  That number is harder to estimate. 

And just because corporate withdrawals are "notorious" does not mean they 
are common, or that they are the greatest risk we should consider.  The 
Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper were also notorious, but you have a 
great risk of death falling down stairs.

> And should IBM choose in the near or far future to divest itself
> from an OOo community, in the pattern of Harmony, is it willing to
> make a statement that its employees will not be discouraged from
> ongoing participation /on their own time/, again if this is their
> personal interest?

As you know, a requirement for graduation from incubation is that the 
podling demonstrate an "open and diverse community".  The guidelines state 
the one aspect of this requirement as, "there is no single company or 
entity that is vital to the success of the project ".

So I think your own guidelines specify the expected outcome in the case a 
corporate sponsor withdraws.

To your other point, IBM has Open Source Participation Guidelines that 
generally permit and encourage employee to participate in open source 
projects.  But there are restrictions and exceptions, to protect IBM, but 
also to protect the open source projects, from IP contamination.  Every 
case is reviewed individually.  You can't make any blanket statement, 
especially to a hypothetical.

> So far, this proposal appears to be the effort of two individuals
> on behalf of two corporations, with some great enthusiam from others.
> All recognize that any resulting project at the Apache Software
> Foundation would be the effort of individuals, not companies per say.
> So these two answers would go a long way to ensure that the long term
> project health is not beholden to Oracle's absence, or any threat of
> withdrawal by IBM.

Certainly the proposal was drafted by few.  Now it is being reviewed by 
more.  And I hope the project will have participation by many.,  We're 
moving in the right direction.

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