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From Benson Margulies <>
Subject Re: Incubation end states (was Re: [DISCUSS] Graduating empire?)
Date Sun, 30 Oct 2011 19:33:25 GMT
On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM, Daniel Shahaf <> wrote:
> Two quick comments, haven't read the context:
> Marvin Humphrey wrote on Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 10:26:57 -0700:
>> On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 12:55:01PM +0100, Jukka Zitting wrote:
>> > To me this suggests that our current three state transitions [1] from
>> > the podling phase -- termination, continuation and graduation -- may
>> > need some adjustment. That could mean introducing new exit strategies
>> > or relaxing the existing ones.
>> How about adding another Incubation end state: "migration"?

I think that a different question deserves exploration, first.

We all know what conventional success looks like for a podling:
splashy growth, lots of people, even press. Of course, we also all
know that this is sometimes the result of extensive quiet investment
by companies. I'm now thinking that the podling that started this
discussion is, in fact, merely on the low end of conventional success.

We know what failure looks like. The silence of the grave. We also
know what to do with these.

The question is, what to do with, oh, 'brown dwarfs'. And I think it's
worth looking in particular at 'diverse brown dwarfs'. A project
consisting entirely of people employed in one place as a natural home
in that place, and that place can work out trademark issues with the

On the one hand, a small group of people can chug along doing work
consistent with the Foundation's mission indefinitely, serving the
public good. On the other hand, a small group is at constant risk of
accident in which they drop below the active size needed to release
and add committers. Should they get pushed out? Or should we look for
a way to offer then the supervision needed to stick around?

The Foundation has decided that 'umbrellas' are unreliable sources of
supervision. Labs might be a model, but labs can't release, and can't
add contributors unless they earn their stripes elsewhere in the

Could the incubator, or a clone of the incubator, serve as a permanent
home for small projects? Essentially, this amounts to removing all the
'incubator' disclaimer and branding requirements for these projects,
and retaining the volunteer supervision of the sort of people who are
willing to be mentors (e.g. Foundation members and others voted by the
iPMC). This would put additional eyes in the supervision process, and
still allow growth.

In the world of github, no one needs to be an ASF project to get
source control hosting. The problem of 'brand vampires' is solved by
requiring these projects to be 'small but diverse.' The project *and
the users* get the advantage of operating in the Foundation's legal
umbrella, and those users are what, to me, makes this consistent with
the mission.

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