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From Robert Burrell Donkin <>
Subject Re: concerns about high overhead in Apache incubator releases
Date Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:01:36 GMT
On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM, Jun Rao <> wrote:
> Dear Apache members,
> Over the past 2 months, the Kafka Apache incubator project has been trying
> to release its very first version in Apache. After 7 RCs, we are still not
> done. Part of this is because most of us are new to the Apache release
> process and are learning things along the way. However, I think Apache can
> do a better job in the incubating process to make releases much less
> painful. In the following, I will summarize some of problems that we
> had experienced. This is not an accusation, nor is it personal. I just hope
> that we can all learn from our experience so that Kafka and other incubator
> projects can release more smoothly in the future.
> 1. There is no good example to follow.
> As a new incubator project, the natural thing for us to do when it comes to
> releasing our code is to follow what other Apache projects do. However,
> more than once, the feedback that we got is that those are not good
> examples to follow. It seems that those "bad" examples are not isolated
> cases.
> 2. Different Apache members have different interpretations of the same rule.
> It seems that there is no consensus on some of the basic rules even among
> Apache members. For example, what constitutes a source distribution and
> what should be put in the NOTICE file? Since all it takes is one negative
> vote to block a release, this increases the turnover rate of RCs.
> 3. Not enough constructive and comprehensive suggestions.
> Some of the issues that are present in Kafka RC7 exist in RC1. Those issues
> could have been resolved much earlier had there been more constructive and
> comprehensive feedbacks from early on. Instead, often, the feedback just
> points out the violation of one or two issues that are enough to block a
> release. People like Ant Edler have made some constructive suggestions and
> we really appreciate that. We could use more suggestions like that.
> 4. Not enough flexibility in applying the rules.
> Some of the rules don't make common sense. For example, if we publish a new
> RC that simply fixes a few lines in NOTICE/LICENSE. We are still required
> to go through a full 3-day vote in Kafka and another full 3-day vote in
> Apache general. This, coupled with the high turnover rate of RCs, can delay
> the release for a significant long time. Both Chris Douglas and Ant Edler
> wanted to relax the rule slightly to help us speed things up. However, not
> every Apache member tolerates such flexibility. Again, all it takes is just
> one vote to kill a release.

(Thanks to Joe for setting the VETO issue straight)

IMO The solution to the NOTICE and LICENSE is build automation with
more complete rules covering the common licenses. This is do-able and
we're working on it but we're short of resources (my recovery is
progressing well and hopefully Jochen will get well soon). If anyone
could spare a few cycles to help, that'd be great.


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