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From Rich Bowen <rbo...@rcbowen.com>
Subject [PROPOSAL] Allura Proposal
Date Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:17:35 GMT
PROPOSAL: Admit Allura to the Apache Incubator

= Abstract

Allura is a modular and extensible free/open source software platform for software development.
You can read more about Allura’s feature set in the Allura wiki at https://sourceforge.net/p/allura/wiki/Features/

= Proposal

Allura is an open source implementation of a software "forge", a suite of web applications
that manages source code repositories, bug reports, discussions, mailing lists, wiki pages,
blogs and more for any number of individual projects as well as for collections of projects.

SourceForge.net is running an instance of Allura, and Allura itself is a project managed there:
http://sf.net/p/allura/. Additionally, http://software.dlr.de/ is using Allura.

The name Allura itself has two meanings. It’s Sardinian slang for “And then …” It’s
also the name of Princess Allura, from Voltron. Stories vary, as with any good project name.

Allura has been designed to be the code and project hosting platform for SourceForge, the
largest place for Open Source software tools and applications: home to over 3 million users,
hosting a catalog of over 300,000 distinct projects and serving over 40 million unique visitors
per month and over 15 million downloads per week. Allura was designed to be scalable, delivering
only what projects need, and our aim is to collaborate with ASF to get the wider contributions
and make it the richest all-in-one solution to design, write, debug and promote individual
projects as well as collections of projects.

= Background

Since the late 1990’s, SourceForge has provided a place for people to create and run Open
Source projects. In the last two years, the back-end has been completely rewritten, and has
been Open Source since the beginning of that process. This rewritten code comprises Allura.

Allura is written in Python, and provides a framework within which one can select source control
(svn, git, mercurial, etc), issue trackers, discussion forums, and various other tools associated
with the software development process.

SourceForge.net itself is running on an instance of Allura.

= Rationale

Software development projects can be complicated beasts. By providing all of the necessary
tools, and offering a choice of tools in most categories, Allura promotes best practice in
software development. This product can be used either inside a company - as some are already
doing at their own premise, such as http://software.dlr.de/ - or as an open forge like SourceForge,
to encourage software projects to be done right.

As Apache’s mission is to produce software for the public good, the Allura project fits
right in by enabling others to also produce software using good development practices.

We also believe strongly in giving project communities as much control over their destiny
as possible, even if this means enabling them to take their project elsewhere. Allura is built
to give projects complete control over their data, and Allura itself being Open Source contributes
to this by giving them input into the hosting environment as well. Having Allura within Apache,
and outside of direct SourceForge control, will give our development communities even more
control of their projects.

= Current Status

Allura has been developed under the Apache Software License from the beginning.

= Meritocracy

We plan to do everything possible to encourage an environment which will support a meritocracy.
At the moment all committers are either SourceForge employees or former SourceForge employees.
We are already working with some universities to help students to build their career path
collaborating with our open source project.

= Community

Allura has been developed in the open since its inception, and has a community of developers
outside of the company that actively watch development, and submit tickets and patches. We
are interested in building that community more, and adding more developers from outside of
our organization.

SourceForge has a long history of helping Open Source projects build their communities, and
strongly believes in the value of the community, even over the value of the code itself. We
look forward to diversification of our community, and the vibrancy this will grant to the
code.

Additionally, Allura supports the concept of “neighborhoods”, which allow for grouping
of related projects into shared project management, which may be helpful with related projects
within the ASF, were projects interested in adopting Allura as their development platform.

= Alignment

Allura is about software development, and has grown out of a community which is about open
software development. The love for Open Source in general, and the Apache governance model
in particular, is deep seated in all of the folks currently on the Allura team.

While Allura itself enables any development methodology, the core Allura team is very much
believers in the Apache Way.

= Known Risks

The existing Allura development team has the SourceForge website firmly in mind when developing.
This means supporting our project developer communities and addressing their developer experience.

We have a deep personal interest in seeing this project succeed, and, thus, our company be
successful. This may may result in different priorities from members of the community that
come from outside of SourceForge.

However, we firmly believe that it’s exactly that diversification of the developer community
that will make the product more successful.

= Orphaned products

As SourceForge’s entire business is based around this product, there’s no risk that the
project development will be abandoned, regardless of the outcome of this proposal or a subsequent
incubation. We’re in it for the long haul. Additionally, several other businesses are based
around older versions of this product, and have expressed interest in ongoing participation.
Inexperience with Open Source

The initial developers of this project have a long association with Open Source. SourceForge
itself has been a hub of Open Source development, so to speak, for more than ten years, and
many of the initial developers on this project have been involved with Open Source for as
long or longer.

= Homogeneous Developers

The initial set of active developers are, indeed, almost all from the same company. Although
there are some names on the initial committer list from outside the company, most of these
are former employees who are not very active any more.

We are hoping to expand that group of developers, in order to have wider input from our user
community to improve the developer experience for those using Allura as a development infrastructure.

= Reliance on Salaried Developers

At present, almost all development on Allura is done on salaried time. It is understood that
expanding the developer community to the point where this is not the case, is a goal of incubation.
Relationships with Other Apache Products

It is hoped that some Apache projects might adopt Allura as their development infrastructure.
We don’t know how this might come about, but would love to see that outcome. Indeed, overcoming
objections to using Allura as a development infrastructure will no doubt lead to enormous
product improvements.

With regard to direct connections to Apache projects, Allura itself uses Apache Solr for search
functionality, and the source control component supports Apache Subversion, in addition to
other revision control technologies.

= An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand

We are indeed Apache fans. We look to Apache as a model of good community governance methodologies,
and recommend these methodologies to projects hosted at SourceForge all the time. If this
constitutes an excessive fascination with Apache, then we’re guilty as charged.

However, we’re interested in joining the ASF family, not for the brand recognition, but
in order to benefit from this community governance model. We already have a recognized brand,
and we already have infrastructure. We’re interested in learning, as well as teaching, about
how Open Source projects are run, and doing it better, as well as the obvious benefits to
our project community and the product itself.

= Initial Source

The Allura source code has been developed in the open, in Git, on the SourceForge infrastructure,
from day one. It has been under the Apache License, 2.0, also from day one. The entire code
history can be seen here:

https://sourceforge.net/p/allura/git/
 
The project began in July of 2010.

= Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan


Geeknet owns copyright and other intellectual property rights on what its employees produce.
The patches that we've received so far have had a "Signed-off-by" flag, to indicate licensing
under AL2 See https://sourceforge.net/p/allura/wiki/Contributing%20Code/ for details.

= External Dependencies

External dependencies include MongoDB, Apache Solr, and numerous Python packages.

= Cryptography

None in the codebase, only in 3rd-party dependencies

= Required Resources

Allura is a development forge for Open Source software. It is currently self-hosted on the
SourceForge.net instance, and we strongly believe that eating our own dogfood is central to
the success of our project. As such, several of the items in this section request that we
remain self-hosted, presumably on a VM running Allura.

= Mailing lists

In addition to the self-hosted web-based discussion forums, Allura requires the following
mailing lists:

allura-private
allura-dev
allura-users
allura-commits

= Subversion Directory

Input needed from Incubator PMC - Allura is currently developed in Git, and we’d prefer
to keep it that way. We also desire to have our code be self-hosted - ie, to develop Allura
within the Allura tool.

= Issue Tracking

Input needed from Incubator PMC. The Allura product includes a ticket tracker, and we would
prefer to use all of our own tools, as much as possible, in the development of our product.

= Initial Committers

This is the initial committer list on the Allura project.  

kadams@geek.net                 Kyle Adams
tvansteenburgh@geek.net    Tim Van Steenburgh
jardev@gmail.com                 Yaroslav Luzin
patrick@geek.net                   Patrick Lenz
wwitzel@geek.net                  Wayne Witzel III
johnsca@geek.net                 Cory Johns
brondsem@apache.org           Dave Brondsema
rick@arborian.com                 Rick Copeland
jsteele@geek.net                    Jenny Steele
sscroggin@geek.net               Sonny Scroggin
galoppini@apache.org             Roberto Galoppini
Sponsors

= Champions

Rich Bowen - rbowen@apache.org
Dave Brondsema - brondsem@apache.org


= Nominated Mentors

Rich Bowen - rbowen@apache.org
Ross Gardler- rgardler@apache.org
Greg Stein - gstein@apache.org
Jim Jagielski - jim@apache.org

= Sponsoring Entity

Incubator PMC
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