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From Roman Shaposhnik <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Incubator exit criteria
Date Tue, 01 Jul 2014 03:46:34 GMT
Hi!

Sorry for a belated reply -- at first I was following Doug's rule
and then I got distracted ;-)

That said -- I really would like to drive us to some kind
consensus (even if we have to do the vote) because
the current situation is simply sad (top 8 project):
   https://whimsy.apache.org/incubator/podlings/by-age

> Let's assume the Wave project would have more activity. Maybe lets say
> they are operating with around 20 commits a month. It would be still
> difficult to release the code base within one year, because its really
> complex and needs a full refactoring. If we do not weight activity in general in, we
> reduce the exit criteria to: how fast can you do a release?

Are you proposing a hypothetical where for all that activity there's
no a single line of code produced? I hope not. Because this
is the only point where I feel super strongly about -- if a project
doesn't produce a single line of code in a year -- we need to
take action.

If not, I must ask -- how can you imagine code activity to continue for
a year and not have a single artifact that is 'usable'? I've been
in this industry for 20+ years and I've never seen that.

So lets assume that there's an artifact that is at least useful
to developers. Why not release it under the alpha label? What
am I missing here?

>> At the ends of the day, the release of an incubating project
>> is NOT a glorious exercise in putting the final coat of paint
>> on a flawless product. It is rather a very mundane way sharing
>> technology with its users community. And after all, growing the
>> user community is as important as growing the contributing
>> community. It is only fair that IPMC gently reminds PPMC of that.
>
>
> I agree, but sometimes it's simply not possible to release.
> Actually, Wave *could* have released something, but nobody wants
> it to look like that.

Like what? Lets answer a simple question -- is there an artifact
of Wave that I, as an advanced user, can play with today? The
answer to that is yes (I just spent time and checked). Is it
perfect? No. Is it releasable as 'alpha' -- absolutely yes!

> Let's assume they would release it now, which would be possible in theory.
> Let's say they would get 3 +1 from the PMC, which will be hard already.
> Then you have a released project, but the community is almost inactive.

That is a fine -- a release proves community's ability to do
releases. That's one of the items on the graduation checklist.

> As to my knowledge, some Hadoop-devs get financial support from companies.
> Projects like Ripple, Wave or Log4cxx do not have that financial support.
> In most cases, people work on these codebases in their prime time.
> For that reason I don't want to compare company-backed projects with
> prime-time projects.

What's wrong with doing it on GitHub? There's plenty of super successfull
projects driven 100% by volunteers that are available on GitHub? What's
wrong with that?

> People might struggle with a release but be healthy otherwise.
> People might get a release done, but have no community otherwise.
>
> That said, reminding people of the "release often and early" thing is good
> to do,
> but also have in mind that incubator releases are very difficult to make.

And if could solve both of these during my tenure as an incubator chair,
I'd quit right there -- you can't top it ;-)

But seriously, I do agree that we don't make it simple. That said, part
of the exit criteria function would be to force IPMC to think about this
problem more often. Imagine how silly it would be to suggest that
project need to exit the incubator only to find out that the reason
it hasn't had a release was because IPMC screwed it up? I think
we really need these types of forcing functions around here.

Thanks,
Roman.

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