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From Marvin Humphrey <mar...@rectangular.com>
Subject Re: Post mortem request for the handling of the Corinthia podling (was Re: FYI, I have subscribed to this list and to your private list)
Date Tue, 19 Jan 2016 04:07:01 GMT
On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 6:55 AM, Peter Kelly <pmkelly@apache.org> wrote:
> The big takeaway from my experience, in terms of suggestions, is to make it
> *very* clear on both the incubator website, and impressed upon anyone
> considering joining incubator, exactly what can and cannot be done in within
> the context of an ASF projects.

In the incubation proposal template, there is a space for listing the
dependencies of the project.

    http://incubator.apache.org/guides/proposal.html#template-external-dependencies

    External dependencies for the initial source is important. Only some
    external dependencies are allowed by Apache policy. These restrictions are
    (to some extent) initially relaxed for projects under incubation.

    If the initial source has dependencies which would prevent graduation then
    this is the right place to indicate how these issues will be resolved.

This catches most problematic dependencies.  However, in Corinthia's case, it
seems that because Qt was a *future* dependency, it wasn't listed.

    http://wiki.apache.org/incubator/CorinthiaProposal#External_Dependencies

To be clear, I don't think anybody's at fault here -- glitches arise naturally
and inevitably from complex requirements, and preparing an incubation proposal
is a complex undertaking.  What I'm saying is that the proposed safety
mechanisms already exist, yet were not fully effective.

This is not the only time that there's been an issue with licensing which was
discovered only after incubation started.  When Groovy came to the ASF, a
significant portion of the Groovy documentation was under CC-BY-SA.  The ASF
allows CC-BY but not CC-BY-SA, but the Groovy team was mistakenly informed on
a non-ASF list that CC-BY-SA was not a problem, and regrettably none of the
ASF participants in that discussion (including me) caught the mistake.  And so
that potential blocker was not dealt with until incubation was already
underway.

Fortunately, after substantial effort, Groovy's documentation was able to be
relicensed -- there were only 15 or so contributors to that particular section
and they were contactable and willing to give consent.  But if that had not
been the case, it would have been a big deal, because a lot of effort had
already gone into moving Groovy to the ASF.

> stuff like this needs to be made really, really clear right from
> the beginning, before large amounts of time are invested in podlings that
> later discover themselves doomed to fail from the start.

It seemed that volunteer goodwill boiled away very quickly with Corinthia's
crisis reached critical mass, for a variety of reasons.  Complexity of
requirements does seem to have been a contributing factor, and I accept that
we have work to do.

Best regards,

Marvin Humphrey

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