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From Roman Shaposhnik <>
Subject [VOTE] Accept Quickstep into the Apache Incubator
Date Tue, 22 Mar 2016 21:01:20 GMT

Quickstep proposal was made available for discussion last week
and the feedback so far seems to be positive.

Please vote to accept Quickstep into the Apache Incubator.
The vote will be open until Mon 3/28 noon PST.

[ ] +1 Accept Quickstep into the Apache Incubator
[ ] +0 Abstain
[ ] -1 Don't accept Quickstep into the Apache Incubator because ...

== Abstract ==

Quickstep is a high-performance database engine. It is designed to (1)
convert data to insights at bare-metal speed, (2) support multiple
query surfaces including SQL (the first (and current) version only
supports SQL, and (3) deliver bare-metal performance on any hardware
(including running on a laptop, running on a high-end (single node)
server, and running on a distributed cluster). Since its inception,
the project has been planned to deliver a high-performance single node
system first, followed by a distributed system.

Quickstep is composed of several different modules that handle
different concerns of a database system. The main modules are:
  * Utility - Reusable general-purpose code that is used by many other modules.
  * Threading - Provides a cross-platform abstraction for threads and
synchronization primitives that abstract the underlying OS threading
  * Types - The core type system used across all of Quickstep. Handles
details of how SQL types are stored, parsed, serialized &
deserialized, and converted. Also includes basic containers for typed
values (tuples and column-vectors) and low-level operations that apply
to typed values (e.g. basic arithmetic and comparisons).
  * Catalog - Tracks database schema as well as physical storage
information for relations (e.g. which physical blocks store a
relation's data, and any physical partitioning and placement
  * Storage - Physically stores relational data in self-contained,
self-describing blocks, both in-memory and on persistent storage (disk
or a distributed filesystem). Also includes some heavyweight run-time
data structures used in query processing (e.g. hash tables for join
and aggregation). Includes a buffer manager component for managing
memory use and a file manager component that handles data persistence.
  * Compression - Implements ordered dictionary compression. Several
storage formats in the Storage module are capable of storing
compressed column data and evaluating some expressions directly on
compressed data without decompressing. The common code supporting
compression is in this module.
  * Expressions - Builds on the simple operations provided by the
Types module to support arbitrarily complex expressions over data,
including scalar expressions, predicates, and aggregate functions with
and without grouping.
  * Relational Operators - This module provides the building blocks
for queries in Quickstep. A query is represented as a directed acyclic
graph of relational operators, each of which is responsible for
applying some relational-algebraic operation(s) to transform its
input. Operators generate individual self-contained "work orders" that
can be executed independently. Most operators are parallelism-friendly
and generate one work-order per storage block of input.
  * Query Execution - Handles the actual scheduling and execution of
work from a query at runtime. The central class is the Foreman, an
independent thread with a global view of the query plan and progress.
The Foreman dispatches work-orders to stateless Worker threads and
monitors their progress, and also coordinates streaming of partial
results between producers and consumers in a query plan DAG to
maximize parallelism. This module also includes the QueryContext
class, which holds global shared state for an individual query and is
designed to support easy serialization/deserialization for distributed
  * Parser - A simple SQL lexer and parser that parses SQL syntax into
an abstract syntax tree for consumption by the Query Optimizer.
  * Query Optimizer - Takes the abstract syntax tree generated by the
parser and transforms it into a runable query-plan DAG for the Query
Execution module. The Query Optimizer is responsible for resolving
references to relations and attributes in the query, checking it for
semantic correctness, and applying optimizations (e.g. filter
pushdown, column pruning, join ordering) as part of the transformation
  * Command-Line Interface - An interactive SQL shell interface to Quickstep.

Quickstep is implemented in C++ and does not require many external
libraries to run. Quickstep is currently an open source project
licensed under the Apache License Version 2.0 and governed by a group
of engineers at Pivotal.

Quickstep began in 2011 as a research project in the Computer Sciences
Department at the University of Wisconsin and the copyrights underlying the
project was transferred to a company called Quickstep Technologies,
which was acquired by Pivotal in 2015.

== Proposal ==
The goal of this proposal is to bring an already existing open source
project into the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) family thus
leveraging a very successful “Apache Way” governance model in order to
increase community participation and diversity. We hope that it will
allow us to build a vibrant, diverse and self-governed open source
community around the technology. Pivotal has agreed to transfer the
brand name "Quickstep" to ASF and will stop using Quickstep to refer
to this software if the project gets accepted into the ASF Incubator
under the name of "Apache Quickstep (incubating)". Pivotal may market
and sell products that include Apache Quickstep (incubating) under a
different brand name, but no determination has been made regarding
that. While Quickstep is our primary choice for a name of the project,
in anticipation of any potential issues with PODLINGNAMESEARCH we have
come up with two alternative names: (1) Bolero or (2) Hustle.

Pivotal is submitting this proposal to transfer the Quickstep source
code and associated artifacts (documentation, web site content, wiki,
etc.) from its current Github location to the ASF Incubator under the
Apache License, Version 2.0 and is asking the Incubator PMC to
establish an open source community.

== Background ==

Quickstep is a next-generation relational data processing kernel
currently being developed as a collaboration between the academic
community and Pivotal. Quickstep aims to deliver efficient and
sustainable data processing performance on current and future hardware
by using a hardware-software co-design philosophy.

For the hardware available today, this means effectively exploiting
large main memories, fast on-die CPU caches, highly parallel
multi-core CPUs, and NVRAM storage technologies.

For the hardware available in the future, the project aims to
co-design hardware and software primitives that will allow data
processing kernels to work on increasing amounts of data economically
-- both from the raw performance perspective, and from the perspective
of the energy consumed by data processing kernels.

== Rationale ==

In the past decade, ASF has established itself as one of the
quintessential sources of innovation in data management and data
processing frameworks. At the same time, there is a clear need for a
modern, flexible framework capable of exploiting the hardware
characteristics of today and make it available as a set of building
blocks to as wide a community of developers as possible. We strongly
believe that Quickstep technology can benefit a broader ecosystem of
database developers and researchers but this "world domination" needs
to be achieved through a vibrant, diverse, self-governed community
collectively innovating around a single codebase while at the same
time cross-pollinating with various other data management communities.
ASF is the ideal place to meet those ambitious goals. We also believe
that our experience bringing various Pivotal data products into ASF
family - including Apache Geode (incubating), Apache HAWQ (incubating)
and Apache MADlib (incubating) can be leveraged to make the Quickstep
transition a success, thus improving the chances of it becoming a
truly vibrant Apache community.

== Initial Goals ==

Our initial goals are to bring Quickstep into ASF, transition internal
engineering processes into the open, and foster a collaborative
development model according to the "Apache Way." Pivotal and its
academic partners plan to develop new functionality in an open,
community-driven way. To get there, the existing internal build, test
and release processes will be refactored to support open development.

== Current Status ==

Currently, the project code base is licensed under the Apache License
v.2 and is available in a GitHub repository . The documentation and
wiki pages are available at same repository. Throughout its history
Quickstep was developed in a hybrid closed/opens source mode but it
has its roots in open source database management communities. The
internal engineering practices adopted by the development team lend
themselves well to an open, collaborative and meritocratic

The Quickstep team has always focused on building a robust end user
community of researchers. The existing documentation along with
various publications are expected to facilitate conversions between
our existing users so as to transform them into an active community of
Quickstep members, stakeholders and developers.

== Meritocracy ==

Our proposed list of initial committers include the current Quickstep
R&D team and several existing academic partners. This group will form
a base for the broader community we will invite to collaborate on the
codebase. We intend to radically expand the initial developer and user
community by running the project in accordance with the "Apache Way".
Users and new contributors will be treated with respect and welcomed.
By participating in the community and providing quality
patches/support that move the project forward, contributors will earn
merit. They also will be encouraged to provide non-code contributions
(documentation, events, community management, etc.) and will gain
merit for doing so. Those with a proven support and quality track
record will be encouraged to become committers.

== Community ==

If Quickstep is accepted for incubation, the primary initial goal will
be transitioning the core community towards embracing the Apache Way
of project governance. We would solicit major existing contributors to
become committers on the project from the start.

== Core Developers ==
A small percentage of Quickstep core developers are skilled in working
as part of openly governed Apache communities (mainly around the
Hadoop ecosystem). That said, most of the core developers are
currently NOT affiliated with the ASF and would require new ICLAs
before committing to the project.

== Alignment ==
The following existing ASF projects can be considered when reviewing
the Quickstep proposal:
  * Apache Hive: Potential alignment here is to consider a version of
Hive that run on the Quickstep executor.
  * Apache HAWQ (incubating): Potential alignment here is to consider
exchanging ideas and/or code for execution across both systems.
  * Apache YARN: Work has started on a distributed version of
Quickstep, and its current path is to run as a YARN application.
  * Apache Mesos: Potential alignment here is for Quickstep to run in
Apache Mesos.

== Known Risks ==
Development has been done mostly by a tightly knit group of University
of Wisconsin researchers and later was sponsored mostly by a single
company (Pivotal) thus far and coordinated mainly by the core
Quickstep team. The Quickstep team now spans Pivotal and the
University of Wisconsin.

For the project to fully transition to the Apache Way governance
model, development must shift towards the meritocracy-centric model of
growing a community of contributors balanced with the needs for
extreme stability and core implementation coherency. The tools and
development practices in place for the Quickstep product are
compatible with the ASF infrastructure and thus we do not anticipate
any on-boarding pains.

The project went through a very thorough vetting as part of Pivotal
open sourcing it under the  Apache License v. 2.0 only a few month
ago. This gives us reasonable confidence to conclude that the code
base is clean and free from IP complications.
Orphaned products
Pivotal is fully committed to maintaining its position as one of the
leading providers of database management and data processing solutions
and the corresponding Pivotal commercial product will continue to be
developed around the Quickstep project.

Moreover, Pivotal has a vested interest in making Quickstep successful
by driving its close integration with both existing projects
contributed to open source by Pivotal including Apache HAWQ
(incubating) and Greenplum Database, and sister ASF projects. We
expect this to further reduce the risk of orphaning the product.

== Inexperience with Open Source ==
Pivotal has embraced open source software since its formation by
employing contributors/committers and by shepherding open source
projects like Cloud Foundry, Spring, RabbitMQ and MADlib. Individuals
working at Pivotal have experience with the formation of vibrant
communities around open technologies with the Cloud Foundry
Foundation, and continuing with the creation of a community around
Apache Geode (incubating), Apache HAWQ (incubating) and Apache MADlib
(incubating). Although some of the initial committers have not had the
experience of developing entirely open source, community-driven
projects, we expect to bring to bear the open development practices
that have proven successful on longstanding Pivotal open source
projects to the Quickstep community. Additionally, several ASF
veterans have agreed to mentor the project and are listed in this
proposal. The project will rely on their collective guidance and
wisdom to quickly transition the entire team of initial committers
towards practicing the Apache Way.

== Homogeneous Developers ==
While many of the initial committers are employed by Pivotal or at the
University of Wisconsin, we have already seen a healthy level of
interest from existing customers and partners. We intend to convert
that interest directly into participation and will be investing in
activities to recruit additional committers from other companies.

== Reliance on Salaried Developers ==
Many of the contributors are paid to work in the Big Data and data
processing space and nearly all are committed to a career in that
space. While they might wander from their current employers, they are
unlikely to venture far from their core expertise and thus will
continue to be engaged with the project regardless of their current

== Relationships with Other Apache Products ==
As mentioned in the Alignment section, Quickstep may consider various
degrees of integration and code exchange with Apache Hive, Apache HAWQ
(incubating), Apache YARN and Apache Mesos.

== An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand ==
While we intend to leverage the Apache ‘branding’ when talking to
other projects as testament of our project’s ‘neutrality’, we have no
plans for making use of Apache brand in press releases nor posting
billboards advertising acceptance of Quickstep into Apache Incubator.

== Documentation ==
The documentation is currently available at

== Initial Source ==
Initial source code is currently licensed under Apache License v.2 and
is available at

== Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan ==
As soon as Quickstep is approved to join the Incubator, the source
code will be transitioned via an exhibit to Pivotal's current Software
Grant Agreement onto ASF infrastructure. We know of no legal
encumbrances inhibiting the transfer of source code to the ASF.

== External Dependencies ==

Runtime dependencies:
 * farmhash: [License: MIT]
 * gflags: [License: BSD]
 * glog: [License: BSD]
 * gperftools: [License: BSD]
 * linenoise: [License: BSD 2-Clause]
 * protobuf: [License: BSD]

Build only dependencies:
 * cmake: [License: BSD]
 * bison: [License: GPL with
exception for generated parsers]
 * flex: [License: BSD]

Test only dependencies:
 * benchmark: [License: Apache 2.0]
 * cpplint: [License: BSD]
 * gtest: [License: BSD]
 * iwyu: [License: UIUC BSD-Like]

Cryptography: N/A

== Required Resources ==

=== Mailing lists ===
  * (moderated subscriptions)

=== Git Repository ===

=== Issue Tracking ===


=== Other Resources ===
Means of setting up regular builds for Quickstep on
will require integration with Docker support.

== Initial Committers ==
 * Jignesh M. Patel
 * Harshad Deshmukh
 * Jianqiao Zhu
 * Zuyu Zhang
 * Marc Spehlmann
 * Saket Saurabh
 * Hakan Memisoglu
 * Rogers Jeffrey Leo John
 * Adalbert Gerald Soosai Raj
 * Udip Pant
 * Siddharth Suresh
 * Rathijit Sen
 * Craig Chasseur
 * Qiang Zeng
 * Shoban Chandrabose
 * Navneet Potti
 * Yinan Li
 * Sangmin Shin
 * James Paton
 * Shixuan Fan
 * Roman Shaposhnik
 * Konstantin Boudnik
 * Julian Hyde
 * Dhruba Borthakur

== Affiliations ==
 * Pivotal: Jignesh M. Patel, Zuyu Zhang, Roman Shaposhnik
 * Google: Craig Chasseur
 * Facebook: James Paton, Dhruba Borthakur
 * Pinterest: Sangmin Shin
 * Microsoft: Yinan Li
 * Hortonworks: Julian Hyde
 * Memcore: Konstantin Boudnik
 * University of Wisconsin (and supported in part by Pivotal): Everyone else

== Sponsors ==

=== Champion ===
Roman Shaposhnik

=== Nominated Mentors ===
The initial mentors are listed below:
 * Konstantin Boudnik - Apache Member, Memcore
 * Roman Shaposhnik - Apache Member, Pivotal
 * Julian Hyde, IPMC Member, Hortonworks

=== Sponsoring Entity ===
We would like to propose Apache incubator to sponsor this project.

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