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From Ted Leung <>
Subject Re: Last call; -active- code bases and committers to Heraldry
Date Tue, 06 Mar 2007 08:36:18 GMT

On Mar 5, 2007, at 12:06 PM, Eugene Eric Kim wrote:

> With this in mind, I have a clarifying question for Bill and Ted.  I
> think Apache's policy for being email-driven is spot-on, and it's
> consistent with general collaborative best practices for  
> communities that
> have both strong local and geographically dispersed demographics.   
> At the
> same time, I know that Apache hosts several projects that were
> contributed by companies and that continue to be actively driven by
> employees at these companies.  How have they dealt with the  
> challenges of
> balancing face-to-face versus email?  I can't imagine that Sun and  
> IBM,
> for example, do zero face-to-face design work, although I suspect that
> they also report-out very aggressively to the mailing lists.
> Could you elaborate on how other companies have dealt with the
> face-to-face versus asynchronous challenge with other Apache projects?

At the ASF, all decisions must be made in the public mailing lists.    
You can talk offlist as much as you want, but the decision needs to  
be made on the list.   So if you have any committers outside of your  
organization, you will have to convince them to vote for your design,  
or not to veto code that was never discussed.    Aggressive reporting  
or use of logged mediums (such as IRC) can help with this process,  
but whenever you go offlist.   In the end, in successful projects,  
people learn to use e-mail.

Again I'd recommend Karl Fogel's excellent Producing Open Source  
Software <> as a practical guide for working  
in an open source project -- Karl is not an ASF person, but he is  
major contributor to Subversion, which uses ASF like practices, and  
which was developed (initially) under the auspices of a company.


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