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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Extensions hosting
Date Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:25:31 GMT
On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 10:51 AM, Ross Gardler
<> wrote:
> As the community know Gav, in his role at infrastructure@ has
> undertaken to stabilise and migrate the AOO extensions code to ASF
> infrastructure. His work has been progressing and he remains committed
> to completing this.
> However, as some know Sourceforge made an offer to help via our
> private list. At the time they did not want to discuss this topic in
> public for a number of reasons. I've had a couple of chats with
> Roberto Gallopini and Jeff Drobick in order to help them understand
> why the ASF prefers to host all services for its projects. In response
> SF have tailored their offer of support.

Thanks for the wonderful job of reaching out to SourceForge and
connecting us to this offer, Ross.

> I relayed the outline of our conversations to the infrastructure team
> who have asked me to have the AOO project provide some feedback, via a
> board report, on what problems the AOO project forsee for the
> extensions site and what options are available, if possible a
> recommendation for an optimal solution should also be made. Note that
> we can submit something out of cycle if we want, the next full report
> is not due till March.

This has already been discussed, in detail in a previous thread:

I believe that discussion is what prompted Gavin to action.  If
someone wants to copy and paste that into a Board report, then they
are welcome to do so.

> The reason infra@ have escalated to board@ is probably that we need to
> figure out a long term solution for the AOO project and that solution
> is heavily influenced by ASF policy. Any solution that we are
> currently considering will have an impact on the AOO extensions site
> and/or on ASF policy.
> The current situation, as I understand it, is that the board have
> given permission for the extensions site to be managed by infra during
> incubation. The problem of distributing content under licences other
> than Apache is not seen to be a problem during the incubation process.
> Beyond incubation the board has delegated responsibility to the
> Incubator PMC. I don't believe that particular discussion has been
> started yet.
> Gav tells us that he has been thinking about making the extensions
> site an index site, thus allowing the extensions to be housed
> elsewhere (apache-extras, sourceforge, google code, github, FooBar
> corporation or wherever). This would neatly bypass the licence
> problem. Open source extensions needing hosting could go to
> apache-extras while commercially licensed extensions would need to
> provide their own hosting.

That was my recommendation as well, in the previous thread referenced
above.  It is more work up front, but the resulting "directory" of
links and metadata associated with extensions (and templates -- don't
forget the templates) is very flexible.

> An alternative is to work with a third party willing to help. I've
> copied below the text of a mail outlining the SF proposal. You will
> note that they are keen to ensure that we don't get locked into the SF
> services. Nevertheless, one of the reasons the ASF hosts its own
> services is to avoid exposing us to unmanageable risk.

This doesn't necessarily need to be an either/or decision.  We could
decide to host the canonical directory of extensions/templates, and SF
hold host a prominent repository of some of the actual extensions.

We also need to get out of the mindset of there being only one
extension repository, or even one extension directory, and instead
think of a federated approach.  Remember, in an ecosystem with
downstream consumers and enterprise deployments,  there will typically
be internal-only corporate repositories as well as distro-specific
ones, as well as possible directories and repositories from AOO (ones
that are project releases under ALv2).  So I'd recommend we think of
the problem as being more about protocols and formats for describing
and advertising (from a web services perspective) extensions.  On top
of that an ecosystem of repositories and directories would emerge.


Short term -- stabilize what we have.  Whether at Apache or SF, I
offer no opinion.

Long term -- take the federated approach.  In this approach we will
want a host for the non-ALv2 extensions, so SF's offer makes sense

Maybe the short-term offer from them for stabilization could migrate,
over time, for them to be a core repository in the eventual federated


> I have no reason to believe SourceForge have anything other than good
> intentions in making this offer. SF has been supporting open source
> for a very long time. It is backed at the highest level (Jeff is
> President and CEO) and I believe Roberto is known within the
> community. However, many aspects of this will be outside
> of the control of the AOO project, despite SFs real attempts to
> mitigate our concerns relating to this.
> Please note that the timescales Jeff outlines are unrealistic given
> that we need to seek board input before being able to ensure the AOO
> project makes the right decision.  SF want to move quickly, but I
> don't think we need to be rushed into making a decision.
> Once you've digested and debated the offer from Sourceforge the
> community needs to come up with a couple of paragraphs indicating a
> desired route forwards and reasons for it. I will try and attend the
> appropriate board meeting in order to answer any questions that arise.
> Please be imaginative in your planning for the future. The optimal
> solution might be some combination of ASF and SF offerings.
> Note Roberto Gallopini has joined this list and is ready to make any
> clarifications necessary. I've also made Gav aware of this post so
> that he can answer any questions we have about what infra@ are able to
> do.
> Thanks,
> Ross
> I'm glad we had a chance to talk last week - exciting times for Open
> Office as the product and community transition into the ASF.
> For over a decade, SourceForge has been committed to advancing the
> open source software community.  We host over 300,000 projects and are
> visited by over 40 MM users per month for free, secure, and fast
> downloads of open source software.  Trusted and reliable download
> delivery is an important part of our service, with over 4 million
> downloads per day and 2 PB from our mirror network each month.  We are
> committed to helping OSS projects scale and grow.
> Based on our discussions, we understand there are a few things you are
> solving for as part of the Open Office Incubation effort:
> Supporting a diverse licensing terms for Open Office extensions, that
> may not all comply with the Apache OSS policy;
> Stabilizing your Drupal OO Extensions site and ensuring high
> availability and download bandwidth without cost
> Expanding both the developer base who will move into working on the
> Apache framework as well as adoption of the Open Office product and
> extensions.
> We think we can help and that there would be mutual benefit.  To that
> end, we propose the following for your consideration:
> 1.) Stabilize the your OO Extensions Drupal instance by moving the it
> and all services to SourceForge.  Our Site Operations team will do teh
> work and oversee the operations for you as we do other services.  To
> your community the directory will look the same and extension and
> template files will move to SourceForge's globally-distributed
> download mirror network where we can ensure reliable, scalable
> delivery.  Drupal will be hosted on our project web service, serving
> your existing domain via a VHOST.  Standard infrastructure
> (monitoring, backups, etc.) and service levels (99.9% availability
> target) apply.
> These SourceForge services will be provided gratis, and without
> lock-in -- you are open to change your mind later.  We anticipate this
> migration would involve a week of planning and preparation, followed
> by a week of migration and pre/post-migration communications.  We're
> prepared to commence this work the next week if provided your approval
> and support.
> 2.) Once stabilized, we will work with you on a timeline to evaluate
> and execute a migration from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7.
> Allowing us to host the Extensions community will solve the license
> challenges - or at least give you time to work through a longer term
> solution.  We would also be able to cross promote the software titles
> to the development community as well - so perhaps expand not only your
> user base but developers.
> Roberto (our Sr. Director of Business Development) has been involved
> in the community for many years -- he will continue to
> be your point-of-contact.  If we secure the go-ahead this week, we
> will start on Tuesday next week and expect to be complete by 1/15 with
> step 1.  I have asked our head of Site Ops to oversee the
> implementation and he'll partner up with your technical folks to
> ensure the hosting transition goes well.
> Our motivation here is quite simple, it is all part of our mission to
> help Open Source Software initiatives succeed.  To that end,
> SourceForge and Geeknet Media are able to fund these services and make
> them free to the community through advertising largely on the download
> and directory pages.  So there won't ever be a charge back to your
> community and we are able to reinvest in R&D on our developer tools as
> well.
> We look forward to hearing back from you this week if possible.  Feel
> free to forward this on to whomever you would like in terms of getting
> to an aligned decision.
> I wish you a happy new year!
> --
> Thank you,
> Jeff
> --- End of copied text ---
> --
> Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
> Programme Leader (Open Development)
> OpenDirective

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