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From Wade Chandler <wadechand...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Releases
Date Fri, 10 Mar 2017 16:52:47 GMT


> On Mar 10, 2017, at 10:21, Raphael Bircher <rbircherapache@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Hi Graham
> 
> Am .03.2017, 15:34 Uhr, schrieb Graham Leggett <minfrin@sharp.fm <mailto:minfrin@sharp.fm>>:
> 
>> On 10 Mar 2017, at 3:48 PM, Hadrian Zbarcea <hzbarcea@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>>> I think the purpose of Labs should be this:
>>>> 
>>>> “Labs is the place where you develop software with the goal of introducing
that software to the Apache Incubator”.
>>> So you *really* believe that an labs being a incubator-incubator or pre-incubator
will provide enough value to attract committers to start here instead of github?
>> 
>> It depends on whether people want to be an Apache project or not.
>> 
>>> Isn't it exactly what labs are about today? Labs didn't attract many projects
in the past years, what makes us think that they will in the future?
>> 
>> If Labs positions itself properly and explains how it fits into the overall Apache
picture, I don’t see why this wouldn’t be a problem.
>> 
>> When people demand releases out of Labs, it means they don’t yet understand how
Apache works, or what Apache is supposed to do for them. In cases like this is the proposed
project a fit for the ASF?
> At the moment it looks for me as you are against any change. But you don't tell us any
reason for it, You just say no. Is this Apache Way? Not really, right?
> 
> No one ask to do a full release out of labs. We talked about snapshots or something similar.
And BTW most Project who enters the incubator have had already a release outside incubator.
> 
> I wonder what are your arguments against a snapshot (or whatever we call this) out of
the labs.
> 

This conversation and call for action started off by first stating that labs wasn’t really
a success, and asked for some input, as well as if anyone was interested in shaping it’s
future. So, I propose some focus be given to the question and the reasonings for the call
to action.

It seems fairly clear one reason is it wasn’t exactly easily discovered nor prominently
mentioned where new comers would have seen it nor come to understand it. But, there are surely
other reasons, and ones besides it just wasn’t documented well enough to fit into “The
Apache Way”. I think when people like myself first read the welcome section at http://labs.apache.org
<http://labs.apache.org/> there are some very specific things they will pick out, such
as “Apache Labs is a place for innovation” and “without discrimination of purpose, medium,
or implementation technology” and “provide the necessary resource to promote and maintain
the innovative power within the Apache community”.

I think this discussion should perhaps first focus on what is good about that introduction,
and ask what is appealing about labs to those who had never heard of it, or those who left
it plus their reasonings for doing that. Releases or some notion of how to more easily use
labs projects for other types of innovation, such as Maven projects, is probably a good way
to reduce friction.

Not everything in a playground should become a fit for the organization for which it was an
experiment or exercise in creativity or innovation. But, that shouldn’t mean one doesn’t
want some people to try it out before that is decided. Given X libraries in some experimental
state, perhaps a lab only makes sense because of the others; if they didn’t exist first,
could there have been innovation or vision to use them together in a particular way? This
notion of a piece of software as a binary artifact making it easier to link with others being
exactly the same thing as a release should really be dwelled upon. That simply isn’t true
in very many places and situations.

In my opinion, if labs has too much friction, then it can’t be called a play ground or a
place for innovation. If it is where things start out fresh before they go into the incubator,
if they are started at ASF, then that could still happen as part of a bigger process, but
if that is the only reason for labs, then that is the only time it will be used. If the goal
is to give committers a little room to play and experiment, then it isn’t going to always
be that they think that item needs to be an ASF project nor brought to the incubator; they
really would just be doing that experimentation as a group of fellow ASF members, and that
is the reason to do such things here versus some where else outside of legal protections the
collective and policies bring.

If there are specifics on what can not be done per very specific legal reasons that is one
thing. Those should be the things mentioned as the limits, and clearly stated as to why. To
say “that isn’t the ASF way, and someone doesn’t know that yet” doesn’t necessarily
work to solve why labs wasn’t successful nor what it’s future could be.

Thanks,

Wade
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