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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Article on Slashdot
Date Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:09:44 GMT
On Tue, Aug 27, 2013 at 5:29 AM, Andre Fischer <awf.aoo@gmail.com> wrote:
> For your information,
>
> There is an article on slashdot [1] "Has the Apache Software Foundation Lost
> Its Way?" but most comments are about AOO/LO.
>

Didn't we read essentially the same article last year, and the year before?

If I wanted to I could nitpick about an article that complains about
trademarks and still can't the name of our product right.  But I think
the greater flaw it makes zero attempt to look at github projects to
see whether they are doing any better.

Any open source project above a very small size needs to address some
basic questions:

1) Who is permitted to change the code?

2) What is the license for the code?

3) How do we decide the code ready to release?

4) How do we resolve technical disagreements?

5) How do we fund and maintain the technical infrastructure for the project?

All GitHub covers is #5, mainly that projects are dependent on the
generosity of a single for-profit corporation.  Everything else is
determined on a per project basis, and can vary from dictatorships to
chaos.   There is absolutely nothing at Github that addresses the
issues raised in the article, from bureaucracy, to dependency on a
single company, to release schedule, etc.  So it is fatuous to compare
Apache -- a foundation where these questions have well-understood and
accepted answers -- to an amorphous code dump site.

The other fatal flaw in the article is that it fails to recognize that
when looking at Apache one is looking at 14 years as a foundation, and
many more years for some of its projects.   So there is a wide range
of maturities of projects and their underlying technologies.   Many
are mature, very mature.  Some are newer.  But they are not all at the
same place in the hype curve.

This is not a flaw of Apache that we have mature projects.  This is a
good thing.  Projects like Xerces, Xalan, Ant, Maven, etc., are
critical for Java developers, for example.  Even POI is important.
But when you look at GitHib you see exclusively younger projects,
since the site itself is so much younger.   But one day they will (if
they are fortunate enough to survive) also have old projects, projects
making less exciting releases or none at all.  And then that will not
indicate that Githib is past its prime.  It will just indicate that it
has survived long enough to have projects at all stages of its life
cycle.


-Rob


> -Andre
>
> [1]
> http://apache.slashdot.org/story/13/08/26/210200/has-the-apache-software-foundation-lost-its-way
>
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