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From Robert Leland <>
Subject Re: Feature sponsorship proposal
Date Mon, 07 Apr 2008 19:27:29 GMT
I will tell you this, I hate overt marketing.
    When I go to the Movies and they start playing commercials, not 
previews, I'll close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears or walk out to 
take a break.
My wife laughs at me since her background is Marketing Research and says 
it doesn't bother her. So far she hasn't threatened
to not go out with me :)!

Seriously, I have occasionally wondered if there is a better balance 
model for OSS projects. On one hand there is Spring where they actually
are able to pay their core developers based on proceeds from 
training/certification. On the other hand we have
a mostly community/voluntary based development such as Struts/Apache.  I 
am not sure where that balance should lie or if it should change.
Nor do I feel I have the right to even suggest what it should be. Though 
I think its a healthy question to ask every now and then.
How can Struts continue to grow and maintain an identity that active 
committers and the active user community can live with.

Related to this topic, and one that would be interesting is to find out 
what the turnover rate is between different OSS projects are.
Is there a correlation between that and the development/contribution 
model they use ? Struts has been lucky in that some of the original 
such as Martin Cooper and Ted Husted still stay involved. Still there 
has been a quite a number of committers over the years,
and I wonder how that compares to other projects that have also been 


James Mitchell wrote:
> I'm inclined to vote down anything mixing Community and Corporate agenda.  I
> think that's just a bad mix.  In fact, the ASF has specific rules/guidelines
> with respect to corporate involvement (employment) with too many project
> leads.
> There's a reason that Apache projects are so successful, in one word ...
> "community".  I hate it as much as the next guy when movement seems to
> stagnate for weeks/months, but that's never just cause to bring in
> money/free stuff as incentive.
> The folks who want to help when there's a prize at the end will be the first
> ones to dump your a## when you really need them, but don't have an incentive
> to offer.
> If Struts (or any project) doesn't have enough volunteers to keep the work
> going, then we have bigger issues.
> Just my $0.02!
> On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 10:47 AM, Robert Leland <> wrote:
>> Don I have a few questions
>> 1) I agree that this contribution has to be valuable to the contributing
>> company
>> both technically and marketing. Back in 2003 when I obtained free IntelliJ
>> licenses from Jetbrains for the Struts
>> Committers all they wanted was acknowledgment on our web page and that was
>> voted down as too commercial.
>> To IntelliJ's credit they still provided the license and later expanded it
>> to all of Apache.
>> How has the Struts PMC changed since then to allow what your proposing ?
>> 2) What if a proposal isn't on the short list of features, however when it
>> is proposed the Struts community
>> its viewed as a useful idea ?
>> 3) What if it turns out that two competing companies have different
>> implementations, which is a great place to be in.
>>    Do we need to think this far ahead or using Agile methods do we not
>> want to over design this process  initially ?
>> -Rob
>> Don Brown wrote:
>>> As more and more companies start using open source software, many,
>>> like mine, are looking for ways to give back to the community.  They
>>> want a way to contribute and ensure their contribution will be noticed
>>> and appreciated.  What if we had a feature sponsorship program that
>>> encouraged companies to donate engineering time to filling out needed
>>> features in Struts?
>>> I imagine it would work like this:
>>>  1. The Struts community comes up with a short list of desired
>>> features with high-level specs
>>>  2. Companies (or individuals) could "sign up" for a feature and
>>> donate internal engineering time to implementing the feature
>>>  3. The Struts community would review then commit the feature
>>>  4. The release notes for that version and perhaps somewhere on the
>>> website would note who gets credit for the feature
>>> This would help those that want to donate time what features are most
>>> needed by the community and give them a way to receive recognition for
>>> their work in a very public way.    A key component in this proposal
>>> is the way credit is given to the work, something that might encourage
>>> the marketing departments of the respective companies.  The list of
>>> desired features is also important as it ensures their effort will not
>>> be in vain, and it also implies the support of the Struts dev
>>> community to work to apply the patch in a timely manner.
>>> Thoughts?
>>> Don
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