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From Greg Stein <gst...@apache.org>
Subject Re: [ANN] Avalon Closed
Date Wed, 01 Dec 2004 02:58:25 GMT
On Wed, Dec 01, 2004 at 02:26:43AM +0100, Stephen McConnell wrote:
> The Avalon community established a PMC to represent the community
> interests concerning the direction and administration of the Avalon
> project.

Um. No. The Apache Software Foundation established the PMC. Its
purpose was to provide the necessary (legal) oversight of the
development of the Avalon project. That oversight is/was necessary to
establish the appropriate legal protection for the committers on the
project and the ASF itself.

It is the ASF that releases the Avalon code, not the committers. To do
that properly, certain things need to be done for the benefit of all
involved. You may disagree with some of those processes, their
purpose, and how it was done, but that is simply too bad. They need to
exist so that our users can properly trust the code we provide.

> The community interests were clear - a single platform, one
> specification, a cohesive solution.

No, that was never clear. That was *your* desire, Stephen, and you did
everything you could to steer things in that direction. You alienated
people, you berated people, and you generally made things unpleasant
for anybody that did not have your same "vision". Avalon went through
many phases, and the "single platform" you mention was simply the last
thing standing after your various escapades.

> That decision was not respected by
> the outgoing chair nor the board of directors of the ASF.

The Board had nothing to do with these directions or choices. Our only
(recent) involvment was that the VP in charge of Avalon asked us to
terminate the project, so we did.

Also recently, we directed the Avalon project to step up and deal with
the problems that it has had, and to take proper care of its legacy
users. But we did not specify any particular solutions. The PMC came
up with the solutions.

> That is not the definition of a job-well-done.  Instead this is much
> more about the weakness of individuals - in particular the members of
> the board of directors of the ASF and not least of all our outgoing
> chain.  However - there is much that can be learnt from this.  The
> weaknesses of the BOD can be attributed to their collective
> unwillingness to confront members of their own board.

I have no idea what you're talking about here. The Board of Directors
of the Apache Software Foundation does not have or need any
"confrontation". As a group, we work together very, very well. In the
past three years or so that I've been on the Board, I can only recall
*two* votes that were not unanimous. We reach consensus very easily,
and it isn't because we beat some unnamed board member into

> The weakness of
> our Chair was more a question of his personal loyalty to the community.

I disagree. I very much respect what J Aaron Farr has done for Avalon.
You made it a rather difficult task, but he stepped up and dealt with
it. He didn't have to, but he did. And he did it because the community
needed somebody to deal with the issues.

Further, I think that he handled it very, very well. Some of the posts
that he has written shows great insight into why great communities are
needed here at Apache, and what makes a great community. He's shown
that he can also help to shape those communities, despite adversity
that was caused by certain folks. At times, he didn't take as much
action as I might have, but I fully believe that he had good reasons,
and I support the choices he made.

Aaron has my respect, and I hope he continues to be involved in other
Apache projects.

> Irrespective of the above obstacles a real and tangible alternative to
> ASF continues under http://www.dpml.net.  The fundamental difference -
> no distinction between the people who contribute and the people who run
> the process.  

You may not like the process, but the legal backing provided by the
ASF for the code that we release needs it. And in the end, our users
need that. You are certainly free to create a different model, but it
does mean the resulting code will not have the same kinds of
assurances the ASF provides, nor will you have an entity that can
assume legal liability for your results. It's your choice to make, and
for your users to decide whether that is important.


gstein@apache.org ... ASF Chairman ... http://www.apache.org/

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