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From Jukka Zitting <jukka.zitt...@gmail.com>
Subject Running for the ASF board
Date Wed, 10 Jun 2009 23:32:42 GMT

The ASF members are getting ready to elect the next board of the
foundation, and I am one of the candidates running in the election.
Since the board makes decisions that affect also the larger Apache
community I wanted to publish my position statement also with all of
you on community@. Feel free to ask questions (publicly or in private)
if something's not covered below or not clear enough. This is a
"release early" version. :-)

I've been an Apache committer for a bit over four years now. During
that time I've made about 3k commits, submitted nearly 4k issue
comments, and sent more than 4k emails to 59 public Apache mailing
lists. In other words, this is an environment where I thrive.

I want to help make sure that others can have as much fun here as I'm
having. The good people at root@ know me from the frequent account
requests I keep sending their way, and one of my main motivations for
leading the Git effort has been to empower people who've not yet
earned traditional committership. If elected, I hope to continue this
work on a higher level by helping guide the foundation so that it
remains open to new people and ideas and becomes an even better place
for us all to work in. I don't yet have much financial, legal or
management experience, but I'm hoping to learn from more experienced
fellow board and foundation members as needed.

I see the Incubator not only as a way for us to teach the Apache Way
to new projects, but also as a way for us to constantly challenge our
practices and to learn as an organization. Sometimes this can be
painful (remember the Maven repository vote on general@incubator), but
such debates and the possible related changes to status quo will
ultimately make us stronger.

As an active developer and PMC chair I often interact with many of the
foundation-wide committees, but so far I haven't been too interested
in actually joining them. I'm no legal eagle or marketing wizard, and
my inputs to concom and infra are fairly limited in scope. I expect
this situation to continue if I get elected to the board. My main
questions to these committees would be how their work benefits our
projects and contributors, and what foundation resources they need to
do that work.

The tough part that falls on the board is then to decide how to
distribute limited resources like our money and the staff it pays for.
The current board has done a great job in coming up with a real budget
for the foundation, though I am concerned about the heavy increase in
expenses. We are introducing a lot of new costs and the next board
will need to carefully review the results and adjust the next budget
accordingly. In the worst case we may even need to adjust things
mid-term if the projected income turns out to be too optimistic.

There's been some recent debate about the role of marketing and PR for
the ASF. I've seen how our paid professional help has benefited the
PRC and the projects that have asked for help with their PR
activities. So in general I think it's a good idea to spend a part of
our income to this. However, the level and focusing of this resourcing
has so far not been very well justified or at least understood, so I
would ask the PRC to better outline what they are doing and how those
efforts benefit the foundation and our projects.

One final note: As a relative newcomer I still cringe whenever I
encounter another private or closed mailing list at Apache. Our
projects live and breathe openness and transparency, but the
foundation-wide work is still mostly done behind closed doors. In some
cases there are good reasons for privacy, but I reject it as a general
rule. I won't be calling for any unilateral changes in list policy,
but I will be asking for the various committees to justify their use
of private forums. On a similar note, I am sending this position
statement also to the community@ list as I see no need for or point in
not sharing my opinions with the larger Apache community.

Affiliations: I'm about to marry a girl who thinks that my opinions in
many Apache debates are totally wrong. ;-) Oh, and I work as a
developer for Day Software in Switzerland, where I currently live as
an expat.

PS. I am not particularly interested in taking on any additional
officer hats beyond my current VP, Jackrabbit one.


Jukka Zitting

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