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From Ted Leung <twle...@sauria.com>
Subject [XMLBeans Status update] was [Fwd: Closure of XMLBeans vote]
Date Wed, 16 Jul 2003 18:26:06 GMT
I'd like to highlight a few items in this message because they bear 

Glen Mazza wrote:

>Thanks Craig, for your detailed response--I had to
>read it twice to fully absorb it!  From the
>perspective of my concerns, you clearly found my
>cynicism unwarranted (to say the least).  FWIW, my -1
>is now a +1.
>Also, it is evident that many of my remarks on BEA and
>its XMLBeans product were painfully classless and
>fourth-rate--for those who are or were affiliated with
>XMLBeans--please excuse my comments, they weren't
>justified given both what I knew and now know about
>the product.
><red face/> With tail well between my legs, I'm now
>going to run back to the FOP project...  
Please do not run back to FOP.  We need more committers to be actively 
with the whole project.  I appreciate the effort that you made to 
express you concerns
and do something about them instead of saying, "Aw, who cares".  So 
please stick around
here in general@.   We're all learning here.

>Forwarding, Craig McClanahan wrote:
>Glen (and others -- presumably someone will moderate
>this on to general@xml for me),
>Thanks for the vote of confidence in my opinions :-). 
>Although, I have to confess I'm by no means an expert
>in XML technologies, I'm fair-to-middlen
>at Java code, and I'm definitely a customer of XML
>technologies of various types (most heavily focused on
>reading configuration files in things like
>Tomcat and Struts, less so on rendering XML output).
>My comments will be mostly philosophical in nature,
>because I have not done any large scale investigation
>of XmlBeans as a technology; I've just played with the
>examples and thought about how it could be used.  It's
>pretty intruiging, and I'll comment on that -- but I'd
>also like to throw a couple of comments in on the
>decision process of how we at Apache accept
>projects, and why we might want to or not want to
>accept it, or any other project.  As such, I'm
>speaking in my "member of the Apache Software
>Foundation" and "member of the Jakarta PMC" hats.
What Craig is doing here is what is expected of all committers and members
of ASF projects:  He is looking out for the interests of the ASF and the 
Java community as a whole.

> But, even if your presumptions about BEA's motivations
>were accurate (and I certainly don't get that
>impression from what I've seen so far), is that
>relevant to a decision on whether Apache should accept
>this technology?  Personally, I don't think so --
>what's important to me is that we be willing to host
>projects of "interesting" software that can attract a
>community of developers.  Beyond interesting to
>developers, I also believe that Apache software should
>be interesting to users.  (The thing that makes me the
>most proud about Struts, for example, is the user
>community, not the quality of the code, which is high,
>or even the really great group of committers that have
>come together to make it so.)
>The more important issues you raise, though, are
>really the two things that you mention in the middle
>* The implied presumption that "XML and XSLT are too
>difficult to use and must be masked."  (As a consumer
>of XML technologies, I must admit that I agree with
>this premise.)
I do too, and the last few years of consulting with businesses has only
reinforced my belief.

>* The idea that different approaches to dealing with
>these technologies "may not be compatible with what
>XML-Apache is trying to accomplish."
>The second issue (conflict with other projects) speaks
>more to the Apache community's purposes of providing
>high quality software with active developer
>communities.  At least over in Jakarta (which, after
>all, now hosts three high quality web application
>frameworks:  Struts, Tapestry, and Turbine), we have
>not considered alternate solutions in the same
>problem space to be a fatal flaw.  You'll see the same
>philosophy present in Jakarta Commons -- there isn't
>always "one right answer" to every single problem. 
>Yes, groups are encouraged to work together instead of
>separately (and all three of these frameworks are
>already sharing fundamental pieces like the file
>upload package from Commons).  In the case of
>XmlBeans, how you guys finally want to organize things
>(i.e. whether it gets absorbed into some existing
>xml.apache.org project that expands scope, or whether
>it stays separate) doesn't matter -- whether the
>technology itself is compelling and useful, AND can
>attract an Apache style developer community, is more
>important IMHO.
Code bases without a healthy developer community are *worthless*.

>As I said, though, I'm not all that familiar with the
>feelings toward community and internal competition on
>the XML side of the house.  I probably should be, so
>this exercise is useful to me as a learning experience
>in addition to whatever advice I can offer on the
>particular subject at hand.
We've had some internal competition that many of us (including me) would 
like to
 forget (the whole Xerces / Crimson thing), and I think that bad 
experience has made
us competition averse.   This is a bad thing.  There is competition in 
the marketplace
of ideas and pretending that other people won't have a better idea and 
blow away
one of our projects just doesn't make sense.  It makes much more sense 
to have
those smart people come here and have us all collaborate together. 

> * I don't doubt that there are alternative approaches
>already in existence, both at xml.apache.org and
>jakarta.apache.org.  I would encourage you NOT to
>consider that an automatic reason to vote against. 
>Diversity, cross-fertililzation of ideas, and (yes)
>even a degree of "competition" can lead to better
>projects.  So can collaboration in an expanded project
>that might grow to a larger scope than it currently
>occupies, if that makes sense (that's for you guys to
>decide as part of the incubation process, if XmlBeans
>is accepted).

>* In earlier discussions (at least the ones I saw on
>the Jakarta General and community lists), there were
>concerns about licensing and the relative number of
>committers from BEA versus other organizations.  Those
>sound like they are either resolved or will have the
>opportunity to be resolved in the incubator.
People need to be aware that XMLBeans or any other project, won't be fully
accepted until the incubator says ok.    I think that we are probably on the
way to having this happen.   They already have 3 non BEA committers and if
both Steven and I earn commit privs that would bring the total to 5 / 
11, leaving
us 1 person away from 50%, which would pass the Andy Oliver threshhold. 

>* My only concern about XmlBeans, quite frankly, is
>one that you did not raise directly -- in the Java
>space there is a standard API for binding XML to Java
>objects (JAXB), and XmlBeans is not an implementation
>of that standard.  That's not necessarily a fatal flaw
>(after all, my favorite webapp framework is not a
>standard either, although it is being impacted by the
>ones I deal with in my "day job" -- Servlet, JSP,
>JSTL, and JavaServer Faces), but it is a consideration
>to think about.  Indeed, considering some of the loud
>voices at Apache, and their opinions on Java standards
>and the JCP, this might well be a positive :-).  But
>it should be factored in to thinking about the effort
>that will be acquired to attract and maintain a
>developer community, and a user community, should
>XmlBeans be accepted.  The XML community already has
>examples of both communities that implement standard
>APIs, and those who are innovating on their own.
I refer you to the roadmap for XML Beans that Cliff Schimdt provided
which includes JSR-31 compatibility if the community deems that
interesting enough  to provide.  So I think we are covered there.

Bravo Craig for taking the time to write such a great post!

Let me also give a brief XMLBeans status update.   I was at OSCON last
week in  Portland, and the XMLBeans guys from BEA were also there, so
we had lunch in the park one afternoon and talked about what it means to be
an  Apache project, how the projects work, and did some q&a.    These folks
want to do open source, and they seem very willing to learn to do that 
in the
Apache way.  The incubator will give them the opportunity to prove that out.
This is a sharp team that is already working in a geographically 
situation.   I think/hope that things are going to work out well here.  
I'd encourage
anyone who has concerns about the community aspects to watch the incubation
process like a hawk.


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