The apacheway

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The Apache Way: MOSSCon 2013

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The apacheway

  1. 1. The Apache WayRich BowenThe Apache SoftwareFoundation
  2. 2. The Apache WayA collaborative slidedeck with contributionsfrom ${ASF_Members}(in particular Ross Gardler, JustinErenkrantz, Isabel Drost, Nick Burch, JimJagielski, and Lars Eilebrecht)
  3. 3. What will we try to cover?● How the foundation works● How we develop code● What we have found that works● What hasnt worked so well...● Business and Apache
  4. 4. But first, some history!
  5. 5. Informal Collaboration (1995)● Apache Group– 8 people– sharing code on abandoned NCSA httpd● Apache web server releases– 0.6.2 (first public release) April 1995– 1.0 released 1stDecember 1995
  6. 6. A Foundation (1999)● Commercial opportunities– Formal legal structure required● Membership based charity– IRS 501(c)3– Donations by individuals tax-deductible (in US)● Virtual world-wide organization● First ApacheCon March 2000– Apache 2.0 Alpha 1● First EU ApacheCon October 2000
  7. 7. Today● Hundreds of projects– Small libraries– Critical infrastructure– End user tools● Well defined project governance● Formal mentoring● Accelerating growth
  8. 8. The ASF, By Numbers● Projects = 113● Incubating Projects = 34● Board/President Committees = 10● Board Members = 9● Foundation Members = ~500● PMC Committee Members = ~1500● Committers = ~3400● ICLAs = ~5100
  9. 9. Apache ProjectsAbderaAccumuloACEActiveMQAiravataAntAPRArchivaAriesAvroAxisBuildrBValCamelCassandraCayenneChemistryClickCocoonCommonsContinuumCouchDBCreadurCXFDBDeltacloudDirectoryEmpire-dbESMEEtchFelixFlexFlumeForrestGeronimoGoraGumpHadoopHamaHBaseHiveHttpComponentsHTTP ServerJackrabbitJamesJenaJMeterjUDDIKarafLenyaLibcloudLoggingLuceneLucyMahoutManifoldCFMavenMINAMRUnitMyFacesNutchODEOFBizOltuOODTOozieOpenJPAOpenMeetingsOpenNLPOpenOfficeOpenWebBeansPDFBoxPerlPigPivotPOIPortalsQpidRaveRiverRollerSantuarioServiceMixShindigShiroSlingSpamAssassinSTDCXXSqoopStrutsSubversionSynapseSyncopeTapestryTclThriftTikaTilesTomcatTomEETraffic ServerTurbineTuscanyUIMAVelocityWeb ServicesWhirrWicketXalanXercesXMLBeansXML GraphicsZooKeeper
  10. 10. Foundation Structure
  11. 11. Org structure● Member-based corporation - individualsonly● Members nominate and elect newmembers● Members elect a board - 9 seats● Semi-annual meetings via IRC● Each PMC has a Chair - eyes and ears ofthe board (oversight only)
  12. 12. One way to view it
  13. 13. Another way● A number of projects● Each responsible for their own code,community and direction● Board provides oversight, but has no sayon what code gets written, what directionprojects take, what new projects we shouldstart etc● Various support (eg infra, branding, press)to help projects focus just on their code +community
  14. 14. Labs● Members can start new “scratch” projects● Some graduate to TLPs (eg. Steve)● Most languish in obscurity, but give a placeto work out interesting problems
  15. 15. Incubator● Process for a project to enter the ASF● Legal: Can we release the code under ourlicense?● Community: Is the project sustainable?● Educational: Do they know how we dothings?
  16. 16. Incubating Projects
  17. 17. Attic● Graveyard?● Landfill?● Hopefully more like Grandmas attic whereyou can find cool stuff and repurpose ityears later.
  18. 18. Not all “Plain Sailing”● Jakarta “Foundation”– Jakarta was an “Umbrella” for all Java projects– Successful brand in its own right● Tomcat, Struts, Ant and many moreinnovations● Started to copy foundation structure– “Mini”-board … but problems arose …– Avalon: Who was responsible?
  19. 19. Importance of Oversight● Jakarta demonstrated that Umbrellas arebad– Flattened organisational structure– Jakarta projects became top level projects● All projects submit board reports quarterly– Community focused– Not technical focus● Board can, and does (occasionally)intervene– On community issues only
  20. 20. The Apache Ecosystem
  21. 21. Bottom-up management● Board does not say “we want X”● Developers say “X is cool”– We enable developers to do cool stuff– Apache developers are at the forefront ofinnovation● Not interested in a single runner– We want relay teams– Community is critical to the Apache Way● Apache is about support communities
  22. 22. Example: Git● Various projects wanted to experiment withGit, whereas we had traditionally used svn● After much debate, Infrastructure providedGit for projects to try out● Board expressed concern about how itmight affect community dynamics, but inthe end it was up to the projectsthemselves● Projects now have the choice of SCM
  23. 23. So, why have a board?● The board exists because the state ofDelaware requires a 501 to have oversight● The Foundation exists to provide astructure to– Accept donations tax-free– Do fundraising activities– Sign contracts– Hire employees– Provide legal protection to projects
  24. 24. (nearly) All volunteer work● If you want something done– Volunteer on the appropriate committee● A few paid contractors - all the stuff werebad at or dont want to do– Press/Marketing– Infrastructure/Sysadmin– Administration/Conferences● No paid committers
  25. 25. Meritocracy: The Apache Way
  26. 26. Types of contribution● Any constructive contribution earns merit– Permissively licensed only● Not just code– Evangelism– Bug reports and triage– Testing– Documentation– Design feedback– User support– Etc.
  27. 27. All contributions are equal● Merit does not buy you authority– The community must still agree● Merit buys you privileges, e.g.– Commit access– Conflict resolution capabilities● Community agrees on direction● Individuals then make it happen
  28. 28. Decision Making● Most decisions are reversible● “If it didnt happen on the list, it didnthappen”● Uncontroversial or small changes– Lazy Consensus – assume its OK –JFDI● Controversial, irreversible or large changes– Propose then wait a minimum of 72hours
  29. 29. CTR/RTC● Commit Then Review– Small reversible changes– Project in active development● Review Then Commit– Large or Controversial changes– Stable/Maintenance branch
  30. 30. Finding that list● Listed on project website● dev@project.apache.org– Primary list● commits@project.apache.org– Automated source change notification● users@proejct.apache.org (optional)– User-to-user support● http://mail-archives.apache.org
  31. 31. No Jerks Allowed!● Most people are nice– We all have bad days– Some are, well, Jerks● Trolls exist– DO NOT FEED● Dont become a poisonous person“How Open Source Projects SurvivePoisonous People (And You Can Too)” byBen Collins-Sussman and Brian Fitzpatrickhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4216011961522818645
  32. 32. Community > Code● More than just a clever slogan● We can rewrite the code● Poisonous people spoil the fun
  33. 33. However ...● Many businesses rely on what we do forfun. So its important that projects be– Sustainable (See: Diversity)– Legal (patent, copyright, licenses, etc ...)– Available (See: Infrastructure)
  34. 34. Business and the Apache Way
  35. 35. Ways to Contribute● Documentation, Tutorials and Examples● Helping others with queries and questions● Issue / bug tracker triage● Testing new fixes, helping reproduceproblems● Bug Fixes and New Features● Writing add-ons and extensions● Mentoring, volunteering for the Foundation
  36. 36. Companies Contributing● Everyone at Apache is there as an individual● Companies cant buy access or committership● To get involved, need to put employees to workon the project, have them gain merit● BDFLs are not allowed, everyone has an equalvoice● Diversity of community means one companycant dominate● Means you can safely build your business on it
  37. 37. Mentorship - Multiply your impact
  38. 38. Permissive License
  39. 39. License● Apache License● Very permissive● We encourage you to give back, but wedont require it● This makes it very business-friendly
  40. 40. In Summary● It works!● Its the best way we know of to developOpen Source Software in a collaborative,open and meritocratic way● Some things can seem hard at first● But theres normally a reason why● Ask questions! Much is documented, butnot all, and not all in the same place● Learn, participate, improve!
  41. 41. The Apache WayRich Bowen / @rbowen /rbowen@apache.orgThanks for listening! Questions?A collaborative slidedeck with contributions fromNick Burch, Ross Gardler, Lars Eilebrecht,Justin Erenkrantz and Isabel Drost

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