[this post is available online at https://s.apache.org/lh61 ]

by Von Gosling

When I saw the "Success at Apache" series, I thought about writing something 
about my, being from a non-native English country, Open Source experience these 
past few years. Last year, RocketMQ graduated from the Apache Incubator and 
became one of the Apache Top-Level Projects. As one of the original co-founders 
of RocketMQ, I was proud to see an Open Source community from Apache RocketMQ 
that has an ever-growing diversity. The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), one 
of the most famous and great technology brands, has thousands of companies’ 
software infrastructure based on their projects. This is proven from the 
worldwide download mirror activity in ASF statistics. As an early 
implementer/pioneer of Open Source in China, Apache HTTP Server, Apache Tomcat, 
Apache Struts 1.x, and Apache Maven are my favorite software stacks when I 
worked for building distributed and high-performance websites.

Last year, I wrote an article about the road to the Apache TLP, which is 
published in China’s InfoQ. Some people asked me how to be more ‘Apache’ and 
how to build a more diverse community. These are the questions that many people 
are concerned about. In this blog post, I will address how to be more 
collaborative around the world, especially in non-native English countries.

Open Communication
With more and more instant messaging apps coming up in Android and IOS world, 
the younger generation prefers to communicate using such way, which has spread 
to the daily coding life for the majority of people. But, it is not search 
engine friendly and in most cases it does not support multi-channel for 
multi-language. I have been involved in many such local technology groups, 
together we have discussed what went wrong, explored ideas about how to solve 
it, and come up with a good solution together. This method worked for all my 
past projects, but when we hope to be more involved in Open Source around the 
world, that method does not work well. I remember clearly when RocketMQ began 
to discuss the process for its proposal, some people complained about what we 
have to do in the local community. We learned much about from this discussion 
in the community, and thus, found an effective solution. Hence in the Apache 
RocketMQ community, we encourage users to ask the question using the user email 
list. In order to make the communication process effective, we answer the 
question in the same language of the question. With more and more committers 
coming from different countries, this solution will help to grow the more 
diverse community. But, as John Ament said in another "Success at Apache" post 
https://s.apache.org/x9Be --open communication isn't for everything. We also 
allow private communication between the users and us as some questions might 
not be proper to discuss publicly. But that isn't a part of the decision making 
process. Likewise, anytime we're talking about individuals in either a positive 
or negative way should be conducted on the private list for a project.

Easy ways to be involved in the community
This is another top concern in the Open Source world. Some people may not know 
that in China there are many local communities about Apache Projects, such as 
Apache HTTP Server, Apache Tomcat, Apache Spark, and Apache Hadoop. Such 
Projects have corresponding Chinese documentations. On the other hand, we try 
our best to improve the English documents. We consider the messages behind 
every document page. If one finds a minor or big native narrative polish, one 
could leave a message, or send feedback to our dev or user email list. Besides 
documentation, we also hold programming marathons in the community irregularly 
to get more involved with the community. We could find more users who have more 
interest, especially cross-domain technology in such campaigns. Recently, we 
open sourced more tasks in the Google Summer of Code. Students will develop 
Open Source software full-time for three months. We will provide mentoring and 
project ideas, and in return have the chance to get new code developed and 
--most importantly-- to identify and bring in new committers. It is another 
chance to let PMC members know how to improve and let more students get 
involved in the community easily.

In China, Internet giants like Alibaba are devoting themselves into Open Source 
projects hence according to my personal experience, it made sense to help more 
excellent Chinese projects to come into the Incubator. Right before the Lunar 
New Year, another famous project from China, Dubbo, started its Apache journey. 
I am glad to be a local mentor and hope to continue to share what we have 
learned. Thanks to the ASF, more and more Open Source projects will benefit our 
daily coding. That is a great appeal around the world’s Open Source field.

Von Gosling is a senior technology manager working at Alibaba Group. He has 
extensive industry software development experience, especially in distributed 
tech., reliable Web architecture and performance tuning. He holds many patents 
in the distributed system, recommendation etc. he has been a frequent speaker 
at Open Source and architect conferences worldwide including ApacheCon and 
QCon. He has been the lead for messaging at Alibaba as well as the Tenth and 
Sixteenth CJK OSS Award recipient. He is the original Apache RocketMQ 
co-founder and Linux OpenMessaging Standard Initiator.
= = =

"Success at Apache" is a monthly blog series that focuses on the processes 
behind why the ASF "just works". 1) Project Independence 
https://s.apache.org/CE0V 2) All Carrot and No Stick https://s.apache.org/ykoG 
3) Asynchronous Decision Making https://s.apache.org/PMvk 4) Rule of the Makers 
https://s.apache.org/yFgQ 5) JFDI --the unconditional love of contributors 
https://s.apache.org/4pjM 6) Meritocracy and Me https://s.apache.org/tQQh 7) 
Learning to Build a Stronger Community https://s.apache.org/x9Be 8) 
Meritocracy. https://s.apache.org/DiEo 9) Lowering Barriers to Open Innovation 
https://s.apache.org/dAlg 10) Scratch your own itch. https://s.apache.org/Apah 
11) What a Long Strange (and Great) Trip It's Been https://s.apache.org/gVuN 
12) A Newbie's Narrative https://s.apache.org/A72H 13) Contributing to Open 
Source even with a high-pressure job https://s.apache.org/lM9O 14) Open 
Innovation from a Non-native English Country https://s.apache.org/lh61

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