Radical view: allow the subprojects to send 1-2 delegates to the PMC and require each subproject to send one or die. This would size the PMC, assure that "heart attack in the crowd" syndrome doesn't take place and make the discussion more manageable. Have the sub projects manage their own policy for who to send and for how long under threat of being closed. This also prevents "PMC for life" syndrome and makes sure that the PMC serves not only the boards interests but the committers of the projects. It also puts pressure on PMC members to keep discussions public.
-Andy -- Andrew C. Oliver http://www.superlinksoftware.com/poi.jsp Custom enhancements and Commercial Implementation for Jakarta POI http://jakarta.apache.org/poi For Java and Excel, Got POI? The views expressed in this email are those of the author and are almost definitely not shared by the Apache Software Foundation, its board or its general membership. In fact they probably most definitively disagree with everything espoused in the above email. > From: "Craig R. McClanahan" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > Reply-To: "Jakarta General List" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 22:26:44 -0800 > To: Jakarta General List <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>, Harish Krishnaswamy > <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > Cc: Jakarta General List <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> > Subject: Re: Jakarta: Confederation or Single Project? > > Quoting Harish Krishnaswamy <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>: > >> Could someone please explain the motivation behind the creation of Jakarta >> and how it got to where >> it is today? May be that would help answer some of the questions we have? >> >> -Harish >> > > These comments are going to be (like anyone's would be) colored by my own > personal experiences during the development of Jakarta -- including my > ignorance of a lot of the details in subprojects that I'm not an active > participant. But it should give you a little feel for the history of the > place. > > The gist of the creation of Jakarta was around three facts: > > * Apache wasn't an incorporated entity (this is about > four years ago now), but wanted to be -- and was > formally becoming the Apache Software Foundation. > > * Apache had a project to build a servlet container > (Apache JServ) at a website called "java.apache.org" > which created a trademark-use issue around "java". > (I was a committer on Apache JServ, which is how I > originally got involved in open source software.) > > * Sun wanted to contribute, and Apache wanted to accept, > the source code for the servlet and JSP implementation > called the "Java Servlet Development Kit", and later > published by Apache as Tomcat 3.0. > > Just as an item of slight historical interest, "Jakarta" was the name of the > conference room at Sun where a lot of the early discussions took place. > > An organizational framework to focus on developing "open source server side > Java > stuff" was created to host these initiatives, and other related subprojects > got > proposed and added to the mix. As the number of Jakarta committers scaled > from > the original 10 or so to where we are today (hundreds), the original charter > has > become, umm, somewhat stretched. > > Ironically, it didn't take long at all for the scope of that original charter > to > get exceeded, because one of the little nuggets of code that was included in > the > original Tomcat contribution was a pure-Java build tool (to replace "make") > called "Ant" ... > > As more and more subprojects were added, there were some inevitable cases of > overlapping scope, and overlapping implementations of the same ideas. One of > the best things we've done (IMHO) was purposely creating a subproject > (jakarta-commons) focused on making "small, focused, reusable" packages, and > encouraging the larger projects to use them. Not only has this been > successful > within Jakarta -- there's been quite a lot of cross-fertilization among the > web > app frameworks, for example -- it's also created a fairly rich library of > funcational packages that are widely used elsewhere. But one could really > argue whether something like Commons Digester (originally designed as an > easy-to-use tool to parse XML configuration files) really fit the Jakarta > charter. > > Over time, there have been more than a few, err, "voluminous" discussions > about > how to scale up Jakarta from an organizational perspective, and whether the > fundamental organizing principle was still the correct one. Does a focus on > server side stuff exclude what could be some really interesting open source > projects? Does a focus on Java make sense when just across the website there > are things like xml.apache.org that are focused on a technology, not on an > implementation language? Does it make sense to have "community" type projects > that host individual software package projects at all? > > Coupled with these increasing concerns (at the ASF board level) about the > ability of any oversight group (a responsibility delegated to PMCs in the ASF > organizational structure), several original Jakarta subprojects (or even > sub-sub-projects in some cases) like Ant, Maven, and James decided to become > top level projects (TLPs) of their own -- this takes making a formal proposal > to the ASF Board that gets accepted, and the formation of a PMC for that > project. Those sorts of discussions continue to this day. > > Somewhat separately, but overlapping in time, it became clear that there > needed > to be a way to incorporate new developer communities (and in some cases > existing codebases that were being contributed) into Apache. The developers > (if they weren't Apache committers already) needed to learn "the Apache way" > to > do things. The code (if any) needed to be vetted for appropriate contributor > agreements to protect both the ASF and those that rely on our code. Thus, the > incubator project was created as a place for these things to happen. It is > also actively evolving. > > <personal-view> > To a large extent, the stresses that are felt as the ASF grows are actually a > result of our success, and should not be looked at as signs of failure. I > remember a statement from a consultant that one of my employers brought in > along the way to deal with some important decisions when we had no consensus > at > all: > > "The absence of stress is death." > > So, here's to having some more stress! :-) > </personal-view> > > Craig > > > --------------------------------------------------------------------- > To unsubscribe, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] > For additional commands, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] > --------------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] For additional commands, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]