Congratulations to the 2014 Apache Board of Directors

The ASF recently held it’s Annual Member’s Meeting where all Members of the Foundation cast ballots in the annual election for the Board. We are lucky to have had a number of excellent candidates for the board as always.

The new board comprises:

  • Rich Bowen
  • Doug Cutting
  • Bertrand Delacretaz
  • Ross Gardler
  • Jim Jagielski
  • Chris Mattmann
  • Brett Porter (chairman)
  • Sam Ruby
  • Greg Stein

I also keep a graphical history of the ASF board.

As the ASF grows in projects, communities, and Members, we’re looking forward to continuing to support our now 151 top level Apache projects going forward!

Shane’s Apache Director Position Statement 2014

The ASF is holding it’s Annual Member’s Meeting next week, where the Membership elects a new board of directors along with other matters, like voting in new Member candidates. Director candidates write position statements about what their objectives for being a director are in preparation for the Apache board election process. One of the biggest issues for the smooth functioning of the ASF as a home for healthy projects is better explaining how Apache works – so here is my Director Position Statement. You can also read my statement last year and the previous year.

I’ve also written an Apache corporate governance overview as well as posted an ASF contributor timeplot and history of past boards.


Shane Curcuru (curcuru) Director Position Statement 2014

v1.0 statement

Over the past couple of years, the ASF has grown to a point where we can no longer efficiently continue to govern, manage, and execute the various operational aspects of the Foundation in support of our nearly 200 project & podling communities with only unpaid volunteers. We need a board that can maintain our fiercely vendor-neutral governance while also expanding and improving the services that we offer to all Apache projects, and this will require finding ways to increase our paid staff [1].

While the volunteer membership has been amazing throughout our history in helping with governance, mentoring, incubation, and all other aspects of operations, we simply don’t have enough members with time reliably available to provide this level of operational support. With 150+ separate Apache top level projects – each with its own technology, individual community history, and sometimes urgent pace of development — the overall cohesion that marked the earlier years of the Apache organization has been jeopardized. It’s clear from recent requests and issues that we are not providing the level of support – infra, brand/press, fundraising, and community mentoring – that many of our projects expect and require.

With the growth in key project technologies that affect the larger world, we also have a corresponding higher level of expectations from stakeholders outside of the ASF volunteer community. Our sponsors – when we do talk to them about their sponsorships – want us to be more visible in the open source space and show more support to our projects. The many vendors whose employees work on our projects similarly want to be more involved with donations, servers, events, or branding efforts around our projects. Ensuring that this external energy is focused on the Apache project in ways that maintain an independent project governance is critical to the success of both our projects and to the ASF itself.

We need to provide a better API between individual project communities and our service providers (infra, press, brand, legal, fundraising) at the Foundation level. We need to ensure that projects are aware of the services we can provide to support their operations, and make it simple for them to utilize those services. Clear expectations should be set for the level of services that the ASF will provide, as well as governance assistance for those projects that will continue to use external service providers (eg, various marketing@ efforts and many projects’ externally run build/CI/test farms).

To meet the current services needs, and to support increased quality in our governance and operations, the ASF will need to increase our number of paid staff [1]. We need motivated, experienced, and trusted individuals who have the paid time to address the ever-expanding needs of the Foundation, and who can dedicate themselves and their time at a level that is not possible for an unpaid volunteer.

It is also essential that we scale our management and oversight ability of these services and of staff without losing our soul: without compromising our historically independent and volunteer board and governance structures. I don’t know exactly what this path will be: that will be for the next board to decide. But I do believe we are underserving many of the projects at Apache today, and we have no end in sight of new podlings hoping to join us.

If you also believe we need to better provide for the many Apache project communities that trust us to be their home, I hope you’ll cast your first vote for me. Thanks!

About Shane

Committer since November 1999, Member since 2002, VP Brand Management since 2009.

I am employed by IBM in the HR division as an Applications Architect. My employment and income have been unrelated to my work at the ASF for many years, and I will always clearly separate volunteer work from employer-funded work.

My involvement in the ASF is driven by a belief in, and a love of, the ASF, and is not influenced by politics or finances. I live in Massachusetts with my wife, young daughter, and 2 cats. I view directorships and officer positions at the ASF as serious commitments.

I will attend every board meeting if re-elected.

[1] NOTE: How we pay for staff is equally important: at this point in the ASF’s history, I imagine either independent contractors as infra operates currently, or using the services of our new accounting firm Virtual, Inc. for some sort of co-employment arrangement, to reduce risk to the ASF.

ApacheCon Denver is NEXT WEEK!

Wow, that was fast! I’ll be seeing a number of you next week in Denver – both for ApacheCon and the immediately following CloudStack Collaboration conference. I’ve finally filled in my tentative schedule, and this will be a huge conference for fans of many, many different Apache project fans.

Did you know ApacheCon has Lucene & Friends talks every day? Of course there are five separate categories of Hadoop talks with multiple tracks. And having many more rooms than past ApacheCons – 9 simultaneous tracks – projects like Tomcat (and the Friday Tomcat Summit!), Cordova, CXF, OpenOffice, and Traffic Server each have their own dedicated tracks. And, the whole host of different cloud projects at Apache have their own 2+ days – just at ApacheCon. Of course Apache CloudStack has it’s own whole 2 day conference immediately after ApacheCon wraps up!

In a first, I’ll be speaking three times this week in my role as Vice President, Brand Management: one talk about what Apache projects need to do to help protect their brands, and another talk (reprised at CloudStack) about how your for-profit company can respect Apache brands. While I hope to have time for Q&A in these sessions, I’d also love to hear from everyone about their questions about Apache brands anytime during the conference.

If you’re a committer or a PMC member, you can do your homework and read up on PMC Branding Responsibilities beforehand.

For long-time ApacheCon attendees (I’m over a dozen, myself), there will be a few changes for the better. The transition to our new conference management company, the Linux Foundation, has gone great so far, and they’ve helped us plan out the largest and most ambitious ApacheCon to date. Hope to see you there!

Apache Governance – Projects First

When push comes to shove and full consensus on governance matters at the ASF or at Apache projects isn’t easily found, it’s important to consider what our underlying objectives are. The mission of the ASF is to produce software for the public good. That’s a good start, but like many concise mission statements, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

There are several aspects of how we expect Apache projects to work that we believe are critical to our mission’s success and longevity. These include things like The Apache Way of: volunteer and collaborative led community built software projects; using the permissive Apache license; and having a consistent and stable brand, infrastructure services, and home for all Apache projects.

We – as in the bulk of the Apache membership and especially the directors that we elect to the board (and thus the corporate officers the board appoints to set policy) – believe that these few core organizational and community management principles are so important for our long term mission that we require these behaviors of all Apache projects. Part of having a consistent brand is showing some level of consistent behavior with the products you produce. Having a shared set of infrastructure services likewise simplifies the process for users to find and use our products. Using the permissive Apache license means that we give maximum freedom to the users of our software, meaning that more users are likely to choose it.

But beyond these core principles, ones we have carefully crafted through experience working on Apache projects and have attempted to minimize when prudent, how do we decide where the ASF should go in the future, or what other, more detailed principles might be important to us? While the officers and directors set the official policies of the ASF as an organization, we look to the constructive input of all Apache members when discussing these ideas.

One recurring meme when discussing “What else should the ASF be/do” has been: “Projects first, or Foundation first?” I.e. is the ASF here to serve the needs of our Apache projects, or have Apache projects chosen to come here to follow the direction of the ASF? Should the ASF decide what kinds of projects we want to join, and decide The One True Technology; or should we simply see what projects show up, and try to support them?

If you picture Eclipse, you can see an example of “Foundation first”: the Eclipse board and leadership – mostly through it’s paying corporate sponsors and de facto corporate-led projects – has an overall vision and drive that explicitly provides direction for it’s projects. Eclipse has full-time staff devoted to “…1) IT Infrastructure, 2) IP Management, 3) Development Process, and 4) Ecosystem Development.” Similarly, the Eclipse board is partially made of appointed members from their Strategic Developer and Strategic Consumer corporations. That leads to strong consistency and direction, primarily for the benefit of the corporations directly or indirectly funding Eclipse projects.

“Projects first” means that the ASF exists to serve the needs of any projects who choose to join us, and who willingly agree to follow our basic rules, like using our license, consensus-driven decisions, and running projects independently of corporations. Our mission is not on behalf of the many corporations who pay their employees to donate code to Apache projects. Our mission is to provide software for the public good – that is, the end users of our software, and the larger world around us.

The ASF doesn’t have an agenda beyond that mission. We don’t have a strategic plan for acquiring projects in specific technologies or from specific corporations. We rely on providing a stable and friendly home for like-minded individuals and communities to build software… for the public good. We certainly hope – and time has shown – that this model will attract vibrant communities that will build useful software. There are plenty of Apache Members and Committers who are passionate about sharing their experiences in software development with others, which is great. But as an organization, we don’t have a strategic plan for seeking out new projects: we believe the best process is to let like-minded projects seek us out.

To ensure that Apache projects focus on the public good, we also require our projects to be run independently of undue commercial influence. Apache projects don’t exist to serve as a vehicle for the corporations who may have donated technology or employee developer hours to them – they exist for the broader public good.

This independence is fundamental to the long-term health of our projects, and to the ASF. It both makes the ASF a place where potentially competing corporations can feel comfortable collaborating on technology (which gets us lots of software for our mission) and also seems to attract plenty of individuals who are interested in participating in our projects – even when changing employers. This independence means that an independent Apache project can continue to exist for the benefit of it’s users even if one of the corporations donating technology to it decides to change direction.

But beyond the core requirements here – ones designed to keep project governance in our independent communities – the ASF strives to not add any additional requirements, but rather to provide the best home to like-minded Apache projects that we can. So in that way, we try to remain focused going forward on putting “Projects first”.

Actually, I should amend that. We do have the core project requirements; ones associated with being an Apache project. So I should really say that we put “Apache projects first”. But beyond that Apacheness that the ASF has developed over 13 years and 190 project communities, we strive to not have an agenda – other than to support those Apache project communities who choose to join us as best we can.

People still reading may also be interested in learning how governance at Apache works.

Congratulations Apache Chukwa – the 140th Apache TLP!

Last month, the Apache Chukwa podling passed the Incubator’s graduation vote. At the October Apache board meeting, the directors voted unanimously to create the Apache Chukwa top level project, with responsibility for creating an open source data collection system for monitoring large distributed systems.

While this may seem to be yet another project in the fast-growing constellation of Apache Hadoop-related technologies hosted at the ASF, the important milestone is that this is now the 140th active project at Apache! That is, there are currently one hundred and forty independent project communities, all producing software for the public good, all currently hosted at the ASF. That includes everything from the ubiquitous HTTP Server project, through the widely used Lucene search engine, to the aptly named Rave project, and the admittedly niche-functionality MINA project.

Note that this does not count the 36 separate podlings that are currently in the Apache Incubator – each one is an independent community hoping to grow it’s community (and make some software releases) so that they too can graduate to become an official Apache project.

More importantly, this is not the 140th project that’s ever been at Apache. At Apache, we believe in Community over Code; in that having an active and collaborative community is the most important factor in Apache project governance. However we recognize the immense public good that Apache projects do by providing software, especially source code, under our permissive license.

So what to do when we have an older project that may have lost it’s active community? Well, we put it in the Apache Attic, of course! There are currently 14 projects in the Apache Attic, along with a number of subprojects and other bits of software that are still hopefully useful, but that do not currently have an active community at Apache maintaining them. In that way, we provide the code for anyone who needs it, but warn users not to expect the normal support and releases of a full-fledged Apache project.

Putting that all together, we have a full 190 project communities that have chosen the Apache Software Foundation as their home over the past 14 years. A pretty good footprint for an all-volunteer run organization that started with a handful of geeks emailing code patches around to each other!


There are many places to choose to host your project today. Some people prefer other organizations for their project’s hosting – or simply forgo hosting a “project” and merely look for a place to dump their code. That’s fine, and we respect everyone else’s choices. Some people even go so far as to say that Apache doesn’t get it, or isn’t cool, or other uncomplimentary things. That’s fine too: we can agree to disagree.

If you really don’t see the value in being an Apache project – I mean, not just see the value for yourself (which is completely fine, I don’t care); but if you truly can’t see the value that someone might find in wanting to be an Apache project, then… well, sorry, then I can’t help you at all. You can stop reading now.

Even if you don’t see the value for your project right now in coming to the ASF, I hope that you can see the larger values: longevity, brand protection, stability, strong communities, and collaboration amongst many different groups within our communities. While some of these values may not be exciting for the rockstars out there, they certainly are exciting for the millions of software users out there – both small scale and corporate scale users appreciate using software that seems to have a better chance to be around, and be supported for the longer haul.

And even if you don’t see the value here at Apache, that’s OK. We’ve had 190 other communities of people who do see the value over the past 14 years, and our aim is to be here for another 50+ years to come. We’re happy with what we’re doing – and with the immense public good our many, many freely usable software products we’ve provided to the world.

Congratulations to the 2013 Apache Board of Directors

The ASF recently held it’s Annual Member’s Meeting where all Members of the Foundation cast ballots in the annual election for the Board. I was lucky enough to be elected, so I will be returning to the board, along with new first time Director Chris Mattmann. Everyone also thanked our two outgoing Directors, Rich Bowen and Ross Gardler.

The new board comprises:

  • Shane Curcuru
  • Doug Cutting (chairman)
  • Bertrand Delacretaz
  • Roy T. Fielding
  • Jim Jagielski
  • Chris Mattmann
  • Brett Porter
  • Sam Ruby
  • Greg Stein

I also keep a graphical history of the Apache board.

Shane’s Apache Director Position Statement 2013

The ASF is holding it’s Annual Member’s Meeting this coming week, where the Membership elects a new board of directors along with other matters, like voting in new Member candidates. While I was nominated last year, I was not elected. I would have been sad about not getting a seat, except for the fact that such other fabulously good people got elected instead (including two new directors who got to serve their first terms, Rich and Ross, yay!).

Director candidates at the ASF write position statements about what their objectives for being a director are in preparation for the voting process. Since I write what I believe in, I also am posting my statement here, publicly. One of the biggest issues for the smooth functioning of the ASF as a home for healthy projects is doing a better job of explaining how we work – I hope this helps people understand us Apache types just a little bit better. You can also see what I wrote last year.

If you’re wondering how governance at Apache really works, I’ve written an Apache governance overview too.


Shane Curcuru (curcuru) Director Position Statement

v2.0 statement

As the ASF scales in people, projects, and impact on the world, we
need directors that can ensure our organization stays true to it’s
ideals; that can delegate appropriately and efficiently to officers
and PMCs; and especially that can communicate calmly, clearly,
and consistently in all of their communications.

As we surpass one million $ in assets, with thousands of committers, nearly a gross of projects, and an huge impact both on the software world with our technology, and on the larger world of computer users with our products, I believe it’s important to do an even better job of explaining what the ASF is about and how the Apache Way works.

While we don’t need more rules, we do need to do a much better job of explaining what our few hard requirements are, as well as showcasing the wealth of best practices that our projects have created. This is important both to let the world know who we are, and also to ensure that the many different communities of contributors can more easily understand how to work with our projects.

With the fast growing scale of our organization, it is critical that directors and corporate officers can communicate clearly, calmly, and professionally in all of their Apache related activities – whether or not they’re explicitly showing which hat they’re wearing at the moment. As our impact grows, so does the impact of our words, both inside our communities, attracting (or not) new members to our communities, and also on the larger world of corporations, universities, and other computer using peoples. Even if we as long-time denizens of members@ understand which hat a director or officer is wearing when they speak, most other human beings and most other contributors don’t necessarily see the distinction.

It has been a long time since we held in-person member’s meetings
where everyone knew each others personal style. As we grow,
we need to be sure that we’re making it easy for new members and
contributors to feel welcomed and understand how Apache works. We also need to ensure that we both can keep the sense of family and enjoyable, collaborative community that the membership and our projects have, and that we manage the affairs of the ASF and of our projects in a consistent, documented, and professional manner.

About Shane

I’ve been a committer since November 1999, a Member since 2002,
and VP, Brand Management since 2009.

I am employed by IBM in the HR division as an Applications Architect. My employment and income have been unrelated to my work at the ASF for many years, and I will always clearly separate volunteer work from employer-funded work.

My involvement in the ASF is driven by a belief in, and a love of,
the ASF, and is not influenced by politics or finances. I live in
Massachusetts with my wife, young daughter, and 2 cats. I view
directorships and officer positions at the ASF as serious commitments.

I will attend every board meeting if elected.

Thanks to the Apache CloudStack community!

Apache CloudStack graduated to become a top level project at the ASF last month, and a number of community members have been blogging about their experience. CloudStack started with a company called Cloud.com, was purchased by Citrix, and then was submitted to the Apache Incubator last year to now become a full Apache project.

Along with the great CloudStack software that Apache can now provide that allows you to manage your own public or private IaaS clouds, the Apache community has gained a great new community of committers, users, and PMC members.

In reading the several blog posts by key CloudStack contributors, I reminded myself that kudos were in order as well.

Having watched Citrix bring their code and developers to the Apache Incubator, and having watched (and commented on and answered many questions from!) the podling as it grew it’s community and graduated, I’ve been struck by how well the core Citrix contributors and their many other participants really took to the Apache Way.

Both Citrix as an organization (which employs some of the CloudStack committers), and especially the many contributors to the CloudStack project took the incubation process seriously, and have really gone above and beyond to ensure their podling proposal and march to graduation have been about Apache CloudStack, as well as being about an inclusive and meritocratic project.

The desire to get things “right” at Apache was clear in everything the CloudStack community did, and the end result looks to be an incredibly strong project that’s quickly gathering developers from a wide variety of vendors and users. Part of this growth is about the great technology; but a lot is due to the helpful and welcoming face that the CloudStack committers put on their project.

We’ve had a lot of great projects, and many great communities come to the Apache Incubator; there are a lot of people to thank across the tremendous spectrum of no-charge software that the ASF provides for the public good. But I just wanted to mention the extra effort the CloudStack community put into fully embracing the Apache Way. Good job, and thanks!

Apache Corporate Policies

The old saying goes that one of the last things done in many open source projects is the documentation. Taking this to the organizational level at the ASF – the corporate level – that’s both all too true, and not at all true.

Questions regularly come up across various ASF lists about all sorts of corporate operations, and there are a fair number of times when it takes a while to get the right answer to the questioner. Luckily, we have a lot of very experienced Members and Officers who are there to ensure the right thing does happen – but I believe that the answers come be a lot quicker if we had better documentation for these corporate operations. Namely, all the stuff that’s not dealing with code.

This is not to say we haven’t documented how the ASF as a corporation works: a lot of effort has gone into our standard operating procedures, and we’ve both covered the basic legalistic bases, as well as put serious thought into minimizing the absolute rules at Apache while providing lots of best practices. These procedures – and the discussions of pros and cons and whys explaining how they came to be that way – are all available… on the mailing lists, somewhere. ;-)

The foundation of our corporate policies is The Apache Way. Understanding that, and understanding that the fundamental mission of the ASF is to produce software code for the public good, leads you to many of the policies we practice, both at the ASF and in Apache projects. To start with, here’s a brief laundry list of how to learn about Apache Corporate Policies.

  • Apache Corporate Governance and org chart describe organizationally how the ASF as a corporation is run. This also makes clear the distinction between organizational governance – the board, membership, and officers as a whole; and technical governance – the fact that PMCs independently manage their projects.
  • The Foundation page provides the overall corporate mission, and links to the Board and Membership pages with the nitty gritty of corporate records.
  • The apache.org/dev pages are both a generic project runbook, technical issues FAQ, and partial corporate operations listing. While these are written by committers, for committers and developers, they have a lot of great information on how all sorts of things at the ASF and all Apache projects should work.
  • Another key overview of organizational documentation is the Community Development project site. This aims to be a more human-friendly signpost to find the relevant technical widget or policy information elsewhere.
  • The Apache Incubator is another important place where proper procedures are documented: this is where we try to explain to prospective new communities how an Apache project should be run before the ASF formally accepts them.

Here are some other principles and rules we follow that are important to understand.

  • Transparency. All technical decisions on Apache projects are reflected on publicly archived mailing lists. The phrase “If it didn’t happen on the list, it didn’t happen” is not just an old saying, it’s the rule at Apache.
  • Respect. One of the primary exceptions to transparency are discussions about individuals. Votes on new committers and PMC members are typically held in private lists amongst a whole PMC, since this both allows better honesty of expression, as well as prevents embarrassment in rare cases where a nominee is not voted in (yet).
  • Organizational Oversight. While the ASF relies on volunteers to produce the code that we give away, we keep it organized by having oversight: the PMCs ensure that projects are managed appropriately; the board ensures that PMCs manage themselves, and corporate officers ensure that the ASF’s corporate bits are covered.
  • Member Oversight. Members of the ASF have the final level of oversight of the board and the corporate officers. All members are allowed to review any private mailing list within the ASF, including any private@ list for projects. Members do not receive special status on any lists; merely the ability to oversee all operations. The only exceptions are specifically restricted mailing aliases that are used for legally protected communications or infrastructure root level issues.

Note that while Members have a broad oversight ability within all aspects of the ASF’s operations, organizational matters like this kind of oversight are not transparent outside of the ASF. While we certainly strive to make public as many of the great lessons we’ve learned about governing community-led software projects, the operations of governance are kept primarily within the Membership.

Partly, this is due to all the lawyers. The details of running a million-dollar corporation require a fair amount of legal work. We strive to publish as much information as is practical in things like board minutes; however the actual corporate processes are done privately.

Partly, this is because part of a meritocracy is allowing those who do to do the work. Individuals who are trusted and useful to Apache projects are elected as committers or PMC members, and therefore can help directly govern those projects. Similarly, individuals who show wisdom and effort towards the goals of the ASF may be elected as Members, and therefore can help elect the board who will appoint the officers to ensure the ASF continues running smoothly.

A great place to ask questions about these kinds of issues is the Community Development mailing list.

Dear Wibidata: The Elephant Noticed

Astute Apache Hadoop Public Committee Members have noticed local corporation WIBIDATA’s attempt to usurp our yellow elephant project mascot. We have mobilized our sources, and I have posted an official trademark complaint on their website:


Please note that the Apache (TM) Hadoop (R) yellow elephant logo is a worldwide trademark of THE APACHE GROUP, and more to the point, the elephant is very conscious of his appearance; thus we DEMAND that you remove his image from your WIBIDATA blog post immediately, forthwith, forsooth!

As a courtesy, I am leaving you this blog comment now to alert you that our army of lawyers on howdahs have already left, and should be arriving shortly at your corporate headquarters to insist on ceasing and desisting such indecipherable designs. They should arrive within a day or two.

You may have noticed that the proper Hadoop logo is always facing to the right; we have learned the hard way that our elephant is insistent at only being photographed from his RIGHT side. Pictures of Hadoop's LEFT side tend to enrage him, so we will also be sending you a bill for the racks of servers that our normally lovable elephant mascot knocked over when he saw your picture of him being jumped on by a tortise.

Note: THE APACHE GROUP only accepts cold hard cash, or properly licensed AND formatted patches. You might also want to send some peanuts as a peace offering.

Thanks for your swift... er, eventual attention to this matter,

- Shawn Curran

Trademark Architect

THE APACHE GROUP