Even better than Hadoop!

You know what’s even better than using Hadoop? Using Apache Hadoop!

Even better is Apache Ambari to manage your Apache Cassandra data store through Apache Hive with Apache Pig to make it simpler to write Apache Spark compute flows… Or, if you want it assembled for you, just grab the latest Apache BigTop, which already includes a bunch of Apache Hadoop related packages all together.

How can we do a better job of getting at least a single “Apache Hadoop” into some of the many media stories about Hadoop these days? It’s great that all these vendors are making great technology and projects that power big data, but with all their success and fancy marketing campaigns, you’d think we could get just a tiny bit of credit in the popular press with the actual committers on the core Apache Hadoop project itself. Or any of the other Apache project technologies that these vendors, other software companies – and just about every other company too – rely on every day to help make their websites work.

Would it hurt marketers and journalists and bloggers to throw in just one extra “Apache” before talking about the many free Apache software products that help power more than half the internet?

The ASF and Apache projects give away a tremendous amount of technology every day under our permissive Apache license – always for free. All we ask is respect for our trademarks, and a little bit of credit for the many volunteer communities that build Apache software.

P.S. Apache projects love to get more code, documentation, testing, and other contributions too! And the ASF has a Sponsorship program.

But what we we really want is what every human wants: just a little love. Just an extra Apache here and there makes us feel better.

Thanks!

It’s Groovy to join a Foundation

The contributors behind the awesome Groovy project are looking for a new home. It’s bad news that the project and some of its core contributors will no longer be sponsored (paid for) by Pivotal, but it’s great that the core contributors are organized and serious about moving their project to an existing Foundation.

As a long time Apache Member (among other things), I have a few suggestions for the Groovy community.

Continue reading

ApacheCon Europe 2014 Blog Roundup

As our intrepid conference master and ASF’s EVP Rich Bowen Notes in the Margin,
we recently held a spectacular 24th ApacheCon at the beautiful
Corinthia Hotel in Budapest, Hungary – followed by the CloudStackCollab
conference focused on the fast-growing Apache CloudStack project.

Rich, LinuxFoundation production staff, and an array of Apache volunteers put
together a great set of talks with some very focused
tracks on specific days – both for technology as well as for community
and business interests around Apache projects. As Rich notes: if your are an
Apache committer and want to speak, or see your project represented at
the next ApacheCon US April 13-17th, 2015, in Austin, Texas then sign up to help organize!

Here’s a roundup of Apache folk’s blogs about the event:

Unfortunately we don’t have video for talks this year. That means that folks
who couldn’t attend are missing out on an inspiring keynote from this year’s
conference: David Nalley talking about the Value Of The ASF. This is one
of those talks where the slides don’t make sense without hearing about it.
David came up with various figures representing the “value” of the code that
all Apache projects provide – and they’re massive numbers. More importantly,
the larger value of the ASF is the proven Apache Way of organizing
large-scale, long-lived collaborative activities between heterogeneous
groups of individuals – and making it work in a way that allows companies to
invest their resources (employee time and sponsorship) without impinging on
the independent governance of Apache projects.

Matching our inspiring talks was the friendliness of the
staff at the beautiful Corinthia Hotel Budapest, along with the beauty, history,
and warmth of the city of Budapest and the people of Hungary. A week alone
is not enough to see the sights of the city, and it’s no where near long
enough to enjoy all the wonderful food and drink there! Here’s hoping that we’ll
be able to come back next year!

So, I gave this talk at OSCON

So, it was short, but an important message that I don’t think many open source project participants are really thinking through yet. So, it was all about how BRAND > CODE, and I’m looking for feedback on how to expand this, so, into a much bigger and better talk.

OSCON Ignite 2014: BRAND > CODE, by Shane Curcuru

So, you have to understand: yes, watching the video is so painful. I’m not usually that so-so. It was a combination of nerves (bigger stage than expected), jetlag, E_NOTENOUGH_PREPTIME, and the fact that my cell phone had just taken a dip in the water a few hours earlier.

OSCON was awesome, by the way. Next year looking forward to making sure my travel plans include the Community Leadership Summit!

I use Slideshare, and I speak at ApacheCon on managing community brands and making profits while respecting brands.

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.