This post has been improved and posted as guidance to all Apache projects on the Community Development website – please read the new version there!
In the earlier essay I wrote on Apache project independence (since promoted to an article on the Apache Community Development website) I missed a critical bit of independence that I think we should add to the ComDev site.
Apache projects are technically independent
While Apache PMCs provide a report of their operations to the Board on a quarterly basis, they are technically independent of the Board. PMCs are free to collaboratively decide their project’s technical direction however they choose. While the Board holds PMC chairs and PMCs accountable for ensuring that their methods are appropriate – following the Apache Way and the few other rules at Apache – the Board does not exercise any technical direction over Apache projects.
This is a critical point to understand. There is no top-down direction at the ASF in terms of what technology we implement or what kinds of projects we seek out or support. All technical choices are made by the individual committers and PMC members within their project communities – i.e. the individuals actually doing the coding decide where the coding will go.
This applies equally to the Apache Incubator, as the gateway of new project proposals at Apache. The ASF has noagenda of what projects it wants to find, nor do we have a corporate strategy for new project acquisition. Project communities that want to come to the ASF are welcome – and will be reviewed in the Incubation process for community health and diversity, and for IP clearance and licensing. But not for technical merit.
The essence is: if there is a sufficiently diverse community who chooses to live by the Apache Way, the ASF is happy to host them. The fact that there is sufficient diverse community means that people are interested in the technology. Similarly, the Apache Attic awaits projects that may seem interesting technically, but fail to have a sufficiently diverse and active community to maintain them.
So – worthy to add to the ComDev page?