Shane’s Director Position Statement 2018

The ASF is holding its annual Member’s Meeting next week to elect a new board and a number of new Members to the ASF. I’m honored to have been nominated to stand for the board election, and I’m continuing my tradition of publicly posting my vision for Apache each year – including my 2017 board statement.

Please read on for my take on what’s important for the ASF’s future – or see my Q&A about where Apache is heading.

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What Apache Needs In Foundation Members

As the ASF’s Annual Member’s Meeting approaches this month, the Membership has an opportunity to vote in new individual Members to the Foundation. I’ve written about how member meetings work and have proposed some process improvements.

But the bigger question is: how can the membership better help the ASF succeed? What a Member can do at the ASF is documented, but what should Members consider doing? Where does the ASF need Members to help out, and how?

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FAQ of FAQs about Apache Software Everything

Curious about anything at the ASF or about Apache projects? Can’t find the best place to ask? Here are a few meta-FAQs about FAQs on Apache, the ASF, and Apache projects and communities.

How can I get involved at Apache?

Just get started by emailing your ideas or questions to an Apache project you’re interested in.It’s up to you to start – the best projects to work on are ones you are already interested in. The Community Development project is here to help point you in the right direction.

How can I become an Apache committer?

Firstfind a project you are interested in. The best way to get involved is to use an Apache software product that you have a reason to use (even if just curiosity), and then ask questions or submit code patches to that project’s mailing lists.

It’s all up to you – Apache projects run on merit, which means people who do more work on that project – as measured by the community – get more of a say.

How many Apache projects are there?

There are over 190+ Apache software projects and there are over 50 Apache Incubator podlings that are working to become official Apache projects.

How do mailing lists work at Apache? Where should I email to ask questions?

Everything at Apache happens on archived mailing lists.
Find the right list to use. Technical questions always go to that project’s dev@ list – every project is independent and separate. Reading the Apache mail archives is a great way to see what other people are asking.

How is Apache software licensed? Is it free to use?

Apache software uses the Apache License, version 2.0. Questions? Contact the Legal Affairs Committee. Apache PMCs with specific questions: open a LEGAL Jira. All Apache software products are always free (no charge) to download and use.

Does Apache hold any trademarks or brands?

The ASF owns Apache trademarks, which include all Apache project and software product names and logos. Read useful trademark resources.

Where can I find press releases or analyst briefings?

Our Media and Analyst relations team runs @TheASF on Twitter and writes an official Foundation Blog.

Who does what at Apache?

See the ASF Org Chart of officers, find committers in the Apache people directory, read Planet Apache blogs.

How is the ASF organized? Is it a corporation?

The ASF is a 501C3 non-profit public charity. Members elect a Board of Directors that appoints Officers. Read about our governance and org chart.

How do I ask Infrastructure for help?

The crack Apache Infrastructure team runs everything, and protects our servers from rogue gnomes; you can contact Infra here. Remember: all questions about Apache software products should go to that project’s mailing list.

How do Apache projects work? What’s this Apache Way I’ve heard about?

Learn about The Apache Way, our community-led consensus behaviors that make Apache projects so efficient and long-lived, or view presentations about the ApacheWay.

Are donations to the ASF needed? Can I deduct them from my taxes?

Our non-profit relies on individual Donors and annual Sponsors for ourfunding and budgets. Donate today! (Often tax-deductible in the US!)

How do I get source code?

All code at Apache is freely downloadable from our Subversion or Git repositories. Learn how to Setup SVN or Git access.

Where else can I ask any questions about the ASF?

Apache Community Development (ComDev) volunteers are here to answer any other questions you have about how Apache communities work. You can read all the past questions on the ComDev mailing list.

My question wasn’t answered here!

Add your comments below if there are other questions that need answers – or ask the ComDev project for help!

What community will own SOFTWARE FREEDOM?

Two non-profits providing services to free and open source software projects – Software Freedom Conservancy (Conservancy) and the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) are in a dispute over the SOFTWARE FREEDOM CONSERVANCY registered trademark.

You can read the timeline of all events and my legal analysis, so now it’s time to get to the important issue: what the community effects are from the SFLC’s petition to the TTAB and the blog posts on both sides.

UPDATE: Karl Fogel and Neil McGovern have both blogged in detail on this.

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Legal Issues Around SOFTWARE FREEDOM Trademarks

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) recently filed with the USPTO to cancel the registered trademark SOFTWARE FREEDOM CONSERVANCY, owned by the non-profit of the same name. Both SFLC and Conservancy have a long history together with several people working for both.

Since this is a TTAB legal proceeding – not in federal court – here’s a brief review of the legal aspects of this case, from an experienced layperson.

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A SOFTWARE FREEDOM Trademark Timeline

There’s a trademark battle over the SOFTWARE FREEDOM name going on right now – and it’s not actually about the FSF.  Here’s a brief timeline of interesting facts of the case and how the two organizations are related, along with some community reactions. Reminder: this is about the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC, petitioner to cancel) and the Software Freedom Conservancy (Conservancy, the registrant of the SOFTWARE FREEDOM CONSERVANCY mark in question).

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The battle for the SOFTWARE FREEDOM name

There’s a conflict happening right now over the future of what SOFTWARE FREEDOM means that you’re probably not aware of. Like many conflicts over trademarks, it’s complicated – but it’s critically important to any open source project that wants to keep their own name and branding.

By Mari Helin-Tuominen on Unsplash

Why does this matter?  Because it may affect who can call themselves SOFTWARE FREEDOM® in the marketplace.

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November Goals: #NaBlWriMo

It’s important to have useful goals that you can measure, but more important that help you focus your work.  It’s doubly important to have goals when you work for yourself and are trying to start your own business!  Getting Punderthings off the ground can go in so many ways, and focus is important.

November is National Novel Writing Month – which is a great motivator, although I’m no novelist myself.  My stories are either short and goofy, possibly with some science fiction thrown in – or are about open source projects, people, and brands, and those are more about teaching.  So instead of attempting a novel, I’ll be blogging or otherwise writing essays each day this month.

I was thinking that writing is (often) more useful than reading. Reading something can be an escape, can be inspirational, or can teach you something. But when you write something (and share it, of course) then not only can you learn something, but others might be able to learn (or be entertained, or inspired) along the way.  I often forget how important sharing our stories and organizing thoughts into more than 140 characters can be.

To keep myself motivated, I’m planning to write some sort of content every day in November – mostly on open source topics either here or at Choose A Foundation, The Apache Way, or some other websites I run, but some topics will be about local life.

I hope to improve on my goals as well – mostly by writing and publishing something earlier in the day than bedtime!  See you tomorrow morning on the internet!

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. ― Marie Curie


FAQ for Facebook React.js BSD + PATENTS License issue with the Apache Software Foundation

(Today we’re interviewing Shane Curcuru about the recent issues reported with Facebook’s React.js software’s BSD + PATENTS file license, and what the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has to do with it all. Shane serves in a leadership position at the ASF, but he wants you to know he’s speaking only as an individual here; this does not represent an official position of the ASF.)

UPDATE: Facebook has relicensed React.js as well as some other software under the MIT license, without the FB+PATENTS file. That’s good news, in general!

Hello and welcome to our interview about the recent licensing kerfuffle around Facebook’s React.js software, and the custom license including a custom PATENTS file that Facebook uses for the software.

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Three React-ions to the Facebook PATENTS License

There are really three aspects to your project’s decision (to use React.js or not based on the BSD+Patents license), and it’s important to consider each of them. You really need to consider which aspects are important to your project’s success — and which ones don’t really matter to you.
(See the updated FAQ about the PATENTS issue on Medium!)

  • Legal — both details of the license and PATENTS file that Facebook offers React.js under, and some realistic situations where the patent clauses might actually come into play (which is certainly rare in court, but it’s the chilling effect of uncertainty that’s the issue)
  • Technology — are other libraries sufficiently functional to provide the features your project needs? Does a project have the capacity to make a change, if they decided to?
  • Community — how does the rest of the open source community-of-communities see the issue, and care about your choices? This includes both future buyers of a startup, as well as future partners, as well as future talent (employees) or contributors (open source developers).

Continue reading Three React-ions to the Facebook PATENTS License