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Re: Discussion: The future of the Vert.x project

Norman Maurer Jan 10, 2013 12:05 PM
Posted in group: vert.x

Am Donnerstag, 10. Januar 2013 20:42:07 UTC+1 schrieb Joern Bernhardt:
From a developer point of view, I want to ...

- have a cool project to work on.
Vert.x certainly is this, whatever its name might be.
- have someone lead the project who is motivated and determined to get it done.
As a developer, I wouldn't be motivated if I had to care about politics all the time. It's no wonder Vert.x doesn't get many commits right now. From my experience, a motivated project leader also motivates contributors.
- be able to contribute EASILY.
If possible, there are CLAs or politics involved. Not being a native english speaker and especially no lawyer, I didn't really like to sign the CLA a few months ago. If we could get rid of that, it would be great.
- have a nice working climate.
That means helpful and nice people on the mailing list, IRC, issue tracker, etc.

The last point is actually the most important to me, as it should result in more people attracted to the project.

My thoughts about this discussion:
My biggest fear is that a fork may exclude contributing members of the community, essentially kicking them out. This is something nice people usually don't do.

Right now, it is not clear for me which option to choose. For me the options sound like this:
1) Who is "the project"/is there an owner? Will we have a backup plan, if the project leader decides to quit? My concern is clearly the long-term support of Vert.x here.
2) The questions are the same as in 1), but it would also piss off some members, I guess.
3) I don't know too much about ASF, so I'd like to know more about it before deciding. It sounds like Tim would loose all leader privileges, which I think is bad.
4) As a user of eclipse, this sounds great - but what I heard from the discussion, this looks like a heavy process to get commits into it and stuff like GitHub may not be used. Working with something different looks like a step back for me.
5) (as mentioned by Mark [bytor99999]), well, that would be great, but I guess it won't be motivating for Tim to commit, if VMW is seen as someone who could take his "baby" away from him at any point in time. From what I've read, I highly doubt that VMW would do something like that and it might just have been a big misunderstanding - but if the trust is gone right now, it's hard to repair it within reasonable time.

In the end, I hope the decision won't be based on "the ones screaming the loudest will get what they want". *cough* build system *cough*

Even though I'd vote for option 1 or 5, I guess these are extremely unrealistic to get. Either Tim or VMW don't want to do that, so we should evaluate the compromises. 2 would be the "easy route", but as I said, I wouldn't vote for that. I'd like to know more about ASF and what this would mean for the community: Switch to other code hosting, issue tracking, wiki, mailing list? Sign CLAs? Wait longer for contributions to get pulled in?

Let me try to give you a bit of more insight in the ASF:
 * All the code need to get hosted at ASF hardware. They support subversion and git. You can mirror your code to github as read-only in both cases. But no write possible on github.
 * JIRA is used as issue-tracker
 * The ASF use moinmoin as wiki and has a "self-build" CMS for the Website
 * Supports Jenkins and buildbot for CI
 * Projects can have access to a freebsd jail for own usage
 * Allows to push releases to maven via nexus
 * Everything happens on mailing lists
 * You can accept code from "non-committers" if the grant rights without a CLA
 * There are 3 different roles in the Project:
     * Committer - People that are allowed to directly commit / push to the repository 
     * PMC - Are responsible for the Project and VOTE new committers. Every committer needs to get voted, there is NO way around this
     * PMC Chair - The Person that is the one that reports to the Board of the Foundation every 3 months the state of the Project. The PMC Chair has no more power then any other PMC member. So there is no Leader.
 * Only committers are allowed to "commit" code directly to the repository of the project. Every committer first needs to get VOTED by the PMC and sign an CLA or the company he is working for a ICLA.
 * Every release needs to get VOTED. Only VOTES of PMC members are binding.
 * New projects go through the incubator ( to become Top-Level and get "mentored" during this phase. How long incubation takes depends on many things. Like the community, cleanup code to be conform with ASL2 etc.
I think those are the most important things that affect the "workflow" and address your questions. That said the ASF is not a bad place I just tried to make clearer what it means to the project. In fact be aware that I'm a ASF Member and also a PMC Member of Apache James (was the PMC Chair in the past), so I have some experience what it means to have a Project under the ASF.