The ASF uses a (way too) large number of mailing lists for all its internal and project communications.
Having crosscutting discussions is quite hard – for example, many projects use OSGi these days, and the only way for them to share their OSGi experience would be to create yet another list, or to subscribe to all of each other’s lists, which means a lot more traffic to manage.
One of my current technical dreams is to have a single list for all of the ASF, using tags to define the audience and visibility of messages – a la Twitter hashtags.
A message about the maven-scr-plugin on the Sling list, for example, would be tagged
#sling #osgi #maven-scr-plugin #scr #public
so that people subscribing to the #osgi and #scr tags, for example, would see it.
Another obvious use case is to easily ignore all discussions about a given topic (like #budget maybe? ;-), in a reliable way and without losing other communications within the same group.
I’m not sure how to implement this today (particularly the access control part for things like the #asf-private tag), but that would in my opinion be a huge improvement on what we have now.
Update: it’s now 2017 and I heard from a colleague that his companythe OpenStack dev list is using this model for group communications. That’s using mailing lists, but the model would apply to any shared channel that supports threaded discussions with searchable thread titles. I’m so happy to hear that this actually works! And too bad I haven’t been able to use it myself so far.
By popular demand (two people – that’s about 100% of my readership!), here’s an essay similar to my lightning talk of last week at ApacheCon: The Apache Software Foundation is the Switzerland of Open Source.
The Apache Tika and Apache Pig podlings where I was mentor, have graduated a few weeks ago, both in the “galaxy” of Lucene-related projects. Congrats and good luck!
Having lots of Copious Free Time as usual (not!), I have signed up as a mentor for the new and exciting ESME project, a secure and highly scalable microsharing and micromessaging platform, written in Scala. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
The Apache Incubator has been very busy in 2008, with many innovative things happening. It’s not always easy to manage, with so many people and projects involved, but the results are very encouraging.
I wonder when the ASF will hit the 100 projects mark…probably in 2009 already, or early 2010.
Holy crap! If this is what people get out of ApacheCon, we might as well stop having conferences right now.
(As usual here, this post represents my personal opinion, not an official statement of any sort).
To put things in perspective, I’ll note that the ApacheCon conferences are produced by an independent company, not by the Apache Software Foundation itself. Said company apparently contracted the brilliant PR agency who authored that press release – looks like the ASF might have to fix some things in there.
Here’s what I wrote in my nomination ballot for the ASF board a few months ago:
…keeping the ASF independent of business influences, while providing a neutral ground for those businesses to collaborate, is a constant challenge. I think preserving this independence will require increased efforts in the next few years, as open source moves even closer to center stage – with corresponding increased interest from businesses in what we do and in the Apache brand…
Sounds like I’m unfortunately being proven right by such PR junk.
Update: “PR junk” might be too harsh a statement – thinking about it it seems like i hate most press releases anyway, so you might need to take that with a grain of salt.
I’m on my way to ApacheCon US 2008 where I’ll give two talks. One of which is not ready yet so I’m making good use of my travel time ;-)
I don’t know if terminal 2E in Paris CDG is new, but it looks quite good with all the wooden paneling. Doesn’t make the journey shorter (2 stops and about 17 hours if all goes well), but at least it’s quiet, there’s power and Boingo works.
ASF membership cannot be bought: people earn their individual membership by merit, and there’s no such thing as ASF member companies.
As with any other sponsor of the ASF, Microsoft’s sponsorship only means that they’re giving money to the ASF, money that the ASF can use freely, as the ASF does not accept directed donations.
I am very pleased to see this happening. It won’t make me love Microsoft’s current products much more (although, as my son notes, the XBox is a nifty piece of kit), but it is great to see more and more people inside Microsoft understand the importance of open source in today’s IT landscape.