Marc responds

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, November 27. 2007 in ASF

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Marc responded to my blog entry. Although it appears that despite my (tongue-in-cheek) suggestion, the ASF will not be receiving an ASF sponsorship check from him anytime soon, Marc does make a few comments which I feel need to be addressed (and one "comment" which I won't even honor with so much as another word). His 4 main points appear to be: (1) How can people claim to speak for the "community" when that is such a nebulous term; (2) that the concept of "community over code" is a mistake (at least, this is my interpretation of some of Marc's post, an interpretation shared by others; (3) that the ASF has some sort of historical hostility to Java and (4) that the BSD-type license is wrong, or, at least, has not proven to be a viable license. Items 2 and 4 deserve a post of their own, so I won't bother addressing them here, but the remaining 2 are easy to clarify. First of all, the ASF does not claim to speak for "the" community but rather for "our" community. The entire Open Source community is more varied and beautiful than just a single interpretation of "community." In fact, I liken the FOSS community as an analog to nature itself; with different species and forms combining to create a rich tapestry. But certainly, continuing with the nature-analogy, one can speak for the "mammalian class" without claiming to speak for others as well. That is what the ASF does; it speaks for a class of the FOSS community that shares a core set of fundamentals, and, as such, has shown itself to be a very successful class. No more, no less. And finally, how anyone can look at the ASF of today and claim that there is some sort of "hostility" or "bias" towards Java is mind-boggling. In fact, I would claim that the ASF's involvement within the JCP and the JCP EC have done more to help Java that any other open source "community" out there. Why an organization which is "hostile" to a technology would go to such pains to ensure the continued viability and universality of that technology flies in the face of logic and common sense. Maybe this perceived "hostility" is due to the fact that, for the most part, ASF developers are self-thinkers, and realize that as great as Java is, it has warts; that as with all languages and technologies, it has advantages and disadvantages; that languages are tools and some tools are better for some tasks than others. I don't consider the fact that people who use Java also know (and use and love) Python, or Groovy, or Ruby or what-have-you as being "hostile" to Java at all. The fact that the ASF is language neutral, that "we" welcome codebases based on lots of languages is not hostility, it's openness.

ApacheCon - Day 2

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Thursday, November 15. 2007 in ASF

Today is the 2nd day of ApacheCon... well, maybe I should say "2nd" day, because it's only the 2nd day of the conference itself, but not the full AC event itself. And for me, having arrived on Monday, it's day "4". OK, I admit it, I have no idea what day it is. Sounds like a successful conference, right? In fact, AC US really is a success. It seems that people are generally very happy and pleased with the diversity of sessions and the quality of the presentations (and presenters). I know that every session I've attended, I've learned at least one very useful thing and, much more often than not, learned a bunch of new stuff. Personally, I have 2 out of my 3 talks done. The 1st was the State of the Feather and I went through that more quickly that I would have liked, but I wanted to give Doc Searls his full time slot, and my talk ending up starting a bit later than expected. My 2nd talk was this morning and the ungodly hour of 9am. Even so, I had a packed room, which was unexpected but very very nice. My third and last is tomorrow in the afternoon. It's about the "cool new" load balancing proxy features of Apache 2.2, but the irony is that Paul Querna added a new module to trunk called mod_serf which is a (at present) bare-bones proxy module built using serf. It certainly doesn't have nearly the feature set of 2.2 and trunk's proxy module, but it is a cool initial step. I think he did it to spite me :-)

Just A Week Away

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 5. 2007 in ASF

ApacheCon US 2007 is just a week away. I'll be flying out to the event on Monday, so I'll be there for pretty much the whole week. It is kind of nice not having to take a long flight for a change to get to ApacheCon! I look forward to AC for a variety reasons. First of all, there is the incredible amount of knowledge transfer that goes on. You get a better understanding of a project and a codebase in a short 1 hr presentation that you would spending significantly more time following along on the mailing lists. It really is a great way to get up-to-speed on a project. Secondly, there is the opportunity to, hopefully, lay some of that knowledge on others by being one of the speakers. This year I'm actually doing 3 presentations and, although I'm not quite finished them yet, they are shaping up to be pretty good (at least I hope so!). Another thing is that I like seeing the number of commercial companies who attend and support both ApacheCon and the ASF. Being the CTO of one such company (Covalent), ApacheCon is a valuable avenue to strengthen that bond. But by far, the community and social aspects of the conferences are what I really value. Being able to connect and reconnect with people that you don't see nearly enough is quite a gift. And having the opportunity to make new friends, and connect faces with Email addresses, even after all these years, never grows old.

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