The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Tuesday Nov 16, 2010

Announcing BarCampApache Sydney, Australia

The Apache Software Foundation is happy to announce BarCampApache Sydney, Australia, the first ASF-backed event in the Southern Hemisphere!

Taking place 11th December 2010 at the University of Sydney's Darlington Centre, the BarCampApache "unconference" will be attendee-driven, facilitated by members of the Apache community and will focus on the “Apache Way” of developing software. The event is open to the public free of charge.

Those interested in using Apache products, how projects are developed within the ASF, open development techniques and best practices, Web 2.0-style data mashups, engaging with The Apache Software Foundation, and the general BarCamp experience are welcome to participate.

As the Apache community comprises thousands of committed individuals from around the world, there are always opportunities for attendees to help. And with all BarCamps, BarCampApache Sydney seeks active participation at all levels, including assisting with the physical set up to pre-event promotion to proposing discussion topics and blogging/tweeting during the event.

BarCampApache Sydney sponsors include the University of Sydney, Alfresco, IBM, and MaestroDev. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Brett Porter at brett AT apache DOT org, or Nick Burch at nick AT apache DOT org.

For more details about BarCampApache Sydney, its related activities, and to sign up, please visit the event wiki at http://barcamp.org/BarCampApacheSydney and follow the #barcampsydney tag.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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Statement by the ASF Board: Honor the Agreement

Oracle statement regarding Java: "Now is the time for positive action (and) to move Java forward."

Oracle, the ball is in your court. Honor the agreement.


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Tuesday Nov 09, 2010

Statement by the ASF Board on our participation in the Java Community Process

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is proud to announce that it has been ratified for another three-year term on the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee. Receiving support from 95% of the voters, this election allows the ASF to continue its 10 year effort to help bring transparency and openness to the JCP as well as ensure that Java specifications are able to be independently implemented and distributed under open source licenses.

We are grateful for the strong support from the community, and believe it is a validation of the work the ASF is doing in the JCP. Our efforts to transform the JCP into a truly open specification ecosystem help strengthen the value of Java for everyone -- for implementors of open source projects such as those found at the ASF and elsewhere, for students, educators and academics using Java for teaching and research, for independent software vendors that build innovative products and services on Java, and for commercial users in all areas of economic activity that depend on Java to run and grow their businesses.

Through the JSPA, the agreement under which both Oracle and the ASF participate in the JCP, the ASF has been entitled to a license for the test kit for Java SE (the "TCK") that will allow the ASF to test and distribute a release of the Apache Harmony project under the Apache License. Oracle is violating their contractual obligation as set forth under the rules of the JCP by only offering a TCK license that imposes additional terms and conditions that are not compatible with open source or Free software licenses. The ASF believes that any specification lead that doesn't follow the JCP rules should not be able to participate as a member in good standing, and we have exercised our votes on JSRs -- our only real power on the JCP -- accordingly.  We have voted against Sun starting and continuing JSRs, and have made it clear that we would vote against the JSR for Java SE 7 for these reasons.

In light of Oracle Corporation failing to uphold their responsibilities as a Specification Lead under the JSPA and breaking their signed covenants with the Apache Software Foundation that are the conditions under which we agreed to participate in the JCP, we call upon the Executive Committee of the JCP to continue its clear, strong and public support for Java as an open specification ecosystem that is a level playing field for participants in order to ensure that anyone -- any individual or commercial, academic or non-profit entity -- is able to implement and distribute Java specifications under terms of their choice. Specifically, we encourage the other members of the JCP EC to continue with their support of our position regarding Oracle, and vote accordingly on the upcoming Java SE 7 vote.

The ASF will terminate its relationship with the JCP if our rights as implementers of Java specifications are not upheld by the JCP Executive Committee to the limits of the EC's ability. The lack of active, strong and clear enforcement of those rights implies that the JSPA agreements are worthless, confirming that JCP specifications are nothing more than proprietary documentation.

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Saturday Nov 06, 2010

Apache News Roundup from the ApacheCon Show Floor

The following newsworthy events took place during the course of ApacheCon North America 1-5 November:

1) Foundation Updates

Membership count: 330 (31 new Members; 52 emeritus)

Committer count: +2,500 (approximately 200 additional Committers over the past year)

The ASF is governed by the community it most directly serves -- the people collaborating within its projects. Apache Committers are developers who contribute (individuals who "commit" or "write" code, patches, or documentation) directly to the Apache code repository. Apache Members are Committers who have demonstrated merit in the Foundation’s growth, evolution, and progress, and have been nominated for and elected to be awarded ASF Membership by existing Members. ASF Members have the right to vote on community-related decisions; and and the ability propose an active user for Committership. 

Sponsors: the ASF welcomed new Sponsors AMD and IBM at the Gold level, and Lucid Imagination at the Bronze level.

Java Community Process: the ASF's seat on the JCP Executive Committee was ratified on 2 November 2010.

2) Apache Projects

Apache Top-level Projects: 82 total; new Apache Projects added are Avro, Axis, Cassandra, Click, HBase, Hive, Karaf, Mahout, Nutch, Pivot, Shindig, Subversion, Tika, Traffic Server, UIMA.

Project updates include Apache Hive v0.6.0; Apache James Server 3.0-M1; Apache Jackrabbit v2.0.3 and v2.1.2; Apache Tomcat Connectors v1.2.31; and Apache Mahout v0.4.

Apache Incubator: 41 projects are currently under development. New to the Apache Incubator are: Alois, Clerezza, Deltacloud, Etch, Isis, libcloud, Lucene Connector Framework, Lucy, Nuvem, OODT, Whirr, and Zeta Components. 

Apache Labs: 32 initiatives being sandboxed. Apache Labs projects are created to quickly explore technical viability without the necessity of community building.


3) Events

BarCampApache: the ASF will be hosting its first event in Australia at the University of Sydney on 11 December 2010.

ApacheCon: the next North American conference will be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 7-11 November 2011.

For more information, contact Sally Khudairi, VP Marketing & Publicity at press@apache.org.

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Wednesday Nov 03, 2010

The ASF asks: Have you met Apache Mahout?

The all-volunteer Apache Software Foundation (ASF) develops, stewards, and incubates nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, many of which power mission-critical applications in financial services, aerospace, publishing, government, healthcare, research, infrastructure, and more.

Did you know that 50% of the Top 10 downloaded Open Source products are Apache projects?
Did you know that Europe's DICODE academic and industry project relies on Apache Mahout for large scale data mining?

We are pleased to showcase Apache Mahout, the scalable, professional-grade machine learning project at Apache for large scale data analysis.

Quick peek: Given the amount of data available in digital form to a huge amount of businesses today, Machine Learning is what helps you make sense of your data and provide better service to your customers: 

  • Given interaction logs of your web shop, Mahout helps come up with good recommendations for products customers might be interested in buying.
  • When faced with an ever increasing stream of news articles Mahout is what helps you to reduce that information load to a manageable amount of groups of topically related articles. 

Apache Mahout provides stable, industry ready implementations of machine learning algorithms that help make more out of your product. The project combines support for efficient standalone deployments with the possibility of scaling to a distributed Apache Hadoop cluster thus making it easy to scale with your business needs. 

Background: Initiated by a group of Apache Lucene developers in summer 2007 the project started out as a Lucene sub project in early 2008. Since that time it has attracted various users from the industry, including large players such as Yahoo! and AOL but also smaller to medium sized businesses like Mippin and Speeddate. Apache Mahout graduated as an Apache Top-Level Project in early 2010.

Why Mahout: Apache Mahout includes features that make building modern data-driven features easier, including:
  • Clustering, that is grouping items only based on their similarity;
  • Classification, that is assigning items to pre-defined categories;
  • Recommendation, that is identifying items a user might like based on his behaviour;
  • Frequent Itemset Mining, that is identifying items that usually appear together e.g. in a customer purchase


Apache Mahout is the only machine learning project that combines the advantages of having 
  •  a permissive open source license supporting almost any business use-case you can think of;
  •  a very active community responding to user requests and helping analyse your specific data problems;
  •  a production ready implementation of algorithms covering most of the sophisticated data analysis jobs you would want to run on your data while still being open and easy to adjust to your specific needs.

What's under the hood: Mahout 0.4  improves the overall application development experience through
  • Model refactoring and CLI changes to improve integration and consistency
  • New ClusterEvaluator and CDbwClusterEvaluator offer new ways to evaluate clustering effectiveness
  • New VectorModelClassifier allows any set of clusters to be used for classification
  • RecommenderJob has been evolved to a fully distributed item-based recommender
  • More algorithms supported like Spectral Clustering and MinHash Clustering (still experimental), HMM based sequence classification from GSoC (currently as sequential version only and still experimental), new type of NB classifier, and feature reduction options for existing one, new Sequential logistic regression training framework, new SGD classifier
  • New vector encoding framework for high speed vectorization without a pre-built dictionary
  • Promoted several pieces of old Colt framework to tested status (QR decomposition, in particular)
  • Distributed Lanczos SVD implementation
  • Many, many small fixes, improvements, refactorings and cleanup

Latest release: Apache Mahout v.0.4 on 31 October 2010 under the Apache License v.2.0. More details can be found in the release notes.

Downloads, documentation, examples, and more information: visit  http://mahout.apache.org/ .

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