Apache Community Development

Thursday January 05, 2017

Community Development News - December 2016

Welcome to our monthly blog update about what is happening in Apache Community Development. This month we have news about defininig a Commnity Development Strategy, ASF involvement in GSoC and the results from our Committer Diversity Survey are published.

Community Development Strategy

This month our mailing list has had some detailed discussions around the goal of the Apache Community Development project. The discussion covered topics such as the original mission statement when the project was established and why people felt that more organisation and direction was needed.

When the project was established our original mission was 'charged with coordinating community development efforts' which was a very broad and flexible definition. Defining a strategy will guide the project and give better visibility of our current and planned activities.

Some of the main ideas mentioned were as follows:

  • Increase community diversity

  • Develop tools that projects can use to promote themselves and attract new participants

  • Educate projects about the Apache Way so that they can more richly experience what Apache really is

  • Strengthen the bonds between projects and the larger Foundation

  • Work with marketing to promote what our projects are doing and promote the idea that the ASF is where innovation happens

  • Internal promotion - many of our projects don't know about what other projects are doing

The next step is to document these ideas into a formal strategy and link it to specific goals and plans.


Another big discussion topic this month was around ASF involvement in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and how we might be able to gather data and statistics that show more clearly how GSoC benefits our projects and communities.

Apache Community Development's main goal is about developing Apache communities so it would be good to have actual data about the GSoC program within the ASF and how it supports us in achieving this.

Committer Diversity Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that has helped or participated in getting the Committer Diversity Survey out, and also to all the committers who responded to the survey. It has been really good to be able to collect this information and see what it tells us about our committer base.
The main data and graphs from the survey onto the Community Development Wiki

In total we received 765 responses (out of a 5861 committer base at the time the survey was run) so around a 13% response rate. We also got 111 feedback comments of which 29 did not give their permission to share or from quote their comments.

The comments have been categorised into various themes / topics with the main ones as follows:

  1. Suggestions for improvements within the ASF

  2. Suggestions for improvements to the survey (or any future ones)

  3. Thanks / positive feedback about the ASF and/or survey

  4. Feedback and ideas around diversity

Next Steps will be:

  • Continue to analyse the information and identify any potential Community Development related actions

  • Start discussion threads on the various themes and topics raised to see if they will result in additional actions

  • Discuss feedback and diversity ideas and if necessary, integrate into diversity and/or general community development strategy

Contacting Community Development

Remember that we are always happy to get your feedback and comments so please feel free to contact us, follow our events and participate in our discussions on our mailing list. If you would like to be kept up to date with all the latest news about what is happening in Community Development then please subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email to dev-subscribe AT community DOT apache DOT org.

Thursday December 08, 2016

Community Development News - November 2016

Welcome to the first in a series of monthly blog updates about what is happening in Apache Community Development. This month we have news about our Committer Diversity Survey, FOSDEM 2017, ApacheCon NA 2017 and our PMC grows.

Apache Committers Diversity Survey

Over the last month we have been discussing diversity within the ASF and this month we sent out our first ever Apache Software Foundation Committer Diversity Survey. The committer group was selected because they are a large group that are linked to every Apache project. (NOTE: The ASF currently has 5861 committers across 295 projects). To ensure the confidentiality and privacy of the respondents, the survey is anonymous and completely voluntary.

Our survey is currently in progress and thank you to all the committers that have already responded. Ideally we would like to see as many responses as possible so that we can get a clearer picture of how good the ASF is at attracting and welcoming a diverse range of people into its communities.

If you would like more information on the survey and why we are capturing this information then please see


NOTE: If you are committer and haven't recieved the survey link then please contact our community development mailing list

The survey closes on 11th December 2016.


Once again the ASF will be running a booth at FOSDEM. The conference will take place over the weekend of 4th & 5th February 2017 in Brussels. Entrance is free and it has always attracted thousands of attendees so is a great place to talk to people about Apache, its projects and also its communities. As well as the usual list of developer rooms, this year FOSDEM will be featuring a Community DevRoom specifically for community related topics and presentations.

Volunteers from the Community Development community will be helping manage and run the booth throughout the 2 day conference but we are always happy to have additional help. If you are planning to attend FOSDEM and would like to spend some time on the ASF booth promoting your ASF project then we can organise a specific time for you. Please contact the community development mailing list for more information.

New PMC Member - Sharan Foga

The Apache Community Development PMC is pleased to announce that Sharan Foga has been voted in as a new PMC member. Sharan has been involved in a range of community development activities both on and off the mailing lists. She has actively supported the ASF at conferences such as Apachecon and FOSDEM, and more recently she has been working on developing strategies and initiatives for encouraging diversity within the ASF. Please join us in welcoming Sharan to the team.

ApacheCon North America 2017

ApacheCon North America will be held at the Miami Intercontinental, May 15-19th, 2017. The call for papers is open for the event, which will once again be split into Apache: Big Data, and ApacheCon. You can submit your papers, register, and find more information, at http://apachecon.com/

Contacting Community Development

Please feel free to contact us, follow our events and participate in our discussions on our mailing list

If you want to be kept up to date with all the latest news about what is happening around Community Development please subscribe to our mailing list by sending an email to dev-subscribe AT community DOT apache DOT org.

Wednesday November 23, 2016

The Apache Community Development Team Prepares to Send Out its First Diversity Survey

Over the next few weeks the Apache Community Development team will be sending out and running its first ever Apache Software Foundation Committer Diversity Survey. The committer group was selected because they are a significant number of people that are linked to every Apache project.  (NOTE: The ASF currently has 5861 committers across 295 projects.)

Although there are many aspects to diversity including socio-economic, disability and education etc which may be addressed in future surveys, this initial survey will focus on the three broad areas of age, gender and ethnicity. It will also try to capture information about why people contribute to Apache projects. To ensure the confidentiality and privacy of the respondents, the survey will be anonymous and completely voluntary.

Why capture this information?
Many organisations are wanting to find out how effective they are at attracting a diverse range of people. The Apache Software Foundation promotes open, community focussed projects that are welcoming to all, yet have not collected any information to support this. This survey will be an opportunity to capture this information.

The survey results will be used to generate consolidated and aggregated statistics for the Apache Community Development team and the Apache Software Foundation. These details may be published and made publicly available.

When will the survey results be published?
The survey will be run over a two week period and once complete an additional week will be required to consolidate the responses into statistics. Survey results will be announced on the committers and community development mailing lists.

Wednesday March 21, 2012

The Apache Software Foundation Participating in Google Summer of Code 2012 as a Mentoring Organization

The Apache Software Foundation will be participating in the Google Summer of Code again this year as a mentoring organization.

Google Summer of Code is a program where students work on open source projects backed by a stipend granted by Google. The Apache Software Foundation has been participating in the program since its inception in 2005.

Each year, 30-40 students are guided by volunteer mentors from various Apache communities. During the summer they learn what it means to participate in a diverse open source community and develop open source software "The Apache Way". Many of past students are now active contributors to our projects.

This year we hope to build on our previous successes and again build student interest and enthusiasm in The Apache Software Foundation. Our list of project ideas (at http://s.apache.org/gsoc2012tasks) already contains over 100 ideas spanning more than 25 Apache projects. But that's only what we have come up with. A lot of students have their very own itch to scratch and approach our projects with their own ideas.

If you are enrolled as a university student and always wanted to get involved with Apache, here's is your chance. Browse our ideas list, approach the projects you are most interested in, discuss your ideas, get involved, code the summer away, and at the end, get a nice paycheck from Google!

Monday December 20, 2010

Who should use Apache Extras?

Who should host their projects on Apache Extras

Apache Extras is aimed primarily those who are unable or unwilling to licence their code under the Apache License V2, but want to signal their relationship to one or more Apache project community.

One example of this is my own Drupal connector for Apache Wookie (Incubating). This needs to be GPL licensed due to the Drupal dependency, but it contains Apache Licensed code as well. Consequently it cannot be hosted at Drupal, nor can it be hosted at the ASF. Now, with Apache Extras, it has a home that is associated with at least one of those organisations.

A second group of projects that may choose to host on Apache Extras are those who wish to manage their projects in a way that is not aligned with our own collaborative consensus based processes.

Wednesday December 15, 2010

Why Apache Extras?

[Read More]

Tuesday September 21, 2010

How Apache Projects Use Consensus

What are those 'veto' votes about, anyway? What does Apache mean by 'consensus', and how does it foster 'community over code'?

[Read More]

Thursday June 03, 2010

What makes Apache projects different?

Sharing a code repository with some other programmers might seem enough to create an open source project; the Apache Software Foundation goes further and focuses on making projects sustainable in the long term, and ensuring that our code is legally clean.

This means that our projects have to follow a (small) number of rules, and a number of best practices have been established over the years.

Here's a quick description of how Apache projects are born and live on - some of the items below are derived from the ASF's bylaws (http://www.apache.org/foundation/bylaws.html), while others are best practices that evolved over time.

Projects enter the ASF via the Incubator, anyone can suggest a new project as described on the Incubator website (http://incubator.apache.org).

A Project Management Committee (PMC) oversees each project on behalf of its users, contributors, committers and the foundation itself.

New committers and PMC members are elected by the PMC based on merit.

Committers and PMC members are not necessarily ASF members, to be members they have to be elected separately (see "roles" in http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html).

Each project has at least one private and one public (development,"dev") mailing list which are the only official communication channels for the PMC members and committers.

Discussions and decisions about people (such as the elections mentioned above) usually happen on the project's private list, but that's not a hard rule, each PMC can decide.

All other decisions happen on the dev list, discussions on the private list are kept to a minimum.

"If it didn't happen on the dev list, it didn't happen" - which leads to:

a) Elections of committers and PMC members are published on the dev list once finalized.

b) Out-of-band discussions (IRC etc.) are summarized on the dev list as soon as they have impact on the project, code or community.

Where possible, decisions are made by consensus. The ASF has voting procedures to help reach this consensus (http://www.apache.org/foundation/voting.html).

Releases are created according to the ASF's release rules (http://www.apache.org/dev/release.html), and all released software uses the Apache License (http://www.apache.org/licenses/).

A formal PMC vote is required to publish a release. By voting to accept the release, the PMC makes the release an act of the foundation, as opposed to a personal action of the the release manager. This is a very important distinction should any legal issues arise.

Each PMC reports to the ASF's board of directors, usually quarterly. The PMC's report mentions progress made and any problems encountered. Items of particular relevance to the board include community activities,
software releases, development work and compliance with the ASF's rules and best practices.

Trademarks and logos used by ASF projects belong to the ASF.

Don't hesitate to ask on the community development mailing list (http://community.apache.org/) if you have questions about this - and in the meantime, have fun at the ASF, commit early and communicate often!



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