The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Wednesday Jun 01, 2011

Incubation at Apache: What's it all about?

More Projects Than Ever Submitted to Become a Part of The Apache Software
Foundation

The success and reputation of The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) as one of the most influential Open Source organizations is undisputed. Launched 12 years ago with the Apache HTTP Server, the all-volunteer ASF currently develops and shepherds nearly 170 projects, including Top-Level Projects (TLPs) and new initiatives in the Apache Incubator and Labs.

Apache products power more than 203 million Websites (half the Internet!) and countless mission-critical applications worldwide. More than a dozen Apache projects form the foundation of today's Cloud computing. Five of the top 10 Open Source downloads are Apache projects.

"Dozens of external projects have sought to become a part of the ASF to improve the quality of their code and participate in a larger community," explained ASF President Jim Jagielski.

Incubation is the first step for a project to be considered among the diverse Open Source initiatives overseen by the ASF. A submitted project and its community will join the more than 50 projects in the Apache Incubator, and will benefit from the Foundation's widely-emulated meritocratic process, stewardship, outreach, support, community events, and guiding principles that are affectionately known as "The Apache Way".

"We welcome highly-focused, emerging projects from individual contributors, as well as those with robust developer communities, global user bases, and strong corporate backing," added Jagielski. "The ASF's organizational, legal, financial, and infrastructure support gives incubating projects the ability to provide valuable software to millions of users without having to worry about liability. Today's submission of the OpenOffice.org code base is testament to our track record for successfully incubating highly-established, well-respected projects such as Apache SpamAssassin and Apache Subversion."

Incubating projects (known as "podlings") benefit from hands-on mentorship from other Apache contributors and are guided on an array of processes and principles within the Foundation, including adopting the Apache voting structure and growing a vibrant and diverse community. Jim Jagielski is the proposed podling mentor for the OpenOffice.org community during the incubation process.

Podlings that demonstrate that their community and products have been well-governed under the ASF's consensus-driven process, release all code under the Apache License v2.0, and fulfill the responsibilities of an incubating project move one step closer to graduation to a TLP. Upon a Project's maturation to a TLP, a Project Management Committee (PMC) is formed to guide its day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.

ASF Projects that have graduated from the Apache Incubator over the past year include Apache Cassandra, Apache Chemistry, Apache Click, Apache Libcloud, Apache OODT, Apache Shindig, Apache Traffic Server, and Apache UIMA.

For more information on the Apache Incubator, please visit
http://incubator.apache.org/.

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Media Contact:
Sally Khudairi
+1 617 921 8656
press@apache.org

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