Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Tue, 20 Jan 2004
I don't believe in The One, I believe in him.
Well, it turns out that the rest of the Matrix trilogy might have a few quotables in it after all. Sam's reference to Niobe struck me yesterday, but when I read Thom's post today, it struck again, this time in reference to the whole ASF.

One of the reasons that it took a bit of time to get Planet Apache up and running is that there was some concern over how "official" it would be. There was a segment of the community that was concern about oversight of it (there's lot's of concern about oversight at the ASF these days). Other people were concerned about people ranting on about stuff unrelated to the ASF, which has prompted people to create subfeeds of their blogs for ASF topics only.

The consensus of the ASF community that expressed an opinion was that we host Planet Apache off the ASF infrastructure, thereby avoiding (we hope), the oversight and branding issues. This is also one reason why I haven't been super fast about getting feather up onto the site either. Fortunately Thom May stepped into the gap with hosting, and between the two of us we got the thing going.

Thom and I have not corresponded a super lot about Planet, but I was pleased to see his post about it today. Thom is interested in Planet Apache as a social vehicle, and I think that this is an important part of its function. One version of Planet Apache would be an aggregation of ASF specific subfeeds, which would get you a kind of "what's happening in the ASF world". This is kind of an informal newsletter or daily status report. That's all fine and good.

That's not what we have today. What we have today is whatever feeds people registered, which makes it less directly focused on ASF software projects and more focused on ASF people. This is important, because all ASF people are more than just the ASF projects that they work on. So it's as important, or more important to trust the people in the ASF than the organization itself. That can only happen as people get exposure to one another, and not only in a technical fashion. So the fact that Planet Apache is more like a day long water cooler conversation rather than an hourly status report is of great value. The ASF is now more than 700 committers. How do you build community across that many people? One thing that you can do is create a place where they can express themselves and their opinions uncensored, so that more of their personal side becomes visible. It helped a lot this year when I went to ApacheCon and talked to people who had blogs. There was more to talk about outside of code, and that made it easier to use that precious face to face time to build deeper relationships.

I think that Thom and I are in agreement that we won't require ASF specific feeds. If people want to do that, that's fine by me. But let me suggest to those folks that you are short changing your fellow ASF'er's and the people that use our software by doing so. Let your hearts and souls out a little bit.

[00:39] | [computers/open_source/asf] | # | TB | F | G | 4 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

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