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From Julian Hyde <jh...@apache.org>
Subject [DISCUSS] The state of the project
Date Mon, 03 Oct 2016 23:45:30 GMT
Hi Calcite community members,

In a few weeks (22nd October) it will be a year since Calcite graduated to a top-level Apache
project[1]. I think it’s been a good year!

When we graduated, we decided to have an annual “state of the project” discussion and
to vote for a new PMC chair/VP[2]. So, I’m kicking off both of those discussions.

First, a few of my thoughts. 

I am pleased with the general rate of progress of the project. I’m pleased to see an increasing
number of contributions from new contributors, and some of those becoming committers and PMC
members. A couple of highlights this year were adapters for Cassandra and Elasticsearch that
can out of the blue. I’m also pleased that we have continued a regular release cadence.
This makes it easier for projects to use Calcite, and knowing that pull requests will be promptly
reviewed and included in a release gives people an incentive to contribute.

Calcite is becoming an ever better optimizer for SQL queries. This is helped immeasurably
by the fact that Hive, Phoenix, Drill, Qubole and others are using Calcite for this and are
contributing back. (Thanks to those communities for their continued collaboration!)

But I also believe that Calcite can be used for non-traditional databases. Some examples:

1. I am a fan of what Drill have done with schema-less query processing and document-oriented
data, and would like to bring similar functionality into core Calcite.

2. I also like the idea of Calcite being a “toolkit” from which one can build a database
(relational or non-relational). Phoenix have been going through the process of converting
their existing parser & planner to use Calcite, and I have learned a lot. But a lot still
needs to be done to make Calcite easier to use as a framework.

3. I have been building consensus that SQL is a great language for stream processing[3], and
working with Apex, Flink, Samza, Storm to build the pieces to implement streaming SQL. I am
very excited about the way streaming SQL is gaining acceptance. Are there any other emerging
areas should Calcite be targeting?

Avatica continues to grow and mature. The Avatica site now lists clients in 4 languages[4],
and there is also an ODBC driver (not open source)[5]. The “one repo, one community, two
web sites, two releases” strategy seems to be working adequately. But where do we see the
project going? Would it help if it had its own namespace (org.apache.avatica) or web site
(http://avatica.apache.org <http://avatica.apache.org/>)? Might it be a top-level project
someday?

Regarding community. Are we doing enough to reach out and bring new members into the community?
Some of us have given talks at conferences and meetups over the last 12 months. Could we improve
our geographical reach? Are there other things we could do to make the project more welcoming
to new contributors? Could we do more to reach out to women and other demographic groups underrepresented
in our community?

What else are we doing well in the project? What are areas where we need to do better?

Lastly, since I agreed to step down as VP after 12 months, let’s start talking about a replacement.
Being PMC chair is a privilege and it has taught me a huge amount about how Apache works.
I think that Jesús Camacho Rodríguez could do an excellent job, if he is willing. Which
other candidates should we consider?

Please take some time to share your thoughts about the state of the project.

Julian

(VP Apache Calcite)

[1] http://calcite.apache.org/news/2015/10/22/calcite-graduates/ <http://calcite.apache.org/news/2015/10/22/calcite-graduates/>

[2] http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-calcite-dev/201509.mbox/%3CCF8D6F96-706F-4502-B41D-0689E357209D%40apache.org%3E
<http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-calcite-dev/201509.mbox/%3CCF8D6F96-706F-4502-B41D-0689E357209D@apache.org%3E>

[3] https://calcite.apache.org/community/#streaming-sql <https://calcite.apache.org/community/#streaming-sql>


[4] http://calcite.apache.org/avatica/docs/#clients <http://calcite.apache.org/avatica/docs/#clients>

[5] https://hortonworks.com/hadoop-tutorial/bi-apache-phoenix-odbc/ <https://hortonworks.com/hadoop-tutorial/bi-apache-phoenix-odbc/>



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