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From Stephen Mallette <spmalle...@gmail.com>
Subject [DISCUSS] ASF Board Draft Report - April 2019
Date Wed, 03 Apr 2019 14:49:35 GMT
Here is the attached draft of our board report for this month. After a
somewhat slow end to 2018 with our last report, this 2019 report is full of
good/interesting things. Note that I've addressed the W3C graph query
language working group in this report even though it was discussed a long
time ago. We should have had that in the last report but it was
inadvertently omitted and the board asked for an update in this report. As
usual, I will give this a few days for review before I submit it to the
board.

---------------------------------------------------------

## Description:
Apache TinkerPop is a graph computing framework for both graph databases
(OLTP) and graph analytic systems (OLAP).

## Activity:
TinkerPop just completed the release process for 3.3.6 and 3.4.1. Both
versions contained a few new features, but were largely maintenance releases
carrying a number of bug fixes. At this time, we are focusing on trying to
release code more often given the big release of 3.4.0 at the start of the
year which took a long time to finalize. We have already started on 3.3.7
and 3.4.2 and would expect to release those in the next two months or so.

In addition to the continued work on the 3.x line, early discussion and
exploratory work for TinkerPop 4.x have begun. 4.x contains some major
shifts
in thinking about the project as TinkerPop reinforces and expands upon its
already agnostic nature toward graphs and related technology. Specifically,
TinkerPop 4.x will look to achieve the following challenging and lofty
goals:

* Language environment agnosticism so as to not be driven and bound solely
by the Java Virtual Machine. We see this as a logical extension of our
already successful foray into Gremlin Language Variants[1].
* Data language agnosticism which means that TinkerPop can consume any query
language alongside Gremlin which we see as a logical extension of the
success
in sparql-gremlin[2] recently released in 3.4.0, but also demonstrated in a
number of other external projects like cypher-for-gremlin[3],
sql-gremlin[4],
and others.
* Data structure agnosticism which is born of our roots in graph, but can be
extensible to other data forms like tables, documents and RDF.
* Data processor agnosticism which opens the door to a wider array of data
processing models beyond the either-or choice of real-time (OLTP) and batch
(OLAP).

In our previous report, we inadvertantly omitted news regarding the W3C
Workshop on Web Standardization for Graph Data[5], which, among other
things, seeks to produce a standard graph query language. The query
language largely under discussion for that position is GQL[6], which is
effectively the Cypher query language driven by Neo4j, a major player in the
graph database space.

After some discussion, TinkerPop decided not to participate in the W3C
working group directly. Given our long standing position on technological
agnosticism which continues to expand with each major version, we felt that
it was not our place to help construct official standards of that sort. The
outcome of that working group may be an ISO standard graph query language,
and if that is the case, TinkerPop will simply "consume" that standard
alongside Gremlin, as we currently do with SPARQL and other languages
previously mentioned.

The wider TinkerPop community saw some additional growth with two new
graph systems that support the Gremlin query language:

* ArangoDB[7] - a native multi-model database
* Alibaba Graph Database[8] - a cloud-native graph database service

The addition of these major graph systems that support TinkerPop brings the
total number of graphs supporting the Gremlin graph query language to over
two dozen.

There were a number of talks/papers about TinkerPop, Gremlin and related
projects during this reporting period. Here were some by TinkerPop
committers/PMC members:

* Introduction to Property Graphs and Gremlin[9] - Harsh Thakkar
* Stream Ring Theory[10] - Marko Rodriguez

Finally, Jason Plurad (PMC) volunteered to organize a Graph Processing
Track[11] at ApacheCon North America 2019 which will be held in Las Vegas
in September.

## Issues:
There are no issues requiring board attention at this time.

## Releases:
- 3.3.6 (March 18, 2019)
- 3.4.1 (March 18, 2019)

## PMC/Committer:
- Last PMC addition was Jorge Bay-Gondra - October 2018
- Last committer addition was Harsh Thakkar - August 2018

## Links

[1] http://tinkerpop.apache.org/docs/3.4.1/reference/#gremlin-variants
[2] http://tinkerpop.apache.org/docs/3.4.1/reference/#sparql-gremlin
[3] https://github.com/opencypher/cypher-for-gremlin
[4] https://github.com/twilmes/sql-gremlin
[5] https://www.w3.org/Data/events/data-ws-2019/
[6] https://gql.today/
[7] https://github.com/ArangoDB-Community/arangodb-tinkerpop-provider
[8] https://cn.aliyun.com/product/gdb
[9]
https://www.slideshare.net/harsh9t1/introduction-to-property-graphs-and-gremlin
[10] https://zenodo.org/record/2565243#.XKSvI1VKhEY
[11] https://groups.google.com/d/msg/gremlin-users/2AvsmBE4ScQ/y98yc3A_AwAJ

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