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From Sally Khudairi ...@apache.org>
Subject The ASF @ 15 --Chairman's Statement-- The Apache Software Foundation Marks 15 Years of Open Source Innovation and Community Leadership
Date Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:41:05 GMT
>> this announcement is also available online at http://s.apache.org/RYD

[Part 1 of a 3-part series celebrating 15 years of community-led development at The Apache
Software Foundation.]

This year marks the 15th anniversary since The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) http://www.apache.org/
was formed as a non-profit corporation to support the development of Open Source software,
beginning with the Apache HTTP Server. The ASF has grown significantly since, and today houses
more than 150 top-level projects, exceeds 500 individual members, and over 4,000 committers
have collaborated on ASF projects. We are incredibly grateful for all those who have volunteered
their time to the Foundation, the millions of users of Apache software, and the generosity
of our sponsors and donors that provide vital resources. This anniversary gives us a great
opportunity to take a look back at what has made the ASF so successful, and what that means
for its future.

The mission of the ASF http://www.apache.org/foundation/ is simple: to provide organisational,
legal and other forms of support to a broad range of Open Source software projects; and to
release that software to the public free of charge under the Apache License. What makes the
ASF special is being able to do that on such a large scale, while not diluting the culture
and fundamental attributes that make the ASF unique.

Apache has seen amazing success over the last 15 years. Not only do ASF projects impact almost
every area of computing, but the Apache License, our Contributor License Agreements (CLAs),
and our pattern of open, collaborative development (often known as "The Apache Way") continue
to influence Open Source projects outside of the ASF. Many Apache projects have gone on to
build huge, successful ecosystems around themselves, and other established projects have joined
the ASF to grow and diversify their community.

Apache projects are unified by the desire to build software in an open and collaborative manner,
ensuring they are supported by long-lived, vibrant and independent communities of contributors.
All of the committers are volunteers (whether they volunteer their own time, or are allocated
time by their employer - the ASF does not pay anyone to develop software), and they come together
from all over the world http://people.apache.org/map.html to collaborate in a virtual, online
environment. As the ASF does not dictate technical direction or scope, we see a wide range
of projects, rather than those focused on a particular technology or industry. In some cases,
we even have projects that "compete" with each other in the same space. The Foundation exists
for its projects, community and membership, and so is a truly grass roots organisation. Together,
this establishes trust in ASF projects, beyond what it would have if it were simply a "forge"
 infrastructure and services.

The structure of the ASF http://s.apache.org/zn is designed to make this possible, to empower
projects, and to provide a solid foundation for future growth.

There is a deliberate separation between the operational needs of the Foundation, and the
management of the individual projects. This is important as it ensures that running the Foundation,
including areas such as fundraising and sponsorship, do not impact what projects can do or
who has authority. Each project elects the members of a Project Management Committee (PMC)
from among their established contributors based on merit. Those individuals are then collectively
given the task of governing the project. PMCs report directly to the Board of Directors, who
provide oversight to ensure that the PMC remains viable, and is operating in accordance with
the ASF's mission and policies.

The ASF operates openly and transparently. Each month, the Board publishes meeting minutes
http://www.apache.org/foundation/board/calendar.html for public inspection, which contains
not only the proceedings of the meeting and the usual executive reports and financial information,
but also some 70+ reports from the Foundation's officers and projects. Each project reports
quarterly http://www.apache.org/foundation/board/reporting about its community, releases,
and plans for the future. These reports are helpful for the Board to provide oversight, to
deal with issues, understand future needs, and ensure the ongoing health of the project. However,
as these are open to the public, they can also provide a resource for members of the community
interested in understanding the history of the project, its current trajectory, and how it

Over the last 5 years, the ASF has doubled in size, both in the number of members, and projects.
There are another 30 projects already in the Apache Incubator developing their communities
and governance in preparation to become top-level projects in the future, with more joining
every month. Despite (or because of!) the strong emphasis on independence and individual merit,
large companies continue to trust the ASF as the steward of projects that they have contributed
intellectual property to, and that their businesses depend on. Contributors continue to trust
the ASF that their work will be freely available and recognised by their peers. Users continue
to trust that the projects they depend on will have the resources and growth needed to remain

As the ASF looks to the future, the pace is unlikely to slow! The challenge remains to maintain
- and even increase - the support provided to projects, while retaining the culture and trust
already established. Just as we must adapt to growth, we must also adapt to the changing nature
of software development and the ever growing adoption of Open Source and open development

Our commitment as the Foundation grows is to continue doing what the ASF does best - empowering
PMCs to develop world-class Open Source software in The Apache Way, and remaining a trusted
place for individuals, organisations and communities.

This wouldn't be possible without you - and we thank every ASF member, committer, and all
those that use and contribute to ASF projects for the part they play in making the Foundation
great. We welcome those who will join us in the years to come as well - looking forward to
not only the next 15 years, but many more!

--Brett Porter, Chairman

= = =

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