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From Sally Khudairi ...@apache.org>
Subject Success at Apache: Open Innovation from a Non-native English Country
Date Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:00:39 GMT
[this post is available online at https://s.apache.org/lh61 ]

by Von Gosling

When I saw the "Success at Apache" series, I thought about writing something about my, being
from a non-native English country, Open Source experience these past few years. Last year,
RocketMQ graduated from the Apache Incubator and became one of the Apache Top-Level Projects.
As one of the original co-founders of RocketMQ, I was proud to see an Open Source community
from Apache RocketMQ that has an ever-growing diversity. The Apache Software Foundation (ASF),
one of the most famous and great technology brands, has thousands of companies’ software
infrastructure based on their projects. This is proven from the worldwide download mirror
activity in ASF statistics. As an early implementer/pioneer of Open Source in China, Apache
HTTP Server, Apache Tomcat, Apache Struts 1.x, and Apache Maven are my favorite software stacks
when I worked for building distributed and high-performance websites.

Last year, I wrote an article about the road to the Apache TLP, which is published in China’s
InfoQ. Some people asked me how to be more ‘Apache’ and how to build a more diverse community.
These are the questions that many people are concerned about. In this blog post, I will address
how to be more collaborative around the world, especially in non-native English countries.

Open Communication
With more and more instant messaging apps coming up in Android and IOS world, the younger
generation prefers to communicate using such way, which has spread to the daily coding life
for the majority of people. But, it is not search engine friendly and in most cases it does
not support multi-channel for multi-language. I have been involved in many such local technology
groups, together we have discussed what went wrong, explored ideas about how to solve it,
and come up with a good solution together. This method worked for all my past projects, but
when we hope to be more involved in Open Source around the world, that method does not work
well. I remember clearly when RocketMQ began to discuss the process for its proposal, some
people complained about what we have to do in the local community. We learned much about from
this discussion in the community, and thus, found an effective solution. Hence in the Apache
RocketMQ community, we encourage users to ask the question using the user email list. In order
to make the communication process effective, we answer the question in the same language of
the question. With more and more committers coming from different countries, this solution
will help to grow the more diverse community. But, as John Ament said in another "Success
at Apache" post https://s.apache.org/x9Be --open communication isn't for everything. We also
allow private communication between the users and us as some questions might not be proper
to discuss publicly. But that isn't a part of the decision making process. Likewise, anytime
we're talking about individuals in either a positive or negative way should be conducted on
the private list for a project.

Easy ways to be involved in the community
This is another top concern in the Open Source world. Some people may not know that in China
there are many local communities about Apache Projects, such as Apache HTTP Server, Apache
Tomcat, Apache Spark, and Apache Hadoop. Such Projects have corresponding Chinese documentations.
On the other hand, we try our best to improve the English documents. We consider the messages
behind every document page. If one finds a minor or big native narrative polish, one could
leave a message, or send feedback to our dev or user email list. Besides documentation, we
also hold programming marathons in the community irregularly to get more involved with the
community. We could find more users who have more interest, especially cross-domain technology
in such campaigns. Recently, we open sourced more tasks in the Google Summer of Code. Students
will develop Open Source software full-time for three months. We will provide mentoring and
project ideas, and in return have the chance to get new code developed and --most importantly--
to identify and bring in new committers. It is another chance to let PMC members know how
to improve and let more students get involved in the community easily.

In China, Internet giants like Alibaba are devoting themselves into Open Source projects hence
according to my personal experience, it made sense to help more excellent Chinese projects
to come into the Incubator. Right before the Lunar New Year, another famous project from China,
Dubbo, started its Apache journey. I am glad to be a local mentor and hope to continue to
share what we have learned. Thanks to the ASF, more and more Open Source projects will benefit
our daily coding. That is a great appeal around the world’s Open Source field.

Von Gosling is a senior technology manager working at Alibaba Group. He has extensive industry
software development experience, especially in distributed tech., reliable Web architecture
and performance tuning. He holds many patents in the distributed system, recommendation etc.
he has been a frequent speaker at Open Source and architect conferences worldwide including
ApacheCon and QCon. He has been the lead for messaging at Alibaba as well as the Tenth and
Sixteenth CJK OSS Award recipient. He is the original Apache RocketMQ co-founder and Linux
OpenMessaging Standard Initiator.
= = =

"Success at Apache" is a monthly blog series that focuses on the processes behind why the
ASF "just works". 1) Project Independence https://s.apache.org/CE0V 2) All Carrot and No Stick
https://s.apache.org/ykoG 3) Asynchronous Decision Making https://s.apache.org/PMvk 4) Rule
of the Makers https://s.apache.org/yFgQ 5) JFDI --the unconditional love of contributors https://s.apache.org/4pjM
6) Meritocracy and Me https://s.apache.org/tQQh 7) Learning to Build a Stronger Community
https://s.apache.org/x9Be 8) Meritocracy. https://s.apache.org/DiEo 9) Lowering Barriers to
Open Innovation https://s.apache.org/dAlg 10) Scratch your own itch. https://s.apache.org/Apah
11) What a Long Strange (and Great) Trip It's Been https://s.apache.org/gVuN 12) A Newbie's
Narrative https://s.apache.org/A72H 13) Contributing to Open Source even with a high-pressure
job https://s.apache.org/lM9O 14) Open Innovation from a Non-native English Country https://s.apache.org/lh61

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