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From Alex Karasulu <>
Subject [OT] The trick is to keep breathing
Date Sun, 03 Jul 2005 18:26:38 GMT
Hi all,

I've been following some conversations on some private Apache mailing  
lists recently regarding the "Apache Way" and have had conversations  
with friends about it in passing.  Without disclosing the exact  
conversations I'd like to make a few points.  These conversations  
helped me to understand once again what we're all about in the end.   
Sometimes we all get a bit stressed out about OSS and each other  
because we're all passionate people and love what we do here.  It is  
very important not to loose sight of each other as people.  Swimming  
in a sea of code is not what it's all about.

A friend keeps quoting the following song in emails.  He does so I  
think to relieve nervous tension that can result when we sometimes  
rub each other the wrong way.  Here are the lyrics:

It's important to stop and take a breath.  Realize you have friends  
and people that appreciate you here at the ASF.  Realize the ASF is  
not a click but a group of living and breathing people that care  
about one another.  Flame wars and the occasional brushing of  
personalities aside this really is the case.

Another friend said to me that it is important not to have a thick  
skin sometimes.  Yes be sensitive but confront any social tensions  
openly and sincerely.  Put feelings on the table and trust our  
friends who have this tight bond to do right by us.  That trust goes  
a long way.

I have found in my years now (wow) at the ASF true wealth is in the  
quality of friendships and relationships I have had.  I know this all  
sounds like a mushy touchy feely email but please try to look beyond  
that.  To me, the people is what the Apache Way is about ... not just  
the code.  I'm not putting down the code but the code is just a  
substrate for a social phenomenon.  The code is a direct reflection  
of who we are in the purest sense.  Computer science is a misnomer,  
writing code is really an art form.  So when we write code it is a  
matter of self expression and we share that with each other under a  
social context.  Who are we expressing our selves the most to?  In  
the end it is always about people.  Think about what it's like  
without having the people there to share and comment about your ideas  
and means of thinking.  The people bring the code to life.  They help  
us learn and improve.

This is why community is at the forefront at the ASF.  This is why we  
could not have graduated incubation with just the code.  I'm very  
proud of how this community has grown and the people involved in it.   
It's touching and a bit mushy but I don't care.  I have friends and a  
light skin but my strength is in trusting them knowing that I am not  
error free.

Let's remind ourselves when we stress out and perhaps rub each other  
the wrong way that we're compadres first and foremost.  BTW I'm not  
writing this email because of anything negative that happened nor am  
I anticipating it.  Just wanted to share in this repeated realization  
that does not come all to often.

Alex Karasulu

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