Apache Ant Comunity Learnings

Apache Ant Comunity Learnings

Reflecting on the past 17 years I spent in the Ant developer community I tried to identify a few things other communities could learn from our successes and mistakes.

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Stefan Bodewig

November 20, 2017
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  1. Apache Ant Community Learnings FOSS Backstage Micro-Summit, Berlin 2017-11-20 Stefan

    Bodewig bodewig@apache.org
  2. About Me Open Source Developer since 1994 Ant Committer since

    June 2000 Release Manager of Ant 1.1 (July 2000) and 1.10.1 (Feb 2017) Apache Member since October 2000 Senior Consultant at innoQ 1
  3. Apache Ant Apache Ant™, Ant, Apache, and the Apache Ant

    project logos are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation. 2
  4. Commits 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016

    0 250 500 Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 3
  5. Contributors 2000 2005 2010 2015 0 5 10 15 Original

    Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 4
  6. Releases 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016

    0 250 500 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5.0 1.6.0 1.7.0 1.8.0 1.9.0 1.10.0 Original Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 5
  7. In the Beginning 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012

    2014 2016 1.2 Original Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 6
  8. How to build a community? no idea, honestly the right

    idea at the right time 7
  9. Small Units of Autonomous Work 8

  10. User Mailing Lists 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

    2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 user dev 9
  11. Non-Coding Contributors 10

  12. Advice a place for non-devs is essential you don't need

    to answer everything yourself but show presence 11
  13. User Mailing Lists 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

    2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 user dev 12
  14. But hard to replicate in today's Stack Overflow world I'd

    love to understand what can take it's place 13
  15. Ant 2 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014

    2016 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5.0 Original Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 14
  16. Backwards Compatibility Every new release of Ant breaks my build

    — often stated around Ant 1.2 15
  17. Discussion ... aim is that we are going to break

    them no more than once more. I.e. we should try to get a clear vision of what we want to achieve with Ant 2.0, document it and then stick to it, at least for the near future. — https://lists.apache.org/thread.html/678451aa08b8911fa5 16
  18. Rules for Revolutionaries In short: 1. everybody can propose a

    "revolution" in a subdir 2. when ready propose merge 3. when accepted replace original https://marc.info/?l=jakarta- general&m=86951909307230&w=2 17
  19. Problems Faced too many revolutionaries what if the revolution is

    not accepted? mere announcement of revolution stalls evolution 18
  20. Design By Committee takes ages even more so when you

    strive for consensus still doesn't guarantee to make everybody happy 19
  21. Result lot's of feelings hurt fork of the community -

    twice "Ant2" is burnt forever 20
  22. Advice avoid multiple simultaneous revolutions be aware that proposed revolutions

    may fork the community don't try to force a revolution 21
  23. Drive-by Contributions 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014

    2016 0 250 500 1.6.0 Original Chart by Black Duck Software, Inc / / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 22
  24. Advice embrace Drive-by Contributions but you don't have to accept

    everything celebrate every contribution in public accept some contributors are only interested in small parts don't let code ownership get into the way 23
  25. Integrating new Communities 24

  26. Advice don't put a barrier between old and new community

    collective code ownership 25
  27. Aging Project Original Charts by Black Duck Software, Inc /

    / CC-BY https://www.openhub.net/p/ant 26
  28. Running Out Of Itches 27

  29. Dangers no easy tasks left to do "we've already discussed

    that" "backwards incompatible" 28
  30. Advice try to not fix easy bugs (immediately) set time

    aside for mentoring better start doing so before it's too late 29
  31. Thank You 30

  32. Contact Stefan Bodewig bodewig@apache.org Stefan Bodewig @ innoQ stefan.bodewig@innoq.com 31