Donate to the ASF, get a free feather button!

ASF Contributor ButtonYou may have seen the round “Contributor” buttons with the ASF feather at ApacheCon this year. To get one, all you need to do is make an individual donation (cash/check/Paypal) to the ASF, and let me know about it, and I’ll give you a button for free.

While we hope that we’ve recognized everyone’s contributions in code, community, and other content, it’s important to remember that the ASF has actual costs in terms of bandwidth, hardware, infrastructure and the like. Separately, our Foundation non-profit status requires us to show broad public support in our donations. That makes it doubly important that there are enough individual, personal, donors to the Foundation – any any level from a dollar or a euro and up.

None of this is meant to pass over the tremendous contributions that our committers and all of our community has given to the ASF over the years. It’s just a realization of the larger picture, and a reminder that there are more ways to contribute than just patches and helpful emails.

Note: If your organization or employer is interested in sponsoring the ASF at a larger level, with the attendant recognition, we’re happy to see that too. Jim has a great overview about Sponsoring the ASF at the Corporate and Individual Level that’s worth a look even if you’re not considering a contribution.

Join the Apache History project!

OK, OK, so we don’t need a new PMC, but we do need some better history of the early years of the Foundation. To contribute your bit, we currently have a wiki page to try to capture key milestones, especially early on.

http://wiki.apache.org/general/History

So this is a great start, but given that we’re geeks, I figure there has got to be a better way to generate and store data about our history. I’d love to someday see a dataset that people can use to create mashups including our history with the global timeline. Anyone up for the challenge of:

  • Writing a board report parser to produce structured, dated data of board resolutions (isn’t there a lab for this)
  • Graphing the growth of committers, members, and PMCs over time (I can figure out members from meeting attendance data, and PMCs from the above board reports – but easiest way to graph committer growth?)
  • Showing lines of code over time, both within all code projects, as well as within infra/site/other repos
  • Graphing changes in the board over time, both of individuals and company affiliations (the last merely for curiosity’s sake)

Stay tuned for my own ApacheCon timeline, which I’ll post as soon as I have time to hack.

Why you should sponsor the ASF

I forgot how good Jim’s slides are as a high level overview of the ASF Sponsorship Program. (You can also read the 2008 version.) I think that often those of us who’ve been around for a while forget how important is for us – the ASF and all it’s communities – to be able to express to the outside world what we’re about, and how you might want to help. I’m really glad to see this lunchtime presentation – also being streamed live – so well attended!

While the subjects of sponsorships are doubly important given the economy these days, I think the metaphor of the ASF’s growing impact on the world of software is the more important message. As an all-volunteer and heavily developer organization, it’s sometimes hard to remember how important the other connections with the world: even if we’re sometimes uncomfortable as developers talking about funding and revenue, they are important things both to how our operations work, as well as how the world perceives us. As Jim so aptly points out, as a group of geeks, we often shy away from talking about the bigger picture, and just focus on our technology or our immediate community.

In other news, a big shout out to Jim Jag for mentioning the other ways you can show support for the ASF, including ASF Swag and other ASF licensed vendors, and the surprisingly successful car donation program. One of the ways to help out is to wear your Apache or ApacheCon tshirts and buttons at other events – and a portion of all profits from these vendors is sent as a donation to the ASF itself.

Are you blogging about ApacheCon yet?

If you’re not here, let us know how the live video streams were (the Linux Pro Magazine people definitely want feedback). And if you are here, blog about it! Yes, you!

Seriously: has anyone noticed a slowdown in blogging about ApacheCon? I remember a couple of years ago when Planet Apache would be covered with dozens of posts each day, both people’s overview of “what I did today” as well as specific posts about keynotes, interesting sessions, etc. But we seem to have slowed down a bit in the past year or two. What’s up with that? Are people just tweeting about it now, is it not as exciting as it used to be, or is it something else?

Also – if you attended one of the MeetUps or BarCampApache, please blog it up! Not only is it traditional to blog about your experiences at events like BarCamps, but I’d love to see more feedback about how the events went. We’d like to see a mix of both old hats (you know who you are) and new faces at these events – so we need to know how the events went, and what you thought of them.

In particular, I’d love to see specific thoughts about how we – Concom and Planners – can do a better job of supporting smaller, more focused events, either in conjunction with, or separately from ApacheCon as a whole. But the first step is getting better, more specific feedback. The next step after that of course is also finding more volunteers to help do the organizing… (Thanks Arje!)

Travel alert: Shane’s packing for AMS

For those who actually 1) read this, and 2) work with me, please note I’m starting to pack and will be traveling for the next two days on my way to Amsterdam. Since I’m not paying for iPhone roaming in Europe, you really won’t be able to get in touch with me immediately, although I will read email occasionally.

/shane: Sam Ruby turns down MS; declared non-person

In a stunning move of corporate hubris, a MS spokesperson has declared Sam Ruby is “not a real person“. Could this be retribution for Mr. Ruby’s refusal of their recent job offer, even though “it was generous financially“?

Or are consipracy theorists correct – Mr. Ruby is a fictional blogger who’s laconic and far-reaching blog links are merely generated by advanced text mining algorithms run on a discarded Deep Blue box in a secret skunkworks project?

Enquiring (human) minds want to know!

A beautiful blue sunrise on the horizon?

As reported everywhere by now, rumors show IBM is considering buying the Sun whole. I’m not sure where they’re going to put it, although IBM Research does some really cool stuff, and might have built a contained black hole by now.

Seriously, though, if the rumors pan out, the important questions remain:

  • What would this mean to the ASF’s open letter and Sun’s contractual disregard of the rules of the JCP?
  • Which ASF projects would consider merging because of committer employer overlaps? Similarly: any Incubator Podlings that would then fail the diversity test?
  • Would the Sunny IBM step up to sponsor ApacheCon? Sun was historically a strong supporter of ApacheCon in the past; perhaps with the combined might they’d be a supporter again.
  • Would the shiny but empty Sun Burlington campus get new life? Or would any remaining employees be sucked into IBM’s new Littleton campus? How large a local MA employer would the combined company be?

Articles worth reading:

  • WSJ – just the facts, m’am
  • ZDNet – positive commentary
  • ZDNet – negative commentary
  • Geir – adding religion to the mix

Disclaimer: I work for one of the corporations named above; all Punderings are solely my own content, unrelated to any employment affiliations.