Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2017 (November 2016 – January 2017)
"The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is one of the most important and influential players in the modern open-source software development community."
—Sean M. Kerner, eWeek
> President’s Statement: We now have an approved FY17 budget, and are working on a five year projection. While things remain running smoothly, the rapid growth of the Foundation has finally reached a point where expenditures are out-pacing income. This doesn’t pose any short term problems as we have adequate financial reserves, but it does mean that we need a bit more financial discipline and an increased focus on fundraising. Meanwhile, the Infrastructure team continues to focus on retiring technical debt and is exploring moving services off of ASF-owned hardware. These efforts should, over time, decrease the rate of increase of expenditures in what remains our largest budget line item.
In parallel, brainstorming has begun on fundraising activities. We are exploring ways to be more proactive, and ways to provide more value to Sponsors.
While we remain in a very healthy financial position, it never hurts to take the opportunity to ask for your support. As an individual you can donate to the Foundation http://www.apache.org/foundation/contributing.html, as a corporation you can become a Sponsor http://www.apache.org/foundation/sponsorship.html .
> Conferences and Events: ApacheCon Europe, and Apache: Big Data Europe were held in Seville, Spain, 14-18 November 2016, and were attended by 550 Apache enthusiasts. Many of our projects were represented in these days of technical presentations, keynotes, and unconference BarCamp events. Presentations at the event were recorded, and are posted to Feathercast.org. Presentation slides from the talks may be found at http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apache-big- data-europe/program/slides . As at past events, the Travel Assistance Committee (TAC) was able to bring attendees to ApacheCon who would otherwise have been unable to attend. We want to extend a big thank you to the sponsors of these events, and look forward to seeing you at future events. ApacheCon and Apache Big Data will return to North America in 2017, at the Miami Intercontinental, 15-19 May 2017.
- Apache: Big Data http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apache-big-data-north-america
- Apache: IoT (Internet of Things) http://us.apacheiot.org/
- CloudStack Collaboration Conference http://us.cloudstackcollab.org/
- FlexJS Summit http://us.apacheflexjs.org/
- TomcatCon https://tomcat.apache.org/conference.html
- All other topics and projects http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apachecon-north-america/program/about
Admission to any of these events also grants you access to all of the others. Further details about the event may be found at http://apachecon.com/ . Sponsorship opportunities are available for these events; see http://apachecon.com/sponsor/ to find out more. Applications for Travel Assistance must be received by March 8th; information is available at https://www.apache.org/travel/#apachecon-and-apache-big-data-north-america-miami-florida-15th-19th-may-2017 . We still need to work on actively increasing attendance, and are currently working on a range of ideas to aimed at increasing participation and attendance. ApacheCon NA Miami will be used to trial some of these new initiatives.
Meanwhile, we continue, as a larger community, to plan and attend an enormous number of meetups and other small events. You can see the weekly list of meetups at http://apache.org/events/meetups.html or by searching for your favorite Apache project on meetup.com.
> Community Development: A key discussion topic this quarter was about re-defining the goal of Apache Community Development. The project was established with the very flexible description of ‘helping people to become involved with Apache projects’. In the past it has been difficult to manage and co-ordinate activities without a central or integrated plan. In order to improve this we are now working on defining strategies and plans that will better focus effort in a more cohesive way.
During November and early December we ran our first ever Diversity Survey of Apache Committers. Participation was completely voluntary. In total we received 765 responses (out of a 5,861 committer base at the time the survey was run) which was approx 13% response rate. The survey also received feedback in the form of comments. Our next steps will be to analyse the information and identify any Community Development related actions. Details of the the survey and its results can be found at https://s.apache.org/43aW
A lot of activity was spent this quarter preparing for FOSDEM, an annual event that is held in Brussels, Belgium, and draws 5,000-7,000 people. The ASF was allocated a booth for the second consecutive year which was staffed by a team of volunteers. We used the opportunity to showcase specific projects and talk generally about the ASF with attendees. A new banner featuring all the current Apache project logos was very useful in raising brand awareness as many attendees knew our project names but had not associated them with Apache. This means that there is more work to be done in reinforcing the ASF brand externally.
Another discussion this quarter was around ASF involvement in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and how we might be able to gather data and statistics that show more clearly how GSoC benefits our projects and communities. We will continue to help co-ordinate efforts to look at ways that this type of data could be collected.
Our Community Development Blog was relaunched in November and we have published 2 further monthly updates https://blogs.apache.org/comdev/ . The aim is to provide simple regular updates to keep people informed about the key things that are happening or planned. Our mailing list traffic has significantly increased this quarter and is a good reflection of the active involvement and discussions that are happening.
> Committers and Contributions: Over the past quarter, 1,616 contributors committed 49,112 changes that amount to 13,837,582 lines of code across Apache projects. The top 5 contributors during this timeframe are: Shad Storhaug (1,217 commits), Dan Kirkwood (732 commits), Claus Ibsen (691 commits), Sebastian Bazley (665 commits), and Mark Thomas (561 commits).
The ASF Secretary processes new Apache Committers’ paperwork so that they can continue contributing to our projects. All individuals who are granted write access to the Apache repositories must submit an Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA). Corporations that have assigned employees to work on Apache projects as part of an employment agreement may sign a Corporate CLA (CCLA) for contributing intellectual property via the corporation. Individuals or corporations donating a body of existing software or documentation to one of the Apache projects need to execute a formal Software Grant Agreement (SGA) with the ASF.
During this timeframe, the Secretary processed 226 ICLAs, 10 CCLAs, and 13 Software Grants. The activity of Apache committers, and the community of contributors they serve, can be seen at http://status.apache.org/#commits
> Brand Management: Over the past few years, the Brand Management committee has been working on a comprehensive set of trademark policies and procedures to help our volunteer-run communities best protect their shared brand of Apache project independence. During the holiday lull at the end of the year, we’ve worked on drafting policies for use of Apache brands in services and hosting, as well as detailed policies for producing merchandise (apparel, stickers, and non-computer goods) using any Apache project’s names or logos. This is timely, as a number of apparel vendors have approached us recently for licensing agreements. These products can both provide a way for people to show support for Apache projects, as well as donations of profits from the vendors.
All of the ASF’s education and policies around trademark law for Open Source as well as brand management is published online, and we urge project participants and software vendors alike to review and ask us questions about them: http://www.apache.org/foundation/marks/resources
On the registration front, we are facing more potential conflicts with the few projects that request registrations than in the past. The limitations of having a volunteer-run organization with nearly 200 active projects means that managing which registrations to fight for is still a complex problem to work through.
As more Apache brands and projects power more business every year, we look to the many companies that profit from Apache software products to help respect Apache brands. We very much appreciate the companies that pass on their trademark registrations with incoming donations of podlings joining the Incubator. Having existing registrations makes the trademark management process simpler for the ASF.
While many companies continue to properly give credit to our volunteer communities, sadly some companies continue to –or have started to– take advantage of our non-profit work by unfairly co-opting Apache project brands or by interfering with Apache project governance. Reviewing and correcting these mis-uses is an ongoing effort for the ASF Board, the Brand Management Committee, and all Apache projects.
The Apache Brand Management team welcomes your questions on our private email list: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Legal Affairs: Through business-friendly licensing and rigorous IP handling, the ASF strives to ensure that our projects’ releases are as clean and user-friendly as possible from a legal standpoint. Downstream consumers should be able to integrate works published by ASF projects with high confidence and minimal effort.
The JSON license augments the widely-used MIT license with a single phrase: "The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil." That’s probably a joke. But what if someone takes it seriously and presses a case? Even if it can be argued that the risk is remote, the cost of assessing that risk imposes a burden on users.
Legal Affairs is where our communities come to resolve difficult and subtle issues like this. Longtime contributor Ted Dunning brought a compelling case against the JSON license to Legal Affairs, and our projects are now banned from incorporating dependencies which use it.
The winners are our users, who won’t have to spend time and treasure figuring out what the JSON license means for them.
> Infrastructure: The Infrastructure team and its volunteers have continued their work to build and maintain the systems used by the hundreds of projects, and thousands of active volunteers working under the ASF umbrella. We’ve seen 10 new contributors this quarter to our Puppet codebase, accounting for roughly 40% of our contributor base. 88 people were new to creating or solving issues, and two of these people also turned into infrastructure code contributors.
Our new teammates, Freddy Barboza and Chris Thistlethwaite, have spent the quarter working hard to learn the multitude of systems and the deep corners of the infrastructure that run the ASF. They are bringing some much-needed hands to support the work of our projects. They have had some hard work over the past quarter, but they have become an integral part of the Infrastructure team.
We saw 580 issues opened during the quarter and 555 closed, leaving us with a net increase of a couple dozen issues. On the whole, the SLA for tickets have been improving steadily as a result of onboarding new staff, and continues to improve. 76 people helped close issues pertaining to infrastructure tasks. Last quarter, we had a similar net increase of a couple dozen issues, but we expect this change rate to diminish as our team and volunteers get better acquainted with approaching and maintaining our array of services.
Our uptime during the quarter had a slight uptick, compared to the previous quarter. We hit an uptime of 99.77% across all of our services. We demand 99.50% for our most critical systems, and less for the others, so we’re quite happy to (again) hit the targets needed to support the ASF ecosystem. We had a significant hardware failure on the machine that ran our Moin wiki service, but the team was able to quickly provision, Puppet-ize, and move the service to a new machine.
We had a similar problem with the hardware running Jira, but had thankfully used Puppet to provision that service, so our move was greatly simplified. We have continued with the work, as reported last quarter, to move off of ASF-owned hardware to cloud-provisioned servers. This reduces our hardware maintenance costs, improves our flexibility, and detaches us from critical hardware failure.
The Infrastructure team will be continuing our work on shifting to Puppet for our various systems, and moving those services from our hardware into cloud-based servers. We should complete this work in 2017 and will examine our next moves for service provision.
> Financial Statement:
> Fundraising: It is most appropriate to start the ASF Fundraising report with our most sincere thanks to our Sponsors for their generosity and continued support. Fundraising operates normally, at the same level as in previous quarters, with the VP of Fundraising continuing outreach activities. Conversations with current and potential Sponsors indicate that the ASF and its commitment to providing Open Source technologies to the public at large is strongly supported by Sponsors and the industry at-large.
With the Foundation and the number of projects governed growing, there is a higher need for scaling the services provided by the ASF to its projects. This quarter we started to look at new ideas for improving the Sponsorship program. This effort will continue and we expect implementing changes starting next quarter. Currently most of the Sponsorship funds come from sponsors’ marketing budgets. Since ASF Open Source technologies benefit products and operations, we are looking into ways to appeal more to R&D, development and IT budgets and increase the number of our sponsors.
Currently we are enjoying the support of the following Sponsors: 7 Platinum Sponsors: Cloudera, Facebook, Google, LeaseWeb, Microsoft, Pivotal, and Yahoo; 9 Gold Sponsors: ARM, Bloomberg, Comcast, Hewlett Packard, Hortonworks, Huawei, IBM, ODPi, and PhoenixNAP; 14 Silver Sponsors: Alibaba Cloud Computing, Budget Direct, Capital One, CashStore, Cerner, Confluent, InMotion Hosting, iSIGMA, Private Internet Access, Produban, Red Hat Software, Serenata Flowers, Target, and WANdisco; 21 Bronze Sponsors: Airport Rentals, Basis Technology, Binary Option Robot Info, Bluehost, 01Casinos, Casino2k, ChameleonJohn Coupons, Cloudsoft Corporation, Compoare Forex Brokers, HostingAdvice.com, PromoCodeWatch, Samsung, 7 Binay Options, Stags and Hens, Talend, The Linux Foundation, Tobi, Travel Ticker Hotels, Twitter, Web Hosting Secret Revealed, and WebsiteSetup; and 11 Infrastructure Sponsors: OSU Open Source Labs, No-IP, Symantec, Rackspace, Quenda, PagerDuty, Bintray, SURFnet, Sonatype, Freie Universitat Berlin, and HotWax Systems.
We again want to express our deepest gratitude to our generous sponsors along with our promise to continue to strive for excellence.
Report prepared by Sally Khudairi, Vice President Marketing & Publicity, with contributions by Sam Ruby, ASF President; Rich Bowen, Vice President Conferences; Sharan Foga, ASF Member; Marvin Humphrey, Vice President Legal Affairs; Shane Curcuru, Vice President Brand Management; Greg Stein, ASF Infrastructure Administrator; Tom Pappas, ASF Member and Vice President, Finance & Accounting at Virtual, Inc.; and Hadrian Zbarcea, Vice President Fundraising.
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(c) The Apache Software Foundation 2017.