The Apache Incubator provides services to projects which want to enter the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).
It helps those incoming projects (called "podlings") adopt the Apache style of governance and operation and guides them to the ASF services available to our projects so they can become top-level ASF projects ("TLPs").
The Incubator delegates a few mentors for each podling, as "on the ground" agents to act as liaisons with the various ASF teams: Incubator PMC, Infrastructure team, etc., and facilitate the podling’s growth and operations.
The Incubator was created way back in 2002. Since then, as of November 2019 it has been involved in helping 315 podlings, of which more than 200 have graduated. They have been guided and supported by more than 300 mentors. There are around 45 to 50 podlings in incubation at any one time, and incubation typically takes 1 1/2 years.
Our cookbook helps potential podlings decide whether the ASF is a good fit for them and guides them through the steps required to become an ASF podling.
There have been many Incubator talks at many conferences over the years, here’s a selection of a few of them.
See a keynote The Apache Way, by Rich Bowen at MesosCon Europe in 2017 for a good background of how the ASF operates what it’s values are.
A more general talk on Effective open source management by Shane Curcuru from ApacheCon North America 2017.
For how to get out of the Incubator and become a successful TLP see John D. Ament talk Navigating the Incubator Trenches from ApacheCon North America 2017.
Apache Incubator: the gateway into the Apache Way by Roman Shaposhnik and Suresh Marru at ApacheCon North America 2014.
See also the Life In The Apache Incubator video, where former Incubator PMC chair Jukka Zitting presents the Incubator, at ApacheCon Europe 2012.
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects.
The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits the potential legal exposure for the contributors.
Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process known as "the Apache Way", Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users.