The Apache Software Foundation
The Apache Software Foundation Incubator

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Incubation

1.1. Does the X Project really have to go in the Incubator to get to Apache?

Yes. Code that has existed outside the ASF can only enter the ASF through the Incubator. There is no other option. The Incubator, among other things, is where the due-diligence of making sure the licence is correct, that we have received the copyright license, and that all of the initial developers submit their CLAs takes place. The Incubator is also where projects can familiarize themselves with how the ASF works under the guidance of Incubator PMC (IPMC) members (mentors).

1.2. I’m the mentor of this project, and I think that I’m able to do it by myself. The Incubator doesn’t add anything, so can we skip it?

No. Do it right, do it well, and add something in the process. Incubation is not about handing a project over to some other group and seeing what happens. The Incubator is simply the name of the place that governs your actions when you process a new project into Apache. It moves at the same rate you do, and achieves whatever you achieve — the only difference is that we have a permanent record in one place that we can go back to if there are later IP problems, and there is a gate that the project must pass through before it gains the right to release software on behalf of the ASF. The ASF will not let a project ignore or bypass that gate just because one group or another feels they have earned the right to bypass it. Allowing that kind of exception would destroy the potential to build a tradition of effective oversight, which is the reason we created the Incubator.

1.3. Project XXX makes no mention of the Incubator for accepting new projects, but the Incubator site says that all projects entering Apache must pass the Incubator. What do we need to do to move to the Apache XXX project?

The incubation process, WRT responsibilities, is roughly as follows: - Any Apache PMC (project management committee), including the IPMC (Incubator PMC) itself, can approve the entrance of a project at Apache. They are the Sponsor. (In rare cases, the Apache Board of Directors will approve the entrance of a project.) - The IPMC is from that moment on responsible for the project. The assigned Mentors (ASF members who have volunteered to help with the incubation process) will have the primary responsibility for overseeing the progress of the project. Each quarter, the project will submit an update to the entire IPMC about its progress in Incubation. - This will continue until the IPMC approves the project to be "graduated". After graduation, if another PMC sponsored the podling, it will then be transferred to the PMC that asked for incubation. If the IPMC or the Board sponsored the podling, the Board must also approve the project to have its own PMC. - At this point, Incubation is complete.

So, since you would like to have a place under the XXX Project, ask that PMC to sponsor you. After that vote, you will automatically be under the Incubator, and incubation will start.

1.4. Someone has proposed donating their code/project to project X within the ASF for continued development. What do we need to do to accept the code?

The Incubator will only accept code for incubation if a PMC has voted to accept it. So when a proposal for the donation of code occurs, the project in question should discuss the proposal (usually on their public mailing lists!), leading to a decision by that project’s PMC on whether or not to sponsor the code (and, potentially, the project surrounding it). If the PMC agrees, it should approach the Incubator, and the Incubator can accept the code for incubation. Record the grant by following the procedure outlined in the IP Clearance forms.

1.5. The code came from outside the ASF, so it’s ours to do with as we like, right?

Wrong. Here are some generally-agreed points that you should take into consideration: - No codebase within the ASF is an exclusive location for a general technology within the ASF. - All initial codebases are just that: initial. Once the code is here, if people feel that the code sucks or the architecture sucks, or whatever else someone wants to complain about, all parties understand that the future direction of the architecture and code is, as with everything at the ASF, subject to communal will. - Other contributors interested in any ASF codebase, with or without existing codebases, are free to contribute code, or to propose additional related projects.

2. Participation

2.1. How can I update the site?

Refer to our guide to updating the website. If you are not a committer on the Incubator project, you can still submit patches for the source documents.

2.2. How do I update the incubation status of a project?

See notes about maintaining your project entry in the podlings summary file and on your project’s status page.

2.3. Why don’t we use an issue tracking system to track incubation process?

Issue trackers do not meet the long-term archival and tracking requirements for our legal purposes and they do not authenticate that the person entering the status information has the authority to do so, which is what we get with our version control system. Note that how a project does its actual day-to-day tracking (i.e. bugs in code) is not the same as filing the legal forms - for those issues, so you can use our normal issue trackers to record bug resolution and development of features. Nevertheless, SVN is our only authoritative and formal tracking system for incubation status.

2.4. How do I update the site of an incubating project?

First read our Incubation Policy. Refer to the Website Guide.

2.5 How do I obtain karma for the Infrastructure site?

Direct all requests for karma (whether for a podling web site or for the infrastructure site itself) to the Incubator general email list.

Please read the website guide before editing the website.

2.6 How do I set up the Podling website?

To set up the website for a podling, start by requesting karma.

2.7 How do I grant karma to an existing Apache committer?

This document describes how to grant karma to an existing Apache committer.

2.8 What facilities assist with Incubator management, and how are they generated and maintained?

3 Infrastructure

3.1 How does our project request resources?

Co-ordinate via your project’s dev list and PPMC. Often someone there will know what is necessary. Some notes are in the Mentor guide and in the Infrastructure instructions.