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This document helps those who are new to the Incubator learn its ways and netiquette.

General Netiquette

The usual advice applies. If you are not familiar with the way email lists work at Apache, read this.

Please ensure that you have configured your email client correctly. In particular, post only plain-text emails without attachments to these lists. Apache spam filters may reject HTML emails.

The Incubator is a public meeting place with a diverse and ever-changing community. Creating social bonds and establishing a reputation are essential. Please be polite, courteous and diplomatic.

When in doubt, ask for guidance on

Ways to Participate

On the General Email List

The email list is public, with an open subscription. We encourage all Incubator participants to subscribe, read and post their opinions in the usual way.

Anyone can, by their words, influence the decision-making process by being involved in discussions, and may vote on VOTE threads. However (as is usual) only the votes of those on the Incubator PMC are binding.

As a User

A user is anyone who uses our software. Most Apache projects have active user communities that are willing to provide help. This may not be always the case with incubator podlings.

To gain the maximum benefit from any immature project (as many podlings are), adopt an active attitude. Read On Contributing and Understanding Open Source. Become a developer (in the Apache meaning of the term).

As a Developer

At Apache, a developer (or contributor) is anyone who actively helps develop our software. These people include more than just coders and documenters. For example, anyone who joins in discussions on the email lists or answers questions from users is also a contributor.

Apache is a DO-ocracy. The first step along the road leading to committership is to become a developer. For more information, start with How Apache Works and the developer documentation.

As a Committer

A committer is anyone with write access to the source repository. Election of committers in the Incubator works a little differently from the process that is usual elsewhere at Apache.

Once a podling has been bootstrapped, proposing and adding developers as committers happens in the usual way.

When a proposal is just a candidate, there are two possible approaches (for those interested in being a committer).

The proposal typically contains a list of initial committers. When a podling is bootstrapped, the mentors use this list to set up initial accounts. Thus one way to become a committer is appear on a podling proposal as an initial committer.

The right way to express interest is by a post to the list with a brief introduction. Adding your name as an initial committer is impolite.

A podling needs to learn how to recruit committers from among its developers. So another way is to show up on the list and start helping with development. This will help the podling more than adding your name to the list of initial committers.

As a Mentor

Anyone with knowledge of open source or Apache can participate as an informal mentor for a podling. Development is open, and we encourage anyone with interest to subscribe and participate.

To act as a formal Mentor is limited to IPMC members and ASF members. The best way for an eligible individual to become a Mentor is to post a note introducing themselves and volunteering their services to during the development of the proposal.

On the Incubator PMC

We encourage Apache Members to join the Incubator PMC. Post a note to the Incubator PMC private list.

The IPMC can elect those who aren’t members in the usual Apache way. These elections take place on the IPMC private list.