What it means
The concept of doing as much work as possible in public is
fundamental to The Apache Way. For a community to best work and grow,
it's technical work must happen in the open.
Open communication promotes community growth. Having existing
and past technical discussions and decisions available in the mailing
list archives makes it easier for new users to understand the project
and the choices the community made to get where it is today.
Open communication ensures community health. Having every email
you write to the project lists be published may be unnerving to some at
first, but it's crucial to ensure that the whole community can
contribute to the work. This also ensures that community members in
different regions, or who work on different schedules, can still
Face to face meetings must have results published and voted on.
While in-person meetings or telephone conferences are sometimes held to
increase collaboration, the results of any meetings must be published
to the project mail lists. Any decisions made off-list must be ratified
by a vote or lazy consensus on the public lists to be valid.
Open work ensures everyone can participate. Having all of the
technical discussions, consensus building, and code and documentation
work happen in the open ensures that everyone can participate and
everyone – contributors and just lurkers alike – can learn
from the process and understand where the project is going.
Open work ensures our projects remain neutral. A healthy
community has some diversity, and ensuring that all work on the project
happens in the open means that no one set of contributors or no
corporation or other organization can command the project or use it
solely for their own ends. Everyone can see what the project is doing
and who is advocating what within the project.
Open communication allows for oversight. Within the ASF, there
are a few core values that we expect all our projects to follow. Having
the project's work happen in the open ensures that the board and the
PMC can review what's happening to ensure the core values are accepted
Open status ensures that everyone can know what's going on. New
users don't need to know who to ask to learn about the project:
everything is on the mailing list, the archives, the website.
Open lists promote open reputations. Merit within a community is
gained through open work within that community. While each community
has it's own standards for levels of merit (i.e. at what point an
individual may be voted in as a committer), open lists mean that all of
a person's work on other communities is also visible.