ASF booming

Apache Foundation breaks all records with ‘unprecedented’ first quarter 2012 growth

Chris Mayer
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The Apache Software Foundation have had a busy 2012 so far. All indications show the first few months were their best yet,

It’s been a very productive year so far for
the Apache Software Foundation, giving many fledgling projects
Top-Level Project status and today, the vastly successful open
source group proclaimed that the first quarter of 2012 was ‘record
setting’ and has seen them achieve ‘key milestones’.

 ”The Apache Way” is still at the heart of what the ASF do
and fostering huge open source projects is still what they are best
at. Since the turn of the year alone, we’ve seen Apache Hadoop v1.0
really push the envelope for Big Data after 6 years of heavy
crafting, Apache Cassandra v1.1 become a Big Data NoSQL powerhouse
and several other projects emerge from the Apache Incubator, primed
to join them. These include the following projects - Apache
Accumulo, Apache BVal, Apache Empire-db, Apache Gora, Apache Lucy,
Apache OpenNLP, Apache Rave, and Apache Sqoop.

The last two are especially relevant – Rave could become an
important lightweight Java framework for social media standards
whilst Sqoop could be an integral Hadoop catalytic converter tool
to transfer Hadoop data to databases. This brings the total number
of TLPs to 104 – the first time the ASF has broken the century
barrier. It’s an exceptional amount which shows you how big the
foundation has become. There’s been a total of 87 new software
releases since the turn of the year, with 20 projects now retired
to the Apache Attic after becoming defunct technologies.

“Our landmark success can be attributed to Apache’s longstanding
commitment to providing exceptional Open Source products, each with
a stable codebase and an active community,” said ASF President Jim
Jagielski. “The ASF makes it easy for all contributors, regardless
of any affiliations, to collaborate.”

But rather than boast about past glories (which they rightly
should) the ASF are keen to promote some of those projects in
utero. Apache Cordova is one such project getting many plaudits,
forming the basis for this year’s in vogue project PhoneGap. Other
projects include Apache Giraph, Apache Wave and Apache CloudStack –
the latter could hold the cards for IaaS.

What’s most encouraging about the ASF at the moment is the fact
they don’t necessarily want to put all their eggs in one basket.
Cloud, Big Data, application frameworks and build tools are part of
the wider community. We’ve not even touched upon Apache HTTP
Server, the holy grail for them as the world’s No.1 Web server

Another interesting release was the Apache TomEE 1.0
signally its maturity as the top dog Java EE 6 Web Profile
stack.

In terms of corporate backing, things aren’t too shabby there.
Citrix joined as a Platinum sponsor with the CloudStack move,
whilst Twitter’s increasing open source fondness gave them Bronze
in the open source olympics. The community itself, like business,
is booming with 391 members active and 2,967 Apache Committers in
the three-tiered ‘Contributions-Committers-Members’
structure 

“There’s no stopping the interest in Apache-led projects — from
the number of innovations in the Incubator, to best-in-breed
solutions powering mission-critical applications, to the widespread
popularity of the Apache License,” added Jagielski. “The Apache
community at-large is driving this momentum by providing code,
documentation, bug reports, design feedback, testing, evangelizing,
mentoring, and more. There’s always a way to contribute!”

All in all, we’ll chalk 2012 down as an unprecedented success
story for the ASF. The great thing is, the year’s not even close to
ending – what will they be pushing next?

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