The Apache Group Incorporates to Become the Apache Software Foundation
Non-profit corporation provides organizational assistance and development frameworks for the Apache open-source projects, including the world's leading Web server
http://www.apache.org/ -- June 30, 1999 -- The Apache Group today announced the creation of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), to formally shepherd the development of the #1 Web server worldwide -- the Apache HTTP Server Project -- and other projects under the Apache umbrella. This international volunteer effort is dedicated to the support of open-source software projects based on the collaborative model of the Apache HTTP Server Project. "This is an important step forward for the Apache projects," said Roy T. Fielding, ASF Chairman and co-founder of the Apache HTTP Server Project. "The Apache Software Foundation will protect the efforts of the community of developers working on our open-source projects, while providing a pillar of strength and stability for our customers."
COMMITMENT TO COLLABORATIVE DEVELOPMENT
The Apache Software Foundation will provide organizational, legal, and financial support for the Apache open-source software projects. The Foundation ensures the continuity of Apache projects beyond the participation of individual volunteers, enables contributions of intellectual property and financial support on a sound basis, and provides a vehicle for limiting legal exposure while participating in open-source projects.
Although the Foundation will oversee all Apache activities, the technical aspects of each project will be governed by its own project team. The ASF requires that all its projects remain open to new contributors via Internet collaboration, and limits the distribution of software under its name to a set of approved open-source licenses, but does not interfere with the day-to-day operations of each project.
"IBM is pleased to be a part of today's announcement, which really helps to further drive collaborative, open source development within the broader community," said Robert LeBlanc, Vice President, IBM Software Strategy. "IBM will also be providing code and a dedicated team of programmers to the Apache Software Foundation, including the Jakarta Project and will use the resulting code in its commercial products, similar to its use of the Apache Web Server today. Setting up the Foundation ensures that both commercial software customers and the community will benefit from the broad range of skills and partners in the marketplace."
CONTINUED LEADERSHIP BY COMMUNITY MEMBERS
ASF membership is open to individuals by invitation. Candidates are judged by their technical contributions and skills, and must be active collaborators on one or more of the Foundation's projects. At present, only individuals may become members; however, companies may be represented in the Foundation by individual participants.
"We hope that the open-source community, especially Apache software users, will view this new corporate structure in the spirit that we held when working toward its existence," said Randy Terbush, CEO/CTO of Covalent Technologies. "Our ultimate goal was to preserve the longevity of the Apache open-source development efforts while extending the same benefits to other open-source projects that fit logically under the Apache Software Foundation umbrella."
The members of the Apache Software Foundation have elected a Board of Directors to oversee the corporation and ensure its responsiveness to the needs of its projects. The Board is comprised of widely-recognized contributors to the original Apache Group:
"The Foundation will be guided by the same people who have maintained the vision, principles and continuity of the Apache projects over the past four years," added Fielding.
APACHE OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE PROJECTS
Projects overseen by the Apache Software Foundation carry forth the commitment to open collaboration, active participation from the Internet developer community, and freely available software.
The Apache HTTP Server Project, the Foundation's best-known project, was founded in 1995 as a collaborative effort to produce an open-source, commercial-grade Web server in sync with the Internet standards for the Hypertext Transfer Protocol [HTTP]. Software produced by the Apache HTTP Server Project serves over 61% of all public Internet websites, according to the June 1999 Netcraft Web Server Survey [http://www.netcraft.com/survey/]. Hundreds of users have contributed ideas, code, and documentation to the project. Every eight seconds another Apache-based website joins the existing 3.5 million on the Web.
"Apache has had 'sister' projects for quite some time. We are now formalizing that relationship, and ensuring that these projects benefit from the same operating framework that the HTTP Server Project has and will continue to have," explained Brian Behlendorf, ASF President.
One such sister project is the recently announced Jakarta Project -- the collaboration between Sun Microsystems, IBM, Oracle, and the server-side Java development community. Sun Microsystems is donating a significant amount of code to this project, and plans to use code from Jakarta in their commercial products and services.
"There's a lot of trust in the Apache name, and we want to maintain that," added Behlendorf. "We want to do what we can to make the open-source development model really work."
ABOUT THE APACHE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION
The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for the Apache open-source software projects. Formerly known as the Apache Group, the Foundation incorporated as a membership-based, not-for-profit corporation to ensure that the Apache projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers, to enable contributions of intellectual property and financial support, and to provide a vehicle for limiting legal exposure while participating in open-source projects. For more information on the Apache Software Foundation, please see http://www.apache.org/