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Re: [DISCUSS] State of the project 2018

I second Francis’ nomination as PMC chair.

I concur with others about what is good and bad about the project. We have a much higher rate of contributions this year than previous years - we are getting a lot of high-quality PRs out of the blue. This is excellent news for the project, because it means that it is being used for some serious projects, with high-quality salaried developers working on it.

The bad news is that we are having a hard time keeping up with those pull requests. I have always said that we have a duty to give each PR prompt acknowledgement, review and, after necessary change, merge to master. If we don’t, people will stop contributing. We are failing in that commitment.

We can talk about solutions, but I think we need to do a better job of converting committers (who have the commit-bit but don’t use it) into active committers (who help with the running of the project). Each project has a “commons” that is neglected if people act in their own self-interest [1], and our “commons” is reviewing and release-management. We’re a good bunch of people who work together well, but I’d like to see a little more time devoted to “mowing the lawn” (or whatever one does to keep commons in good shape).

I would like to thank Francis for his extraordinary efforts maintaining Avatica-Go; and, Francis and Kevin, who have been taking on more of the load in Avatica recently.

Are there any technology areas that we should be pushing forward? The idea of the “commons” applies here too - for most features, it is sufficient to wait until someone needs it, but for some, we need to do the initial work in order to show what is possible. I have been doing that work for Babel (the lenient SQL parser), streaming, materialized view recommendation and matching, and recently MATCH_RECOGNIZE.

Lastly, how is Calcite’s architecture holding up? Are we the right “form factor” for the kind of projects that could use us? Are we perhaps over-fitted to projects with a big JVM?


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

> On Nov 12, 2018, at 1:20 PM, Francis Chuang <francischuang@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hey Michael,
> Thank you for your nomination! I am happy to be PMC Chair for the next year if others on the list are okay with that.
> Francis
> On 13/11/2018 2:50 am, Michael Mior wrote:
>> Francis,
>> Thanks for responding. Just thought I'd ping you directly and see if you have any thoughts on potentially taking over as PMC Chair for next year. Before my tenure, the project made the decision to rotate the PMC Chair on a yearly basis to keep things fresh which seems like a solid decision to me. Just wanted to gauge your interest as you've been really involved over the past year and to my knowledge, haven't yet been chair. Thanks!
>> --
>> Michael Mior
>> mmior@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:mmior@xxxxxxxxxx>
>> Le lun. 5 nov. 2018 à 16:27, Francis Chuang <francischuang@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:francischuang@xxxxxxxxxx>> a écrit :
>>    Thanks for starting this discussion, Michael!
>>    The Calcite project and it's Avatica sub project has been doing
>>    really
>>    well in the past year under your stewardship. I have seen a lot of
>>    new
>>    contributors who are highly motivated and we also added new
>>    committers.
>>    In terms of what we are doing well, I feel that the community is
>>    something we've managed really well. Newcomers and people with
>>    questions
>>    generally have questions answered quickly and I have seen quite a few
>>    threads with in-depth discussion on new and interesting use-cases for
>>    Calcite. Our git repositories are also quite active (Avatica and
>>    Avatica-Go less so) and I think this is a testament to our
>>    community and
>>    the flatness of the learning curve for new contributors to
>>    contribute to
>>    the project.
>>    In terms of what we need to do better, I think the load on Julian is
>>    still quite high (although much better than the previous years). I
>>    also
>>    hope more contributors and committers can help us review PRs (you
>>    don't
>>    need to be a committer to review!). I also feel that we should
>>    maintain
>>    a release cadence for the project, otherwise we might end up in a
>>    position where there hasn't been a new release for a while
>>    (Avatica had
>>    a 10 month gap between 1.10.0 and 1.11.0). I know Julian has been
>>    asking
>>    for release managers for a release of Calcite + Avatica in late
>>    October
>>    and I think we should try to see if we can get a release out for both
>>    projects soon. There has also been some discussion on the list
>>    regarding
>>    the appropriate tone to use in the community. All I want to say
>>    regarding this is to be kind and understanding and try not to be too
>>    stressed out if a proposal is not perfect.
>>    Francis
>>    On 6/11/2018 1:21 AM, Michael Mior wrote:
>>    > It's that time of year again where we consider where Calcite has
>>    gone over
>>    > the past year and where it's going in the future. I've been
>>    happy to see
>>    > our first academic publication on Calcite finally get out this
>>    year (thanks
>>    > to Edmon, Dan, Jesús, and Julian!)
>>    >
>>    > It's also been really positive to see more committers join the
>>    project over
>>    > the past year with many contributions in new areas. The quality
>>    of our
>>    > tests has improved and the feature base continues to expand.
>>    There's a few
>>    > big things that come to mind. Calcite now has some support for
>>    geometry and
>>    > JSON functions and also new parsing capabilities via the babel
>>    and server
>>    > modules. There are probably other important advancements that I
>>    missed.
>>    >
>>    > The project continues to have some challenges in keeping up with
>>    reviewing
>>    > JIRA cases and PRs. Suggestions on streamlining this process are
>>    always
>>    > welcome. Of course, many contributors to Calcite are doing this
>>    in their
>>    > spare time. Maintaining the health of the community is another
>>    important
>>    > goal. There have been a few challenges with friction among
>>    contributors but
>>    > I think we're working towards resolving this.
>>    >
>>    > Lots going on with Avatica as well and I thank Francis has done
>>    a fantastic
>>    > job of taking care of that aspect of the project. (Far better
>>    than I have
>>    > done overall as PMC chair :) It's also the time to find a new
>>    chair for the
>>    > coming year. If he's willing, I think Francis would be a great
>>    choice.
>>    >
>>    > To repeat questions from previous years:
>>    >
>>    > 1) What else are we doing well in the project?
>>    > 2) What areas do we need to do better?
>>    >
>>    > Please take some time to share your thoughts!
>>    >
>>    > --
>>    > Michael Mior
>>    > mmior@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:mmior@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>    >