FAQ

[Catalyst] [ANNOUNCE] Changes to the Catalyst Project

Adam Kennedy
May 2, 2006 at 9:29 am
Greetings everyone.

I'd like to announce some changes to the organization and management of
the Catalyst Project, effective 6pm Monday 1st May 2006 GMT.

Firstly, note these are non-technical changes, and will have no effect
on the functionality of any code on the CPAN within the Catalyst::
namespace.

Secondly, due to the nature of these changes I have asked for a 24 hour
lockout period on this mailing list.

This is to allow websites/blogs/etc time to provide details, and prevent
a flood of questions on this list. Any general or unrelated emails will
be queued.

Finally, to skip to the specific changes see the CHANGES heading below,
and for additional details see the URLs listed at the end of this email.

*** BACKGROUND ***

Over the past few months there has been an increasing level of
disagreement within the core development team of Catalyst. The details
are complex and I will not be discussing them, but I can say that it has
not been caused by any single issue.

It could be best characterized as some general personal, creative and
project management differences among the core team.

Because this disagreement had begun to escalate to an unacceptable
level, and was looking like it might rapidly escalate to disruptive
levels, at 7pm Wednesday 26th April 2006 a group of the core team
initiated an emergency lockdown of the entire Catalyst project.

The following actions were taken.

- All write access to the subversion repository was shut down.

- All write access to the development trac website, wiki, roadmap and
ticket tracking was shut down, and the database put into read-only mode.

On a side note, putting the trac database into read-only mode caused an
unexpected crash of the trac instance, unintentionally taking the site
off-line for a few hours.

- All PAUSE co-maint privileges to the Catalyst core distribution were
removed, preventing anybody from uploading new Catalyst releases to the
CPAN and having the indexer recognize them (due to the jumbled nature of
the Catalyst namespace permissions).

- All admin accounts for the mailing lists were disabled, and the
mailing list itself was placed under moderation.

Initial attempts to resolve the dispute among themselves failed, and so
I was invited to become involved and mediate the dispute.

My name is Adam Kennedy (ADAMK on CPAN) and I am one of the PAUSE
administrators (although the most junior).

In the interests of full disclosure I am not a Catalyst user myself,
while I do know a number of the core developers. My interests lie
primarily in providing continuity for CPAN users, and maintaining the
integrity of the namespace.

All of the core development team have personally and individually agreed
to accept my terms for the mediation of this dispute.

Under the terms of my mediation I have insisted on complete silence from
the core development team on the situation until it was resolved.

The mailing list has also been moderated to prevent any speculation
here, although I'm happy to say that it has not been necessary and no
messages have been blocked.

While discussions have been in progress, uploads of Catalyst have been
re-enabled, but limited to only urgent bug fix releases.

At 5pm Monday 1st May 2006 GMT a series of meetings over the past few
days to resolve the dispute ended, and I'm happy to state that all
points of contention have been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

*** CHANGES ***

The following actions will be occurring as a result, commencing 6pm
Monday 1st May 2006 GMT.

---------------------------------------------------

Sebastian Riedel has chosen to step down from the core development team,
and will no longer be involved in the development of the Catalyst core
distribution, or in the general technical planning for the Catalyst Web
Framework.

While a few specific plugins will be passed to the core team, he has a
number of plugins he will continue to maintain and develop. He will
still be around in IRC and on the mailing lists, and will continue to
remain involved with Catalyst generally.

Sebastian will be creating a new separate framework, currently codenamed
"Woodstock", which will be a ground-up reimplementation of a
Catalyst-like framework. He will use Woodstock to explore new concepts
relating to web MVC-style systems.

Woodstock will be announced properly on this list by Sebastian in a few
weeks.

----------------------------------------------------

Christian Hansen, Marcus Ramberg, Jesse Sheidlower, Andy Grundman, Matt
Trout and Yuval Kogman will remain on the Catalyst core development team.

All current roles will remain unchanged, and in particular Marcus will
remain as release manager.

The main current goals of the Catalyst core development team continue to
be stability, performance and a more paced addition of features, with a
focus on extensibility. Extensive improvements to the documentation are
also expected in the short term.

The Catalyst Roadmap at http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/roadmap will remain
as is, and continues to reflect the specific priorities and schedule for
future releases.

And of course, plugins will remain in the hands of their various
developers and will continue to progress at the same very rapid pace.

------------------------------------------------------

The core development team has recognized that as an Open Source project
Catalyst is now increasingly important as a platform for business
systems, and is being used for increasingly larger projects with their
own planning and risk-management processes, and that Catalyst will need
to be able to integrate with them at a project management level.

As a result, they will be implementing a series of risk-management
strategies to ensure greater certainty and continuity for business users
(and thus of course providing the same for all users).

While some of the details are still being worked out, I am able to
announce the following three additional changes.

-------------------------------------------------------

A charter will be drawn up to outline the underlying goals and
principles, and to provide structure to the technical and organizational
management of the Catalyst Web Framework project.

Details of this will be forthcoming in the following days.

--------------------------------------------------------

An audit will be made of all modules, namespaces and plugins within the
Catalyst:: namespace, and of all modules that are critical dependencies
of the core distribution, to identify any risks that may exist.

Once the audit is complete, additional actions may need to be taken to
address areas of concern.

--------------------------------------------------------

Later this year the core development team will be reforming the PAUSE
permissions information for the Catalyst:: namespace, with the
assistance of the PAUSE administrators (i.e. me).

Using the audit data, all modules and plugins owned by the core
development team will be registered with the modules list to provide
accurate implementation and maturity metadata, and all primary release
rights will be transferred to the release manager.

Instructions will be put in place to allow the orderly succession of
release managers when required.

For those not familiar with PAUSE please also note that there will be no
user-visible changes or implications of any kind as a result of this
permissions reform process.

------------------------------------------------------

Ownership and management of third-party plugins outside the core
development team will of course remain with their respective authors as
normal.

More details of these changes will be announced over the coming weeks.

This concludes my involvement in this matter, and releases the involved
parties from their communications blackout. As such, you should expect
to see further information from them appearing shortly, and they are now
permitted to answer any questions you might have.

*** MORE INFORMATION ***

If you would like more information, please see the URLs list *first*,
where more information will appear over the next 24 hours, and continue
to appear over the next few days.

Again, note that there will be a 24 hour lockout period commencing from
this email. Any immediate questions should be addressed to the wiki FAQ
page below, since they are very likely to become "frequent".

This announcement has been timed so that a large number of the core
development team will be active in IRC if you require immediate answers
to any questions.

Please do *not* respond to this email or to me directly with any
questions, as my involvement in public under the terms of the mediation
is limited to *only* this summary and announcement, and I am not in a
position to answer any of your questions.

Thank you all for your time.

Adam Kennedy

- Catalyst Homepage
http://www.catalystframework.org/

- Catalyst Development Website
http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/

- Catalyst Roadmap
http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/roadmap

- Wiki page specifically for your Reorganization questions
http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/wiki/ReOrg

- Blog of Marcus Ramberg, the Catalyst Release Manager
http://marcusramberg.livejournal.com/tag/catalyst

- Blog of Sebastian Riedel
http://use.perl.org/~sri/journal/

- Catalyst IRC channel
irc://irc.perl.org/catalyst

- Woodstock IRC channel
irc://irc.perl.org/woodstock
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3 responses

  • Christopher H. Laco at May 2, 2006 at 12:41 pm
    Adam Kennedy wrote:
    [big snip]

    I must say that out of all of the team/dev disputes I've witnessed over
    the last few years, this one appears to have been handled in a most
    professional manner. I think that says something about the software
    itself, and all of the people involved, including the mediator.

    -=Chris

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  • Phil Mitchell at May 3, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    On 5/2/06, Christopher H. Laco wrote:
    Adam Kennedy wrote:
    [big snip]

    I must say that out of all of the team/dev disputes I've witnessed over
    the last few years, this one appears to have been handled in a most
    professional manner. I think that says something about the software
    itself, and all of the people involved, including the mediator.

    I'd like to echo that and also express my thanks to the *whole* dev team for
    this software. I am really grateful for it.

    -phil

    -=Chris


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  • Scott Karns at May 3, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    Phil Mitchell wrote:

    On 5/2/06, *Christopher H. Laco* <claco at chrislaco.com
    wrote:

    Adam Kennedy wrote:
    [big snip]

    I must say that out of all of the team/dev disputes I've witnessed
    over
    the last few years, this one appears to have been handled in a most
    professional manner. I think that says something about the software
    itself, and all of the people involved, including the mediator.


    I'd like to echo that and also express my thanks to the *whole* dev
    team for this software. I am really grateful for it.
    +10

    --
    Scott Karns

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