Definition ” ASF ” What is the Apache Software Foundation?
As a non-profit organization, the Apache Software Foundation is committed to making free software publicly available under the Apache License. It deals in particular with questions concerning intellectual property rights.
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The Apache Software Foundation stands for community-driven software development.
(Image: Apache Software Foundation)
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) works as a non-profit software organization on a voluntary basis. The aim is to promote Apache software products and projects. This includes the well-known Apache web server. The Apache Software Foundation was founded in 1999 and was originally known as the Apache Group.
The ASF aims to make the resources of Apache software solutions available to the public. Therefore, it is particularly concerned with the intellectual property rights of Apache products. Likewise, the Apache Software Foundation provides legal protection for volunteers working on freely accessible software projects.
The protection of the trademark “Apache” is also one of the obligations of the ASF. The Apache Software Foundation uses a colorful feather as its logo. This can also be found on many products from the Apache environment. The name choice “Apache” should pay tribute to the North American Indian tribe.
The ASF has the self-image of a meritocratic, performance-oriented group. Individuals become members through their contributions and the quality of their work. Only active members and contributors are eligible for membership. A prerequisite for membership is to make valuable contributions to open source projects.
The Apache Software Foundation also organizes various congresses and events. The ASF aims to promote working models for the developer community. In particular, such work, which contributes to the representation of the ASF team, should be promoted. As of December 2020, the Apache Software Foundation had a total of 872 members.
Organisation and cooperation
The Apache Software Foundation is a distributed community. Several developers in a community work together on one or more projects. It is about open source projects, i.e. those with open source code. The aim is to promote and make available the software projects.
The development community is characterized by e-collaboration (i.e. cooperation with electronic media) and drives technical development. The result of the work is made available to the public under a license that complies with the principles of open source.
The community of developers works interdisciplinary towards certain milestones. Important decisions are determined by the distributed members in a democratic way. Characteristic for projects from the Apache environment is an approach characterized by a discussion-friendly development process. The community attaches great importance to the active participation of various selected teams of experts in the projects. Another distinctive feature is the pragmatic Apache license. This can also be used and adapted by external open source projects.
Who is involved in the Apache Software Foundation?
Apache is not to be understood as an enterprise, but as a distributed project. The experts involved in the Apache Software Foundation are spread all over the world. They develop software concepts for various applications and according to individual user preferences. The foundation, which was founded in Delaware, North America, is based on the development spirit of the contributors involved worldwide.
Basically, everyone who has expertise in software development and wants to bring it into the work of the ASF is welcome in the Foundation. The positions that developers can take at ASF follow the logic of meritocracy. They therefore depend on the services provided and the personal commitment. This includes know-how and activity.
Projects of the Apache Software Foundation
The project work of the Apache Software Foundation is extensive. An overview exists in the form of a project list on the ASF website. This is continuously updated. The development work of the Apache-experts is also summarized in the Form of numerous statistics. In principle, a distinction must be made between current projects, new projects and dormant projects. A further classification of the ASF projects is based on the categories and departments. These include big data, library solutions, servers, artificial intelligence (AI) or cloud computing.
Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between open and closed projects when working on projects. Open projects are processed according to the open source logic in worldwide cooperation. Closed projects are characterized by the cooperation of a few developers in closed circles. In 20 years of development work, about 200 projects from the Apache environment have proven themselves and thus made the leap into concrete company use.
Numerous other projects from specialist areas ranging from big data to machine learning are continuously undergoing the qualification process. Most Apache projects are implemented in Java. However, the open standards also allow Apache projects to be implemented in other scripting languages such as C / C++. This makes executable versions and source code archives available for operating systems such as Windows and Linux/Unix.
One of the most famous projects is the founding project of ASF, the Apache HTTP server. It has existed since 1995 (before the founding of ASF) and is currently the market leader among HTTP servers.