*** DRAFT ***

OSSBot will be a Robot that will assist Apache communities to integrate multiple communication channels.


Apache relies on searchable English language archives of important community discussions. "If it didn't happen on list, it didn't happen." Communication channels such as email, JIRA, and GitHub satisfy this requirement, but many social media channels such as WeChat, Dingding, Slack, and others do not. Additionally, communities in China often use Chinese language channels which make it difficult for non-Chinese to follow the discussion.


Many Robots have been created to solve specific requirements that the underlying technology does not directly address. https://github.com/search?q=robot This proposal will specifically target communication issues that have been raised by Chinese Apache communities.


Chinese Apache communities are struggling with the widespread use of WeChat for communications. Some communities have documented that WeChat discussion in Chinese is ok for many purposes but for official communications, email in English is required. This dichotomy is difficult for both new users and experienced project members.

Initial Goals

The proposed Robot will provide a bridge among multiple channels and provide translation services as well as copying services. Specifically, one of the first implementations will accept GitHub issues, translate the contents between Chinese and English, post the messages to an Apache email list, and post the messages to a WeChat group. The WeChat group message will be formatted so that replies to the message will update GitHub directly.

Current Status

There are at least two current projects organized by prospective committers to address these issues. The Alibaba collabobot https://github.com/alibaba/collabobot is a current project that analyzes GitHub projects and does some translation for issues. And another project https://github.com/Chatie/wechaty does some robotry with WeChat. The committers on these projects are proposed committers for the OSSBot podling.


There is widespread interest in Robot technology and Apache communications and we expect that many people will want to collaborate on a solution that makes it easy for people to use their existing preferred communications with Apache projects. As people contribute to the effort their contributions will be recognized by offering them commit privileges.


We are interested in building a community of folks with expertise in robotry and Apache community communications. Initial meetings in Beijing last month kicked off this proposal.

Core Developers:

  • Grace Rui is a committer on the wechaty project
  • Frank Zhao is a committer on the Alibaba collabobot project
  • Huan Li is a committer on the wechaty project
  • Junping Du is an employee of Tencent, the company that owns the WeChat service
  • Ted Liu is an Apache Member and CEO of Kaiyuanshe


Once implemented, we expect that Apache Infrastructure will operate the robot(s) that provide services to Apache projects. Not all projects will need these services, but many projects will want to use them.

Known Risks

The primary developers do not have deep understanding of The Apache Way, so this journey will be a learning experience on all sides.

Project Name

There are many GitHub projects with oss-bot or ossbot in the name. It is likely that a more suitable name will need to be found, such as ApacheBot.

Orphaned products

The need for this project is evident and the project has not yet been created. If it does succeed it is unlikely to be abandoned.

Inexperience with Open Source:

The proposed initial committers all have experience in open source, many with an understanding of the Apache License, v2.0.

Length of Incubation:

We have a short list of initial requirements that will need to be developed over the first several months. Community building will be a matter of identifying committers and contributors primarily from the Chinese TLP and podling projects. Once the project deliverables are integrated into the Apache Infrastructure, we expect graduation to follow.

Homogenous Developers:

The initial committers are from the Chinese community and we expect that new committers will come from other geographies, once the language translation features are understood.

Reliance on Salaried Developers:

There are proposed committers from several companies who have an interest in making this project a success. But none of the developers have this project as their primary work activity.

Relationships with Other Apache Products:

The entire point of this project is to collaborate with other Apache projects to facilitate communications.

A Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand:

All of the proposed committers on the project are interested in robotics at internet scale, and the association with Apache is mutual benefit.



Initial Source

The plan is to develop a new implementation of configurable robots that can be deployed on Apache Infrastructure. It is likely that the deployment configurations will be unique to this project, but the plug-ins to the external services may be extensions to existing projects.

Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan

Three of the proposed committers have already submitted ICLAs and they have been accepted.

External Dependencies:

The existing projects might be brought into this project or might be dependencies. All of the known existing projects already use either Apache License, v2.0 or a compatible (MIT or BSD-like) license.


Not applicable.

Required Resources

Mailing lists:

The name should be determined first.

Git Repositories:

The name should be determined first.

Issue Tracking:

The name should be determined first.

Other Resources:

Once the project has an initial code base, testing will require CI resources. Additionally, a WeChat Work subscription will be needed in order to test and operate the WeChat plug-in.

Initial Committers

  • Grace Rui (ruiruibupt at gmail.com) ICLA
  • Frank Zhao (frank_zsy at tongji.edu.cn) ICLA
  • Huan Li (huan at kaiyuanshe.org) ICLA
  • Junping Du (junping_du at apache.org) ICLA
  • Ted (tedliu at apache.org) ICLA
  • Craig (clr at apache.org) ICLA


Several current Apache sponsors are involved in this project. Among them are Tencent Cloud and Alibaba Cloud.


  • Craig Russell

Nominated Mentors:

  • Craig Russell
  • Junping Du
  • Ted Liu
  • Willem Jiang

Sponsoring Entity:

  • The Incubator
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