Whimsy is a loose collection of tools that help automate various ASF tasks or information lookup activities.


Utilize mailing lists and other ASF infrastructure to expand the development community.


These current tools are stored in svn and deployed on a virtual machine hosted by ASF infrastructure. Prime examples:

  • Board agenda tool
  • Secretary workbench
  • Roster tool

There also are a few related tools that are hosted separately. An example:

  • New account request


A few of these tools have become useful enough to the point where people are starting to depend on them.

Initial Goals

Expand the pool of people who can:

  • Install one or more of these tools on their own machine
  • Make modifications
  • Run tests
  • Commit and deploy the results

Current Status

The board agenda tool has been restructured, accumulated a suite of test cases, and now can be independently installed in a number of different ways: "natively" or via a Vagrant VM or via a Docker container.

The status of the remaining tools is not so rosy. In particular, the existing deployment instructions are entirely untested.


The overwhelming majority of the participants will be people with a long history at the ASF. Meritocracy will not be a problem.


The user community is fairly broad. The development community, not so much. That needs to be fixed.

Core Developers

At the present time, this is a single individual:

  • Sam Ruby


Almost self evident. (smile) These tools were developed explicitly in support of ASF needs.

Known Risks

Orphaned products

As these tools are widely used, they are unlikely to become orphaned in he near future. This is more of a question of ensuring that others can pick up these tools and make changes.

Inexperience with Open Source


Homogeneous Developers

The current set of initial committers work across a variety of organizations.

Reliance on Salaried Developers

Historically not a problem.

Relationships with Other Apache Products

Not so much with projects, per se. There definitely is a relationship with various ASF offices, in particular Secretary, Infrastructure, and Board.

An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand

Publicity is a non-goal.


Example: https://github.com/rubys/whimsy-agenda#readme

Initial Source


Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan

All the code in question is already hosted on ASF infrastructure and authored by people with ICLAs on file.

External Dependencies

Various existing open source projects. Examples can be found at https://github.com/rubys/whimsy-agenda#readme

Required Resources

Mailing lists

  • private@whimsy.apache.org (moderated subscriptions)
  • commits@whimsy.apache.org
  • dev@whimsy.apache.org
  • issues@whimsy.apache.org


Issue Tracking

Currently whimsy exists as a component in the infra JIRA. I would like to propose a new JIRA project.

Other Resources


Initial Committers

  • Jim Jagielski <jim at apache dot org>
  • Sam Ruby <rubys at apache dot org>
  • Chris Mattmann <mattmann at apache dot org>
  • Ross Gardler <rgardler at apache dot org>
  • Jake Farrell <jfarrell at apache dot org>
  • Shane Curcuru <curcuru at apache dot org>
  • Brett Porter <brett at apache dot org>
  • James Carman <jcarman at apache dot org>


  • Red Hat: Jim Jagielski
  • IBM: Sam Ruby
  • NASA JPL: Chris Mattmann
  • Microsoft: Ross Gardler
  • Acquia: Jake Farrell
  • IBM: Shane Curcuru
  • SafetyCulture: Brett Porter



Sam Ruby

Nominated Mentors

  • Sam Ruby

Sponsoring Entity

ASF Board. Note: this project is expected to go direct to TLP. This wiki page is intended to spark discussion that may influence that path.

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