Apache FAQ

What is the Apache Software Foundation?

"The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits contributors potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products.
Formerly known as the Apache Group, the Foundation has been incorporated as a membership-based, not-for-profit corporation in order to ensure that the Apache projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers. Individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to collaborative open-source software development, through sustained participation and contributions within the Foundation's projects, are eligible for membership in the ASF. An individual is awarded membership after nomination and approval by a majority of the existing ASF members. Thus, the ASF is governed by the community it most directly serves -- the people collaborating within its projects.
The ASF members periodically elect a Board of Directors to manage the organizational affairs of the Foundation, as accorded by the ASF Bylaws. The Board, in turn, appoints a number of officers to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Foundation. A number of public records of our operation are made available to the community. A more detailed explanation of How the ASF works in terms of day to day operations is available."
Please see http://www.apache.org/foundation/ for more information.
What is a Committer?

A committer is an individual who was given write access to one or more of the codebases hosted by the ASF. A useful link for new committers is the committer FAQ.

What is a Primary Members Committee?

Project Management Committee (PMC) is responsible to the board for the proper management of an Apache project. The PMC is the vehicle through which decision making power and responsibility for oversight is devolved to developers. A useful link for new PMC members is the PMC FAQ.

Apache Local Mentors Program:

The following is from my post regarding my participation in the Apache local mentor program. I've since given a pair of talks at Memorial University to Computer Science students as part of  their software methodology course (Fall 2010, and  Winter 2011).

"Some of you may have heard of the Apache Community Development project, but for those of you who haven't, our aim here is to help newcomers to The Apache Software Foundation take their first steps on their way to being a part of our community.

As part of this, we've set up a new program - the Local Mentors Program, which aims to help people new to open source have a quick chat with someone more experienced who happens to live near them.

If you're a new committer:
If you'd like to learn some more about how the ASF works, discover how other projects have solved problems you might be having, get tips on contributing, or even just see your first friendly face from the ASF, then please use the local mentors program to find someone near you! Once you've identified someone near you, drop them a quick email, and hopefully meet them for a pint / coffee / etc and a chat. You might want to wait a few days for more people to sign up though!

If you're an existing committer:
Remembering back to when you first got involved in Apache, you may recall it a little daunting, you may have had some fun with timezones or language barriers, or just with how to get more involved. With that experience in mind, we'd love it if you could take the odd hour to enjoy a drink with someone near you who's in a similar situation at the moment!"