James Governor's Monkchips

Happy Birthday Apache: See you at the keynote

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So Apache is ten years old today. The project that changed the world, proving open source could “move up the stack”. Indeed Apache became first the de facto standard web server pretty much right from launch (I would love to know how many web pages Apache has served in that time!). While other open source projects made efforts to “catch up with” proprietary equivalents, Apache immediately took a leadership position and never looked back.

Apache today is a very different animal. Its now an incubator and delivery organisation for world-changing technologies such as Lucene (text search and retrieval) and Hadoop (mass data processing). When you see a company like WS02 emerge and create a thorough SOA stack in under 18 months you can bet they are standing on the shoulders of giants. Well Apache is the home of giants.

Enough gush. You know that RedMonk are fans of open source and open source business models. Well Apache is apparently returning the favour. I am keynoting ApacheCon Europe tomorrow afternoon. I am going to lay out how RedMonk learned from open source, agitated for open source, and finally… became open source.

If you’re interested (of course you are!) Apache is going to make all the keynotes available, including mine, first as streaming video and then as recordings on the LinuxPro site. Oh man- I can see the twitter back-channel now 😉 Today was all about Hadoop – and there should be some great content available. Check it out.

And for those of you that live stateside its time to mark your calendars. ApacheCon, the Big 10th Birthday Party, will be no November 2-6th in Oakland.


  1. How can apache be 10 today, I remember doing apache builds in 1996 on Domain OS machines at college?

  2. ha ha ha. they mean as an organisation, not the core web server

  3. Yes, it is The Apache Software Foundation that is 10 years old. The web server has been around since 1996 (1992 if you start from the NCSA server).

    More info on the birthday available in a letter from Jim Jagielski, the ASF chairman, at http://www.apache.org/foundation/press/letter_2009_03_25.html

  4. The web server has been around since 95. The foundation was formed as a legal umbrella in 99.

  5. Thanks for coming to ApacheCon Europe 2009 for the afternoon keynote! It was some great commentary about how people over process – or how I put it, community over code – can be applied to other organizations and endeavors.

    If folks are interested in congratulating the ASF on it’s 10th anniversary, please post a comment on our new, official ASF blog.

  6. For more on this, see the hilarious story For the love of Hacking. In brief, IBM wanted to enage with Apache, but Apache was then just a web site. IBM created ASF so it would have entity to sign a contract. IBM then organized the first conference, and it was there that many of the contributors met in person for the first time.

    This was sadly almost the last time IBM sent any meaningful amount of money to ASF. I worked for a couple of years to shake some funds out from the tree to no avail, though I was able to prevent IBM from firing Ken Coar back in 2004.

    However, our luck ran out, and both of us were sent packing in late February. Soon 5,000 more ex IBMer’s will join us.

    For shame, Sam. For Shame.

  7. By the way, IBM exhausted a raft of programmers before it could come with code good enough to pass the ASF sniff test. I was told that IBM’s initial contribution was actually the work of ten different programmers, even though it was submitted as the work of one.

    This is definite evidence of just how good the ASF programmers are. They are very, very, very good.


  8. Very insightful examination of the evolution of ASF by @monkchips http://bit.ly/bURNW
    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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