As you may know, I am very involved in the Apache CouchDB project. I really like contributing because the community is cool and CouchDB is an awesome piece of software.
Recently the invitation to become an Apache Software Foundation Member dropped into my mailbox. Wow! I am relly honoured and I accepted the invitation. Thanks a lot to Noah Slater who suggested me and started the election.
So what is a member? To be honnest, I did not know when I became a Apache CouchDB committer last November. The ASF has a quite simple structure:
Everyone who is using ASF software
People who are contributing to a project by sending code patches, writing blog posts or articles. They do not have further rights to commit code for example.
When someone is contributing a lot, he will eventually be invited to become a committer and will be granted access rights to infrastructure used. We call that simply commit bits.
Each project has a Project Management Committee. Committers will be asked to join the PMC when they continuously committ to the project and help to organise the project affairs.
Every project has a chair. The chair will automatically become a member because he should be able to state his opinion in the ASF affairs.
The ASF members are helping to control the ASF affairs. So members are not bound to a specific project but are an global instance. Mostly, they contribute to more projects.
The board is overseeing the ASF activities and is elected by the members annually.
This is just a simple summary of the ASF structure. There also many processes and bylaws. If interested, you can find a lot of information at the ASF website. Or - simply ask me :)
I am really looking forward to contribute to the ASF. I think the ASF is a great place for Open Source Software and I encourage you to check out the website. I am sure you are already using ASF software. Did you know, that 60% of the websites you are surfing on are run with a Apache Webserver and that the Open Source Office Software you are likely using is also an ASF project?