[Catalyst] [ANNOUNCE] Changes to the Catalyst Project

Adam Kennedy adam at phase-n.com
Tue May 2 11:29:03 CEST 2006

Greetings everyone.

I'd like to announce some changes to the organization and management of 
the Catalyst Project, effective 6pm Monday 1st May 2006 GMT.

Firstly, note these are non-technical changes, and will have no effect 
on the functionality of any code on the CPAN within the Catalyst:: 

Secondly, due to the nature of these changes I have asked for a 24 hour 
lockout period on this mailing list.

This is to allow websites/blogs/etc time to provide details, and prevent 
a flood of questions on this list. Any general or unrelated emails will 
be queued.

Finally, to skip to the specific changes see the CHANGES heading below, 
and for additional details see the URLs listed at the end of this email.


Over the past few months there has been an increasing level of 
disagreement within the core development team of Catalyst. The details 
are complex and I will not be discussing them, but I can say that it has 
not been caused by any single issue.

It could be best characterized as some general personal, creative and 
project management differences among the core team.

Because this disagreement had begun to escalate to an unacceptable 
level, and was looking like it might rapidly escalate to disruptive 
levels, at 7pm Wednesday 26th April 2006 a group of the core team 
initiated an emergency lockdown of the entire Catalyst project.

The following actions were taken.

- All write access to the subversion repository was shut down.

- All write access to the development trac website, wiki, roadmap and 
ticket tracking was shut down, and the database put into read-only mode.

On a side note, putting the trac database into read-only mode caused an 
unexpected crash of the trac instance, unintentionally taking the site 
off-line for a few hours.

- All PAUSE co-maint privileges to the Catalyst core distribution were 
removed, preventing anybody from uploading new Catalyst releases to the 
CPAN and having the indexer recognize them (due to the jumbled nature of 
the Catalyst namespace permissions).

- All admin accounts for the mailing lists were disabled, and the 
mailing list itself was placed under moderation.

Initial attempts to resolve the dispute among themselves failed, and so 
I was invited to become involved and mediate the dispute.

My name is Adam Kennedy (ADAMK on CPAN) and I am one of the PAUSE 
administrators (although the most junior).

In the interests of full disclosure I am not a Catalyst user myself, 
while I do know a number of the core developers. My interests lie 
primarily in providing continuity for CPAN users, and maintaining the 
integrity of the namespace.

All of the core development team have personally and individually agreed 
to accept my terms for the mediation of this dispute.

Under the terms of my mediation I have insisted on complete silence from 
the core development team on the situation until it was resolved.

The mailing list has also been moderated to prevent any speculation 
here, although I'm happy to say that it has not been necessary and no 
messages have been blocked.

While discussions have been in progress, uploads of Catalyst have been 
re-enabled, but limited to only urgent bug fix releases.

At 5pm Monday 1st May 2006 GMT a series of meetings over the past few 
days to resolve the dispute ended, and I'm happy to state that all 
points of contention have been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

*** CHANGES ***

The following actions will be occurring as a result, commencing 6pm 
Monday 1st May  2006 GMT.


Sebastian Riedel has chosen to step down from the core development team, 
and will no longer be involved in the development of the Catalyst core 
distribution, or in the general technical planning for the Catalyst Web 

While a few specific plugins will be passed to the core team, he has a 
number of plugins he will continue to maintain and develop. He will 
still be around in IRC and on the mailing lists, and will continue to 
remain involved with Catalyst generally.

Sebastian will be creating a new separate framework, currently codenamed 
"Woodstock", which will be a ground-up reimplementation of a 
Catalyst-like framework. He will use Woodstock to explore new concepts 
relating to web MVC-style systems.

Woodstock will be announced properly on this list by Sebastian in a few 


Christian Hansen, Marcus Ramberg, Jesse Sheidlower, Andy Grundman, Matt 
Trout and Yuval Kogman will remain on the Catalyst core development team.

All current roles will remain unchanged, and in particular Marcus will 
remain as release manager.

The main current goals of the Catalyst core development team continue to 
be stability, performance and a more paced addition of features, with a 
focus on extensibility. Extensive improvements to the documentation are 
also expected in the short term.

The Catalyst Roadmap at http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/roadmap will remain 
as is, and continues to reflect the specific priorities and schedule for 
future releases.

And of course, plugins will remain in the hands of their various 
developers and will continue to progress at the same very rapid pace.


The core development team has recognized that as an Open Source project 
Catalyst is now increasingly important as a platform for business 
systems, and is being used for increasingly larger projects with their 
own planning and risk-management processes, and that Catalyst will need 
to be able to integrate with them at a project management level.

As a result, they will be implementing a series of risk-management 
strategies to ensure greater certainty and continuity for business users 
(and thus of course providing the same for all users).

While some of the details are still being worked out, I am able to 
announce the following three additional changes.


A charter will be drawn up to outline the underlying goals and 
principles, and to provide structure to the technical and organizational 
management of the Catalyst Web Framework project.

Details of this will be forthcoming in the following days.


An audit will be made of all modules, namespaces and plugins within the 
Catalyst:: namespace, and of all modules that are critical dependencies 
of the core distribution, to identify any risks that may exist.

Once the audit is complete, additional actions may need to be taken to 
address areas of concern.


Later this year the core development team will be reforming the PAUSE 
permissions information for the Catalyst:: namespace, with the 
assistance of the PAUSE administrators (i.e. me).

Using the audit data, all modules and plugins owned by the core 
development team will be registered with the modules list to provide 
accurate implementation and maturity metadata, and all primary release 
rights will be transferred to the release manager.

Instructions will be put in place to allow the orderly succession of 
release managers when required.

For those not familiar with PAUSE please also note that there will be no 
user-visible changes or implications of any kind as a result of this 
permissions reform process.


Ownership and management of third-party plugins outside the core 
development team will of course remain with their respective authors as 

More details of these changes will be announced over the coming weeks.

This concludes my involvement in this matter, and releases the involved 
parties from their communications blackout. As such, you should expect 
to see further information from them appearing shortly, and they are now 
permitted to answer any questions you might have.


If you would like more information, please see the URLs list *first*, 
where more information will appear over the next 24 hours, and continue 
to appear over the next few days.

Again, note that there will be a 24 hour lockout period commencing from 
this email. Any immediate questions should be addressed to the wiki FAQ 
page below, since they are very likely to become "frequent".

This announcement has been timed so that a large number of the core 
development team will be active in IRC if you require immediate answers 
to any questions.

Please do *not* respond to this email or to me directly with any 
questions, as my involvement in public under the terms of the mediation 
is limited to *only* this summary and announcement, and I am not in a 
position to answer any of your questions.

Thank you all for your time.

Adam Kennedy

- Catalyst Homepage

- Catalyst Development Website

- Catalyst Roadmap

- Wiki page specifically for your Reorganization questions

- Blog of Marcus Ramberg, the Catalyst Release Manager

- Blog of Sebastian Riedel

- Catalyst IRC channel

- Woodstock IRC channel

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