|Founded||March 25, 1999|
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is an American non-profit corporation (classified as a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States) to support Apache software projects, including the Apache HTTP Server. The ASF was formed from the Apache Group and incorporated on March 25, 1999.
The Apache Software Foundation is a decentralized open source community of developers. The software they produce is distributed under the terms of the Apache License and is free and open-source software (FOSS). The Apache projects are characterized by a collaborative, consensus-based development process and an open and pragmatic software license. Each project is managed by a self-selected team of technical experts who are active contributors to the project. The ASF is a meritocracy, implying that membership of the foundation is granted only to volunteers who have actively contributed to Apache projects. The ASF is considered a second generationopen-source organization, in that commercial support is provided without the risk of platform lock-in.
Among the ASF's objectives are: to provide legal protection to volunteers working on Apache projects; to prevent the Apache brand name from being used by other organizations without permission.
The history of the Apache Software Foundation is linked to the Apache HTTP Server, development beginning in February 1993. A group of eight developers started working on enhancing the NCSA HTTPd daemon. They came to be known as the Apache Group. On March 25, 1999, the Apache Software Foundation was formed. The first official meeting of the Apache Software Foundation was held on April 13, 1999, and by general consent that the initial membership list of the Apache Software Foundation, would be: Brian Behlendorf, Ken Coar, Miguel Gonzales, Mark Cox, Lars Eilebrecht, Ralf S. Engelschall, Roy T. Fielding, Dean Gaudet, Ben Hyde, Jim Jagielski, Alexei Kosut, Martin Kraemer, Ben Laurie, Doug MacEachern, Aram Mirzadeh, Sameer Parekh, Cliff Skolnick, Marc Slemko, William (Bill) Stoddard, Paul Sutton, Randy Terbush and Dirk-Willem van Gulik. After a series of additional meetings to elect board members and resolve other legal matters regarding incorporation, the effective incorporation date of the Apache Software Foundation was set to June 1, 1999.
The foundation state that the name 'Apache' was chosen "from respect for the Native American Apache Nation, well known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance." It also makes a pun on "a patchy web server"--a server made from a series of patches--but this was not its origin. The group of developers who released this new software soon started to call themselves the "Apache Group".
Apache divides its software development activities into separate semi-autonomous areas called "top-level projects" (formally known as a "Project Management Committee" in the bylaws), some of which have a number of sub-projects. Unlike some other organizations that host FOSS projects, before a project is hosted at Apache it has to be licensed to the ASF with a grant or contributor agreement. In this way, the ASF gains the necessary intellectual property rights for the development and distribution of all its projects.
The ASF board of directors has responsibility for overseeing the ASF's activities and acting as a central point of contact and communication for its projects. The board assigns corporate issues, assigning resources to projects, and manages corporate services, including funds and legal issues. It does not make technical decisions about individual projects; these are made by the individual Project Management Committees. The board is elected annually by members of the foundation.
In the 2010-11 fiscal year, the Foundation took in $539,410.00 almost entirely from grants and contributions with $12,349.00 from two ApacheCons. With no employees and 2663 volunteers, it spent $270,846 on infrastructure, $92,364 on public relations, and $17,891 on two ApacheCons.