Policy question: What happens when projects merge?


Nick Young
 

Hi TOC, and everyone else,


With the successful launch of Envoy Gateway, there's a question about what to do about Contour's lifecycle as an incubated project in the CNCF.


I firmly believe that Envoy Gateway's launch is a huge win for the cloud native landscape, and the deduplication of effort possible by having us all working together will prove worthwhile once we get something built.


Normally, there's a (reasonable) requirement for incubating projects to show motion in the direction of becoming graduated, and a timeline to become graduated. But it seems to me that graduation implies a level of "this will be supported for the foreseeable future" that I don't know is viable for Contour.


VMware has committed to ensuring our maintenance of the project will be ongoing until users are ready to move away, see [our blog](https://blogs.vmware.com/opensource/2022/05/16/contour-and-community-build-new-envoy-gateway/) for more details. To summarize that blog, Contour's VMware maintainers will be helping to ensure that current users of Contour are looked after with features and support as long as possible, Wearing my Contour maintainer hat, we're an incubating project that will, within the next year or two, be mostly obsoleted by a functional, production-ready Envoy Gateway.  This implies that I need to figure out what we're going to do about Contour's incubation status.


The scenario I had assumed is that Contour may not graduate, and personally this makes me a little sad, but I recognize the larger opportunity that Envoy Gateway represents for the cloud native community. I know this situation hasn't come up before, but I suspect that this won't be the last time that CNCF projects interact in this fashion. I’d definitely like the TOC’s guidance here rather than making assumptions though.


Should Contour stay in incubating until Envoy Gateway is a viable alternative and users have moved away, then be archived? The timeline for this I would see as at least two years.


I personally see this as a successful exit for Contour, and have heard it referred to as "the open-source version of being acquired", but it would be nice for the TOC to give both us and other projects who may run into this situation in the future some guidance here.


Thanks for your time, everyone!


Nick Young

Wearing two of my maintainer hats for this email (Contour and Envoy Gateway).


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