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Apache Whimsy Project Overview

Apache Whimsy is a collection of useful organizational tools used by the ASF and Apache committers to access and manipulate data about Apache people, projects, and processes. Whimsy is both an Apache PMC, this codebase, and the live deployed instance of

The ASF's Whimsy instance hosts static content, repository checkouts/clones, CGI scripts, Rack applications, Node.js applications, tools, and cron jobs. Note: features accessing private ASF data are restricted to committers, Members, or Officers of the ASF.

Every commit pushed to master is deployed within minutes to using GitPubSub.

Build Status

How Tos and Get The Code

Whimsy source code is hosted at: and mirrored for Apache committers at:

How To Get Involved!

Since Whimsy hosts many independent tools that make finding or updating information at the ASF simpler, there are plenty of places for Apache committers to get involved. Bugs or improvement suggestions for the many tools available on Whimsy or list of public datafiles are always appreciated, and please join us on the public #whimsy channel on Slack.

If you have an idea for a new Whimsy tool, email us! The PMC supports a rich server environment, so deploying a new tool is as simple as proposing a .cgi with a bit of Ruby code. We also have deployments of Rack and Sinatra apps, and use JavaScript and Wunderbar for most of the UI building in many tools. The Whimsy server also supports direct access to Apache SVN or git repositories, making consuming data simple.

The Whimsy committers are always looking for new ideas to improve processes at Apache, and we can either help you get started or suggest how to approach just about any sort of "find this ASF data and streamline that process" ideas.

Most documentation is in the code or in the repo, and our dev@whimsical mailing list is active. Note that many Whimsy tools access committer- or member-private data, so some tools are access restricted.

Historical note: The live production server was used for the board agenda tool and more before we became the Apache Whimsy top level project. That's why is the production server, and mailing lists and a homepage are hosted on the domain.

Whimsy Architecture - Live Instance

Whimsy is run in an Apache hosted VM with httpd, Rack, Ruby, and variety of other tools that directly interface with various parts of Apache organizational records.

Details for each type of deployed tool or script:

  • Static content Changes pushed to GitHub master will be automatically deployed - every commit triggers the puppet agent to do an update, which may take a few minutes. Note that this includes the contents of scripts and applications too.

  • Repository checkouts/clones An copy of a number of repositories are updated every 10 minutes via a cron job. This is controlled by repository.yml. The whimsy VM is also subscribed to board@ and scans those emails for commit messages and will update the copy of foundation/board when commits happen.

  • CGI scripts any dependencies listed in a Gemfile will automatically be installed. A simple CGI:

  • Authentication for CGI Scripts See the FAQ.

  • Rack applications run under Phusion Passenger under Apache httpd. Again, Gemfiles are used to specify dependencies. In addition to simply checking the application, one line per passenger application needs to be added to the puppet file under 'passenger:` as seen in

    A sample rack application (two empty directories, and a one line file):

    Authentication requirements will also need to be two phase, like with CGI above; but more common conditions can be handled at the "Rack" level instead of at the application level making use of Rack middleware such as:

  • Cron jobs are managed by puppet. See deployment for more information.

  • NEW! Node.js is being prototyped to improve the Board Agenda tool, stay tuned.

  • Generated JSON data files are automatically generated into the /public directory, to cache frequently used data for whimsy and other applications. These are usually run from a cron calling a www/roster/public_*.rb file. See also an overview of data dependencies and flow.

  • Data models for many Whimsy tools are in lib/whimsy/asf, and most views for tools are stored in www. Note that Whimsy has a wide variety of sometimes unrelated tools, so not everything here uses the same models.