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From Thomas Weise <...@apache.org>
Subject Contribution Process before PR
Date Mon, 16 Jan 2017 03:50:22 GMT
Hi,

I want to propose additions to the contributor guidelines that place
stronger emphasis on open collaboration and the early part of the
contribution process.

Specifically, I would like to suggest that *thought process* and *design
discussion* are more important than the final code produced. It is
necessary to develop the community and invest in the future of the project.

I start this discussion based on observation over time. I have seen cases
(non trivial changes) where code and JIRAs appear at the same time, where
the big picture is discussed after the PR is already open, or where
information that would be valuable to other contributors or users isn't on
record.

Let's consider a non-trivial change or a feature. It would normally start
with engagement on the mailing list to ensure time is well spent and the
proposal is welcomed by the community, does not conflict with other
initiatives etc.

Once that is cleared, we would want to think about design, the how in the
larger picture. In many cases that would involve discussion, questions,
suggestions, consensus building towards agreed approach. Or maybe it is
done through prototyping. In any case, before a PR is raised, it will be
good to have as prerequisite that *thought process and approach have been
documented*. I would prefer to see that on the JIRA, what do others think?

Benefits:

* Contributor does not waste time and there is no frustration due to a PR
being turned down for reasons that could be avoided with upfront
communication.

* Contributor benefits from suggestions, questions, guidance of those with
in depth knowledge of particular areas.

* Other community members have an opportunity to learn from discussion, the
knowledge base broadens.

* Information gets indexed, user later looking at JIRAs will find valuable
information on how certain problems were solved that they would never
obtain from a PR.

The ASF and "Apache Way", a read for the bigger picture with more links in
it:
http://krzysztof-sobkowiak.net/blog/celebrating-17-years-of-the-apache-software-foundation/

Looking forward to feedback and discussion,
Thomas

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