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From Avinash Lakshman <>
Subject Re: working together
Date Wed, 08 Apr 2009 03:11:31 GMT
Point #1 I would love to have committers from outside but the way this
happened took all of us by surprise. Granted we were not on the list but if
I were one of the committers I would have definitely pinged one of the other
committters and asked them as to whether they knew what the hell was going
on. Anyway this is water under bridge now. I hate bitter confrontation since
it doesn't take anyone forward but only leaves a bitter taste in everyone's
mouth. I have had many personal conversations with Jonathan via chat and I
have nothing personal against anyone, perhaps not everyone but definitely
nothing against Jonathan.
The part that is very disconcerting are the following:
(1) If one becomes a committer one is not expected to blitz through the code
base and start refactoring everything. There is a way this needs to be
handled. In any organization one doesn't just go about ripping out everyone
else's code for no rhyme or reason. That will offend anybody. I personally
would not go about ripping someone else's code apart if I had become
committer. It is just that respect ought to be there. There is a way to get
this done. Changes to code because person X likes something to be in some
particular form and going and just changing that in person Y's code is just
plain wrong. It borders on arrogance which is not the way things should be
done. If I become a committer on Hadoop can I just go and start ripping
apart every class and start making changes just because I don't like the
coding style. This is a premature project on Apache and I think we need to
keep the original developers in the loop till everyone has some degree of
confidence on the changes made by new committers.

(2) This is something that I have said many times over. Certain things are
the way they are for a reason. For example when I say ConcurrentHashMap is a
memory hog I say it because we have seen this in practice. How does it
manifest itself? I obviously do not recall since all this was over a year
ago. No one can claim to have run tests the way we have in the last year and
a half. One cannot just run some simple test and say well I do not see the
problem. I am not dumb. Anyone having gone through the exercise of having
built a system like this in an organization will realize that the tests are
very intermingled with the organization's infrastructure. I have no time to
rip that all apart and put together a test suite at this point. This is just
an example. There are many such instances - after all - we are the ones who
have the operational experience with this and I do not think anyone can
claim to understand the behavior this system in production workloads better
than we do.

My understanding was that new committers come in and start with some feature
implement that and then slowly start looking into what more they could do
going forward. It is NOT come in and refactor the hell out of the system
because you like something to be in a specific way. I do not beleive this
will fly in any community. It is something like we now going through the
entire code base and changing all the stuff just because I like it in a
specific way. This seems ludicrous. We may have no experience in open source
but we understand etiquette very well. This just doesn't seem the way things
work in other Apache projects which are successful. We work very closely
with two committers from the Hadoop project who were flabbergasted with the
refactor changes that were going in. That is my gripe with the whole thing.


On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 7:30 PM, Jonathan Ellis <> wrote:

> On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 3:10 PM, Torsten Curdt <> wrote:
> > So the problems I am seeing are:
> >
> > 1. We elected a committer without real community consensus. The
> > barrier of entry was unnatural low on this one. On the other hand we
> > need non-FB committers for the graduation. The more the better. (No
> > reason for low entry barrier though!)
> It's unfortunate that Avinash and Prashant weren't part of the
> process.  Still, when I talked to Avinash on March 1, he told me [and
> this is a direct quote] "If I had known you earlier I would have added
> you as a committer."  So when I asked one of the mentors how to become
> a committer and it worked out from there it did not occur to me that
> anything was wrong.
> >
> > 2. A missing definition of development process:
> >  - What is considered a valid code review?
> >  - How much are changes discussed up-front?
> I think we have a handle on this now.  All changes are put on Jira for
> review and are not committed until there is at least one +1 from a
> reviewer.  (I personally prefer post-commit review because manually
> attaching and applying patches is tedious but we don't have enough
> people following the commit log for that to work right now.)
> >  - What is the roadmap? ...for whom? (weighted as a community)
> That's worth a separate thread. Such as this one. :)
> > 3. Is trunk considered "stable"? Or aren't we missing a stable branch
> > for the required stability? Once we have the separation between stable
> > and trunk: Will patches really find it's way from trunk into stable?
> > Is Facebook OK with that approach. Will everyone cope with the
> > additional work of merging? Would it be useful ...or overkill to use
> > merge tracking?
> I'm happy to assist with merging code to or from stable branches in
> this scenario.
> > This is a tough situation but I hope everyone sees this as an
> > opportunity. Please let's discuss this openly in civilize manner.
> > Focusing on how to solve these points rather than looking at the past.
> > Please talk to each other. Can you/we work this out together?
> This can still be a win/win for everyone.  I think that historically
> facebook has felt like the community hasn't contributed much of value,
> but we're starting to change that. The build and test process is
> dramatically better than it was before thanks to community
> contributions.  We have a real daemon mode.  (Well, not in the purest
> sense, but it runs in the background nicely w/o nohup or screen. :)
> We've also found and fixed several concurrency bugs, and we're well on
> the way to having remove and range queries implemented.
> Our IRC population has more than doubled.  (#cassandra on freenode:
> for a web client)  We have a chance to make this more than a niche
> project.
> -Jonathan

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