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From Jeff Turner <j...@socialchange.net.au>
Subject Re: [ADMIN] process for applying patches
Date Mon, 06 Nov 2000 10:35:53 GMT


On Mon, 6 Nov 2000, Robin Green wrote:

> Giacomo Pati <giacomo@apache.org> wrote:
> >Jeff Turner wrote:
> > >
> > > I think this is a general problem with popular open source projects. 
> >Each
> > > project has to get the committer:contributor ratio right. Assuming 
> >Cocoon
> > > has the right ratio, but still experiences problems...
> > >
> > > A possible solution: ordinary cocoon-devvers "register" themselves as
> > > interested in certain parts of Cocoon. If you a) understand the general
> > > architecture, and b) understand what file X.java does, register your
> > > interest. When someone proposes a patch to X.java, those registered can
> > > review the patch. If the patch looks good, reviewers +1 it on this list.
> > > When a real committer has a chance to review the patch, they can have 
> >much
> > > more confidence in the quality of the patch. Committers can concentrate 
> >on
> > > whether a patch violates design issues, rather than simpler 
> >implementation
> > > issues.
> >
> >My personal opinion about this is that I feel it is too formal. I think
> >commiters and developers should automatically feel responsable for parts of 
> >the
> >system they are interested on.
> 
> Agreed. If there are people who want to review stuff, why aren't they doing 
> so already?

Why should they? The currencies of Open Source are respect and personal
fullfilment. Finding new bugs, and adding new features gives a better
return on one's time investment.

Assuming "patch reviewing" really would help committers significantly (a
big assumption?), one has to overcome the poor "return on investment" to
make it a reality. A formal system, with karma points awarded to dedicated
reviewers, might just provide that extra incentive.

But then it might not. I'd give such a system a 40% chance of success.
Coders just don't behave like good little lab rats in such experiments,
damn them ;) I'll get back to you when I've got more than vapourware and
unsubstantiated theories to discuss ;)

--Jeff

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