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From sebb <>
Subject Re: Unnecessary SVN commits [was: svn commit: r1691273 - in /comdev/ doap/cxf/cxf.rdf doap/httpd/httpd.rdf json/foundation/projects.json json/projects/cxf.json json/projects/httpd.json]
Date Mon, 20 Jul 2015 00:43:11 GMT
On 19 July 2015 at 14:18, Hervé BOUTEMY <> wrote:
> time to explain what I have in mind, because I understand the reactions about
> these svn content questions: but I need to explain why I think that it's not a
> bug, it's a feature :)
> 1. generated json files in svn
> even if they are generated, these ones are IMHO useful to ease people just
> wanting to work on information rendering, ie the site's html+javascript

The current files can still be accessed from the web server; they
don't have to be in SVN to be useful.

> Experience with releases.json not being in svn in the first place told me that
> not having whole json content in svn was just increasing barrier to commits
> from whole ASF committers to projects directory visualization

Or maybe it was just that the file formats were not clearly documented.

> 2. doap files in svn (copies of parsed content or generated ones)
> From the beginning of my work on projects-new, I had a question in mind: is
> DOAP itself a problem (since not easy, not well understood), or are there just
> problems about the way DOAP is used and explained to ASF committers (= not
> DOAP experts, if DOAP experts exist)?
> Any discussion on this list about that question lead to some people wanting to
> simply drop DOAP, because for them, implicitely, the format itself/only was
> the problem, without answering previous question (and without providing a
> better alternative = the show stopper for me: no, simply telling "json" is not
> a sufficient answer, there has at least to be a schema)

Abandoning DOAP and using JSON will just lead to exactly the same
problem down the line: *unless* the JSON schema is well designed and
documented. Likewise for any other replacement.

It's usually obvious to the code/data developers who create the
initial codebase how everything hangs together, but as the codebase
matures the detailed knowledge will be lost unless it is documented.
It's usually possible to tweak existing code to make small fixes
without fully understanding the whole, but without a clear
understanding of the way the parts are designed to work together the
code (and data) tends to grow like spaghetti.

The way that the ASF used the DOAP files was not properly documented
originally (it's a bit better now), but that tends to be the way with
developers - documentation is done after the event, if at all. This is
true of many of the new JSON files.

Note that when we refer to DOAP in this context we are referring to
the XML representation.
There might be a different representation that is easier to use.

After all, we are trying to describe projects, so Description Of A
Project should be a good fit, even if using XML to define the DOAP is
not so suitable.

Do we really want to design a new DOAP schema using JSON?

> Then my first steps were:
> - improve projects new site and switch from projects old, as each project page
> on projects-new more clearly shows information that comes from the project's
> DOAP file (IMHO, projects old was failing at this, no pun intended): we'll see
> if ASF committers can improve their DOAP files (as some already did since the
> switch)

Yes, better presentation of the data should help to persuade PMCs to
fix/improve their data.

> - the new DOAP listings location, that is like projects old, but simplified
> since only focused on DOAP listings and content (no code):
> These are only the first steps IMHO before deciding if we should continue with
> DOAP or find a better alternative (yet to be found/proposed).
> I see 2 other steps:
> - clarify what committee DOAP files (also called "PMC descriptors") are
> supposed to contain, and how projects (maintained by the committees) are
> supposed to link to the committee. As discussed previously, current convention
> [1] is really strange.

I expect there was a good reason for this at the time, but the "magic"
behaviour of the URL is a bad idea in retrospect. Less typing, but
lots more special-case code.

> And PMC members list are easier updated automatically
> from committee-info.txt than manually.

Yes; that is waiting on INFRA-9942 which seems to have been ignored.
Perhaps you can prod infra as well.

> - prefer to
> IMHO, /doap/ in projects site, with every ASF committer commit access, and its
> per-committee directory containing both PMC descriptor and projects DOAP
> descriptors would be easier to understand and maintain than an XML listing in
> svn then descriptors in a lot of different places
> And this would give a good canonical url for each DOAP file (easing work on
> previous item)

Agreed it would be easier to have a central location to maintain the DOAPs.
I tried a similar with Commons, however several people wanted to keep
the DOAPs with the project code.

But perhaps if all the DOAPs are together then the objection will be
overcome - at least there is a canonical location for them.

And it would be a lot easier to fix the typos and syntax errors if all
the files were co-located.

Note that this will require a good naming convention to avoid clashes
and keep track of everything.

But in the meantime, I still think it would be better to take local
copies and not commit them to SVN.

> I know this is a long post: sorry, could not make it shorter.
> Switching from projects old to projects new without changing much things to
> DOAP sources was only the beginning of a story: we need to define next steps.

What data needs to be collected by PMCs?
In what format is it stored?
Where is it stored?

These would probably be better discussed on a Wiki.

> Regards,
> Hervé
> [1] see 2 last bullets:
> - PMCs can be referenced as an rdf:resource that points at
> http://<pmc> e.g.
> <asfext:pmc rdf:resource="" />.
> In this case, the PMC descriptor file must be called <pmc>.rdf and must be
> stored in the directory:
> - PMCs descriptors can also be stored anywhere else (e.g. on the TLP website
> or in SVN), in which case they must be referenced using the full URL, for
> example
> <asfext:pmc rdf:resource="" />
> Le dimanche 19 juillet 2015 09:48:17 sebb a écrit :
>> On 15 July 2015 at 22:11,  <> wrote:
>> > Author: hboutemy
>> > Date: Wed Jul 15 21:11:32 2015
>> > New Revision: 1691273
>> >
>> > URL:
>> > Log:
>> > import projects DOAP files updates
>> >
>> > Modified:
>> >     comdev/
>> >     comdev/
>> >     comdev/
>> >     comdev/
>> >     comdev/
>> Why are these copies being committed to SVN?
>> Projects-old makes do with a local copy of the files which it keeps in
>> sync with the ones listed in files.xml
>> It seems wasteful and unnecessary to create new backup copies in SVN.
>> AFAICT they are bound to be out of date as they are committed manually.
>> Furthermore there is also a  danger that the wrong copy may be updated
>> by someone.

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