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From Paul Davis <>
Subject Re: Comments threads on Github
Date Fri, 15 Mar 2013 22:27:17 GMT
On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM, Jan Lehnardt <> wrote:
> On 15.03.2013, at 22:23, Paul Davis <> wrote:
>> Yeah, I'm not sure #3 would fly at the ASF. It might though but I was
>> just trying to say that I would be surprised if we got an OK that it
>> was an acceptable requirement for people to contribute to an ASF
>> project.
> Even with the caveat that we can post it there for them worst case like we already did
with JIRA issues at times?
> Jan
> --

I dunno. I was just pointing out that I wasn't optimistic that it
would be an acceptable mode of communication.

>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM, Noah Slater <> wrote:
>>> I see Paul's argument, but I don't think it's a blocker.
>>> In my head, I imagined something like this:
>>> 1. PR is opened
>>> 2. ASF script sends notification to ML
>>> 3. Someone spots it on the ML, goes to Github, posts a comment
>>> 4. ASF script sends notification of that comment to the ML
>>> 5. Original PR author responds
>>> 6. ASF script sends notification of that comment to the ML
>>> 7. etc...
>>> Each interaction is happening on Github, and what we're seeing is a record
>>> of activity on dev.
>>> Compare this to how we work with JIRA.
>>> Seems perfectly doable to me.
>>> And so what if people have to sign up for a Github account? If they are
>>> really so against it, post something to the list, and ask someone else to
>>> forward on your message, or what have you. I really see no basis for
>>> objection here.
>>> On 15 March 2013 20:43, Jan Lehnardt <> wrote:
>>>> On Mar 15, 2013, at 21:40 , Paul Davis <>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 3:05 PM, Noah Slater <>
>>>>>> Github could be the best thing since sliced patches, but the ASF
>>>> never
>>>>>> place it's primary data on a third party, because being self-sufficient
>>>> and
>>>>>> vendor neutral is one of the founding principals of the organisation.
>>>>>> This makes a lot of sense. Anyone remember Google Code? Remember
>>>>>> AWESOME Google Code was? I even had my website hosted out of it.
>>>> Everyone
>>>>>> was doing cool shit with Google Code. Because it was AWESOME. That
>>>> wasn't
>>>>>> that long ago, when you think about it. CouchDB was in a Google Code
>>>> repos
>>>>>> before we moved to Apache. But now who uses Google Code? I mean,
>>>> seriously.
>>>>>> When you see a project hosted on Google Code, doesn't your heart
>>>> sink
>>>>>> a little bit?
>>>>>> The point being, can you imagine if the ASF had decided to move all
>>>>>> their hosting to Google Code? Can you imagine how embarrassing that
>>>> would
>>>>>> be now? Where would we be today in that world? Would we migrate again?
>>>>>> Github is awesome. And I enjoy using it. And there are many very
>>>> successful
>>>>>> projects who have formed a community around the workflows that it
>>>> offers.
>>>>>> (Hello Node.js people!) And that's awesome. Genuinely. But we are
>>>>>> hosted on Github, and our community is not a Github shape. BUT we
>>>> should do
>>>>>> everything we can to welcome contributions through that channel.
>>>> like
>>>>>> we should work to welcome communications through any channel. Git
>>>> meant
>>>>>> to be decentralised, after all. ;)
>>>>>> Paul, to your points, Jan is chatting to infra about modifying our
>>>> existing
>>>>>> setup so that comments are sent through to the list as well. I am
>>>> crossing
>>>>>> my fingers that this is possible, and that it is reliable enough
for us
>>>> to
>>>>>> use. I am not sure how we're gonna get replies to be posted back,
but if
>>>>>> there's an API, then I don't see why it can't be done.
>>>>> Just to be clear, I think it'd be awesome if someone managed to get
>>>>> this working. I'm just saying that I'm a bit pessimistic here. I think
>>>>> we're agreeing here that getting email notices from GitHub PRs to the
>>>>> dev@ list would be a good step but that getting mailing list updates
>>>>> posted back to the PR is where the rubber meets the road. Without the
>>>>> latter to close the loop there I don't see this as being anything more
>>>>> than annoying to people attempting to contribute via PR as they won't
>>>>> see updates from the list.
>>>> GitHub already allows emailing to Issues and PRs one is participating in.
>>>> I’mma find out how we can make use of that.
>>>>> And I'd also point out that trying to have some sort of policy where
>>>>> we tell people to sign up for a GitHub account to be able to
>>>>> contribute to those discussions doesn't seem like a valid proposition
>>>>> to me.
>>>> Excellent point. I was gonna suggest that we can live with a one-way
>>>> sync for a transitional time, but this argument makes me reconsider.
>>>> Cheers
>>>> Jan
>>>> --
>>>>>> If anyone wants to pitch in with this, please speak up. This would
be a
>>>>>> great way to contribute to the Foundation. This script would likely
>>>> used
>>>>>> by all of the Apache TLPs over time. Decent way to maybe earn some
>>>> browny
>>>>>> points too... ;)
>>>>>> On 15 March 2013 19:39, Paul Davis <>
>>>>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM, matt j. sorenson
>>>>>>> <> wrote:
>>>>>>>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 7:16 AM, Noah Slater <>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Hey folks,
>>>>>>>>> I'd like to bring two things to your attention:
>>>>>>>> ^ I opened that one (obviously(?))
>>>>>>> I suppose if I take the time to click through to your user account
>>>>>>> compare your name to the one used to send this email. Though
not all
>>>>>>> GitHub accounts have a real name anyway so its not always apparent
>>>>>>> who's contributing something even if I do go out of my way to
>>>>>>> out who is who.
>>>>>>>>> These just happen to be two pull requests I looked at
today, there
>>>> are
>>>>>>>>> more.
>>>>>>>>> On the one hand, this is great. Obviously. Any sort of
>>>>>>>>> activity happening around CouchDB is great.
>>>>>>>> thank you!
>>>>>>>>> But on the other hand, this discussion is core development
>>>> discussion,
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> should be happening on the dev list where everybody can
see it.
>>>>>>>> I'm not sure where you get that PR#43 is core dev at all,
plz clarify?
>>>>>>> Its a change to the source code repository.
>>>>>>>>> (This is foundational stuff for an Apache project. Community
>>>>>>>>> should be focused around the mailing lists.
>>>>>>>> (I've already made it known that I don't agree with this
at all)
>>>>>>>>> I get that Github is useful for
>>>>>>>>> people, but we're not a Github project, so our activity
should not be
>>>>>>>>> happening there.)
>>>>>>>>> I don't know what to suggest. Obviously, I think pull
requests are
>>>>>>> great.
>>>>>>>>> And I think the forking model of Github is great, because
it allows
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>>>> to contribute more easily, and in a manner that suits
>>>>>>>> PR#43, for anyone that may have skipped the description and
>>>>>>>> thread there (or who may have commented and then deleted
the comment
>>>>>>>> in a rush of "OMG-i-made-a-PR-comment-instead-of-sending-to-the-ML"
>>>>>>>> ASF policy loyalty silliness) is precisely about surfacing
the Apache
>>>>>>>> CouchDB
>>>>>>>> contribution policy in a "github-official" manner that will
make it
>>>> far
>>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>>> obvious ***to githubbers*** in just the way githubbers have
(or will)
>>>>>>> come
>>>>>>>> to expect!
>>>>>>>> IOW, it aims to greatly aid the very challenge that this
email rant is
>>>>>>>> about.
>>>>>>>>> But on the other hand, we shouldn't be having important
>>>>>>>>> discussions in pull requests.
>>>>>>>> disagree, again.
>>>>>>> You can disagree all you want, but that doesn't mean the ASF
is going
>>>>>>> to change one of their fundamental policies or that we as a project
>>>>>>> can start ignoring that policy.
>>>>>>>>> The PR isn't even against the Apache CouchDB
>>>>>>>>> mirror. It's against a Cloudant fork! (So even less likely
that folks
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>>>> going to see it.)
>>>>>>>>> Perhaps one of the policies we could document is that
discussion of
>>>> pull
>>>>>>>>> requests must be brought to the list.
>>>>>>>> Again, could be accomplished in the manner PR#43 describes(!)
>>>>>>>>> That is, if a PR comes in to the Apache Github mirror,
then we make a
>>>>>>>>> polite comment on the PR that points them to the mailing
list thread
>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> asks them to participate in that forum, so the maximum
amount of devs
>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>>>> see and contribute.
>>>>>>>>> We could also say that if you have a fork of CouchDB,
and you're
>>>>>>> planning
>>>>>>>>> to contribute the work back to Apache CouchDB (as is
the case with
>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> Cloudant fork) that you do the same with any PRs that
are made to
>>>> your
>>>>>>>>> repos.
>>>>>>>>> A sample template comment could be as follows:
>>>>>>>>> ==
>>>>>>>>> Thank you for the pull request!
>>>>>>>>> This is a mirror of the Apache CouchDB project, so many
of the
>>>>>>> committers
>>>>>>>>> do not monitor it for comments. Instead of discussing
this pull
>>>> request
>>>>>>>>> here, I have started a thread on the [developer mailing
list] and I
>>>>>>> invite
>>>>>>>>> you to participate!
>>>>>>>>> ==
>>>>>>>>> Additionally, the mailing list thread, or the first reply
to it,
>>>> should
>>>>>>> CC
>>>>>>>>> the original author.
>>>>>>>>> One alternative to this (which is a bit of a mess, I
know) is to
>>>> write
>>>>>>>>> an integration that copies Github comments to the mailing
>>>> thread,
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> mailing list posts to the PR. Not sure that would work
with forks of
>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> main mirror, however.
>>>>>>>>> Thoughts? Flames?
>>>>>>>> I'm speaking personally, and I know there are strong and
>>>>>>>> opinions on the subject among participants here.
>>>>>>>> I also know the CouchDB PMC leads have a strong desire to
>>>>>>>> involvement in the project, and nothing dooms my personal
>>>>>>>> to work towards contributing than some ill-explained ass-backwards
>>>>>>>> 90's era bureaucratic mandate that EVERYTHING be facilitated
>>>>>>>> the ML.
>>>>>>> While various ASF policies can be dense and difficult to understand
>>>>>>> times, the mailing list policies are pretty straight forward.
>>>>>>> Regardless of your personal feelings on email and mailing lists
>>>>>>> general, the fact is they are the single most widely deployed
>>>>>>> widely compatible interfaces to push notifications in existence.
>>>>>>> To be a bit more specific on Noah's link:
>>>>>>> The fact is that Apache uses mailing lists for development. Any
>>>>>>> development discussion that is not on this mailing list did not
>>>>>>> as far as the project is concerned.
>>>>>>>> In fact it is due to that policy and general ASF-iness that
keeps me
>>>>>>>> closer to the sidelines. This is a hobby, at best, for me
at this
>>>> time,
>>>>>>>> and I already have no chance of keeping up with the ML activity.
>>>>>>> Its important to point out that having a mailing list centric
>>>>>>> communication channel does not require contributors to read all
>>>>>>> on the list. Its quite acceptable to subscribe and ignore every
>>>>>>> that you don't care about. Even developers will skim threads
or even
>>>>>>> skip uninteresting ones all together.
>>>>>>>> I'd rather see the asf git become the archive mirror, quite
>>>>>>>> How many resources could the ASF preserve (or apply more
>>>>>>>> productively - development, conferences, promotion) by adopting
>>>>>>>> github infra formally (for starters).
>>>>>>> There are a lot of people that think this way and its been an
>>>>>>> voiced on lots of mailing lists. Mostly by people that use GitHub.
>>>>>>> Suffice to say the ASF has roundly rejected this due to a long
>>>>>>> list of reasons.
>>>>>>>> And i'm not some 19-yro kid who grew up always thinking of
>>>>>>>> as irrelevant legacy tech, I've been doing this awhile myself.
>>>>>>>> There's a lot to it. And, unsurprisingly, I don't care for
essays in
>>>>>>> emails.
>>>>>>>> It's about the bazaar model. It's about signal-to-noise (for
>>>>>>>> individual!).
>>>>>>>> It's about being able to subscribe to the topics you care
about and
>>>> not
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>>> to wade through the noise of the topics you don't care about,
just to
>>>>>>> find
>>>>>>>> those topics you do care about (because at some point, the
value prop
>>>>>>>> just isn't worth it anymore). It's about *thinking like the
web* and
>>>>>>>> **observable work**[1].
>>>>>>>> (is the ML observable? sure, in a sense, but barely)
>>>>>>>> It's about all of that and a whole lot more.
>>>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>>> NS
>>>>>>>> feedback always welcome of course, and thx for listening
>>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>>> matt
>>>>>>>> [1]
>>>>>>> I appreciate the desire to leverage the activity at GitHub and
I think
>>>>>>> that's a goal that we should keep as a project but the thing
we need
>>>>>>> to remember is that as awesome as GitHub is, there's definitely
>>>>>>> downsides to it as well.
>>>>>>> There are plenty of projects not on GitHub and as much I as love
>>>>>>> GitHub I understand its not right for every project. And for
>>>>>>> that really insist that GitHub is a panacea, I'll refer you to
>>>>>>> Torvald's rather colorful refutation of that position.
>>>>>> --
>>>>>> NS
>>> --
>>> NS

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