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From Noah Slater <nsla...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Comments threads on Github
Date Fri, 15 Mar 2013 16:47:31 GMT
Note to the list. I am flagging this thread as something to distill into
our community guide. I think it's important we talk about this somewhere
that is a little less easy to loose than a mailing list post. (And
unfortunately, it is not clear in the main ASF doc that we mirror things to
the mailing list because it is a requirement that committers subscribe to
it.)


On 15 March 2013 16:31, Noah Slater <nslater@apache.org> wrote:

> I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems with the way we do things at
> Apache, Matt. But there are very good reasons for all of these things. And
> I am happy to talk to you about them, if you're interested?
>
> We keep things on our own infrastructure so that we are vendor neutral,
> and so that we can assure the provenance and longevity of the work we are
> doing. This is exceptionally important for an organisation like the ASF.
>
> We try to keep everything on the mailing lists, similarly, because that
> helps to cement the community around a single channel of information. It is
> expected that every committer on the project reads the developer mailing
> list, as well as the commits mailing list. This way, you can be sure that
> if you have something important to say about development, you can post it
> there, or check it in to Git, and the committers will see it. There is no
> such requirement for participating or monitoring Github, or Google+, or any
> other supplementary community. That is why we must make sure that
> conversations are mirrored back to the one place we know that everybody is
> watching. This is not an attempt to stifle activity away from the mailing
> list. It is an attempt to make sure that people can subscribe to the
> mailing list and receive all the necessary information they need to
> contribute to the project.
>
> (My wording in my original email in this thread was very unfortunate, and
> I regret sending it now. I apologise for it. I was making an assumption
> about the solution, instead of talking about the problem. The problem was
> not that things were happening on Github. The problem was that the activity
> wasn't being sent back to the mailing list which we know everybody reads.)
>
> I'm also sorry to hear that the mailing list is too high traffic for you.
> It is my personal experience that the CouchDB lists are moderately light in
> traffic. But I suspect I am not your typical mailing list subscriber, in
> that regard. ;) One option is to filter the list. That might be filtering
> out things you are not interested in, or filtering specifically for things
> you are interested in.
>
> Also, you are perfectly free to talk about CouchDB wherever you want. And
> I really hope I haven't given you the impression that this would be a bad
> thing, or that anybody would perceive it in a negative light. Benoit's idea
> for the Google+ community was a great one, for instance. But now we have a
> conversation about how to mirror some of that content back to this lists.
> (Again, because the lists are the project's "virtual office" if you will,
> and we form our community around them.) This doesn't mean Google+ is a
> bother, and I wish it would go away. In fact, having to worry about this at
> all is something I would class as a Good Problem.
>
> I am sorry you feel like the Foundation's policies are beurocratic and
> poorly explained. For what it's worth, when I first joined, I also felt
> like this. Over time, I figured out the bits that were not in the docs
> (which are often poorly organised) and started to understand the logic
> behind why we do things this way. So if you wanna chat about it, just lemme
> know what causes you the most pain.
>
> I guess the main doc that you should read is this one:
>
> http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html
>
> That sets things out in very broad strokes.
>
> Again, I am sorry for your frustration. Obviously, we have to follow ASF
> policy, because we are an ASF project. But if something truly did not make
> sense for us, we can change it. The reason we even use Git now is because
> that made sense for us, and people like Paul worked very hard to introduce
> that to the Foundation in a way that would play nicely with everything else
> here.
>
> The policy is not meant to be here to frustrate. And it is certainly not
> meant to be here to shut down activity happening on Github. My email was
> poorly worded, and I think you should open your PR again. :) Sorry if it
> felt like I was picking on you. I actually think your PR is a very good
> one, and is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing. One of my plans
> post-1.3.0 was to convert all of our top level documentation (README, etc)
> into a format so that we look very nice on Github.
>
> Please, if you have any questions, just let me know! Happy to help!
>
>
> On 15 March 2013 15:54, matt j. sorenson <matt@sorensonbros.net> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 7:16 AM, Noah Slater <nslater@apache.org> wrote:
>>
>> > Hey folks,
>> >
>> > I'd like to bring two things to your attention:
>> >
>> > https://github.com/apache/couchdb/pull/43
>>
>>
>> ^ I opened that one (obviously(?))
>>
>>
>> >
>> > https://github.com/cloudant-labs/couchdb/pull/18
>> >
>> > 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 constructive
>> > 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?
>>
>>
>> >
>> > (This is foundational stuff for an Apache project. Community building
>> > 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 them.
>> >
>>
>> PR#43, for anyone that may have skipped the description and comments
>> 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 development
>> > discussions in pull requests.
>>
>>
>> disagree, again.
>>
>>
>> > 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!
>> >
>> > [LINK TO MAILING LIST THREAD]
>> >
>> > ==
>> >
>> > 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 list 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 varying
>> opinions on the subject among participants here.
>>
>> I also know the CouchDB PMC leads have a strong desire to spur
>> involvement in the project, and nothing dooms my personal desire
>> to work towards contributing than some ill-explained ass-backwards
>> 90's era bureaucratic mandate that EVERYTHING be facilitated over
>> the ML.
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> I'd rather see the asf git become the archive mirror, quite frankly.
>> How many resources could the ASF preserve (or apply more
>> productively - development, conferences, promotion) by adopting
>> github infra formally (for starters).
>>
>> And i'm not some 19-yro kid who grew up always thinking of email
>> 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 each
>> 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] http://emjayess.net/think-like-jon-udell
>>
>
>
>
> --
> NS
>



-- 
NS

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