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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Send Github new comment notifications to the dev list
Date Sat, 16 Mar 2013 15:44:22 GMT

On 16 March 2013 15:02, Benoit Chesneau <> wrote:
> Well, I don't see the need "to play around with".

Because nobody else is doing anything. I am trying to do something. And I
feel like I am being shut down by nay sayers who have nothing better to
contribute than stop-energy.

> The fact is that PR are introducing a one way to discuss about pull
> request except if you
> also forward the mails from dev@ to github. (which can be quite
> complicated). So people will have to connect on github to answer to a
> PR or get the patch. This isn't a progress at all imo. More likely a
> regression in our social contract with the community.

How can this be a regression? You've just described the status quo. We've
been getting pull requests on Github since *two years ago*. We've literally
had this problem for 24 months or more. And you know what happens to these
pull requests? They are ignored? And do yo know why? Because nobody is
looking at them. And this is supposed to be a net positive for our

> Having the PR on github is removing some part of our neutrality
> against vendors since you have to sign in a third-party website to
> participate.

Do you really think I am proposing to use Github as the official CouchDB
patch submission process?

I am pointing out that people are using Github to submit PRs. This is a
thing. This is a fact about the world. I neither caused it, or am able to
stop it. It's just a thing that is happening.

We have three options: ignore it, attempt to shut it down, or embrace it.

> Which is in some cases not possible for some companies or
> individuals due to their location or company policy. While having to
> sign to an independent foundation ml is most of the time possible.

This is irrelevant. Because I am not suggesting that we move our code to
Github, or that we start to solicit patches through Github, or that we make
PRs the official way to do things with CouchDB.

If you want to work with Paul, and Matt, and Wendall, and whoever else to
come up with a contributor workflow that describes our preferred method of
patch submission, then fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

What I am suggesting is that we also mention that if you *are* going to
send a Github PR, then this is how you do it. And also suggesting that we
sit it up so the dev list gets notifications about what is going on over

Again. Please note: I am not suggesting we change our workflow. This is
what is so maddening about this entire discussion. I am suggesting that we
get email notifications about comments on Github. That's it. No other
changes. But people are arguing with me about the *philosophy* of Github,
and contribution workflows, and all kinds of completely incidental stuff.

Listen, if you wanna sort that shit out. By all means. Someone should! It's
clear people are confused about how to contribute to CouchDB. But I would
also maybe point out that it's been like this for 24 months and nobody
seemed to give a shit.

But I suggest we get comment notifications to increase visibility and
suddenly everyone cares about the subject. And suddenly Github itself is
the problem and we should just stop everything we're doing to work on that.

> PR aren't connected to jira tickets. Is the next step to jump on github
> tickets?


Again: I am just going to keep repeating this until it becomes
repetitive and obvious to everyone involved. I am not proposing to change
anything about how we are working. I am not proposing any changes in
policy, or workflow, or anything. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero. No changes.

We have been accepting PRs for *two years* now. And if you're not happy
with them, why have you done nothing about the situation until now? Why is
it suddenly relevant when propose that the dev list gets to see comment

> PR is one more code code canal to follow. also when someone open a PR
> where to answer? Jira, github, ml, ?

Why do you keep phrasing it as if I am only now proposing we start
accepting pull requests on Github? We've been accepting PRs for *two years*
and so far our average response has been to ignore them. So I guess you are
free to carry on like normal and keep ignoring them. Nobody is requiring
anything from the committers, or anyone else for that matter.

Again: I am not proposing we change anything about our contribution
workflow. (Though, give the recent feedback from contributors to this
project, perhaps we ought to have a serious think about how we could be
doing this better...)

All I am proposing is that we get new comment notifications from a service
that people think we're using, but we seem to be mostly ignoring.

> In short I would really prefer we kill the PR support asap

There is no way to do this without deleting our Github mirror. I have
explained this a number of times now. There is literally no way to turn of
pull requests. If you are on Github, then you can get pull requests. That's
how it works.

> and propose a clear way to submit patches via the ml and jira

False dichotomy. This is not a "one or the other" situation.

If you want to propose a clear contribution guide, then please do so.
Please mention what our preferred patch submission methods are. This should
include JIRA, email, Github, and anything else you can think of.

> It doesn't mean like you say, that we have to close the mirror

Yes it does. That's how Github works.

> No. Having a mirror is still useful for those who are using github, to
> fork the code and
> having a... mirror.

Why do people fork on Github? To send back pull requests.

> So it's not about killing the mirror, but not accepting PRs.

By "not accepting" do you propose that we ignore them?

do you really think it's better
> to put all the metadata of our code in the hand of a private company
> rather than having in an independent system (backed by the foundation)
> and your hands?

So ironic, given my proposal.

I am suggesting that we get a copy of all of the comments on a PR sent to
our mailing list. I am literally suggesting that we export the information
on Github into our mailing list.

> We aren't speaking about the code only here, but about
> all the things that come with: discussions, comments etc.

Yep. That is *literally* the *exact* problem I am trying to solve here.

I am just taken aback by all of this. What on earth do you think I am
proposing that you would bring up points like this? Or that you would
suddenly start to question something you see as a "regression" which has in
fact been going on for *two years*.

To be frank, the way that we deal with contributions to this project, I
think we're lucky to be receiving pull request in the first place. I think
it is the hight of arrogance to start talking about how we should ignore
them, or somehow discourage it. Especially when we have such an obvious
work-around for making sure that all the important activity gets sent to
the list.

I actually think there's a little bit of ideological "us and them" going on
here, and I have no patience for it whatsoever.

I proposed that we set up Review Board. Review Board *could* have been the
place that we pointed new contributors to. We could have said "hey, Github
is cool and whatever, but can you submit your patch to this ASF run Review
Board? That's how we prefer contributions to come in, and we can comment on
it there, and thank you very much, etc!"

You know how many times I proposed Review Board to this list? Twice. Once
on 2012-09-08 and a second time on 2013-04-10. Literally, only six days
ago. And do you know what sort of response I got? Apathy. Jan made an
interesting comment that many people asked for Github PRs before we had
them, but nobody has asked us about Review Board.

So if this is something y'all cared so much about all along, why did I get
no responses when I was proposing a patch submission tool that we might've
been able to steer people to instead of Github? And why the
disproportionate reaction when I suggest something as simple as sending
through comments to the mailing list? Is it because Review Board is a big
change, and comment notifications are a small change? Is this a bike shed?
What other possible reason could there be?

If you're so against things happening away from the foundation, Benoit, why
did you take the initiative to start a Google+ community? I mean, that is
explicitly a silo of activity that you can only participate in if you have
a Google+ account. (And I know a few people who refuse to sign up for
Google accounts on ethical/privacy grounds. I do not know of anybody who
refuses to sign up for a Github account.) And why did it take me to bring
up the idea of curating Google+ content back to the lists?

Let's get this straight: I think it was a good idea to start the Google+
community, and I thank you for it. But I think it's a remarkable piece
of hypocrisy for you to hit out against a minor proposal I make about
Github, on some pseudo-moralistic grounds about it being an external
service that people shouldn't have to feel obligated to use. And nobody is
using it anyway, and I am not proposing that you have to use it, or even
that we move any activity over there. I am simply proposing that we get
visibility into anything happening on Github. Which as it stands, would be
more than we currently have in place for Google+.



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