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From Noah Slater <>
Subject Comments threads on Github
Date Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:16:36 GMT
Hey folks,

I'd like to bring two things to your attention:

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.

But on the other hand, this discussion is core development discussion, and
should be happening on the dev list where everybody can see it.

(This is foundational stuff for an Apache project. Community building
should be focused around the mailing lists. 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.

But on the other hand, we shouldn't be having important development
discussions in pull requests. 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.

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

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 list thread, and
mailing list posts to the PR. Not sure that would work with forks of the
main mirror, however.

Thoughts? Flames?



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