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From Daniel John Debrunner <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Derby communications channel policy
Date Sat, 25 Feb 2006 19:14:35 GMT

Jean T. Anderson wrote:

> The Derby community also maintains an IRC channel on the freenode IRC
> network. You are welcome to stop by:
>  /server irc.freenode.org
>  /join #derby
> However, keep in mind that all decisions occur on the Derby mail lists
> and not on IRC. [users info snipped] If developers work
> out a strategy for solving a problem or figure out how something works,
> post that to derby-dev.

Maybe we could add some guidelines on how/what to summarize. My
experience in closed source development has been that people summarize
(from meetings) the choosen strategy well, but not the dismissed

The advantage of open source and discussion on the mailing list is that
the discussions & reasons that led to an approach being discarded are
automatically archived.

These dismissed alternatives are important for a number of reasons:

  - Helps people understand the choosen solution better, don't have
to spend time asking & answering, "why didn't you consider X, seems a
better solution to me".

  -  For off-list discussions, maybe the group of folks active in the
discussion discounted an idea based upon an incorrect assumption, lack
of knowledge, too little coffee, too much beer, too familiar with the
code, lack of time, lack of sleep, ...

  - Someone seeing the discussion has a radical idea that makes a
dismissed alternative a much better solution

  - Someone seeing the discussion adds some knowledge that makes a
dismissed alternative a much better solution

  - Some time later (maybe years) when it turns out the choosen strategy
isn't working out well, it's good to be able to re-visit the
alternatives to see if one of them would work out better. Not having to
re-hash all the old dismissal reasons is a huge benefit. Better than, "I
have no idea why we didn't do X".


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