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From "Jean T. Anderson" <...@bristowhill.com>
Subject Re: Derby and portability
Date Thu, 17 Nov 2005 17:31:19 GMT
Michael Segel wrote:
> ... 
> Looking at Derby's Jira, there are over 300 open issues. 
> ... 
> I did a quick scan and picked out a couple. 
> DERBY-396,
> DERBY-616,
> DERBY-713 a clone of DERBY-47
> 
> Now which of these are bugs?
> DERBY-396 asks for the addition of standardized ALTER support to tables.
> Is this a bug because its saying that Derby doesn't comply with the ANSI 
> standard? Is this a CRITICAL issue?
> 
> Then looking at DERBY-47 and DERBY-713.
> 
> This is a bug. This is critical. This is something that shouldn't be too 
> difficult to fix.  (Why anyone would take an IN (xxx,yyy) and add the BETWEEN 
> to make it a range is beyond me... Were this an actual commercial product, 
> this would be a "drop everything and fix this" priority.
> 

These points make a good lead-in for a description of how software 
development works at Apache because it *is* open source and it *isn't* 
commercial.

The first thing to understand is individuals volunteer to tackle various 
tasks. Here are some relevant snippets from 
http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html :

    "Projects are normally auto governing and driven by the people who
     volunteer for the job. This is sometimes referred to as "do-ocracy"
     -- power of those who do. This functions well for most cases."

    "All of the ASF including the board, the other officers, the
     committers, and the members, are participating as individuals.
     That is one strength of the ASF, affiliations do not cloud the
     personal contributions.

     Unless they specifically state otherwise, whatever they post on any
     mailing list is done *as themselves*. It is the individual
     point-of-view, wearing their personal hat and not as a mouthpiece
     for whatever company happens to be signing their paychecks right
     now, and not even as a director of the ASF."

Here's another valuable snippet from 
http://www.apache.org/foundation/faq.html#what-is-apache-NOT-about :

     What is Apache not about?

     To [... jean deleted text to highlight tail of sentence ...] demand
     someone else to fix your bugs.

If you look at the derby-dev archives, you might occasionally see 
somebody cross the edge into "demanding". A typical response might be 
"If you care strongly about this issue, please dive in and help fix it".

But, now lest it look like everybody is working diligently solely as an 
individual (and possibly at cross purposes with others), there is a lot 
of community coordination and contribution that occurs on the Apache 
mail lists. The http://www.apache.org/foundation/how-it-works.html page 
has lots of helpful context.

And where Derby is concerned, Kathey asked for users to vote on the Jira 
issues they would like to see fixed:

http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/db-derby-user/200509.mbox/%3c431F26B1.3010101@sbcglobal.net%3e
http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/db-derby-user/200510.mbox/%3c434466E7.2090401@sbcglobal.net%3e


> The point I'm trying to make is that if we look at JIRA there are over 300 
> open issues and the classification of what is critical and what is a bug are 
> subjective.
> 
> There needs to be guidelines.
> While DERBY-616 may be a bug, I wouldn't call it critical.

Somebody else might see DERBY-616 critical for his or her own need -- 
and might step up to the plate to fix it (or help fix it).

> This is important because for Derby to be a success, you need to have a 
> realistic priority of what needs to be fixed or enhanced.

And fixers who volunteer to fix it.

  -jean



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