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From Greg Stein <>
Subject Re: Author Tags
Date Tue, 12 Aug 2003 00:53:09 GMT
On Mon, Aug 11, 2003 at 06:43:11PM -0500, Dain Sundstrom wrote:
> I used to be strongly for @author tags, but Greg Stein convinced me 
> otherwise.  Author tags are not really definitive,  if you really want 
> to know who did something to a file you need to check the CVS log.

Exactly. And even for the case where the change/commit came from somebody
else, that will (should) be noted in the log message. You can always find
out who wrote any particular change.

> Also, I think author tags are a way that code gets 'assigned' to 
> someone, and I would like to avoid the problem of code ownership that I 
> have seen in other open source project I have worked on.  Although, I 
> think the Apache system is designed to reduce the impact of such 
> problems, I think not having author tags will help.

Agreed on both parts. While the Apache "system" as you call it (or "the
Apache Way" in other parts) disables fiefdoms ("you can't change that!
that's my code/responsibility!"), there can always be underlying notions of
"ownership". Eliminating author tags is yet another tool to avoid those
disruptive notions. Sure... if somebody is really gung ho on "owning" code,
then any tool you use isn't going to help. But the hope is that people like
that won't become committers in the first place. Further, every tool that
you use to get rid of the ownership concept is a bonus, and is very
necessary to establishing the most important part: a robust and healthy
community devoid of fractures and islands.

In June, I wrote a pretty long email about the topic:

And last year, I wrote some to the avalon-dev list (which spawned the thread

    (also check out the rest of the avalon-dev thread)

Serge Knystautas defined a good policy for handling the recognition of

> (Hopefully Greg will post his feelings on this.) 

Done :-)


Greg Stein,

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