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From Henri Yandell <>
Subject RE: Author Tags
Date Tue, 12 Aug 2003 10:14:48 GMT

On Tue, 12 Aug 2003, Caprez Thomas wrote:

> > > 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.
> >
> > CVS change/commit logs don't go into the javadoc, which is
> > often the major
> > way in which a user looks at the code.
> You can add CVS commit comments in the code (in a comment, or even in the
> javadocs, although it's rather unusual) by using the tag $Log$, which will
> be completed by CVS when a file is commited.

This merely shows who last edited the code. Which is available from CVS
happily and redundant information, though a lot of projects are putting it
into the Java source [and thus the Maven source reference].

> > Code responsibility means that even though anyone may leap in
> > and hack on
> > a piece, the long term future of a piece of code is the
> > responsibility of
> > known people. Effectively code-ownership [bad] is implementation while
> > code responsibility [good] is design. Author tags signify code
> > responsibility.
> eXtrem programming (is it applicable to an open-source project?) mentions
> that code responsibility should shared between all developpers. In other
> words, anyone can modify a class, if he/she has good reasons to do so. With
> a responsible clearly assigned, what would happen if he/she leaves the team?

XP is the problem in this case. XP is all about taking things to extremes.
So rather than having code ownership in which there are nasty walls and do
not disturb signs, my argument is that XP without strong leadership gives
you anarchy in which no one has any long term plan for code but just sit
and hack it to suit the latest short term need.

Expecting every member of the community of developers to understand the
reason for being for every class is a poor breakdown of roles. I suspect
that communities without any individual responsibility to particular parts
just end up with informal responsibility that everyone on the inside of
the community knows about, and every external person has to go straight to
the mail list to discover.


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