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From "gianny DAMOUR" <>
Subject Open Source Philosophy - Help requested
Date Thu, 30 Oct 2003 11:31:45 GMT

This one is rather far away from low-level implementation details and more 
focused on Open Source Philosophy.

[In the following, the patch, which is refered to, is an anonymous patch of 
an anonymous project. So, this is a philosophical question and not a 
practical one. As you may guess, any resemblance to existing patch or 
project is purely coincidental.]

Following some recent commits, a patch is no more valid. When I say no more 
valid, I mean "throw it to the bin and take 1 hour to write it yourself". 
The point is that between the moment of its listing and today, it was OK. It 
was "potentially" adding something useful to the code-base and preparing a 
more "aggressive" patch.

This patch was not "approved" due to technical disagreements on some 
specificities. A priori, it is hard to know what is the best solution. A 
fortiori, one chooses one of the proposed solution and one learns it the 
hard way. A posteriori, you congratulate yourself for having taking the 
right path or you congratulate yourself for having learned a lot by choosing 
the wrong one.

In other words, technical judgment is hard, or I assume so.

Now, to fix this patch there are two approaches:
- wait and see: expect a committer to do a diff3(!?); or
- fix your patch. This one is not so simple: If you decide to fix your patch 
which was not agreeable, you potentially lose your time. If you decide to 
fix it and supplement it with other more aggressive features in order to 
show that you have a clear insight of what you are doing, you potentially 
lose even more time than in the previous scenario - however, you have 
learned a lot :).

I hope that you understand the issue of such a scenario.

I am just right now reading "Open Source Development with CVS" (nice 
reading) to fully understand the overall philosophy. However, I would like 
to mix this reading with some contributions to G. So any advise is welcome.


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