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From Jason Dillon <>
Subject Geronimo Repository (was Re: Unable to build using m2)
Date Fri, 30 Jun 2006 19:30:02 GMT
> I agree with your comments but I also recognize that it is a  
> slippery slope.  Who is responsible for tracking the changes and  
> lobbying the other groups?  My limited experience tells me that  
> this will likely end up being a set of forked code from other  
> projects that will be very difficult to manage.  for instance...say  
> a quick change is made to XMLBeans and it get's put into our  
> "local" copy.  4 months later the XMLBeans folks have not done  
> anything with the patch and now after discussing it further decide  
> that it doens't fit with their direction.  During that time  
> Geronimo has relied on the patch and changing direction is going to  
> be painful.

I would expect that most of the localized changes would be to pom's  
only and to install the correct version of the dependency in a  
repository for our build to work.

While I think that we may need to have a few cases where some code is  
required to change, but in order for that to work, there must be  
someone who is actively working with the external community to get  
the changes in.  Otherwise, as you suggested it would turn into a  
private fork... and IMO that is not acceptable.

I believe that it would be the responsibility of the developer who  
introduces the new version of the dependency to create a JIRA (in our  
project) to manage the state of the dependency... AND be active about  
getting the changes introduced in the target communities codebase.

Peer review will also be used to help ensure that we keep things  
moving smoothly.  Like, if a custom version of a dependency exists  
for months and months and goes no where, then we need to react and  
either help the developer get the changes moved or reevaluate the  
need for those changes, etc.

> I realize this is a worse case scenario but we had a similar  
> situation with the Axis guys in cutting a 1.4 release for us.  It  
> took about 6 months and I think was only done because David Blevins  
> was made a committer.

Um, did it take 6 months because he was a committer?  Meaning it  
would have taken more than 6 months if he was not?  Yikes!

> In order to consider this it would be great if you could flush out  
> the different scenarios as you see them and how we would handle  
> them.  I'm not the most administrative person on the planet and  
> what you are proposing sounds great and scare the heck out of me at  
> the same time ;-0

Well...  I'm not sure I know of all of the scenarios, but mostly I do  
not see that we will have custom forked versions of others work in  
our repository, though on some occasions yes, we will... but only for  
a very limited and controlled period.

For example, I have been using the RetroTranslator m2 plugin in  
GShell for many weeks now.  I have been very active about creating  
patches for the Mojo team, getting changes needed into this plugin so  
that it can be more useful.  But, it takes the Mojo team time (some  
times a long time) to pull in those changes... or as is the current  
case, to publish the plugin with those changes already accepted and  

So we have already gotten the code in the target communities  
codebase... but it is taking a long time to get a new release (or  
SNAPSHOT) pushed out to a repo so that we can actually use it.

This is where our repository comes in.  We publish a SNAPSHOT of the  
plugin to our repository so that we can continue to move forward  
using the plugin, and in the background keep on the Mojo peeps to get  
the thing official.

  * * *

There is also the other-side of the repository, which is to allow  
builds to be reproducible in future months, years.  To have 100%  
build reproducibility we need to have much more control over the  
repository which dependencies are pulled from.

The reliance on so many external repositories is a build anti-pattern  
and make is very difficult (some times impossible) to ensure that  
builds will just work in future days, months, years.  Machines crash,  
data gets lost, which we have recently seen and suffered from.   
Having a repository that is controlled by the same system as our  
sources will generally mean that at any point in time when when have  
a valid scm codebase, then we also have the valid dependencies.  Then  
when the Codehaus disks die again, or a worm eats thought all of  
Ibiblio, then we can still function and continue to work.

  * * *

I believe that both of these reasons (staging w/external groups and  
build reproduction and isolation from external failure) warrant the  
creation of an internal SVN-backed repository that exists solely for  
the use by Geronimo, and its child projects.


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