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From "Kalnichevski, Oleg" <oleg.kalnichev...@bearingpoint.com>
Subject RE: @author tags
Date Tue, 16 Mar 2004 14:11:52 GMT

Eric, Roland, et al
I am a little hesitant to have (some sort of) a formal ranking system due to

(1) difficulty to keep it objective. It will inevitably require an arbiter, a someone whose
opinion would be regarded as unbiased by the overwhelming majority of HttpClient regulars.
To me, that would mean that such person should not be a committer or a contributor him/herself.
Basically it would take Jeff "Jandalf" or someone of Jeff's calibre. I am not really sure
Jeff would want to assume such a burden, and I simply can't think of anyone else not directly
involved with HttpClient who could take such a role

(2) difficulty to keep it up to date. Let us be realistic: we have difficulty to keep our
changelog up to date, let alone such a delicate matter as a ranking system.

(3) intention to keep HttpClient non-competitive. I do not think it is be a major revelation
to say that most of us contribute to Apache Jakarta because we are willing to trade some of
our free time and work for some recognition within the community of peers. Still, I do not
want HttpClient to evolve (or degrade) into a racing competition of a sort. At the moment
HttpClient is a delicate ecology that so far produced decent results. I really want to keep
it that way.

I think a simple extension to the existing changelog in a form of 'proposed by', 'inspired
by', 'contributed by', 'verified by' 'helped by', 'tested by' clauses per major change/commit
would be sufficient for the time being. Until the dust settles at the Jakarta PMC level



-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Johnson [mailto:eric@tibco.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 14:29
To: Commons HttpClient Project
Subject: Re: @author tags

Roland Weber wrote:

>Hello Eric,
>I was thinking about some kind of metrics, too.
>Not as advanced as yours, of course :-) But then
>I felt that a ranking is not the best approach. It
>may lure people to use tricks just to improve
>their ranking.
Too true.  My perspective on this matter is colored by the fact that
everyone on this mailing list is very open and complimentary to each
other, so I have a hard time seeing that happen here.  I certainly don't
want to do anything that would change that environment.  As with any
useful metric, it would require refinement over time, to prevent
spoofing (I hope this isn't ever necessary), and to adjust for the
relative value of contributions (size of patch, for example).  The point
of the recognition, I think, is to provide a compliment and
encouragement to any and all that contribute, not necessarily to
perfectly correlate with some abstract notion of the value of
contributions.  If anything, my suggestion was intended to be more
inclusive than what we do now.

So perhaps as a refinement, then, take something like the ranking I
suggested earlier, compute the order and then divide into three groups -
high, medium, and low involvement (or four, with the bottom fourth not
actually recognized officially?).  This would prevent people from
"competing" to be first in the ranking, as people would just be
recognized by which group they fell into.

>There should be something that indicates the
>kind and volume of contributions, sure. Like
>"that many mails", "that many bug reports", and
>so on. But instead of trying to compute a ranking
>from it, I would prefer a randomized order, with
>the kind and volume of contributions listed for
>each person. Maybe with some "hall of fame"
>into which the major contributors can be voted.
>Somehow I feel that the social issues should not
>be tackled with a purely technical solution.
After watching my spouse do grading of her student's papers, I think in
the end there is always a necessary "fudge" factor involved in something
that effectively looks like grading.  That fudge factor that might push
someone either up or down.  For example, someone might come in late in a
beta cycle with a key patch, and do so quickly, promptly, and
correctly.  Someone would have to invoke the judgement for an
appropriate recategorization, perhaps the person doing the release?

>  Roland

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