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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject [proposal] Moving to Git
Date Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:12:32 GMT
As some here may know, the ASF has been preparing to roll Git out to all
projects that want it. This work had been non-trivial, the infrastructure
team have been working on the technical issues since committing to it at
ApacheCon in 2010 (and before that they had to figure out what the real
issues were).

This work has led to the trial in CouchDB. This trial is designed to a)
test the technical solutions in a working project and b) educate people
like me who have no experience of working with Git in a community project.

Since becoming aware of this projects desire to "wait it out" before moving
to the ASF I have been seeing if there is any way of making this happen
sooner rather than later.

For example, on the infrastructure list I said:

"They (PhoneGap/Callback) have an existing GitHub based community and are a
well respected project in their own right. The nature of their project
means that SVN is sub-optimal for reasons we don't hear in the typical Git Vs
SVN arguments (in short they have lots of platform specific forks of their
core code but seek to ensure a strong community around the core and each of
those forks).
>From my limited engagement with them so far I find them respectful of the
ASFs position and willing to work with us on addressing our concerns. I'm
not yet sure of how "Apache like" their existing community is, but I do
find myself saying one thing as a mentor ("you are not allowed to do this")
whilst feeling another ("you should be allowed to help educate us here"). I
think we are missing an opportunity.

With strong mentorship I believe this particular project could help us
the evaluation of Git within ASF communities. I am a mentor and I'm willing
to commit to safeguarding the experiment."

As you can see, I have some significant concerns. Git, as a tool, can be
useful to a community managed project. However, it was designed for an
entirely different management model (the Benevolent Dictator). I'm not
currently sure of where on this spectrum PhoneGap/Callbac sits. However,
you asked to come to the ASF, your champion is well respected by more than
just myself and you have some great mentors (not including me of course). I
assume we are on fairly safe ground here.

The response to my enquiries has been very positive (it's amazing how
ill-informed bloggers can be). As a result (and because another mentor has
stepped up to support my position) I'm willing to make a case to
infrastructure for you to move to Git ASAP, but I have two conditions
before I make that request.

The first is that all mentors on this project support my proposal.

The second condition is that the team ensure that the documentation over on
the CouchDB project reflects the process that this project will follow in
managing the canonical repository here at the ASF. I want it to describe
how you will manage committer contributions, non-committer contributions,
IP review, releases and whatever else is important to your project.

I'm not really interested in the nitty gritty of the processes, we'll work
that out in practice. What I want is a document that convinces me that
there will be a single canonical repository for the community to engage
with. If I am confident you can use Git in an Apache Way style process then
I'm willing to make the case to infrastructure, and if necessary, the
board. I'm reasonably sure that if you can convince me and the other
mentors here then we can convince the infrastructure team.

Since you are in the incubator and I know nothing of your current
governance and I don't know if it is close or distant from the Apache Way.
On the CouchDB list I have posted some comments from an ASF project member
which defines the process they use in a git-svn environment (they came from
Git when they came to the ASF). This mail will, hopefully,  be a useful
starting point (or maybe its all covered in the wiki page already). See

Taking off my mentor hat for a moment and putting on my VP Community
Development hat I will use this document, and what I learn from this
incubation project, to help ensure that Git can be used successfully
alongside SVN in Apache projects.

However, please understand that even after all this I cannot guarantee that
infrastructure will agree to allow you to move to Git. However, I am
confident enough to be willing to spend some of my time on it, hopefully
you will be too.

Are mentors OK with this?

Are committers OK with this as a way forwards? Do the committers have any
questions or observations?


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