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From Neophytos Demetriou <>
Subject Re: working together
Date Wed, 08 Apr 2009 07:56:39 GMT
> Look, what you're saying here is basically "we know better and you're
> stupid, so don't touch our code and don't ask questions, we can't provide
> answers anyway". I'm hoping that's not the way you meant it (emails do that)
> but that's the essence of what came across. You just can't run an open
> source project by saying this on its development list.

My understanding is that they do know better. That does not necessarily 
imply the rest of us are stupid but the settings in which Cassandra runs 
are so complicated the design of such a system can be an extremely 
difficult task. Obviously, it is important that it runs correctly and 

In all aspects, there needs to be an approach that strives for a balance 
between openness towards new participants and contributions, and the 
need for control, with the acknowledgment that this balance might shift 
over time.

 > There are two reasons I refactor. One is, I always try to leave the
 > code better than I found it. [...] Two is, if I am going to introduce
 > a new feature I will try to refactor first without changing behavior
 > in such away that the feature becomes easier to add. [...] So there
 > is a method to my madness.

At this point, this is risky. It is risky because code changes that 
introduce incompatibilities are very expensive. This may lead to a 
coexisting trunk inside FB which also means we might remain unaware of 
the existence of a major problem beyond the stage at which it can be 
contained and corrected. Like it or not, using the same or a 
close-enough version of the code as FB, was appealing to most of us.

I understand that some of us may feel that the original authors are not 
interacting with the community the same way grassroot hackers do but, 
these are the same people who brought over the code. I kind of agree 
with Avinash in relation to etiquette. First, you go along and then you 
come along.

 > The recent issues have to do with Facebook developers having
 > expectations that differ from open source standard practices.

The recent issues have more to do with meritocracy than other open 
source practices. Facebook developers would be happy to have new people 
coming in and help, and like other projects filter the people they 
believe committed enough for the task and match the human attitudes 
required to work well with others, especially in disagreement.

Now, I'm not too familiar with the ASF processes but the following

suggests that the PMC is comprised from developers or commiters that 
were elected due to merit for the evolution of the project and 
demonstration of commitment. Having said that, it is not difficult to 
see why Facebook developers could be frustrated by recent events.

I do not mean to be disrespectful to Jonathan. I probably know him 
longer than most people in this group and I think he deserves to be a 
commiter in the same way that I think Avinash or Prashant should be the 
project leaders and in the same way that they deserve more credit and 
respect for their contributions (and releasing Cassandra as Open Source 
in the first place).

- Neophytos

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