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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Re: whoweare.html
Date Wed, 06 Nov 2002 01:04:12 GMT

Peter Donald wrote:
> On Wed, 6 Nov 2002 11:34, Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
>>I'm sorry, but this sentence gets me curious... why are they bad IYO?
>>IMHO they haven't produced bad things yet in the projects I've been in...
> Heh - what about Avalon? The flipside is that some people wont contribute 
> without those little author tags ;(

:-? :-/

Just to make it clear before I get mistaken (not talking to Peter, but 
as a general note), I'm not talking about code ownership.

In Cocoon and Forrest (the projects I'm more heavily involved as for 
concrete commits), author tags are not a problem.
I find it cool when I can see that a certain class was made by a certain 
committer on some date, and changed by others, it gives you a sense of 
what happened, and who you might ask to get futher advice on it eventually.

I tend to ask all developers to add their name to the authors with any 
commit they make that has impacted on the code (ie not cosmetics), and 
this levels the credit system. You never know from the authors if a 
certain one has made 1000 lines of code or only one.

I find code ownership a problem that can and must be prevented and 
resolved in the community. A trick that seasoned committers do on new 
committers is to change their first commits and work on them, to show 
that the code is of everyone. If they complain, it's time for a nice and 
bold explanation.
 From my experience on this, it's not something one forgets easily ;-)

One thing that *could* be a problem is that @author tags can give the 
impression that a cretain piece of code is "maintained" by the authors, 
or that they are responsible for it, and this can reduce peer review.

But honestly if it happens I doubt it's just because of the author tags, 
and a missing tag cannot replace behaviour.

Also, having author tags shows where the "stakes" of the 
committers=stakeholders of the code are.

Continuing a discussion had recently on the commons list, this has 
impact on the vetos IIUC.

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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