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From David Shane Holden <>
Subject Re: Code ownership (was Re: whoweare.html)
Date Wed, 06 Nov 2002 14:53:46 GMT
B. W. Fitzpatrick wrote:
> David Shane Holden <> writes:
>>B. W. Fitzpatrick wrote:
>>>Are you serious? Quite frankly, I find that behavior reprehensible--It
>>>reeks of strange fraternity initiation rites.
>>>If I write, test, and commit a piece of good solid code and someone
>>>else goes pissing in it just to leave their scent and to show me that
>>>I don't 'own' the code, I am *not* going to be amused by it.
>>>Ownership of code shouldn't be taught by this kind of negative
>>>reinforcement, and I would suggest that the quality of the code
>>>suffers as a result.
>>So you're saying it's ok for you to brag to everybody that you wrote the 
>>'good' code, that sounds pretty lame.  
> I'm not looking for bragging rights or an ego stroke--my initial
> understanding of Ken's post was that people were changing code just
> for the sake of changing it.  Ken noted that he was talking mostly
> about stylistic changes.

Misunderstanding then, I read it like Ken meant for it to be read.

> It turns out that we're talking about the fundamental differences of
> having a low barrier to commit access as opposed to high barrier to
> commit access.  When you only give commit access to people who have
> shown that they grok the project guidelines and the code style, you
> find that you *rarely* have to tweak someone else's commit. 
> The other part of the discussion here is the manner by which new
> committers are 'taught' code ownership and project styles. Ken noted
> that by fixing someone else's off-style commit, you teach them how to
> live in the project.  Justin pointed out the merits of telling the
> committer what they did wrong and letting them fix it.  Neither way is
> necessarily wrong--people just have different preferences.  I for one
> strongly prefer a high bar to become a committer and the "tell them
> and let them fix it" attitude.
>>How would you show someone that the code they _donated_ isn't
>>theirs, its the communities?
> It's noted in the copyright license at the top of every file.  How
> much more explicit can you be?
>>>>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.
>>>Yes.  Also, I think that placing author credit in every file
>>>encourages territoriality and individualism while discouraging people
>>>from thinking and acting as a team.
>>But showing people that the 'good' code you wrote isnt?
>>Sounds somewhat hypocritical...
> This is not the point.  See above. 

That was the point at the time when I wrote this from my interpretation 
of what you said.  Since it took eleven hours for my message to show up 
on the list much of the discussion had been cleared up.


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