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From Craig L Russell <>
Subject Re: an experiment
Date Tue, 17 Aug 2010 16:42:18 GMT

On Aug 16, 2010, at 6:37 PM, Greg Stein wrote:

> I certainly could have handled it better. But that thread is
> *indicative* of the problem. We've pointed out a several now: two with
> Subversion, one with OODT.
Since you've brought it up time and again, it's worth thrashing  
through. The kerfuffle about project roles was brought up by a member  
of the "peanut gallery" [sic] and I thought quite reasonably.

Words matter. Definitions of terms matter. Communication is broken if  
I say a word that has one meaning for you and a different meaning for  
me. We end up talking about two different things and we think we're  
having a discussion but we're not.

One of the first things you learn in Apache is that there are (at  
least) three levels of involvement that community members can take:  
contributor, committer, PMC member. See "how it works, roles, etc.  
etc." on the Apache site.

Now the subversion project comes in where these are not the commonly  
used terms. Instead, the terms for committer and PMC member are  
partial committer and full committer. That's fine for the established  
community, but the translation from committer -> partial committer and  
PMC member -> full committer needs to be done within the project, not  
within Apache.

When I saw this month's board report for Subversion, I was taken aback  
that the board is expected to follow the terminology used by only one  
project. Really? The board, which has used the same terms for 10++  
years, is now going to hear reports of full committers and partial  
committers? What do we do when another project comes in and uses yet  
different terms for the same concept? Do we now make a translation  
manual for everyone in Apache to use?

My $.02: if you want to talk about full and partial committers in the  
Apache community, there's more work to do so everyone gets on board  
with your terminology. Otherwise, communications will be enhanced if  
you keep full and partial committers to yourselves and translate to  
the commonly used Apache terms when dealing with the Apache community.

And yes, I'd like to see the Subversion board report amended to remove  
references to full and partial.


Craig L Russell
Architect, Oracle
408 276-5638
P.S. A good JDO? O, Gasp!

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