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From Mark Miller <>
Subject Re: Proposal about Version API "relaxation"
Date Sun, 25 Apr 2010 14:23:35 GMT
On 4/25/10 9:55 AM, Robert Muir wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 9:30 AM, Mark Miller <
> <>> wrote:
>     Could you elaborate on "it doesn't help anything"? That's an
>     interesting argument, but not very persuasive :) "It doesn't help
>     anything other than easing Mark's paranoia" :)
> The only "advantage" to this idea is it seems to try to enforce putting
> features in stable, but thats stupid. At the end you still have two
> branches, you can call whichever one trunk you want, it doesn't really
> matter. if someone doesn't want to do the work to backport something to
> stable, they just aren't going to do it.

I may be misunderstanding, but this sounds like a call for "free for 
all" because everyone will do what they want anyway. But that's not 
generally how things work. Devs don't do whatever they want. They 
largely stick to some common practices (largely back compat). Not 
everyone has always agreed with how things have worked, but most have, 
and it has framed development.

I think you take policy too seriously. From what I was told, our back 
compat policy was simply extracted from an email from Doug when in the 
early days of Lucene. It's just happened to have made its way to the 
wiki, and enough devs have tried to stick to what it says. It's not some 
all powerful policy - we have subverted it all the time - but it has 
framed development and created a lot of really good Lucene releases that 
where pretty easy to migrate across. People have generally agreed on the 
back compat policy due to a large amount of discussion in the past. Its 
been argued back and forth, but to a large extent we have stuck with it 
for whatever reason. There is no doubt its had a powerful affect on 
Lucene over the years, whether positive or negative is up for debate, 
but I've been pretty happy with how Lucene has progressed myself. Now it 
looks like its time to change how we frame development, but I don't find 
myself thinking, "who cares how we do it - devs will do whatever they 
want anyway". Because they won't. They will do what the majority of 
others are doing - so as we talk about making this change its important 
to learn which way the other devs are leaning, and hammer out some 
common goals. Figure out a little consensus. If I'm the only one that's 
"paranoid" about this, doesn't seem you have much to worry about.

It would be easy to see different results from this change - we could go 
the way some are talking about and do very few back ports to stable, and 
essentially every release breaks back compat as it wants. Or we could 
concentrate more on stable releases, while doing more radical dev on 
trunk. It almost sounds to me that you think that it doesn't matter 
which way people prefer, because everyone will do what they want anyway. 
Well I disagree. I think its important to discuss which way we may end 
up with, because I think one of the ways is better for Lucene - and I 
don't think devs do whatever they want. The general common agreement 
about how things are done largely drives what devs do. We are talking 
about changing that agreement - I don't have paranoia - I want to 
discuss where we will end up because I think its an important change to 
Lucene, and its important to try and see how different devs feel, and 
what frame of mind they are going to go into this with. That will help 
guide what actually happens. I know you don't think that's important, 
and I apologize for disagreeing with you.

i'm waiting for the proposal
> that adds some "policy" about this, that would be very lucene-like.

Yeah, because Lucene has so many polices. The backcompat policy is 
called 'policy' for convenience - its never been voted in, its not an 
'official' policy, we break that policy all the time. Its more consensus 
on how things are done than policy - you've seen that by now I hope. 
This discussion is also about coming up with consensus. I''m going to 
call you paranoid about policies in a minute :)

> and for any feature where someone is willing to do the work for it to be
> in stable or unstable, its gonna have to be committed twice, by someone,
> somewhere.

Yeah, well sounds like right now we have a couple options to talk about 
- consensus that we generally commit to both at the same time, or 
consenus that we merge occasionally instead. The models actually have a 
lot of differences. And likely there would be some mergers that did it 
often (like with flex), so that fewer devs might be backporting. The 
other way you would generally be counted on to back port all your own stuff.

> --
> Robert Muir
> <>

- Mark

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