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From Vinod Kumar Vavilapalli <vino...@hortonworks.com>
Subject Re: Should we let everyone set Assignee?
Date Wed, 22 Apr 2015 20:11:11 GMT
Actually what this community got away with is pretty much an anti-pattern compared to every
other Apache project I have seen. And may I say in a not so Apache way.

Waiting for a committer to assign a patch to someone leaves it as a privilege to a committer.
Not alluding to anything fishy in practice, but this also leaves a lot of open ground for
self-interest. Committers defining notions of good fit / level of experience do not work,
highly subjective and lead to group control.

In terms of semantics, here is what most other projects (dare I say every Apache project?)
that I have seen do
 - A new contributor comes in who is not yet added to the JIRA project. He/she requests one
of the project's JIRA admins to add him/her.
 - After that, he or she is free to assign tickets to themselves.
 - What this means
    -- Assigning a ticket to oneself is a signal to the rest of the community that he/she
is actively working on the said patch.
    -- If multiple contributors want to work on the same patch, it needs to resolved amicably
through open communication. On JIRA, or on mailing lists. Not by the whim of a committer.
 - Common issues
    -- Land grabbing: Other contributors can nudge him/her in case of inactivity and take
them over. Again, amicably instead of a committer making subjective decisions.
    -- Progress stalling: One contributor assigns the ticket to himself/herself is actively
debating but with no real code/docs contribution or with any real intention of making progress.
Here workable, reviewable code for review usually wins.

Assigning patches is not a privilege. Contributors at Apache are a bunch of volunteers, the
PMC should let volunteers contribute as they see fit. We do not assign work at Apache.

+Vinod

On Apr 22, 2015, at 12:32 PM, Patrick Wendell <pwendell@gmail.com> wrote:

> One over arching issue is that it's pretty unclear what "Assigned to
> X" in JIAR means from a process perspective. Personally I actually
> feel it's better for this to be more historical - i.e. who ended up
> submitting a patch for this feature that was merged - rather than
> creating an exclusive reservation for a particular user to work on
> something.
> 
> If an issue is "assigned" to person X, but some other person Y submits
> a great patch for it, I think we have some obligation to Spark users
> and to the community to merge the better patch. So the idea of
> reserving the right to add a feature, it just seems overall off to me.
> IMO, its fine if multiple people want to submit competing patches for
> something, provided everyone comments on JIRA saying they are
> intending to submit a patch, and everyone understands there is
> duplicate effort. So commenting with an intention to submit a patch,
> IMO seems like the healthiest workflow since it is non exclusive.
> 
> To me the main benefit of "assigning" something ahead of time is if
> you have a committer that really wants to see someone specific work on
> a patch, it just acts as a strong signal that there is someone
> endorsed to work on that patch. That doesn't mean no one else can
> submit a patch, but it is IMO more of a warning that there may be
> existing work which is likely to be high quality, to avoid duplicated
> effort.
> 
> When it was really easy to assign features to themselves, I saw a lot
> of anti-patterns in the community that seemed unhealthy, specifically:
> 
> - It was really unclear what it means semantically if someone is
> assigned to a JIRA.
> - People assign JIRA's to themselves that aren't a good fit, given the
> authors level of experience.
> - People expect if they assign JIRA's to themselves that others won't
> submit patches, and become upset if they do.
> - People are discouraged from working on a patch because someone else
> was officially assigned.
> 
> - Patrick
> 
> On Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 11:13 AM, Sean Owen <sowen@cloudera.com> wrote:
>> Anecdotally, there are a number of people asking to set the Assignee
>> field. This is currently restricted to Committers in JIRA. I know the
>> logic was to prevent people from Assigning a JIRA and then leaving it;
>> it also matters a bit for questions of "credit".
>> 
>> Still I wonder if it's best to just let people go ahead and set it, as
>> the lesser "evil". People can already do a lot like resolve JIRAs and
>> set shepherd and critical priority and all that.
>> 
>> I think the intent was to let "Developers" set this, but maybe due to
>> an error, that's not how the current JIRA permission is implemented.
>> 
>> I ask because I'm about to ping INFRA to update our scheme.
>> 
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