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From Eric Evans <eev...@rackspace.com>
Subject Re: "Forking is a Feature" reactions?
Date Wed, 15 Sep 2010 15:13:15 GMT
On Wed, 2010-09-15 at 07:32 -0700, Joe Schaefer wrote:
> > With a  centralized vcs, a select group of privileged individuals
> > are given access, they are the gate keepers.
> Eh, no.  That's exactly how Linux works, with people having protective
> attitudes towards their own trees: git only makes that mode of working
> easier.  Here a committer's job is to *facilitate* inclusive work, not
> prevent it.

I don't think the Linux work-flow is a particularly good example for
anything other than Linux.  The problem set certainly doesn't map well
to any of the projects I work on.

> > Everyone else gets a "working copy" and is  expected to create a 
> > patch (or patches) and then work to convince a committer to apply 
> > them.
> That's not the Apache model, fwiw.  Collaboration means you work as
> equals, committer status or not.

I agree with the sentiment, but the choice of distributed vs.
centralized vcs is a technical one.  You can be as open and inclusive
with contributors as you want, without commit access they're relegated
to a second-class work-flow.

> > A distributed version control system is a measure toward  
> > eliminating that have/have not distinction; it reduces the barrier 
> > to contribution.
> No it doesn't.  The learning curve alone is a barrier to its adoption.
> It just means you have the same access to the history as anyone else,
> and can develop on branches with far greater ease.  Github is the
> great new thing here, not git itself.  If github were open source we'd
> probably be using it at Apache already in some form.

I disagree, Github adds a lot of value, but I'm thinking in terms of the
differences between distributed vs. centralized systems. The argument is
the same with or without Github, and could likewise include Mercurial,
Bazaar, etc.

> > Instead of a working copy you get a full working  repository.
> > Contributors can have long running branches where they work on  
> > large features while easily keeping in sync with upstream
> > changes. And when the contributor repos are public, others can 
> > follow their progress and provide feedback and collaborate.
> > 
> > If useful changesets that are  languishing in random repositories 
> > and are not making it upstream, that is a  social problem, not a 
> > technical one.
> Yes, but that just begs the point: this thread is about the social
> implications of the choice of vc tool, and the aforementioned author
> of the blog post seems to think forking in all its forms is a good
> idea for societies. Somehow I doubt that's the case. 

It doesn't frighten me.

Eric Evans

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