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From David Nalley <da...@gnsa.us>
Subject Writable github repos?
Date Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:41:09 GMT
Hi folks,

Do you have a cup of coffee/tea handy? If not you might want to go get
one first, this will be a long email with lots of pondering which
would likely be assisted by a warm beverage.

I am pondering whether it's possible for projects at the ASF to use
github writable repos.

Let me set the stage for what we have today with github:

* We mirror hundreds of repositories to github [1]
* We have a comprehensive integration with github [2]
* A majority of projects that use git as their VCS are using the
integration and using github as the locus for contribution.

In the github integration model we essentially sync all of the
happenings from github back to the projects mailing list. (and vice
versa for those folks who choose to use the mailing list.)

My personal preference is that the ASF is the locus for development
activity; but I also want to be pragmatic and not force my preferences
on all of the individual projects. I also recognize that we are part
way there; by accepting contributions at github and using that
workflow, we've moved in that direction a bit.

That led me to wondering - what's keeping us from using a writable git
repo? It's not without problems and challenges.

So that led me tossing together a straw-man proposal in my head for
what we'd use as an experiment:

Requirements:
* No guarantee that this will ever emerge from a test, and may be
discontinued at any time during the test.
* 6 month term, with monthly reporting for the duration.
* Test shall consist of a single, mature, healthy, TLP
* github repo must reside within the Apache organization on github
* Access would be managed by infra (e.g. projects would not get admin
access to their repos.
* Github integration must be enabled with activity flowing to lists.
* Force rewrites disabled (this is something that must be performed
out of band by GH staff at present)
* Commit mails directed to commits@$foo.a.o
* Github repo synced frequently somewhere on a.o - and backed up.

I've also reached out to folks from Eclipse to discuss their
experience. Their concerns were project continuity (should github pull
a CodeSpaces[3]), and IP/Legal concerns. They require a CLA be signed
for each contribution, so some of that is easily obviated because we
have no need to audit the author of each pull request to confirm that
they have a CLA signed. They also have admin access restricted to
their infrastructure team.

I am sure there are other concerns that I haven't thought about yet;
so what are they?

Thoughts, comments, flames?

--David

[1] https://github.com/apache
[2] https://blogs.apache.org/infra/entry/improved_integration_between_apache_and
[3] http://codespaces.com

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