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From Marvin Humphrey <>
Subject Re: JIRA and communities
Date Sat, 26 May 2012 21:02:34 GMT
On Sat, May 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM, Benson Margulies <> wrote:
> So, what message here should the incubator send a podling, or the
> foundation send a TLP? I really don't mean this as a rhetorical
> question at all, I'm honestly puzzled.

There are a couple of technical mitigations which can help, such as disabling
the ability to edit comments.  I made another suggestion on the Infra list
this morning regarding trimming context from JIRA notifications[1], but it
turned out to be impractical given the strain of supporting JIRA already.

I think the core issue is the tension between accessibility and the advantages
of heavily customized workflow.

Additionally, some people prefer to have conversations via web bulletin boards
rather than email.  That's hardly a new phenomenon.

JIRA presents challenges because its email integration is awkward.  It doesn't
support replies, it uses a wiki markup language which doesn't translate well
to plain text (compared to say, Markdown), it encourages really long lines,
email content customization is not a first-class feature, and so on.  The email
integration of our JIRA workflows can be improved, but only to a certain

Perhaps one answer might be to create a competing system for patch
contribution by integrating more closely with GitHub.  I've done a little work
building on what Jukka put in place for pull request notifications, and the
GitHub API looks pretty flexible.

If we make it easy to contribute patches via GitHub pull requests, and start
capturing pull request comments to dev lists, then perhaps we'll have fewer
conversations in JIRA.  And unlike JIRA, we're not stuck with the limitations
of a monolithic architecture -- our consumption of GitHub events happens via
individual scripts.

> In the case of Lucene, I've been hanging out for months, and I feel
> perfectly confident that it's a healthy community by any foundation
> standard. At the same time, you all are perfectly correct: watching them
> means dealing with a tsunami of trivia. I'm stumped at what suggestion, let
> alone demand, I'd deliver to such a community.

Lucene is at a different point in the product life cycle than most incoming
podlings.  Even if Lucene loses a few recruits, there are still plenty lining
up to contribute -- thus there are fewer visible consequences if the project
is not as inviting as it could be.

I still think it would be worthwhile to pursue improvements for our JIRA based
projects, though.  For my own selfish reasons, I'd really like to follow
Lucene dev discussions more closely, or be able to scan over Avro's dev list
archives and figure out what on earth is going on.

Marvin Humphrey

[1] I suggested removing the nearly worthless inline summary context
    information which is repeated in every JIRA notification email.
    Sadly, this cannot be achieved using a plugin, and thus would make
    upgrading JIRA even more painful.  Private archive of the thread here:  [Any ASF committer can subscribe to
    infrastructure@a.o, but the archives are only accessible to full ASF
    Members, unfortunately.]

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