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From Andrew Purtell <>
Subject Re: RTC vs CTR (was: Concerning Sentry...)
Date Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:01:02 GMT
> After writing the above, I started to feel it was familiar and remember a very similar
discussion on hbase-dev last year:
- I'd recommend people go check that one out to see the various viewpoints.

That was a great discussion covering all manner of ideas, crazy or otherwise. Key is we brought
the discussion out to a public forum and had a no drama floating of views and options with
an aim to build consensus. 

That consensus on HBase was that RTC is preferred over the alternative, pretty much for the
code quality reasons Todd discusses below. Any other project could come to a different consensus.
I don't think we need to or should prescribe RTC or CTR up front. Each community should have
this discussion and come to a rational consensus of what choice they should make for their
particular needs. 

> On Nov 16, 2015, at 9:53 AM, Todd Lipcon <> wrote:
> [editing subject since the discussion has veered away from Sentry]
> On Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 7:56 AM, Ralph Goers <>
> wrote:
>> And I have to disagree with you Joe. To me, a mandatory RTC policy says
>> “we don’t trust anybody”. Sure, it doesn’t discriminate, but it is also a
>> PITA. One project I mentored uses RTC along with ReviewBoard and mandates
>> that you cannot commit your own work and every commit must be formally
>> reviewed. I have found this process to be so onerous that I have never
>> committed any code to the project, even though I really would like to.  I
>> find the pace of this project to be fairly slow.  But it seems to fit
>> within the corporate culture that most of the committers seem to work in.
>> OTOH, I am involved in a project that uses CTR but where feature branches
>> are frequently created to allow others to review and improve significant
>> new work before it is integrated. As a consequence, new features are
>> introduced at a much faster pace in this project.
> I've seen this RTC vs CTR discussion come up a number of times over the
> last ~6 years that I've been involved in ASF projects. For every strong
> opinion in favor of CTR (like yours) there is a strong opinion in favor of
> RTC (like mine).
> The quick summary of my viewpoint is:
> 1) You're right, I don't trust anybody to make code changes to a complex
> project with zero oversight. I currently work on a project that I
> originally started, and was the only engineer on for a few months. Even
> when I make changes to code that I wrote 100% of the module, I get others
> to review my work, and you know what? It turns out better for it. Sometimes
> they find bugs. Often they find areas where I didn't comment the code well,
> design it as well as I could have, or missed potential performance
> optimizations.
> Coding's hard. Coding on complex projects is even harder. Some projects
> aren't complex, and maybe on those a CTR policy makes a lot more sense. But
> distributed systems, database storage engines, etc, are pretty hard to get
> right, even for the "experts". I'm always glad to have a second pair of
> eyes before I introduce a bug that takes down critical infrastructure.
> 2) Regardless of trust, code review helps build _shared ownership_ of code.
> In community projects, without code review, it's easy to end up with "pet
> features" or areas of code that only one person understands. When that
> person moves on to new employment or new interests, the project is stuck
> with a bunch of source code that no one understands how to maintain.
> Forcing the original author to get some reviews before committing ensures
> that there is a more likely path to project continuity after they move on
> to new pastures.
> 3) Code reviews are a great way for engineers to learn from others in the
> community. Earlier in my career, I certainly learned a lot from the
> committers on projects like Hadoop and HBase where I "cut my teeth". And
> even as a long-time committer on these systems, I still learn new things
> from reviewing code written by newer members of the community. Review is
> where a lot of the cross-contributor interaction takes place, so it helps
> build a cohesive community.
> Given #2 and #3, I see RTC as an extension of "community over code". Sure,
> it might slow down the introduction of a new feature or fix to have to wait
> to get a review from another community member. But, that's just code.
> Getting more eyes and hands on the code builds the community.
> After writing the above, I started to feel it was familiar and remember a
> very similar discussion on hbase-dev last year:
> - I'd recommend people go check that one out to see the various viewpoints.
> I don't anticipate that the above arguments will convince you, or anyone
> else who believes in CTR, to change your mind. But, as mentioned in some
> other recent incubator threads, let's not use the incubator as a
> battleground for personal opinions. There are successful Apache projects
> following all sorts of development models, and the important thing is only
> that (a) projects build inclusive communities, and (b) projects follow
> proper licensing/release/etc processes for legal reasons.
> -Todd

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