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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: Long-terms plans for supporting .NET 3.5
Date Tue, 15 Jan 2013 12:13:18 GMT
On 2013-01-13, Troy Howard wrote:

> One thing to consider is that the ASF workflow is a bit stodgy to work
> with. It really does make a difference to collaboration, as any small
> barrier makes it too easy to opt out of contributing and collaborating.

OK, I bite ;-)

What you describe (and I have largely snipped now) is how github pull
requests lower the barrier to entry and how "send a patch and attach it
to a JIRA ticket" is more cumbersome.

Over at log4net we have people struggle with creating patches.  What
otherwise seem to be competent developers fail to use diff or even use
svn diff.  Using git would be even more difficult for them.  This may
not be the target of "get more people involved in development", I'd
aggree with that.

I can't contest that pull requests are really easy for people who have
done that a few times.  But there is a bit more to it.

In my limited experience with pull requests it seems they create more
"drive-by contributions" than the more heavy weight process at the ASF.
The fact that forking and creating pull requests is so easy seems to
result in pull requests by people that never show up again after it has
been merged.  It feels as if people who have jumped through the hoops to
actually contribute are more prone to stick around.  I may be wrong.

Another aspect is that many times forks are created to fully implement a
feature in isolation that somebody feels is worthy.  If you start out by
proposing the feature and discussing it with the existing community
first you may realize the majority doesn't want the feature or that a
completely different way to skin that cat is more appropriate.  I don't
say you couldn't have those discussions up front in a "pull request
world", it just doesn't seem to happen as often.  Again, I may be wrong.

The github "pull request world" seems centered around the code itself
much more than the traditional way of the ASF which believes to be more
centered around the community of developers.

I'm not saying the "pull request world" is inferior (nor it is superior)
but rather that at least I'm not sure how well the "pull request" view
mixes with the ASF philosophical goals.

Then again, we are free to use git and I'd be all for trying out how
well it works for us.  After all a pull request at github really just is
some icing on top of what you can do with the git CLI anyway.  Nothing
would stop you from manually merging a fork into your local git repo and
push the change to the ASF repo - you just didn't have the button inside
a Web-UI.  But this difference is only visible to the existing committer
base, not to the developers who want to contribute.


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