[development] New version control policies/system? (was: Consolidating duplicate contrib modules for D7)

Marcel Partap mpartap at gmx.net
Wed Dec 9 01:24:46 UTC 2009

> I was going to lead this thread die. We had this back in ~2006. It was
> kind of crazy. I don't think it makes sense to go back to it.
Wait - no, you're right.. The universe is static. Change is impossible, thus reconsidering established practices leads nowhere.

> If someone is interested in following this practice for their own
> module they can do so
..how does this improve the issue of 'maintainers' not efficiently cooperating? Where is the incentive to combat feature duplication?

> simply add anyone to the list of maintainers that asks for it.
Wow, that really sounds so much more like a feasible, well thought through strategic plan...
Heck what if someone is qualified to _hack_ the code but - not qualified to (co-)'maintain' a module?

> But let's not make a sitewide change without some
> proof that it works well on a few specific projects first.
Well obviously, KDE doesn't count as an example here -  code complexity is drastically lower, little structural fluctuations and it has very few active participants. Not comparable to drupal contrib where a set of independent, highly complicated algorithms has to be professionally maintained by a vast pool of specialists.
And if the KDE way works well for KDE, this implies nothing for drupal contrib. The fundamental requirements are just too different. Right?

> My personal sense is that when I see more than 3-4 maintainers on a
> project I get concerned that it is probably not architecturally
> consistent and likely poorly maintained (the "everyone thought it
> should be done, anyone can do it, nobody did it" problem).
This is not about raising the numbers of module maintainers, but about abolishing their sovereignty over code - is this FREE software, or just open? Why do we put code under the GPL in the first place?
Doing things in a platform framework style sense can be facilitated or blocked by source/development management structures. With current policy, we obviously have not facilitated it enough.
The Drupal project has grown its very own style regarding code change process, distinct from the development models of other projcts of comparable size and complexity like f.e. the Linux Kernel, WiNE, Xorg , KDE.. You are totally satisfied with it, fine - my opinion is there's room to improve. Anything non-perfect can be done better! :]

> The Wikipedia entry on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_space
> doesn't seem exactly applicable (am I a pedestrian, bicyclist, or
> urban planner in the analogy?)
whatever you so choose ;-)

> but another apt way to describe an
> environment where anyone can do whatever they please is a "commons" as
> in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons
Tragedy of the commons
A B-class article from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The tragedy of the commons refers to a dilemma described in an influential article by that name written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968.[1] The article describes a situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently, and solely and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen.[2]
even with good intent i see no way how this could apply to the drupal open source project. Code is one of the very few things that grows in size if you share it ;)

> PS I ignored the whole "move away from cvs" part of this discussion
> because that is well discussed and well documented at
> http://groups.drupal.org/node/8102 - needs more testers and more code
> first.
Alright, everybody and his mother is busy doing other stuff. Why don't we put up a huge call for action on the drupal.org frontpage? Theoretically, the pure migration of the repositories should not take more than a few hours, right? If we as the drupal collective don't put it upfront the priority list, obviously it will be completed once hell is (at least half) frozen X-P

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