CVS accounts/policy [was Re: Minutes of the GNOME Found...]

On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, Ali Abdin wrote:

> * Martin Baulig (martin home-of-linux org) wrote at 18:12 on 30/11/00:
> > Daniel Veillard <Daniel Veillard w3 org> writes:
> > 
> > >   One of the most common problems which led to the discussion whether
> > > we should add ACL (Access Control Lists) to the CVs base is that there
> > > have been case of people who were granted access to do a specific
> > > action on the code base and who extended that priviledge and made
> > > unappropriate changes to the code.
> > 
> > Hmm, aren't maintainers normally reading over cvs-commits-list and checking
> > whether there's something wrong.
> > 
> > Btw. as one of cvsmaster gnome org, may I ask the board to talk/decide about
> > a new policy for creating CVS accounts ? Currently the "policy" is something
> > between "ask Miguel" and "ask the maintainer". Miguel seems to be forwarding
> > all such requests to me without any check whatsoever while Elliot and me are
> > doing some more checks (module maintainer / translation coordinator must
> > approve etc.). So it is very unclear how to get a new CVS account and it also
> > depends on who you ask.
> Agreed, it took me several months waiting for a CVS account after asking
> miguel. I then asked Maciej, who CCd it to you Martin, and it was done within
> a few hours. 
> > It'd be good if the board can make a more formal policy for this.

This is a big problem.  While many people ask the right people and get
accounts right away, other people have to wait a very long time and
sometimes never get CVS access when they should.  There is a widespread
impression that Miguel is the person who gives out CVS accounts and
(before it opened up) gnome-hackers entry.  I have heard many people
complain that their emails to get onto gnome-hackers or CVS accounts went
unanswered for weeks.  Based on quite a few people I have spoken to, few
people ever get accounts from Miguel and it takes them a long time to
discover that other people can give out accounts.

One of the maintainers of a GNOME application in GNOME CVS recently
explained to me that he was moving his application out of GNOME CVS and
onto SourceForge because he had too much difficulty getting GNOME CVS
accounts for new contributors to his module.  I see this as further
evidence that we have a serious problem with how we give out CVS accounts
right now.

We really need to set up a policy for CVS accounts.  We need:

1) a public list of people who are responsible for giving out accounts

2) a public description of the procedure by which one applies for a CVS

3) a public description of the criteria the CVS committee (ie. the
people who give out the accounts) use to determine if an account should be

4) a system for communicating CVS etiquette, responsibility, and
permissions to new CVS users.  A good web page and/or an email from the
project coordinator or CVS account granter should explain what the new
account holder is allowed to do in CVS and what they are not allowed to
do.  Good communication is much better than ACL's unless you expect people
to act maliciously, which has not occured with GNOME to my knowledge.

5) If we formalize this into a committee, then we should probably set up
an alias such as cvs gnome org which forwards to everybody who can give
out CVS access.  Then anybody who wants to apply for a CVS account can
email cvs gnome org and hopefully one of the people who can give out
accounts will respond in a timely manner.  (Is this what
cvsmaster gnome org is for?)

6) Put up a web page which holds all the "public" information above

Most of this is modelled after what we did or plan to do with the GF
Membership Committee which seems to have worked rather well.


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