Creating new modules (was Re: Git vs SVN (was: Can we improve things?))


On 9/10/07, Federico Mena Quintero <federico ximian com> wrote:
> Because it is no longer possible to create new SVN modules easily, as it
> was when we used CVS.  By "easily" I mean that it you want to create a
> module, you don't need to ask anyone to do it for you.

When this first came up on d-d-l I was sort of "not sure this is a big
deal" but then recently I was thinking about it again and decided it
did matter.

Back in the day the cvs-commits-list was part of the community. One of
the things that frequently happened is that people followed up to
commit messages to discuss, or noticed a commit and discussed it on

The really important community effect is that you could kind of just
watch everyone working, and if it happened to relate to you or
happened to look interesting, you could pile on. Since commit access
was not per-module but for the whole GNOME project, you probably
already had commit access.

Another social effect is that you knew who was doing work, and if you
did a lot of work you got credit for it without having to
self-promote, since people saw your commits flying by.

Anyway, the centralization and common CVS repo was really a big part
of how the community worked. It let people get credit, it let people
informally notice where they could help each other, it let everyone
have a baseline knowledge of what was being worked on.

Importantly, this happened *even for brand new or experimental
projects*. Those were worth having in the central repo because of the
social and community value of knowing what people were up to and being
able to help them or assign them your respect or whatever accordingly.

Bringing it back to the present, there's stuff on that
really belongs on, but it seems it didn't end up there. I
don't think this was a conscious thing, but I think it probably was
due to just enough of a barrier to create a new gnome module. And then
once you start a module in one place, it's a Major Project to move it
(probably not truly a major project, but enough to result in

Anyway. I'm not sure the old cvs-commits-list type approach really
scales to GNOME's current size, but I think something *was* lost.

To give a productive suggestion, I wonder if a nice "code commits
planet" would be a win for GNOME, perhaps somehow mixed in to or in a
sidebar of the current planet. It could track all the repos related to
GNOME and try to display in readable summary form 1) which modules had
commits today and 2) who did the commits. To show who's doing stuff
and what stuff they are doing, at least in terms of which module they
are working on.


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]