[OpenLayers-Dev] GitHub straw poll

Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org
Sat Apr 17 03:16:49 EDT 2010

I am not a core developer, just using OL and I have committed some patches.
But I definitely feel like I am part of the OL community in some way, so I'll
give my input.

On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 01:37:10AM +0200, christopher.schmidt at nokia.com wrote:
> (I'm going to respond in general re: DVCSes here -- if we were to go  
> with Git, I would personally prefer to go to OSGeo and get Git + Trac  
> set up there, than to migrate to GitHub.)

I agree. The community run OSGeo has successfully provided ressources to
developers for a while now. Lets strengthen the community and stay with them.

> I feel that moving to GitHub decentralizes community, and (similar to  
> a wiki for documentation) causes users to feel 'unconnected' with a  
> mainline management of the code.
> In many cases, I have felt that the only reason that contributors have  
> worked to contribute their changes back to OpenLayers is because of  
> the 'cost of forking' -- creating a fork takes time and effort, and  
> not doing so is easier than doing so. As a result, they are required  
> to participate in the community, and in doing so they have a positive  
> effect on the whole community.
> By making forking 'easy', we encourage developers to live in their own  
> world, with low cost to them, and low incentive to contribute back to  
> the community.

On the other hand opening up easy participation to new developers by
having a lower cost of entry for git helps attracting new developers.

I have contributed two patches (#2351 and #2352). They are a new control and a
new layer type. Both rather specialized and not really important at all, maybe
not even worth taking into OL core. They have beeing hanging in Trac limbo
for 5 months now. If anybody wants to use them, he has to get the patches
out there and apply them manually. For all intents and purposes those patches
are dead. If we had git, it would be much easier to maintain those patches
somewhere until somebody decides what to do with them. Maybe they go into
core, maybe they'll end up in some community maintained "extras" repository,
maybe they'll forever be just part of my personal "fork".

> I realize that this is mostly a selfish point of view, but I fear  
> making it easy for organizations to fork, whether it be big or small.  
> THe motivation to contribute back to OpenLayers is reasonably small  
> already, due to the turnaround time on OpenLayers mainline commits;  
> moving to Git to me feels like simply giving up.

I agree with Chris that the current OL management has worked well for the
core of OL, but I think that git could help all those at the fringes of
OL experimenting with new functionality. Those people on the fringes,
if you keep them happy, some of them will move into core development.
In the long run, they'll keep the project healthy.

Jochen Topf  jochen at remote.org  http://www.remote.org/jochen/  +49-721-388298

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