[OpenLayers-Dev] GitHub straw poll

Eric Lemoine eric.lemoine at camptocamp.com
Sat Apr 17 04:46:55 EDT 2010

On Saturday, April 17, 2010,  <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 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.

Right, for example it is easy today to find someone's work in the
sandboxes (a good effect of centralization). But I think there are
projects using github out there and that are well organized around a
centralized community.

> 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.

I don't think github really makes it easier to fork. Creating a
sandbox in the OpenLayers SVN is as easy as forking in github, no? And
I think there are lots people today who maintain "forks" of OpenLayers
for their own needs. I don't think Git and github would radically
change the situation with respect to that. We can't prevent people
from forking, so why not give them the tools to do it correctly? :-)

> 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.

The cost of maintainance and merging will always be there.

So, all in all, I'm in favor of moving to git, for the technical
advantages it provides.

Now about OSGeo vs github, either one would work for me. I've recently
learned that every github Git repository comes with a read-only
sync'ed SVN repository, I guess this would be good for people using
svn:externals to OpenLayers.


Eric Lemoine

Camptocamp France SAS
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Mail : eric.lemoine at camptocamp.com

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