[OpenLayers-Dev] GitHub straw poll

Jochen Topf jochen at remote.org
Sat Apr 17 09:55:28 EDT 2010

On Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 02:58:13PM +0200, christopher.schmidt at nokia.com wrote:
> > 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.
> Would it be easier than putting them into an SVN sandbox?

Yes. I'd rather have one place for all my stuff (my git repository) than a
different one for each project.

> > 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".
> All of which can still happen without Git.

Yes, but git was designed for this. Why not use it.

> >> 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.
> So, I guess the question is: "Why aren't OL sandboxes being used for this?" I always started the sandbox development idea with that in mind, and I think that other projects have had success with this model within SVN (GDAL, for example); why is that not working for OL?

Barrier of entry, again. I didn't even think about asking for sandbox access,
because I think of it as something only for "serious" OL developers. A git
repository has a lower barrier, because you don't have to ask anybody and
because it *feels* easier. I don't have to think about whether the stuff I
am working on is "important" enough for a sandbox. I can just play with it
in my own backyard (ie git repos) and it still can be shared. And if I work
on 10 different things I can have them in one repos or in 10.

I think we are talking about two different things here and we should keep
them separate: One is the SVN vs. git technical debate. The other is the
question on how to encourage more people to get involved with the project.
You are probably right if you say everything that can technically be done
with SVN can be done with git. But thats not the important point. Both these
names stand in a way for different development models. SVN for a more
centralized approach and git for the more distributed approach.

I think I prefer the distributed approach, but I am a bit unclear on where you
stand. You say you "fear making it easy for organizations to fork", yet you
want the sandbox model (which creates lots of forks, doesn't it?). I think
deciding on the development model has to come first. Which software to use
is then only a technical question.

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

More information about the Dev mailing list