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Re: lower the barriers to contribution, branching


The pedantic innerchild in me must point out that a Haiku by definition
must reference a seasonal element. -KAM
On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 8:41 AM James Dailey <jamespdailey@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I'd like to promote discussion on this topic again with a little haiku:
>
> code contributed
> lives on, makes a difference
> share a branch, git-style
> practical beats purity*
>
> monitor beauty
> just gate-keep for quality
> coding wise DRY KISS!
> community over code
>
> -jamesD
> *derivative attribution to line 9 of Zen of Python
>
> --- to quote myself, as poets may do:
> > What we do not want, and must try to avoid, are hard forks by the users
> > (entities that take the code and deploy in the real world), where they
> have
> > long standing unmerged changes, and worst that these changes are
> > incompatible with the upstream changes that are on the main fineract dev
> > branch. This then leads to harder to maintain code at the users and more
> > costly duplicative development for all. This is the opposite of the
> > virtuous cycle.
>
>
>
>
> On Fri, Aug 24, 2018 at 2:03 PM Myrle Krantz <myrle@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>
> > Hey all,
> >
> > Just FYI, I forwarded James Dailey's mail to Ross, and here was his
> > response.  (There's a little plug in there for ApacheCon as well.
> > Anyone who hasn't registered yet: there's still time. : o)
> >
> > "Thanks Myrle,
> >
> > You are correct I do not actively follow the Fineract dev list
> > anymore. Feel free to share this back to the broader community list if
> > it helps.
> >
> > The below email from James is a good summary of our conversation at
> > OSCON. This conversation was a general one about “The Apache Way” and
> > how Apache projects deal with growing pains as their code matures. I
> > cannot comment on how well James has applied those general lessons to
> > Fineract today, but I certainly see plenty of good content within this
> > mail.
> >
> > If I were to summarize that general guidance in a few sentences it
> > would be to remove as much friction from the contribution process
> > (code reviews, merit recognition, community alignment) as possible.
> > Generally speaking the lower the barriers to contribution the faster
> > the community will grow. This does depend on people actively
> > monitoring the project, but monitoring is less work than gate-keeping.
> >
> > Adopting things like Lazy Consensus can be key
> > http://community.apache.org/committers/lazyConsensus.html.
> >
> > In the days of SVN we were forced by the tooling to operate with a
> > branching model. This works really well. All changes are visible in
> > one place. Work in progress can be easily discovered and reviewed. It
> > means those monitoring the project have the opportunity to review work
> > as it happens, thus enabling them to raise concerns about a design
> > decision or implementation weakness early in the process. This in turn
> > meant that when it was time to consider a merge most of the rough
> > edges had ben talked about *before* they had become deeply imbedded in
> > finished code. It was easier to fix and people would work together to
> > design a fix that worked for everyone.
> >
> > As James indicates Git does not force this way of working. It has
> > excellent support for the SVN concept of branching, unfortunately
> > GitHub has driven most people to click “fork” (mostly invisible to the
> > community) rather than branch. GitHub, therefore, has encouraged us to
> > work privately then issue a pull request for review when the work is
> > “finished”. This often means people are not keen to redo their
> > implementation to satisfy the broader needs of the community. They
> > will blame the community for “blocking” their improvements.
> >
> > I am a strong believer in doing as much as possible in the open at all
> > times and reducing barriers to collaboration.
> >
> > Interestingly, I have a talk on this topic at ApacheCon this year, if
> > only I’d written it already
> >
> > Ross"
> > On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 7:00 PM James Dailey <jamespdailey@xxxxxxxxx>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi All -
> > >
> > > For the good of this project, I'd like to share some ideas gathered and
> > > shared in a side meeting at OSCON18 with Apache President Ross Gardler
> > who
> > > was one of the champions of this project.  You can read the official
> PMC
> > > reports that go to the Apache Board here -->
> > > https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/FINERACT/Board+Reports
> > >
> > > I am not a member of the PMC, nor a committer, but I have been involved
> > > from the beginnings of this in 2002. So, I am hoping to share both the
> > > short term and the long term view.  As most of you know, the Mifos
> > > Initiative contributed the code to Apache and remains - as an external
> > > entity - highly interested in ensuring the continuation and growth of
> the
> > > project.  In the Apache worldview, Mifos offers a kind of
> > "productization"
> > > of the *project*, and the hope is that many more such entities - for
> > profit
> > > companies in particular - will productize, and contribute back via the
> > > community of developers, requirements and ideas.  In other projects we
> > know
> > > within Apache, contributors can be paid by companies to make sure that
> > > their priorities get attention. Those companies and entities provide a
> > kind
> > > of "wrapper" around the project and can provide things like dashboards,
> > > add-ons, and deployment scripts.  Thus a virtuous cycle is born and
> > > supported.
> > >
> > > What we do not want, and must try to avoid, are hard forks by the users
> > > (entities that take the code and deploy in the real world), where they
> > have
> > > long standing unmerged changes, and worst that these changes are
> > > incompatible with the upstream changes that are on the main fineract
> dev
> > > branch. This then leads to harder to maintain code at the users and
> more
> > > costly duplicative development for all. This is the opposite of the
> > > virtuous cycle.
> > >
> > > If there are large unmerged changes that can be proposed for either
> > > Fineract1.x or for Fineract-CN, I believe a key way forward would be to
> > > make those branches visible. Fortunately, and tongue firmly in cheek,
> > there
> > > is a mechanism available in git conveniently called a "branch".  I
> think
> > > the PMC should consider this approach to bring into the fold those
> > outside
> > > entities that are on forks (via the individual contributors) and then
> to
> > > have a clear process by which a serious attempt to evaluate and accept
> > such
> > > changes into the main branch are undertaken. It is probably naive of me
> > to
> > > think that the point of forking is that clear based on a defined
> release,
> > > but one can hope. In any case, the project would be much assisted if
> code
> > > that is written for real world situations is made visible for
> merit-based
> > > evaluation and inclusion. That can, and probably should, exclude
> > > productizations (plug-ins, deployment scripts, UIs, report
> > infrastructure)
> > > that give companies a differentiation in market. However, underlying
> code
> > > changes that make those things work better need to be contributed back
> so
> > > that the “wrappers” can be a kind of patch that is easily maintained on
> > top
> > > of the fineract release. If you are part of one of those companies,
> > please
> > > now do comment on what is holding you back, and make an attempt to move
> > all
> > > of your infrastructure to the latest stable fineract release
> (identifying
> > > issues as they arise).
> > >
> > > The other thing that we should strive to avoid are PRs that sit around
> > and
> > > remain un-merged. (as noted by PMC) This is an obvious problem made
> > worse,
> > > I believe, by having some number of contributions that may not have
> > > anything to do with the needs of the broadest set of actual users.  If
> > the
> > > community is out of sync with the users, which is possible in a project
> > > that is NOT involved in a direct "scratching the itch" kind of thing.
> > > (referring to the axiom that most opensource projects are developers
> > > scratching the itch for software that works for their needs). To solve
> > this
> > > problem, the Apache board recently heard about a cool innovation that
> > seems
> > > obvious in retrospect: allow non-committers to review and comment on
> > > proposed Pull Requests, thereby determining their priority and earning
> > the
> > > non-committer points and merit towards committership. Also, we should
> > have
> > > a cultural project norm here where a few things can change around PRs:
> > >
> > >    1.
> > >
> > >    Committers should be free to merge if no objection is heard (a time
> > >    frame of 72 hrs is probably ok, to be set as “community norm”)
> > >    2.
> > >
> > >    Merge and review - rather than review and merge should be adopted by
> > the
> > >    PMC
> > >    3.
> > >
> > >    Releases must be scrutinized but the “tip” or “head” of dev can be
> > >    merges that may be subject to review and revert-backs
> > >    4.
> > >
> > >    If you break it, you unmerge it  (tests coverage is your friend!!)
> > >
> > >
> > > For more information on project maturity at Apache, please read
> > >
> > >
> >
> https://community.apache.org/apache-way/apache-project-maturity-model.html
> > >
> > > By the way, and now speaking with my non-profit Mifos hat on, a key
> > intent
> > > of moving the code over from Mifos to Apache was to broaden the
> community
> > > and broaden the appeal.  When I say "Mifos contributed" I also mean to
> > say
> > > all of the contributors to the Mifos project, who worked on it as an
> open
> > > source project from 2005 to present, are part of that. It is accurate
> to
> > > say that the Mifos community was already an active one and a key
> > > accomplishment over the past two years is bringing over the code and
> the
> > > community to Apache.  But more needs to be done to clarify.
> > >
> > > Mifos community code (also released under apache 2.0) is now a wrapper
> on
> > > top of fineract. Fineract can include binary releases for convenience
> but
> > > the code is the thing, not the productization. Mifos is also continuing
> > to
> > > play an important role in organizing the community of financial
> inclusion
> > > around fineract - I submit that that is not inconsistent with the PMC
> > > trying to market fineract to both the financial inclusion community and
> > the
> > > private sector interested in payments, banking, etc.  As a non-profit,
> > > Mifos has much of the same operating imperatives as Apache, but with a
> > > narrower focus on financial inclusion. We probably need advice from our
> > > apache friends how to address this dual role.
> > >
> > > Finally, I am inspired by what so many have accomplished on the mifosX
> →
> > > now fineract 1.x codebase and what is promised by the fineract-CN code.
> > I
> > > continue to envision fineract in the broadest and more inspiring terms.
> > > Opensource will eat the world and the financial world is only beginning
> > to
> > > be heard from us.
> > >
> > >
> > > Please do comment on this post and suggest ways to operationalize or
> > object
> > > and say why. THANK YOU!!
> > >
> > > James Dailey
> > >
> > > Fineract’r
> > >
> > > Board Chair, Mifos
> >
>