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[PostgreSQL-www] Contributor listing policy

Josh Berkus
Mar 7, 2008 at 11:10 pm
Folks,

*speaking* of being open about policies, I'm requesting comments on the
Core Team's draft contributor listing policy:
http://developer.postgresql.org/index.php/ContributorListings

Here's what's changing from current practice:
1) period for dropping people who have not been around is set to 2 years.
No explicit period was set before.

2) non-code contributors now get listed in the "Contributors" section, but
are not eligible for the "Major Developers" section. This is a compromise
between previous practice (not listing non-code contributors at all) and
what some people would like to see ("Major Contributors" with non-code
contributors); I figure we'll revisit this policy in a year or so.

3) this will require a member of the WWW team to add "year contributed" and
"comments" non-displaying fields to the web tool we manage the contributor
listings with. How long would that take to add?

--
--Josh

Josh Berkus
PostgreSQL @ Sun
San Francisco
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14 responses

  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 8, 2008 at 1:54 am

    On Fri, 7 Mar 2008 15:14:08 -0800 Josh Berkus wrote:

    Folks,

    *speaking* of being open about policies, I'm requesting comments on
    the Core Team's draft contributor listing policy:
    http://developer.postgresql.org/index.php/ContributorListings

    Here's what's changing from current practice:
    1) period for dropping people who have not been around is set to 2
    years. No explicit period was set before.

    2) non-code contributors now get listed in the "Contributors"
    section, but are not eligible for the "Major Developers" section.
    There is no major developer section. There are:

    Core
    Major Contributors
    Contributors

    This particular change was discussed and debated publicly and the patch
    submitted by me and approved, months ago. It is also why the
    contributor list is not under developers anymore. It's under community.
    This is a compromise between previous practice (not listing non-code
    contributors at all) and what some people would like to see ("Major
    Contributors" with non-code contributors); I figure we'll revisit
    this policy in a year or so.
    The idea that a line of code is more important than the organization of
    an army (users) is incorrect. Without one the other is pointless.
    3) this will require a member of the WWW team to add "year
    contributed" and "comments" non-displaying fields to the web tool we
    manage the contributor listings with. How long would that take to
    add?
    Not long. I could do it fairly easily.

    Sincerely,

    Joshua D. Drake



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  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 8, 2008 at 3:24 am

    On Fri, 7 Mar 2008 17:57:25 -0800 "Joshua D. Drake" wrote:

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    On Fri, 7 Mar 2008 15:14:08 -0800
    Josh Berkus wrote:
    Folks,

    *speaking* of being open about policies, I'm requesting comments on
    the Core Team's draft contributor listing policy:
    http://developer.postgresql.org/index.php/ContributorListings

    Here's what's changing from current practice:
    1) period for dropping people who have not been around is set to 2
    years. No explicit period was set before.

    2) non-code contributors now get listed in the "Contributors"
    section, but are not eligible for the "Major Developers" section.
    Of note on this is:

    Editing the contributor listings will be carried out by the Core Team.

    This is outside the scope of core purpose as they portray themselves.
    Which is as a steering committee/release manager.

    Although members of core could certainly be part of the process, I
    think that like everything else in the infrastructure contributor
    management should be lead by a team of individuals, a committee if you
    will.

    Sincerely,

    Joshua D. Drake


    - --
    The PostgreSQL Company since 1997: http://www.commandprompt.com/
    PostgreSQL Community Conference: http://www.postgresqlconference.org/
    Donate to the PostgreSQL Project: http://www.postgresql.org/about/donate
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  • Josh Berkus at Mar 9, 2008 at 7:12 pm
    Josh,
    This particular change was discussed and debated publicly and the patch
    submitted by me and approved, months ago. It is also why the
    contributor list is not under developers anymore. It's under community.
    Actually, looking at the archives, there wasn't much discussion when you
    submitted the patch; I doubt that most people realized the changes it made.
    I know that I wasn't clear on it, noticing only the change in sort order, and
    certainly the rest of the core team (or hackers) didn't discuss it.

    Contributor listings are not a matter of *only* WWW team's discretion. In
    fact, traditionally, contents of the developer listings have been determined
    by the core team; if we're going to change that and give sole authority to
    WWW maintainers, then I think we ought to have an *explicit* discussion about
    that.
    This is a compromise between previous practice (not listing non-code
    contributors at all) and what some people would like to see ("Major
    Contributors" with non-code contributors); I figure we'll revisit
    this policy in a year or so.
    The idea that a line of code is more important than the organization of
    an army (users) is incorrect. Without one the other is pointless.
    I'm hardly one to argue that non-code contributors aren't important. However,
    I also don't see a reason to dramatically change the listings all at once;
    why not do it in stages, with non-code contributors listed in the
    "contributors" section this year, and under "major" maybe next year? Given
    that non-code contributors currently aren't listed *at all* despite the
    change in headings, I still see it moving in the right direction.

    Futher, I don't feel that I -- as the core team member current preparing the
    names for the contributor listings -- have a good handle on the difference
    between a "major" and "minor" non-code contributor. *I* would like a year to
    feel out some good practices.

    The core team felt this was a reasonable compromise; Magnus felt it was a
    reasonable compromise. So far, you're the only one to think it's not a
    reasonable way to go, so I'd like to hear from some other people as well as
    you.

    --
    Josh Berkus
    PostgreSQL @ Sun
    San Francisco
  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 9, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    On Sun, 9 Mar 2008 12:11:57 -0700 Josh Berkus wrote:

    Actually, looking at the archives, there wasn't much discussion when
    you submitted the patch; I doubt that most people realized the
    changes it made. I know that I wasn't clear on it, noticing only the
    change in sort order, and certainly the rest of the core team (or
    hackers) didn't discuss it.
    Perhaps you should read again there are actually two threads and there
    was a very long discussion. That every single core member spoke up at
    least once except for Jan. The following is the thread on my patch
    which changed the wording from Developers to Contributors and moved its
    home under /community/.

    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-12/msg00022.php

    And then a conversation you initiated on actually updating the list
    last November.

    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-11/msg00432.php
    Contributor listings are not a matter of *only* WWW team's
    discretion. In fact, traditionally, contents of the developer
    listings have been determined by the core team;
    As I understand it, traditionally Robert handled that with Core
    oversight.
    if we're going to
    change that and give sole authority to WWW maintainers, then I think
    we ought to have an *explicit* discussion about that.
    I am not sure where you got this. I never suggested in anyway it was
    the sole responsibility or discretion of the WWW team.
    The idea that a line of code is more important than the
    organization of an army (users) is incorrect. Without one the other
    is pointless.
    I'm hardly one to argue that non-code contributors aren't important.
    However, I also don't see a reason to dramatically change the
    listings all at once; why not do it in stages, with non-code
    contributors listed in the "contributors" section this year, and
    under "major" maybe next year? Given that non-code contributors
    currently aren't listed *at all* despite the change in headings, I
    still see it moving in the right direction.
    The reason non code contributors aren't listed is the list has been
    basically unmaintained for over a year. There are also code
    contributors that aren't listed, Stefan being one of the most glaring
    examples.

    Secondly, using your reasoning it's o.k. to overlook the contributions
    made by non code contributors, "because it's easier". It would be
    easier just to remove the whole list. If you are going to start making
    judgments on the value of someones contributions, you must do it in
    full. You can not, in good conscious be arbitrary or selective.
    The core team felt this was a reasonable compromise; Magnus felt it
    was a reasonable compromise. So far, you're the only one to think
    it's not a reasonable way to go, so I'd like to hear from some other
    people as well as you.
    Well I would like hear it from more than just you. Magnus hasn't said a
    word publicly, neither has Dave, Jan, Marc, Tom, Bruce, Peter or the
    several dozen of other major contributors that are or are not listed.
    Currently you and I are the only one's speaking about this. Secondly
    - -www is hardly the forum for this as this is not about "the website"
    but about attribution to the contributors to the community which should
    take place in a more populous forum such as -general.

    Robert (who I believe is actually person in charge of this list) has
    stated:

    A major contributor is differentiated from other contributors based on
    1) longevity in the community, 2) number of areas they work on, 3)
    signifigance of the contributions that have been made.

    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-11/msg00488.php

    Based on the above policy, code has nothing to do with it, the size of
    contribution does. The fact that non core contributors haven't been
    listed appears to be an oversight more than anything. One that is long
    overdue to be fixed.

    Sincerely,

    Joshua D. Drake

    - --
    The PostgreSQL Company since 1997: http://www.commandprompt.com/
    PostgreSQL Community Conference: http://www.postgresqlconference.org/
    Donate to the PostgreSQL Project: http://www.postgresql.org/about/donate
    PostgreSQL political pundit | Mocker of Dolphins
  • Tom Lane at Mar 10, 2008 at 12:59 am

    "Joshua D. Drake" <jd@commandprompt.com> writes:
    Josh Berkus wrote:
    Actually, looking at the archives, there wasn't much discussion when
    you submitted the patch; I doubt that most people realized the
    changes it made. I know that I wasn't clear on it, noticing only the
    change in sort order, and certainly the rest of the core team (or
    hackers) didn't discuss it.
    Perhaps you should read again there are actually two threads and there
    was a very long discussion. That every single core member spoke up at
    least once except for Jan. The following is the thread on my patch
    which changed the wording from Developers to Contributors and moved its
    home under /community/.
    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-12/msg00022.php
    Why is any of this discussion happening on pgsql-www? Surely it is not
    the webteam's charter to determine who is or is not a contributor.

    If, as is evidently the case, you are unwilling to defer to core's
    opinions on the matter, you need to muster support for your position
    on some more widely-read mailing list.
    In fact, traditionally, contents of the developer
    listings have been determined by the core team;
    As I understand it, traditionally Robert handled that with Core
    oversight.
    I don't particularly know who made the webpage edits, but it's always
    been core's determination who is or is not listed.
    The reason non code contributors aren't listed is the list has been
    basically unmaintained for over a year.
    Traditionally core has reconsidered the list shortly after each major
    release. We were in fact in process of doing that now. The long delay
    since the last changes is a direct result of the slipped 8.3 schedule.

    regards, tom lane
  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 10, 2008 at 2:01 am

    On Sun, 09 Mar 2008 20:59:07 -0400 Tom Lane wrote:
    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-12/msg00022.php
    Why is any of this discussion happening on pgsql-www? Surely it is
    not the webteam's charter to determine who is or is not a contributor. Agreed :)
    If, as is evidently the case, you are unwilling to defer to core's
    opinions on the matter, you need to muster support for your position
    on some more widely-read mailing list.
    Yes, I brought that up in reply :). I said, it should be discussed on
    pgsql-general or other populated list. JoshB is the one that started
    this on -www.
    In fact, traditionally, contents of the developer
    listings have been determined by the core team;
    As I understand it, traditionally Robert handled that with Core
    oversight.
    I don't particularly know who made the webpage edits, but it's always
    been core's determination who is or is not listed.
    O.k.
    The reason non code contributors aren't listed is the list has been
    basically unmaintained for over a year.
    Traditionally core has reconsidered the list shortly after each major
    release. We were in fact in process of doing that now. The long
    delay since the last changes is a direct result of the slipped 8.3
    schedule.
    Fair enough, I assume -hackers is not the place to have this
    discussion. Should this be on -general?

    Sincerely,

    Joshua D. Drake


    - --
    The PostgreSQL Company since 1997: http://www.commandprompt.com/
    PostgreSQL Community Conference: http://www.postgresqlconference.org/
    Donate to the PostgreSQL Project: http://www.postgresql.org/about/donate
    PostgreSQL political pundit | Mocker of Dolphins
  • Josh Berkus at Mar 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    Josh,
    Fair enough, I assume -hackers is not the place to have this
    discussion. Should this be on -general?
    I don't think so -- General is mostly newbies seeking help, not
    contributors. Hackers would be the most applicable list, followed by
    this list (already taken care of) and Advocacy for non-code contributors.

    However, such a discussion is liable to take weeks. You need to ask
    yourself whether the changes you want are worth spending weeks
    sheperding an e-mail discussion, and then longer before the listings
    actually get updated.

    --Josh
  • Robert Treat at Mar 12, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    On Sunday 09 March 2008 20:59, Tom Lane wrote:
    "Joshua D. Drake" <jd@commandprompt.com> writes:
    Josh Berkus wrote:
    Actually, looking at the archives, there wasn't much discussion when
    you submitted the patch; I doubt that most people realized the
    changes it made. I know that I wasn't clear on it, noticing only the
    change in sort order, and certainly the rest of the core team (or
    hackers) didn't discuss it.
    Perhaps you should read again there are actually two threads and there
    was a very long discussion. That every single core member spoke up at
    least once except for Jan. The following is the thread on my patch
    which changed the wording from Developers to Contributors and moved its
    home under /community/.

    http://archives.postgresql.org/pgsql-www/2007-12/msg00022.php
    Why is any of this discussion happening on pgsql-www? Surely it is not
    the webteam's charter to determine who is or is not a contributor.

    If, as is evidently the case, you are unwilling to defer to core's
    opinions on the matter, you need to muster support for your position
    on some more widely-read mailing list.
    In fact, traditionally, contents of the developer
    listings have been determined by the core team;
    As I understand it, traditionally Robert handled that with Core
    oversight.
    I don't particularly know who made the webpage edits, but it's always
    been core's determination who is or is not listed.
    The reason non code contributors aren't listed is the list has been
    basically unmaintained for over a year.
    Traditionally core has reconsidered the list shortly after each major
    release. We were in fact in process of doing that now. The long delay
    since the last changes is a direct result of the slipped 8.3 schedule.
    This seems to discount my efforts in the whole process. My theory was if I
    ever left it up to core, it would never get updated. Never is a long time, so
    I suspect I'll be proven wrong in the long run, but so far I am correct.

    --
    Robert Treat
    Build A Brighter LAMP :: Linux Apache {middleware} PostgreSQL
  • Dave Page at Mar 13, 2008 at 8:40 am

    On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 11:56 PM, Robert Treat wrote:

    This seems to discount my efforts in the whole process. My theory was if I
    ever left it up to core, it would never get updated. Never is a long time, so
    I suspect I'll be proven wrong in the long run, but so far I am correct.
    I think we were all waiting for you to do your thing again :-)


    --
    Dave Page
    EnterpriseDB UK Ltd: http://www.enterprisedb.com
    PostgreSQL UK 2008 Conference: http://www.postgresql.org.uk
  • Magnus Hagander at Mar 10, 2008 at 9:34 am

    On Sun, Mar 09, 2008 at 02:19:50PM -0700, Joshua D. Drake wrote:
    Contributor listings are not a matter of *only* WWW team's
    discretion. In fact, traditionally, contents of the developer
    listings have been determined by the core team;
    As I understand it, traditionally Robert handled that with Core
    oversight.
    Yes, that is correct. Basically, Robert drew up the changes he wanted to
    do, and sent them by -core for approval.

    The idea that a line of code is more important than the
    organization of an army (users) is incorrect. Without one the other
    is pointless.
    I'm hardly one to argue that non-code contributors aren't important.
    However, I also don't see a reason to dramatically change the
    listings all at once; why not do it in stages, with non-code
    contributors listed in the "contributors" section this year, and
    under "major" maybe next year? Given that non-code contributors
    currently aren't listed *at all* despite the change in headings, I
    still see it moving in the right direction.
    The reason non code contributors aren't listed is the list has been
    basically unmaintained for over a year. There are also code
    contributors that aren't listed, Stefan being one of the most glaring
    examples.
    That's because it hasn't yet been updated for 8.3.

    The core team felt this was a reasonable compromise; Magnus felt it
    was a reasonable compromise. So far, you're the only one to think
    it's not a reasonable way to go, so I'd like to hear from some other
    people as well as you.
    Well I would like hear it from more than just you. Magnus hasn't said a
    word publicly, neither has Dave, Jan, Marc, Tom, Bruce, Peter or the
    Well, let me say it publically then, if the reference isn't enough. I think
    it's a reasonable compromise to get started with, that we can continue
    building on.

    It was also presented as the solution that -core agreed on. I'm sure that
    if Josh actually lied about that, someone would've spoken up quite fast.
    But I strongly doubt that Josh would claim to present the "view of the core
    team" if the discussion hadn't taken place.

    //Magnus
  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    On Mon, 10 Mar 2008 10:33:53 +0100 Magnus Hagander wrote:

    It was also presented as the solution that -core agreed on. I'm sure
    that if Josh actually lied about that, someone would've spoken up
    quite fast. But I strongly doubt that Josh would claim to present the
    "view of the core team" if the discussion hadn't taken place.
    I am in no way suggesting that Josh was lying.

    Joshua D. Drake
    //Magnus

    - --
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    Donate to the PostgreSQL Project: http://www.postgresql.org/about/donate
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  • Josh Berkus at Mar 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm
    Magnus,
    It was also presented as the solution that -core agreed on. I'm sure that
    if Josh actually lied about that, someone would've spoken up quite fast.
    But I strongly doubt that Josh would claim to present the "view of the core
    team" if the discussion hadn't taken place.
    Heh. As if I could get away with that -- I'd have until list lag caught
    up to get blasted.

    I guess one of the questions here is "who owns the contributor
    listings?". It's not a question we've ever dealt with specifically
    before, and it's unclear on even what *mailing list* would be involved
    in discussing them. It seems like we'd need to involve half or more of
    the lists.

    For the last 3 years, nobody has discussed this because Robert just did
    it and submitted the list to Core, which approved it. Now Robert is
    tired of the work, and what was implicit needs to become explicit.

    The reason I'm putting forward that Core ought to be ultimately
    responsible is threefold:

    1) Core is a central point of contact which is supposed to know what's
    going on in the various disconnected mailing lists, and as such is our
    only existing "central" coordinating group;

    2) The seven Core team members place in the listings isn't going to
    change, and thus we can argue about who should be where without
    statutory personal bias;

    3) Core does conventionally deal with other issues around contributor
    status, such as CVS access, release notes, and (in extreme cases) banning.

    Barring Core handling it, we'd have to form a separate committee, and
    somehow pick people who would be both representative and relatively
    impartial. That seems like it would increase the amount of work
    involved in getting the listings updated siginificantly, to the point
    where they might not get updated at all.

    Given that the only identified real problem (listings not being updated
    frequently enough) is not solved by forming a separate committee, why
    not take the easiest path, at least until another concrete problem is
    identified?

    --Josh Berkus
  • Joshua D. Drake at Mar 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    On Mon, 10 Mar 2008 10:15:32 -0700 Josh Berkus wrote:

    Magnus,
    It was also presented as the solution that -core agreed on. I'm
    sure that if Josh actually lied about that, someone would've spoken
    up quite fast. But I strongly doubt that Josh would claim to
    present the "view of the core team" if the discussion hadn't taken
    place.
    Heh. As if I could get away with that -- I'd have until list lag
    caught up to get blasted.

    I guess one of the questions here is "who owns the contributor
    listings?". It's not a question we've ever dealt with specifically
    before, and it's unclear on even what *mailing list* would be
    involved in discussing them. It seems like we'd need to involve half
    or more of the lists.
    As I suggested, Tom double suggested, I agreed and then I talked to
    Bruce on the phone about this thread has been moved to a more populous
    list. Please see the new thread on -advocacy.

    Joshua D. Drake

    - --
    The PostgreSQL Company since 1997: http://www.commandprompt.com/
    PostgreSQL Community Conference: http://www.postgresqlconference.org/
    Donate to the PostgreSQL Project: http://www.postgresql.org/about/donate
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  • Robert Treat at Mar 12, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    On Monday 10 March 2008 13:15, Josh Berkus wrote:
    Magnus,
    It was also presented as the solution that -core agreed on. I'm sure that
    if Josh actually lied about that, someone would've spoken up quite fast.
    But I strongly doubt that Josh would claim to present the "view of the
    core team" if the discussion hadn't taken place.
    Heh. As if I could get away with that -- I'd have until list lag caught
    up to get blasted.

    I guess one of the questions here is "who owns the contributor
    listings?". It's not a question we've ever dealt with specifically
    before, and it's unclear on even what *mailing list* would be involved
    in discussing them. It seems like we'd need to involve half or more of
    the lists.

    For the last 3 years, nobody has discussed this because Robert just did
    it and submitted the list to Core, which approved it. Now Robert is
    tired of the work, and what was implicit needs to become explicit.
    To be clear, I didn't get tired of the work, I actually enjoyed the work
    (making sure others get recognition for thier efforts was a highlight for
    me). What I did get tired of was that everytime I went to update the list
    some yaywho would pipe up with yet another scheme to redraw the entire
    listing.

    --
    Robert Treat
    Build A Brighter LAMP :: Linux Apache {middleware} PostgreSQL

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