On 7/3/13 7:25 PM, Bruce Momjian wrote:
The extrapolation of Josh's approach is that committers
have to do work that the community wants to maintain their commit
rights, but their commit rights are helping the community, so why would
people care if you take them away --- you only hurt the community
further by doing so.

The main problem with having inactive committers (which I don't intend to include the important subject matter committers, who I'll get into at the end here) is that they skew the public information about who commits in a counterproductive way. People visit https://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/Committers , sees that list of names, and then make conclusions based on its content. And some of those conclusions are wrong because the data is inconsistent. The standards listed are applied when new committers are promoted, but they are not applied symmetrically to remove ones who don't anymore.

The #1 obstacle to my getting more time to work on core PostgreSQL is that companies presume regular submitters who are also non-committers don't do a very good job. If you are competent and have a consistent track record of contributions to an open source project, the project would make you a committer, right? Conversely, if you've been contributing for a while but aren't a committer, the most likely explanation is that your work quality is poor. That is a completely reasonable viewpoint based on how most open source projects work. The really terrible part is that it means the longer you've been submitting patches, the *less* competent you're assumed to be. When I tell people I've been submitting things since 2007 but am not a committer, the only logical explanation is that my submissions must suck very hard, right?

From that perspective, people who are listed as committers but don't actively do work for the project are causing me a serious problem. When someone who rarely commits can obviously qualify, that *proves* the bar for PostgreSQL committers is actually very low to casual observers. That's the message the project is inadvertently sending by leaving committers on there if they stop working actively.

The main thing I'd like to see is having the committer list, and its associated guidelines, updated to reflect that there are subject matter experts committing too. That would pull them out of any "what have you done for me lately?" computations, and possibly open up a way to get more of them usefully. Here are the first two obvious labels like that:

Michael Meskes (meskes) - embedded SQL
Teodor Sigaev (teodor) - inverted indexes

When even Josh Berkus doesn't even know all of this information, it's clearly way too obscure to expect the rest of the world to figure it out.

It also boggles my mind that there isn't already an entry like this on there too:

Thom Browne - documentation

Each time Thom passes through yet another correction patch that is committed with no change, I find it downright bizarre that a community with such limited committer resources wastes their time with that gatekeeping. The standards for nominating committers seem based on whether they can commit just about anything. I think it's more important to consider whether people are trusted to keep commits within their known area(s) of expertise.

Greg Smith   2ndQuadrant US    g...@2ndquadrant.com   Baltimore, MD
PostgreSQL Training, Services, and 24x7 Support www.2ndQuadrant.com

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