Doesn't that just figure. An article appears which I'd like
to reply to,
so naturally my apprentice certification vanishes before
I can get to it. Oh well, it's all transitory. Begin
cvs commit -m "Why am I here?" ./ChangeLog
My ill-fated reply wasn't so much to
as it was to ftobin's first reply that
mentioned cvs2cl. I'm not
sure mapping a CVS log directly to a ChangeLog is the right
thing to do. The cvs2cl page has a link to some writing on
Logs and ChangeLogs that addresses the relationship
between the two logging systems towards the bottom, in the
paragraph headed "ChangeLogs and the CVS log".
His reasons are mostly semantics, though, and I imagine
cvs2cl can address those concerns (Namely the first bullet
point, the difficulty to sort log entries by date). The
underlying issue I see, though, is audience. What generally
goes into CVS logs isn't what should go into a
ChangeLog, imho. ChangeLogs are higher level than CVS
logs. The folks that read them aren't interested in what
code fragment changed or that a typo was corrected in a
header file comment. Yet these sorts of messages will end
up in the CVS log as a matter of course. After all, that's
what it's for. The CVS log describes the sequence of
changes to the code. Instead, the ChangeLog should be a
narrative of general changes. Features added or modified,
problems addressed (Including bug #'s if a bug tracker is
present) and the like. So. I would argue for maintaining a
ChangeLog, rather than relying on the CVS logs to be useful
to the public at large.
OSS Project Organization and/or Politics
I had an interesting conversation earlier tonight that
spanned a host of topics, one of which was the scalability
of the development tribe. For a nominally sized group of
developers, there's little need for a structure of control
over the project. Development can progress by virtue of
each developer doing his or her thing, and discussion and
peer review keeping the project aiming in a fairly
consistent direction. However, take that group and double
it a couple times over, and that falls apart. Some controls
are needed, and in many projects we can catagorize them as
dictatorships or as commonwealths.
Both can work, but there's a third model that I think can
work better than both, which is a commonwealth, but with
some people being more equal than others.
The horror! In a given project, the votes of all
contributing individuals must be equal, right? Well, not
necessarily. What happens when an individual is completely
off his rocker, and his vote or influence puts the
well-being of the project at risk? Surely it would be clear
to a the majority that said individual is indeed inviting
trouble, but what if it wasn't so clear? A core group needs
to have some veto power, especially in a large project.
Smaller projects can cope with dissent, but in a large
setting the problem can grow more difficult to manage.
So, how far do these various models scale? Linux has been
subject of criticism before for Linus being a benevolent
dictator, but it certainly seems to be working. And even
then, he has his core group to which he's delegated much
responsibility. So I'd say that model scales fairly well.
How about the others?
Don't like the DMCA? No, I imagine not. Lots of people
don't. But the Internet is leaving the hands of geeks and
techs and entering the eager clutches of business and its
lawyers. Sure, we have our advocates, and while we could
always use a couple more solid representatives, what it
seems we really lack is the legal power. The EFF and FSF
make an admirable effort to
defend liberty from the onslaught of corporate interests,
but the sad truth is those big businesses have a lot more
lobbyists than we do, and when it comes to the laws that
threaten to shape our net, that's all that matters. So
wouldn't it be nice if the community at large could get a
strong support group of lawyer and lobbyist types to help in
the fight? It seems that way to me, at least.. At 1:41
am.. Maybe I'll have something more thought-out in in the
afternoon. End random musings.
It's the year 3030.. And here at the Corporate
Institutional Bank of Time, we find ourselves.. reflecting..
Finding out, that in fact, we came back. We were always