[Bitcoin-development] Concerns Regarding Threats by a Developer to Remove Commit Access from Other Developers

Mike Hearn mike at plan99.net
Thu Jun 18 10:00:17 UTC 2015


Dude, calm down. I don't have commit access to Bitcoin Core and Gavin
already said long ago he wouldn't just commit something, even though he has
the ability to do so.

So why did I say it? Because it's consistent with what I've always said:
 you cannot run a codebase like Wikipedia. Maintainers have to take part in
debates, and then make a decision, and anyone else who was delegated commit
access for robustness or convenience must then respect that decision. It's
the only way to keep a project making progress at a reasonable pace.

This is not a radical position. That's how nearly all coding projects work.
I have been involved with open source for 15 years and the 'single
maintainer who makes decisions' model is normal, even if in some large
codebases  subsystems have delegated submaintainers.

This is also how all my own projects are run. Bitcoinj has multiple people
with commit access. Regardless, if there were to be some design dispute or
whatever, I wouldn't tolerate the others with commit access starting some
kind of Wiki-style edit war in the code if they disagreed. Nor would I ever
expect to get my own way in other people's projects by threatening to
revert the maintainers changes.

Core is in the weird position where there's no decision making ability at
all, because anyone who shows up and shouts enough can generate
'controversy', then Wladimir sees there is disagreement and won't touch the
issue in question. So it just runs and runs and *anyone* with commit access
can then block any change.

I realise some people think this anti-process leads to better decision
making. I disagree. It leads to no decision making, which is not the same
thing at all.
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