[p4] Concept of file ownership
Patrick M. Slattery
patrickmslattery at mac.com
Tue Aug 12 23:40:17 PDT 2008
There was an interesting article on the dangers of code ownership on
The Register a few weeks back, while the article focused on OSS
projects you could easily project a lot of what they were talking
about onto your own in-house developers...
Google defends open source from 'poisonous people'
Two of Subversion's founding developers - Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben
Collins-Sussman - believe in open source projects that maintain a
large "bus factor." That would be the number of people who could get
run over by a bus before the project collapses. A simple means of
maintaining a large bus factor, they say, is banning names from source
"You have to discourage people from feeling like 'This is my module. I
wrote this. Every change has to be approved by me,'" Collins-Sussman
argues. "That's very dangerous for the project as a whole."
This may mean the loss of some valuable contributors - and some
valuable code. But in the end, the project comes out ahead. There will
always be more contributors. And more code. "You can't sacrifice the
long-term health of a project for short-term gain."
On Aug 11, 2008, at 7:56 PM, Calman, Kevin wrote:
> One thing I sorely miss in Perforce from other SCMs the concept of
> ownership. It seems that the person who touched the code last is the
> one to be held responsible for any issue that arises in the code,
> that person made the faulty change or not. I am aware of the
> Revision graph
> and Time-lapse views, but they still only give you a listing of who
> each change, not who owns the file as a whole.
> Identifiable file ownership is important because it ties into the
> practices of peer code review, problem determination, and long-term
> issues. These cannot be addressed by the developer-du-jour who breezes
> through to implement a feature or fix a defect.
> Was file ownership intentionally omitted from Perforce's feature
> and if so, why?
> Could 'owner' be added as an attribute to the File object in
> Has it been requested before?
> Are there any good work-arounds in practice that people can suggest?
> Thanks for your feedback.
> Opinions herein are exclusively my own, unless you share them.
> Kevin Calman, kevin dot calman at acs dash inc dot com
> perforce-user mailing list - perforce-user at perforce.com
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