[ZODB-Dev] Repozo tests -- not

Martin Aspeli optilude+lists at gmail.com
Wed Dec 2 07:21:21 EST 2009

Jim Fulton wrote:

> No one seems to be willing to step up and take responsibility.
> I guess everyone assumes I will.

I know a thing or two about trying to entice people to help maintain 
open source software. It's certainly not easy. But from a casual 
observer's perspective, this whole exchange has been pretty tragic, and 
certainly doesn't help encourage people to contribute.

As the maintainer of the ZODB, your voice carries a lot of weight. You 
are also making it very clear that you need to be the single point of 
co-ordination for ZODB contributions (probably wise), and that you don't 
want contributions directly into trunk. That cements this position even 

I don't think the lack of contributions is directly your fault, but I do 
think that your communication style can sometimes put people off. I 
guess the best word I can think of to describe it is "terse". I'm sure 
it's misunderstood, in that demeanour and tone is hard to convey in text.

But nonetheless, reading this list over the last few days makes me 
pretty disheartened. There are clearly issues with the development 
process. There were clearly issues with that particular commit. But 
there are few things as damaging to contributions as backing out 
changes. Sometimes it is necessary. But in this case, it is my 
experience that it's important to salvage the relationship with the 
commiter. Using words like "crap" to describe their code is a pretty 
safe way to ensure they won't contribute again, even if you allude to 
the fact that they can also produce "non-crap".


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