[erlang-questions] Erlang 10 years of Open Source; it is time for the next step

Brian Granger ellisonbg.net@REDACTED
Thu Mar 20 22:07:44 CET 2008

> > >  It is worth noting that so far 99% of the patches contributed to
> > >  erlang-bugs or erlang-patches need to be corrected or rewritten by us
> > >  before they make it into a release. And this has nothing with lack of
> > >  VCS to do. The reasons are more of the type:
> > >  - solution is not done the way we like to have it
> > >  - does not work on all platforms
> > >  - buggy
> > >  - unacceptable dependencies
> > >  - unacceptable incompatibility
> >
> > True, using SVN, git or mercurial won't help this.  But, having a well
> > defined and open development model would help this.  In fact, I would
> > argue that the reason you get such poor quality patches is that there
> > is not formal, open and well documented way of contributing to Erlang.
> >  If Erlang moved to an open dev model, the Erlang team could simply
> > document the requirements for all contributed code - things like
> > coding conventions, documentation, testing, dependencies.  This would
> > encourage people to submit better quality code.
>  I think that the
> Erlang people has an 850 tons gorilla code base to take care of, eventually
> running on different hardware and software architectures. It's difficult to
> imagine that anybody has the will/stamina/resources to do the same in a
> reasonable time frame without a strong commitment (read: customer driven).
>  The only case in which opening everything to everybody would make sense is
> if/when Ericsson give up in supporting Erlang, and given the premises that's
> unlikely to happen real soon.

I completely agree with this.  I don't think anyone (I hope) is
suggesting that Erlang development be turned into a democratic free
for all.  You absolutely need extremely good, devoted people (like the
Erlang team) steering the project and making firm decisions about what
gets in and what does not.  But, that doesn't mean the development
process can not be made more open and transparent and still maintain
the full integrity of the project and Ericsson's commercial interests.

> I'm afraid that's it's not so straightforward as it sound.

I do think it is straightforward - if you don't tell people what you
expect (in terms of the quality of code contributions and patches) you
can't expect much from them.  Simply laying out the expectations would
go a long way toward improving the quality of code contributions that
the Erlang teams gets from the outside.

What else would people propose to encourage higher quality public
contributions to Erlang?



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