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Straw poll RFC: "/anarchy" in the repository.

From: Karl Fogel <kfogel_at_red-bean.com>
Date: 2007-10-14 16:58:33 CEST

The recent discussion around the "/checkpoints" directory in our
repository has given me an idea.

Instead of "/checkpoints", with its implication of approved uses and
conventions, how about "/anarchy" -- with the implication that there's
room for experimentation with different ways of checkpointing?

There's a history behind this proposal.

Back in the day, the Oberlin College Computer Science department had a
shared filesystem, and each student had a home directory with a quota.

One day we got a big disk (I don't remember from where), and someone
had the bright idea to just mount it as "/anarchy" and make it
world-writeable. The idea was that it would be a self-organized
commons shared by all the students. One could use it for whatever one
wanted: a big project where full compilation would exceed the regular
home directory quota, for storing image files, for whatever.

It worked spectacularly well. The group had only a slow turnover rate
(just like us), and every reason to cooperate, so they did. There was
no "tragedy of the commons". If someone was using too much space,
someone else would bring it up on the mailing list, and the problem
would get taken care of pretty quickly.

Now, our issues in the repository aren't going to be about space, but
about other things, like: how do we arrange the directory structure,
what kinds of commits should go in there, how often, what kinds of log
messages, etc, etc.

But the repository isn't some kind of sacred space where only properly
formatted ritual blessings should be permitted. Only trunk and
release branches need to be like that (and maybe some other branches,
depending on what they're for). Outside of that, there's no reason we can't relax and
open things up for experimentation. Some interesting new ways of
collaboration might just evolve, who knows?

How about it: shall we convert "/checkpoints" to "/anarchy"?

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Received on Sun Oct 14 16:58:43 2007

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