View Poll Results: Combine projects to make one even better project?

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  • No, I like haveing many project to choose from although they are somewhat similar

    33 55.00%
  • Yes, combine projects and developer effort

    22 36.67%
  • I really don't care!

    5 8.33%
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Thread: Combine projects to make one even better project

  1. #21
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    I agree on the moviemaker issue, but I think the solution is not to merge a lot of different projects but to get developers to join existing projects instead of starting new ones.


    One problem is that the infrastructure of free software developing benefits forks and new projects. The GPL makes it explicitly clear that such actions are allowed and encouraged. What it lacks is rules about openness in other ways than distributing the source code. It doesn't force project leaders to accept contributions to the code from newcoming developers. This is, of course, a good thing. Such a clause would be untenable, but it illustrates an imbalance in the system. You have the right to fork a project, but you don't have the right to contribute to an existing one.

    So what's to do about it? I propose every project sets up a clear policy on how to contribute, how to become a member of the team, and how to help in other ways. Ubuntu does this excellently: http://www.ubuntu.com/community/participate. As a counter-example, the Linux kernel has a reputation for being difficult to get involved in.

    I believe that ease of contributing is the key to becoming a really successful project. You want to get the best programmers on board, so let them know it! Maybe that way we can have fewer and better projects instead of many small ones that don't go anywhere.

  2. #22
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Projects would be disasters if they were forced to accept all contributed code. I don't see what the point of that would be.

  3. #23
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Beryl was a fork of the main trunk, and thus it wasn't that hard to merge to it again. Especially since it didn't really matured up to a level where merging would take too much work. Besides, while Beryl focused on the features and Compiz was aiming for stability, it's not unthinkable for them to aim for both and thus join forces again to achieve the same goals.

    On a side note, I notice that the existence of similar projects are related to the programming language preference of the author. Some leverage the power of their preferred language.
    Remember: With great power comes great current squared times resistance.

  4. #24
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Trybom View Post
    I agree on the moviemaker issue, but I think the solution is not to merge a lot of different projects but to get developers to join existing projects instead of starting new ones.


    One problem is that the infrastructure of free software developing benefits forks and new projects. The GPL makes it explicitly clear that such actions are allowed and encouraged. What it lacks is rules about openness in other ways than distributing the source code. It doesn't force project leaders to accept contributions to the code from newcoming developers. This is, of course, a good thing. Such a clause would be untenable, but it illustrates an imbalance in the system. You have the right to fork a project, but you don't have the right to contribute to an existing one.

    So what's to do about it? I propose every project sets up a clear policy on how to contribute, how to become a member of the team, and how to help in other ways. Ubuntu does this excellently: http://www.ubuntu.com/community/participate. As a counter-example, the Linux kernel has a reputation for being difficult to get involved in.

    I believe that ease of contributing is the key to becoming a really successful project. You want to get the best programmers on board, so let them know it! Maybe that way we can have fewer and better projects instead of many small ones that don't go anywhere.
    +1

    very true.

    the GPL should be renamed to FPL (fork public license)

    but i guess that's the nature of the gnu, to fork and reinvent the wheel.

    where did the cooperation and standards go?
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  5. #25
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Trybom
    You have the right to fork a project, but you don't have the right to contribute to an existing one.
    You do have the right. And the maintainer has the right to say "No" to you. The GPL succeeds in that it sets up an environment where the properly protected rights of different parties can reinforce each other and work together and bump into each other, and yet not do damage to the broader system. That's the very central attribute by which the success of large scale legislative systems is judged in modern political science.

    What you don't have is the entitlement to have your code accepted into the mainline code flow of a project. But the freedom to share code and fork if needed alleviates that apparent imbalance (and it's only an imbalance from a purely egalitarian standpoint): you can publish the source with your own modifications that may not have been accepted into mainline, so if you're doing good work that has some reason to exist and fulfills the real, existing needs of a group of people, in a manner of speaking, who cares if it went into mainline?

    Quote Originally Posted by madjr
    the GPL should be renamed to FPL (fork public license)
    No, you should do some reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by madjr
    but i guess that's the nature of the gnu, to fork and reinvent the wheel.
    No, the nature of it is to reuse and build upon others' work. That doesn't necessarily mean having to comply with others' decisions or having to inherit the results of their design, ideology or set of skills at major cost to your productivity.
    Last edited by 23meg; June 30th, 2008 at 12:50 AM.

  6. #26
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by madjr View Post
    and another good example of wasted resources and fragmentation is the dumb rpm vs deb war.

    cool, adobe got packages of flash in .rpm , but not in .deb.... or x package is available in .deb but not .rpm or ....
    This is what I was getting at. I don't want to use either rpm or deb package management, and I don't see how unifying on either is a good idea.

  7. #27
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by aysiu View Post
    Projects would be disasters if they were forced to accept all contributed code. I don't see what the point of that would be.
    Of course it would be a disaster! It would be ridiculous, nobody would want to use that kind of license, and that's why I didn't propose any change to the GPL. Maybe I should have been clearer on that point.

    What I'm saying is that the inherent nature of free software makes it easier to fork projects or start new ones rather than joining existing projects. This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the model or the license. It is, however, something to have in mind when you manage a project or think about starting a new one.

    I believe that in many cases, new projects are started whose purpose could have been achieved easier by contributing code to an already existing project. That's a problem I want to solve with the proposals in my former post. The easier it is to become involved, the more participants you get. Ubuntu is one great example; Wikipedia is an even better one. The only thing you need to contribute to Wikipedia is a web browser and some knowledge, and as a result they sport 2.4 million articles in English alone.

  8. #28
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    The reason why projects don't 'just merge into one' is because they tend to use very different languages and architectures. Rhythmbox and Banshee, for example, may look similar from the front but are absolutely not similar under the hood.
    It would be nice, but it doesn't happen that way. However, with universal libraries like GStreamer for video playback, they are still sharing quite a bit between each other.

  9. #29
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by madjr View Post
    OP

    you forgot to add option 4

    -Depends on the type and maturity of a project, they could merge.


    projects like movie makers for linux should merge, because none of them works 100% and can't compete with windows movie maker or apple's movie thing.


    in conclusion:

    immature projects should merge, but very mature ones don't need to.
    +1, one of the reasons I have an XP partition is for Windows Movie Maker
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  10. #30
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    Re: Combine projects to make one even better project

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Trybom View Post
    I believe that in many cases, new projects are started whose purpose could have been achieved easier by contributing code to an already existing project.
    And if the new projects were forked off GPL'ed projects, all the changes they made in the new project would also be GPL'ed, so the people working on the old project would have access to those changes and could incorporate those changes if they so desired. That's the beauty of open source.

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