Subject: Re: the GCC steering committee
From: Tom Tromey <tromey@redhat.com>
Date: 15 Mar 2002 13:45:44 -0700

>>>>> "JS" == Jonathan S Shapiro <shap@eros-os.org> writes:

>> [Tom writes]
>> Part of
>> leadership is integrating contributed changes.

Ian wrote this.

JS> The only leadership that matters is leadership in the eyes of the
JS> customer.

I hesitate to agree with this.  It seems to assume that the customer
is ignorant of the actual development processes that are in play in
the project.

JS> The customer deeply doesn't care who provides the changes.

They don't care who provides them, but they do care about your ability
to provide them.  And they often (but not always) care about your
ability to get the changes back into the "main" sources, with which
they are often familiar.  That's been my experience anyway.  YMMV.

JS> Therefore, in the "capital is king" view of open source, the
JS> leadership incentives do not include integrating changes if one
JS> can do enough work solo to keep the customer focused on the idea
JS> that you are the leader.

Suppose you're running a company and you take this approach.  Aren't
you discarding one of the big benefits of using open source?  Namely
the work done by people not in your employ?

Or to put it another way, suppose your company does all this work.
You're probably already the de facto maintainer.  In that case
integration is still in your interest, because you own the main line
of development, and you want to benefit from code from the net.

Tom