2019-09-16 Social Architecture

This morning I’ve been skimming Social Architecture by Pieter Hintjens. Sadly, he died in 2016. The book is like a summary of all the things one learns slowly, growing up as a programmer online. Group dynamics, encouraging newbies, using distributed version control, picking the right license, but with a focus on people and groups, not on the particular tools and the details of how to use them. This is not the Git book.

You can get the book via GitBooks. Notice the PDF link. You can also get it (and other books) from Amazon. See his Books page for more information.

You’ll find his blog on the same site. I didn’t read it because life is short. But the table of contents for the last blog post looks very interesting!

Anyway, I recommend it. Take a look at the “reusable protocol for collaboration” or Collective Code Construction Contract, C4. If you’re interested, read chapter 4 of the book. It goes through the C4 document, giving you the background for all the various things it says.

I was particularly intrigued by the idea that all correct patches are merged. In the book, it’s discussed as optimistic merging vs. pessimistic merging.

Fascinating.

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Comments

As @deshipu noted, there’s also a FAQ that mentions “optimistic merging” and the question is: “How do you deal with rude contributors who are brilliant/highly skilled?”

It is better to embrace a bad contributor, and give them time to show their damaging behavior. By rapidly merging their (awful) pull requests, then quickly reverting or cleaning them up, it creates a historical record. “You did not use our guideline of clear problem statement with minimal solution. I’m going to revert your patch, sorry.”

– Alex Schroeder 2019-09-16 20:06 UTC


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