Comments for post Pull requests are not conversations
bbot writes: @1: Maybe you've been banned from HN because you sound like a crank, and tend to post long, tenuously related diatribes on the discussion threads of articles of narrow technical interest?
anony mouse writes: > "eading discussions and, at some point, taking part in them, are important steps in learning a community's conventions and rituals."
Not to mention, extremely educational. Good design is hard to learn. Many coders never really get there. But if you want to learn, one of the best ways is to listen to people discuss real examples and their trade offs.
Leif writes: Dude ... WTF. Honestly, get help.
Also, take a look at organizational learning theory, communities of practice and legitimate peripheral participation. This has been shown to also apply to OSS communities. People sending pull requests out of the blue as in the above post are still in the periphery of the community. Reading discussions and, at some point, taking part in them, are important steps in learning a community's conventions and rituals.
Brave New Currency writes: Would it be better if you could specify a Mailing List address where pull requests should be sent?
possibly a former HN reader writes: I was not "permitted" to post this on HN. (the post lands me as before to a blank dead page)
Here it is:
Not sure if I am "permitted" by the unseen "moderators" -- based on recent experience -- to post on this forum, but I'll take the chance and write my message anyway because I do have something to contribute ...
Github is a transitional model, providing a bridge between the old way and what is to come:
Software is a 'high' cultural artifact that soon will be an indispensable component of maintaining civilization. It is subject to industrial demand in the marketplace and to date can generally be categorized as a product of an arts and crafts.
Historically, the typical reaction of the societal hyper-organism to such conditions has been guild formation. To illuminate this, consider that the guilds of priests, magicians, and soothsayers are present, to this day, in every society that relies, to some critical extent, upon irrational views to conduct basic societal activities. A more infamous guild is that of the 'Masons', the guild of designers and craftsmen who knew how to construct the machinery of State Warfare, an 'indispensable' component of the civilizational order of their day. Being apparently quite a clever bunch -- they were the hackers of the middle ages -- they also extended their services to provide capital and operational support for the said military activities.
Naturally, they became a force to be reckoned with and the inevitable conflict between the new upstart guild and the established guilds of 'priests' and 'statesmen' came to head or rather quite a few beheadings and other sordid measures meted out by the establishment to persuade upstart guilds to reconsider.
The software guild, should it ever happen, is direct threat to the established 'financial', 'news', 'communication', and 'security' interests, up to the international level. [I refer the critical HN reader to consider the recent IPSec and openBSD allegations.]
The great bubble of 90's was, in my opinion, a direct intervention of the 'finance' guild, namely through the directing agency of Goldman Sachs and other actors at the Treasury and Federal Reserve, to get a (controlling) handle on the development of the nascent guild's formation. This was deemed important in order to control the development of the new ("disruptive") technology. Certainly, if they had not done that they would have been negligent of their interests. Easy money was on tap, flowing furiously until the order to shut it down came from unseen quarters.
Tellingly, critical pieces of infrastructure, e-money and e-identity and e-comm, all remain firmly in control of the established interests who had only mastered the analog and physical realizations of these components. It is truly a disgrace to the hacker community that our children will be wearing VeriSigns on their person. Consider that.
Parallel with these efforts of infiltration, the establishment has predictably resorted to vilifying the 'hacker' that either refuses to join the offered seats, or remains unmoved by the lure of the purks and the '15 minutes' provided by the supporting guilds of 'news' and 'entertainment'.
*This effort continues to date*, with the recent offer of 150,000.00 dollars to the 'crafty' would be guild members and potential 'knights' cum Financial Establishment 'servants'. A word of advice to the young upstart: Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for porridge. A bad decision.
Back to git and github.
These 'out of band' contributions are attempts to participate in the project by would be apprentice to generous master contributing 'works' to a 'project'. The project manager on the receiving end -- in this case the well known master 'antirez' -- has no doubt has his hands and head full of matters requiring his personal attention.
Who is this person *intruding* with a 'pull request'?
A reputation market is, to an extent, already in place in github. The deluded butterfly's portfolio is full of forked gravitas with little activity. The masters' boast of an impressive array of original contributions with established following. The great gray middle is not so clear, as is the unknown worker who gets a github account just so s/he could send you that pull request. All this is due to the lack of an explicit 'guild cultural mindset' in the minds of machine-based knowledge workers who lack an established organization order and well debugged paths of traversing the guild hierarchy to provide input at the appropriate level of (organizational) interface.
Clearly the problem is at both ends of this process.
Unknown or quiet actors on the send side is one issue. Either each project must establish their own methodology of assessing the individual's skill set and product offering -- a time consuming task, per OP's well considered critical review. The alternative is to establish the necessary services that can undertake this evaluation for the OSS community.
But antirez, and not just him, also have structural issues to deal with on their end. Looking at the previous guilds of 'high art' and 'mason', people like him may come to see the wisdom of 'the atelier system' -- the historic *working solution* to this problem -- that allowed the 'master' to delegate effectively to a team structure that was well understood and internalized by all the participating actors in *the works*.