Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summary of discussion on "git push" default change

So far, the messages on the git mailing list show that the proposed change of the default away from the traditional 'matching' is received overwhelmingly positively.

We've known it from the beginning that matching is not for many people, and definitely not for new people (otherwise, we wouldn't have made noises about it in the first place). It was not even the primary objective of the discussion thread to decide if we are going to switch away from 'matching' by voting. Waking up those who are sleeping, so that they do not have to be surprised with "I didn't know that was happening!" was.

The new default we are switching to is not about how many people prefer it for their own use. It is about what default is the least confusing to the new users. A default whose behaviour is easy to explain, easy to follow and easy to understand is the goal. Once people understand what they want and realize the hardcoded default does not work well for them, it is easy for them to configure their push.default to something else, like 'matching'. And 'matching' was a bad default for that purpose; it was the hardest to explain and understand in the context of the workflows of many new people.

Many said that they like 'upstream' solely based on their personal preference, but a few people did justify their preference of 'upstream' over 'current' based on their experience in teaching new people and observing the sharp edges that hurt them. And they all sounded reasonable.

In order to show how the world after phase #2 of the transition [1] would look like to developers, testers and early adopters, I am planning to merge Matthieu's patch mm/push-default-switch-warning topic [2] to the 'next' branch, together with Christopher's ct/advise-push-default topic [3]; hopefully these topics can be merged to the master branch soon after 1.7.10 final.


To people who helped spreading the initial RFD message: please do feel free to distribute this message to the same channels, too.