[ace-users] Process for integrating ACE contributions and patches

Douglas C. Schmidt schmidt at dre.vanderbilt.edu
Fri Jul 13 07:45:21 CDT 2007

Hi folks,

   I got an email today from some ACE users who asked some very good
questions about the process for integrating their contributions and
patches to ACE.  Since this issues comes up from time to time, I wanted
to summarize my response so that others in the community will have a
better perspective on this process.

At this point, we (i.e., the DOC Group at Vandy) have no sponsors for
work on ACE - all of our sponsors are funding other areas of our work
that are more "researchy" (ACE stopped being researchy about 5-6 years
ago, so there is little/no support for the DOC Group on this anymore).
We therefore rely almost entirely on the community and/or the commercial
support providers to maintain ACE at this point - we have very few
people left in the DOC Group with ACE expertise.  Moreover, those with
that experience (i.e., me and a couple of other senior folks) have
little/no time to devote to applying/testing patches anymore due to a
myriad of other responsibilities (including fatherhood).

Therefore, sending contributions and patches is terrific, and we greatly
appreciate the help.  Please note, however, that it takes time/effort to
integrate the patches and test them to make sure they don't break things
- and that they conform to the ACE+TAO style guidelines, etc.  In
particular, if we integrate patches that break things or otherwise
destabilize the code base then everyone suffers.  Therefore, some ways
to help ensure your patches are integrated include:

  . Make sure that your patches are made relative to the contents of the
    SVN head rather than older versions of ACE.  As described in


    we (i.e., the DOC Group) only provide "best effort" support for
    non-sponsors who are using the latest/greatest stuff.

  . Provide a test program (e.g., by add a new test or augmenting an
    existing test into ACE_ROOT/tests) that can be run automatically in
    our autobuilds to ensure that things work properly.

  . Contribute autobuilds to the DOC Group's scoreboard at
    http://www.dre.vanderbilt.edu/scoreboard that can be used to keep
    track of your changes on your platform/compiler combination and
    ensure things continue to work as ACE evolves.  This is particularly
    important for platforms/compiler configurations that we do not have
    ready access to in our autobuild pool.

  . Get more involved in the ACE development activities so that you
    become "committers," which means that you don't need to reply on
    others to add your patches.  Naturally, this means that you also
    need to commit time/effort to perform additional QA
    responsibilities, i.e., to ensure that changes don't break other
    parts of ACE, TAO, and CIAO.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks very much,


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