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Author Topic: List of people who have had commit access to Bitcoin Core  (Read 1264 times)
achow101
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February 01, 2017, 10:19:06 PM
 #1

I am creating this thread in response to the discussion occurring at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1773558.msg17697805#msg17697805. This list will contain the names (or pseudonyms) of everyone who I can find evidence for ever having commit access to Bitcoin Core, the dates during which they had commit access, sources for all of this information, and reasoning for the access.

  • Satoshi Nakamoto (satoshi, s_nakamoto): 1/3/09 - 9/13/11[1] Creator, first Lead Maintainer
  • Martti Malmi (Sirius, sirius_m): 8/30/09 - 9/13/11[1][2]    Creator of first SVN repo
  • Laszlo (laszloh) 8/4/10 - 9/13/11[1]    Original OSX Builds and support
  • Gavin Andresen (gavinandresen): 10/11/10 - 5/2/16[3]    Frequent contributor; later Lead Maintainer
  • Chris Moore (dooglus): 1/21/11 - 3/31/11    Frequent contributor for some time; Still occasionally contributes
  • Pieter Wuille (sipa): 5/1/11 - present    Frequent contributor
  • Jeff Garzik (jgarzik): 5/6/11 - July/Aug 2016 [4]    Frequent Contributor
  • Wladimir J. van der Laan (laanwj, wumpus): 6/5/11 - present[5]    Frequent contributor; later Lead Maintainer
  • Nils Schneider (tcatm): 9/19/11 - 5/31/12    Frequent contributor for some time
  • Greg Maxwell (gmaxwell): 2/11/12 - 12/17/15    Frequent contributor; Gave up commit access due to toxicity and drama from the community
  • Jonas Schnelli (jonasschnelli): 11/13/15 - present[6]    Frequent contributor; given access after becoming GUI Maintainer
  • Marco Falke (marcofalke): 4/13/16 - present[7]    Frequent Contributor; given access after becoming QA/Testing Maintainer

Footnotes:
  • [1] The move to Github occurred before the last SourceForge commit, but the last SourceForge commit declares sourceforge as dead. Presumably those who only committed to SourceForge no longer had commit access after the move
  • [2] Sirius was the one who created the original SVN repo on SourceForge.
  • [3] Gavin was the Lead Maintainer from 2/23/11 until 4/7/14
  • [4] I cannot find anything that suggests that Jeff Garzik has given up his commit access or has had it revoked I was informed via IRC PM by some of the Core devs that Jeff's commit access was revoked some time around August 2016 after several months of inactivity.
  • [5] Wladimir is the current Lead Maintainer. After participating in that role for a long time, he was officially given the position by Gavin on 4/7/14
  • [6] Jonas is currently the GUI Maintainer. After participating in that role for a long time, he was officially given the position by Wladimir on 11/13/15
  • [7] Marco is currently the QA/Testing Maintainer. After participating in that role for a long time, he was officially given the position by Wladimir on 4/13/16

Other Notes:
  • Dates are Month/Day/year
  • There may be people missing and dates may be slightly incorrect. These are all that I can determine by looking at old emails and the commit history. Please let me know if anything is incorrect
  • The start date is determined by the first merge commit made by that person. The end date is determined by the date of the last merge commit made by that person or other announcements of commit access revocation.
  • Those who still actively and frequently contribute are in bold



After scrolling through nearly the entire git merges history, I have found a couple of interesting things.

Satoshi did not use a Version Control System originally. The releases and source code were originally in a rar file that was uploaded to bitcoin.org. Sirius had to setup the original SVN repository on SourceForge for him. This was then later migrated to GitHub by Gavin. Originally patches were authored by developers and then emailed to Satoshi, Sirius, or Gavin who then committed the changes to the source tree with the commit message containing the attribution, but not the actual commit itself.

Another interesting fact is that the giving out of commit access has become more strict. It is now a privilege held by those given maintainer positions and those whose privilege was grandfathered in (i.e. they had it previously and kept it). Previously it was simply given out to those who contributed frequently and revoked after they stopped contributing. This appears to be no longer the case, although there are still multiple people who can commit to the repository so that there is not any reliance on one person. The maintainers are still given to frequent contributors as the maintainers are frequent contributors to the set of functionality for which they are maintainers of. They received the positions because of frequent contributions to those functionalities.

Lastly, I could not find any evidence for Satoshi ever publicly announcing that Gavin was to be the Lead Maintainer after him. It seems that Gavin was already a frequent contributor and already had commit access for a while before Satoshi disappeared. After Satoshi disappeared and Sirius stopped contributing as much, Gavin simply took over the role as lead maintainer as he was the only frequent contributor with commit access.



Edits: This has been posted to reddit where the people on this list are more active.
Dooglus -> dooglus
Jeff's commit access was revoked a while ago
Bolded active contributors
Clarified how maintainers got their roles


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Carlton Banks
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February 01, 2017, 10:21:53 PM
 #2

You were also asked to provide reasons why the commit keys were given to each person. Still researching that? Cheesy

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February 01, 2017, 10:33:15 PM
 #3

You were also asked to provide reasons why the commit keys were given to each person. Still researching that? Cheesy
Fixed that. Really the only reason is "frequent contributor". Now, if you are a frequent contributor to a specific set of functionality, you become the maintainer for that stuff and get commit access. But still, it is for being a frequent contributor.


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Carlton Banks
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February 01, 2017, 10:42:48 PM
 #4

Presumably you discovered this when you asked the question to every person who has generated a key for someone else? In other words, you can't really do anything except make a prosaic supposition, the real intentions are not really knowable information.

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February 02, 2017, 06:21:08 AM
 #5

Quote
having been given the position

I think it would be more correct to say that it was recognized that he was already doing it.  Appointed positions often don't make sense in Open Source, because it matters a lot more what people do than some kind of title. 

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February 02, 2017, 07:17:49 AM
 #6

Quote
having been given the position

I think it would be more correct to say that it was recognized that he was already doing it.  Appointed positions often don't make sense in Open Source, because it matters a lot more what people do than some kind of title. 
I would like it to be framed somewhere as it is the only thing that matters, really.

"To live in accordance with how one thinks. Be yourself and don't try to impose your criteria on the rest. I don't expect others to live like me. I want to respect people's freedom, but I defend my freedom. And that comes with the courage to say what you think, even if sometimes others don't share those views." José "Pepe" Mujica
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