patch = P = patch space

patch pumpkin n.

[Perl hackers] A notional token passed around among the members of a project. Possession of the patch pumpkin means one has the exclusive authority to make changes on the project's master source tree. The implicit assumption is that `pumpkin holder' status is temporary and rotates periodically among senior project members.

This term comes from the Perl development community, but has been sighted elsewhere. It derives from a stuffed-toy pumpkin that was passed around at a development shop years ago as the access control for a shared backup-tape drive.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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