In open source jargon, is a "committer" someone who creates a commit that gets accepted into a project, or is a "committer" a gatekeeper who decides what commits/patches are or aren't accepted into the "blessed" repository?
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This is the one who has commit rights to the main/production branch, that is, the "gatekeeper".
A committer is anyone who has write access to a repository.
Depending on the volume of the project, it might not be a central or "blessed" repository. Some projects are sufficiently large that several highly trusted sub system maintainers serve as gate keepers for different parts of the code, and then their changes get pulled later (during a merge window) to the blessed repository. Linux is a good example of that.
In the modern DVCS era, most major projects are a series of pulls. A maintainer pulls a change from a contributor, then a high level maintainer pulls it all into the blessed repository. So when I say commit access, I mean to a repository that will ultimately be pulled into a release. In other words, any given change passes through a series of gates.