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From "Tim Fox (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (ARTEMIS-87) Strip @author tags from Java source
Date Mon, 25 Jul 2016 15:38:20 GMT


Tim Fox commented on ARTEMIS-87:

Where to start.

I won't go into the details of why I think deleting @author tags is a terrible idea for now
but let me pick up up one point you made:

"Git is accurate, that is the canonical source to find the correct author."

Well that's all well and good, if you actually preserved git history which you *did not*.
Instead you code dumped many years of work in a single commit which is now attributed for
ever to Andy Taylor (who made the commit).

The reason I have heard for not preserving history is flimsy at best - because there were
some LGPL files in the source tree. When we released HornetQ we went through a detailed IP
check of the source (ask Richard Fontana) and successfully relicensed everything under ASL
2.0, with the exception of a very small number of files for which we couldn't contact the
original authors - those files could easily have been removed from the git history using git
filter-branch in a few minutes.

Also, it should be noted the NOTICE file in the project is highly misleading - it states "This
product includes software developed at The Apache Software Foundation (,
but makes no mention of the fact that the majority of the code was not developed at apache.

Congratulations for whitewashing history folks.

> Strip @author tags from Java source
> -----------------------------------
>                 Key: ARTEMIS-87
>                 URL:
>             Project: ActiveMQ Artemis
>          Issue Type: Bug
>    Affects Versions: 1.0.0
>            Reporter: Justin Bertram
>            Assignee: Justin Bertram
>             Fix For: 1.0.0
> Way back in 2004 [the Apache Board officially discouraged the use of 'author' tags|]
in source code.  They are not _banned_, but merely discouraged.  However, I think it's probably
a good idea to strip them from our source all the same.  Other projects (e.g. [Camel|])
have done the same.
> Here are a few other reasons to remove them (taken from [here|]):
> The author tags in the java files are a maintenance nightmare:
> - A large percentage is wrong, incomplete or inaccurate.
> - Most of the time, it only contains the original author. Many files are completely refactored/expanded
by other authors.
> - Git is accurate, that is the canonical source to find the correct author.
> To find the correct author of a piece of code, you always have to double check with git,
you cannot suppose the author on the author tag alone.
> - Author tags promote "code ownership", which is bad in the long run.
> - If people work on a piece they perceive as being owned by someone else, they tend to:
> -- only fix what they are assigned to fix, not everything that's broken.
> -- discard responsibility if that code doesn't work properly.
> -- be scared of stepping of the feet of the owner
> - Instead of "code ownership", we need "module leadership" and "peer reviews".

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