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From Ulrich Mayring <ulr...@mayring.de>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Remove all author tags from all source code files
Date Mon, 20 Jan 2003 23:26:51 GMT
gstein@lyra.org wrote:
> 
> Actually, it defeats many of the purposes of the ASF:
> 
> * the code has a name associated with it, so who do you think will be sued
> for patent infringement? e.g. hurts the ASF's intent to indemnify

I am not a lawyer, but I think the person, who wrote it, but released
copyright etc. to the ASF has no legal connection with the code anymore.
The license is what counts legally, not the @author tag.

> * ten years down the road, the author has moved on, but people still try
> to get a hold of him for things. this hurts the ASF's intent to provide
> long-term code ownership

If the code changes sufficiently in those ten years, there will be other
authors and they might even decide to remove the old author. If the code
remains the same, but no-one can understand and thus support it, it is a
good thing that people can get a hold of the original author.

> Establishing a CREDITS or AUTHORS or something would at least be better,
> in the sense that it loosens the tie from specific files, yet still gives
> the ability to have your name recognized.

I didn't believe it, but there are actually recruiters out there, who
scan for names in source files. While I don't claim this is a compelling
reason to have the names in the files, I do claim that there are
recruiters out there with automated tools. Yes, it sounds very stupid
and it is not a compelling reason. But it's the truth :)

> In the httpd group, we credit committers and third-party patch providers
> in the CHANGES file. The CVS commit logs also have the information, of
> course.

Well, ex-committers are less visible that way, even though they may have
provided more code than some current committers. But the problem remains
social, largely. Look at it this way:

1) I have something (author tags) and now they're taking it away. Bad.
2) I have nothing (project started without author tags) and now they're
putting me in a credits section on the website. Cool.

Childish? I don't think so, more a natural instinct that helps us
survive :)

Ulrich


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