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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Check Source
Date Fri, 25 Jan 2002 10:13:29 GMT
"Morrison, John" wrote:
> I think I may need to back out of the commit for CheckStyle.
> This was posted to the Ant-User list:
> "> Does anyone know the legalities of including this in binary format
> > with an Apache license project??
> Legally, you can't - you could provide it as two separate downloads,
> though, but only of your project doesn't rely on it.
> Whether writing an Ant task using the GPL is legal under the GPL is a
> different question, though (as the task relies on code that has been
> licensed under a license that has been declared incompatible to the
> GPL by the FSF).
> Stefan"
> If we can't have it in CVS, I'll change the build to
> make it an optional component and display messages if
> it doesn't exist...
> What should be done?  (Anybody legally clue'd up?)

CheckStyle is GPL so we can't redistribute it without having to make the
entire thing (that is Cocoon!) GPL.

Now, since we use that as a development tool (unlike Ant which would be
shipping it as a product) I think we are pretty much safe, but I'm sure
some ASF members would disagree.

So, please, remove any GPL'ed stuff from CVS. 

Alternatives are:

1) let each one of us download it separately (and write it in the
build.xml instructions in that case)

2) contact the guy who wrote it and convince him to dual license the
package (or even better, donate it to ant or similar)

But there is something else: code style is like taste: everyone has its

Currently we have 13000 style errors? I personally don't care.

I consider it a sign of immaturity (and lack of understanding of
distributed software development dynamics!) to impose some code style on

Did you guys follow the month-long thread about code-formatting over at
general@jakarta? yes, they lost that much time coming to nothing! as

I personally started such a thread in '97 for JServ and the result was:
if you are tollerant with others and you make your better efforts to
keep your code readable and aherent with the style you are modifying,
then you are in good shape.

Yes, I know your feeling: most of you are disagreeing and you want to
tell me so and so.

Ok, do this: write a long reply why you think that culturally and
geographically distributed open software development could benefit from
imposing one particular code style.

And imagine that this particular code style is *not* the one you would
personally choose. Something you don't like.

Yes, I'm sure that 'increased readability' would be your argument... or
'professional looking coherence' (as we normally saw clode source of big
corp.!)... but I urge you to consider things like:

 - energy spent discussing about what style
 - energy spent enforcing it
 - energy spent dibating the style with every new committer that doesn't
adhere to the code style (on purpose or simply by mistake)

Then, draw your conclusions: if you were the leader of a community and
your duty was to make sure that the least possible amount of community
energy gets 'wasted', what would you do?

Ok, when you're done. Don't read it again and don't send it.

THROW IT AWAY! yes, damn it, click that 'delete' button, trust me. Do

Ok, good, now do it again.

This will dissipate your 'personal feelings' and will make your comments
more objective.

And when you are done with your second try, if you think yours are
valuable comments, please send them.

[note: 'you' refers not to 'John' but to 'you all']

Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<>                             Friedrich Nietzsche

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