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From David Crossley <cross...@apache.org>
Subject acknowledgement of contributors and author attribution
Date Mon, 04 Apr 2005 02:46:55 GMT
We decided some time ago (cannot find the email threads yet)
on a method to clearly thank contributors. It is important
to summarise that, so that we can make clear statements
about such things. Perhaps this should go in our project
guidelines.

* Use Jira comments to follow up on the patch contribution.

* In the SVN commit message, mention their name and also
refer to the Jira Issue number and title.

* In changelog (status.xml) put their name and Issue number.

* Give praise on the mailing list.

This is sufficient for people later searching to find who
participated to produce each contribution.

We deliberately remove specific names from actual
source code and documentation. (See FOR-123.)

There are a number of reasons for not having the author
names in the sources. There is much discussion about
the merits of this in various Apache mailing lists.
The main reasons are:

* Community building. It assists with directing all questions
to the dev and user mailing lists. This enables developers
to answer questions to the wider community. If there were
names in the sources, then people tend to contact the author
off-list. This is damaging because it exhausts the sole
developer's resources and denies the rest of the community.

* It is a team effort. Sure one person might come up with
an idea, but it is really in the context of the project and
would not have arisen otherwise. After addition of the code,
the project developers will maintain and enhance it.

* Legal clarity. If someone decides to legally challenge us,
then they need to go to the correct information source, i.e.
our SVN repository. If there were some author names in code,
then they would tend to rely on that and so do not have the
true history.

For various reasons, the ASF Board suggested to all projects
to remove authors from sources.

Apache Forrest follows that recommendation. Prior to each
release we scan the code to detect any license issues
and any author tags.

--David

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