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From Hernan Cunico <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] Policy for granting write access to our Wiki
Date Wed, 16 Apr 2008 17:46:37 GMT
Hey Kevan,
Thanks for bringing this up. Potential IP issues with our documentation is a reality and I
agree we need a process for controlling contributions.

Some comments inline

Kevan Miller wrote:
> All,
> To properly protect the IP rights of our Wiki-based documentation, we 
> need to stop allowing unrestricted write access to our Wiki. Wiki 
> contributors should be required to have an ICLA on file with the ASF. I 
> also think that we need to hold a PMC vote before granting this access.

Agreed, ICLA and vote should be a must but, how do we deal current contributors that are not
so actively involved in the mailing lists?

For example, there are contributors that are working (mostly off line) on translating content.
How would we incorporate such translated content?

> I'll also take this opportunity to remind the community that Wiki 
> updates are sent to These updates need to be 
> reviewed by the community, just like all code updates.

yup, good reminder. I would like to see more feedback on the doc updates as well.

> IMO, we don't want this to be a heavy-weight process. We don't want 
> there to be a significant hurdle to contributing documentation. For code 
> updates, patch files attached to Jira's with the "Grant license to ASF" 
> button checked takes care of these IP concerns. To my knowledge, there's 
> no patch file equivalent for updates to a Wiki. We could require that 
> documentation updates be contributed in the form of simple ascii text 
> files that are attached to a Jira. This would address our IP concerns, 
> but is not ideal IMO.

I think you could do some wiki formatting in the JIRA itself but extracting the doc from the
JIRA may be unpractical.

Plain text files and images attached may work as long as the text file is using the wiki markup
and following the [Tips for writing and formatting documentation|]

Maybe we can use a staging space (sorta like the wiki sandbox) to develop the content there,
then open a JIRA pointing to that page and specific version in the staging wiki space. The
JIRA could include an abstract and where it should be placed within the official doc.

In either case, we should always check the content for technical accuracy, relevance and formatting
as well before incorporating it into the doc.

> To keep this as light-weight as possible, I propose we formalize the 
> concept of "contributor". A contributor would have write access to our 
> Wiki documentation as well as the ability to assign Jira's to him/herself.

I understand the point, this may help us get started but it will chase us down the road. 
I'm certainly not in favor of having multiple levels of Geronimo committers. We need to figure
out another way to do this; otherwise becoming a "contributor" could potentially be a dead-end
towards committership.

> I think the process would go something like this...
> 0. Reset write access to our wiki to be only the current set of 
> committers on the project.
> 1. New documentation contributions from non-committers/contributors must 
> be submitted via a Jira, with the "Grant License to the ASF" box 
> checked. This is just like any code/bug-fix submission.
> 2. Once a new participant has expressed interest in contributing to the 
> project and/or has contributed documentation or bug fixes, a PMC vote 
> will be called to grant the new participant "contributor" rights. As all 
> PMC votes, this vote is a majority vote, require a minimum of 3 +1 
> votes, and will last for a minimum of 72 hours.

How would this work for existing contributors? 

> 3. Once a vote has passed, the participant will be invited to join the 
> project as a 'contributor'.  Assuming he/she accepts, the participant 
> must then submit an ICLA to the ASF.
> Once the ICLA is on file, the new 'contributor' will give given write 
> access to our wiki and the ability to assign Jira's.

Again, the "contributor" vs "committer" thingy doesn't look quite right to me.

> 4. The new contributor will be announced to the community.
> I've grouped Jira rights with wiki rights in the above. This is not 
> strictly necessary, but grouping the two seems like a reasonable step.
> This is my first pass at a proposal. We can tweak this process in a 
> number of ways and there are alternatives. I think the hard requirements 
> are 1) the PMC must vote and 2) an ICLA must be filed with the ASF.
> Until we resolve this issue, we need to restrict Wiki write access to be 
> the current set of Geronimo committers.

So, are we talking of restricting a particular space or all GMOx...? We should at least leave
the wiki sandbox (GMOxSBOX) out of this restriction

This is not a trivial thing, there are currently a number of non-committers contributing to
the documentation. I think we would do more harm than good if we suddenly stop them from contributing

Again, I see the issue and agree we need to act rather sooner than later, but before we pull
down the curtain I would like to have a plan for dealing with current contributors. Blocking
wiki access now will not address any potential IP issue we may currently have on already existing


> --kevan

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