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From Leo Simons <m...@leosimons.com>
Subject Re: [legal] Bulk contribution barrier to entry
Date Tue, 11 Oct 2005 17:24:41 GMT
On Tue, Oct 11, 2005 at 07:54:04AM -0400, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:
> >>However, I suspect it will be too high of a standard.  For example,
> >>suppose the Kaffe project wanted to offer a copyright license to
> >>their codebase to Harmony?  I bet it can't be done - we'd have to
> >>chase down every contributor to the codebase and get the signed
> >>agreement.  Suppose Sun wanted to donate J2SE?  :)  I'm betting they
> >>couldn't provide the necessary documentation either...
> >>
> >>So what do we do?
> >
> >Just-in-time revise the process when the problem arrives?
> 
> I thought of that at first, but worry that without some objective  
> starting point - some minimum set of guidelines - we'd either get  
> accused of playing favorites, or not be able to defend a minimum  
> provenance standard for our entire codebase.

OK. I think the minimum set of guidelines is "produce a compliant J2SE
implementation which can be licensed under the Apache License only". We
are being extra careful here because of that "only" that's in there. We
are worried about patents 'n stuff, no?

So the alternative to our established process is "anything which fits
the original goal". I don't care one bit whether we'll get accused of
stuff -- the fact that this project exists causes lots of accusations of
various kinds.
 
> >I know very little about any of this, but I'll suggest that designing
> >ahead of need is not a good idea. If and when we run into problems  
> >with
> >this process, we will know exactly what the problem actually is and
> >what steps would fix that problem.
> >
> >Software developers will recognize this is as the "extreme  
> >programming"
> >approach :-)
> 
> Erm, yeah.  Like I've said before, a little upfront design goes a  
> long way... There's reasons why people don't do XP for anything  
> material that has any permanence, like skyscrapers or roads or  
> airplanes.. 

really? From what I hear, they tend to start building an airplane
even before they know how long or how heavy it will be. They just
have some educated guesses (which, to be fair, fill like several
thousand pages) and start building stuff. Fascinating. But very
off-topic :-)

> First, it's just too embarrassing and expensive to  
> refactor a skyscraper "windows?  you never said anything about  
> windows...", and you want to make sure that you can meet the basic  
> design goals "What do you mean 'land'?"..
> 
> We have a basic legal/process design goal of creating a body of work  
> for which we've taken reasonable care to ensure clean origins and no  
> encumbrance by 3rd parties.
> 
> In our case, when we get contributions, they are in a sense building  
> blocks for our work here - depending on the technology, it could be  
> very difficult or expensive to go back later and fix, or ensure we  
> treat all comers fairly.
> 
> Anyway, we don't have a problem now, but this struck me as a bug when  
> doing it, so lets at least think about this a bit and suggest some  
> possible yardsticks to use.

I don't see the actual bug yet.

In any case, did the above make sense as a yardstick?

cheers!

LSD


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