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From sebb <seb...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [general] Remove @author tags from code (HARMONY-6348)
Date Tue, 13 Oct 2009 00:03:58 GMT
On 12/10/2009, bootjvm@earthlink.net <bootjvm@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>
>  > [Original Message]
>  > From: Tim Ellison <t.p.ellison@gmail.com>
>  > To: <dev@harmony.apache.org>
>  > Date: 10/9/2009 2:54:32 AM
>  > Subject: Re: [general] Remove @author tags from code (HARMONY-6348)
>
> >
>  > On 09/Oct/2009 00:25, Mark Hindess wrote:
>  > > In message <529434575.1255030111261.JavaMail.jira@brutus>,
>  > > "Jesse Wilson (JIRA)" writes:
>  > >> Remove @author tags from code
>  > >> -----------------------------
>  > >>
>  > >>                  Key: HARMONY-6348
>  > >>                  URL:
>  https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HARMONY-6348
>  > >>              Project: Harmony
>  > >>           Issue Type: Task
>  > >>             Reporter: Jesse Wilson
>  > >>             Priority: Minor
>  > >>
>  > >>
>  > >> From a 2004 email
>  > >>
>  http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/jakarta-jmeter-dev/200402.mbox/<403
>  9F65E.7020406@atg.com>
>  > >>     "author tags are officially discouraged. these create difficulties
>  in
>  > >>      establishing the proper ownership and the protection of our
>  > >>      committers. there are other social issues dealing with
>  collaborative
>  > >>      development, but the Board is concerned about the legal
>  ramifications
>  > >>      around the use of author tags
>  > >>
>  > >> I'd like to remove author tags from Harmony code to bring it closer
>  > >> into alignment with Android, which has no author tags.
>
>
> Notice that this was in 2004 which was before the
>  current rendition of file headers, NOTICES file, etc.,
>  was put in place in November 2005.  I think the legal
>  issues have long since been resolved.
>
>
>  > >
>  > > I'm not directly concerned about alignment with Android but I do think
>  that
>  > > Apache policy encourages @author tag removal so I am in favour of doing
>  this.
>  > >
>  > >> Unless there are objections, I'll prepare a patch...
>  > >
>  > > What do you think?  If there are no objections then next week I shall
>  > > script their removal.
>  >
>  > As I've said before, I'm +0 for removing the author tags.
>  >
>  > I know that concerns have been raised in the past about people getting
>  > the proper recognition for their contributions.  May I suggest that if
>  > you remove all the author tags that you collate the names and post a
>  > list here for posterity.  That should associate people's names with
>  > Harmony archives well enough, or we can combine it with a list of the
>  > ICLAs we have received and create a contributors file in SVN.
>  >
>  > Regards,
>  > Tim
>
>
> This is a perennial question.  We have been through this question before
>  on this list and/or its Incubator predecessor.  The issue was finally
>  dropped
>  and no action taken.  Yes, in principle, it could be nice to remove @author
>  tags.  No, one of the reasons people contribute to organizations like ASF
>  is to make their mark in the universe, namely, "I was here."  For most
>  people,
>  this is not a question of egotism but merely a desire to have _one_ very
>  _small_
>  note of recognition for the work they did--by name.  Nothing else.  I think
>  that
>  the contributors who have their name in the source code are looking for this
>  and likely looking ONLY for this small recognition.  I would suggest that if
>  they put it there, leave it there.  Those who do not put it there can be
>  satisfied
>  with the absence of their names from the code.  Perhaps this might be a
>  useful middle ground.

The problem with @author tags in code is that they can very quickly
get out of date.
After a few years of edits, how much of the original code is left?
Have the tags been kept up to date? Does it really make sense to have
recognition in the source code?

Seems to me it's better to have a "contributors" page, for example as in:

http://commons.apache.org/email/team-list.html

Much easier to manage - and better visibility too.

>  Dan Lydick
>
>
>
>

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