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From "bootjvm@earthlink.net" <boot...@earthlink.net>
Subject Re: [general] Remove @author tags from code (HARMONY-6348)
Date Mon, 12 Oct 2009 22:30:07 GMT


> [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.

Dan Lydick




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