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From Scott Wilson <scott.bradley.wil...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Quick project submission question
Date Wed, 08 Sep 2010 15:06:01 GMT

On 8 Sep 2010, at 15:40, Carl Trieloff wrote:

> On 09/08/2010 10:29 AM, Scott Wilson wrote:
>> On 8 Sep 2010, at 15:13, Carl Trieloff wrote:
>> 
>>   
>>> What is the view of having a project in Apache that pulls substantial components
>>> that are licensed under ASL as dependencies into the code base. I.e. not coping
the
>>> code, but using components that have been built and maintained elsewhere under
ASL
>>> but used as dependencies for running.
>>> 
>>> I assume this is not an issue, based in the info posted on use of licenses --
however I'm
>>> interested in understand if others have had positive or negative experiences
with such
>>> a case.
>>>     
>> Hi Carl,
>> 
>> Wookie has been using Ivy[1] to pull in external dependencies as part of the build
process. It took a bit of initial effort to get right, but now works really nicely, and makes
it much easier to track external libraries and check their licenses are compatible.  You can
also distinguish between dependencies that are needed for development, for building, and for
distribution and downstream reuse. There is an Eclipse plugin for Ivy that works pretty well
too.
>> 
>> The only vaguely negative thing I found was the initial challenge of getting the
hang of how Ivy works, but we had good help from other community members and from our mentors
on that.
>> 
>> [1] http://ant.apache.org/ivy/
>> 
>> - Scott
>> 
>>   
> 
> Scott,
> 
> Do you see any negative sides from the community perspective with the dependencies that
or from projects
> outside of Apache?
> 
> Carl.

I think it depends on the nature of the project you depend on. For the most part these are
pretty mature, commonly used libraries. 

However in one case we did have the issue that we had a problem that was caused by a bug in
a dependency (HtmlCleaner) where it wasn't very clear from the website whether the project
was still active (patches not applied, no recent commits etc). In the end I just asked nicely
on their tracker if it could be fixed, waited patiently, and eventually it was :-) 

I can imagine there might be problems if you got into a blame game with upstream projects,
or where there is a combination of a big culture difference plus an unstable codebase. I think
the answer is to evaluate dependencies from a community and sustainability viewpoint, not
just a functional one.

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