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From "William A. Rowe Jr." <>
Subject Re: Q. Forks without concensus?; A. anytime / depends / never without agreement
Date Wed, 04 Jan 2012 01:36:13 GMT
On 1/3/2012 12:51 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:28 PM, Kalle Korhonen
> <> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 9:57 AM, Leo Simons <> wrote:
>>> So the generic policy is there is no generic policy, and instead there
>>> is appropriate application of judgement to specific cases.
>> Generic policy doesn't mean you couldn't use judgement or make
>> exceptions. In principle, if the ASF's mission is to build communities
>> around source code, we should not accept forks of open source projects
>> if that's not the (consensus) will of the original community.
> I agree with the first statement in the above paragraph, and believe
> that it potentially leads to a different conclusion than the final
> sentence in that same paragraph.

+1.  I would suggest we would avoid encouraging forks of open source
projects if that isn't the last remaining alternative to allow both
groups of contributors to move forward.

A fork is a social artifact more than a code assembly artifact.

> We have had unfriendly forks within the ASF.  We have had instances
> where the original community has disappeared later to return and
> attempt to reclaim ultimate direction for a project.  We've even had
> destructive forks where both the fork and the original community ended
> up failing.

Good points.

> We can, and should, make a decision based on the specifics of the
> community in question, and informed by our past experiences -- both
> successes and failures.

Or to quote the cited logic behind "we accept voluntary contributions
only", let's look at a genesis of that statement circa 1999;

 * This software consists of voluntary contributions made by many
 * individuals on behalf of the Apache Group and was originally based
 * on public domain software written at the National Center for
 * Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Which devolves to;

 1. many individuals made voluntary contributions *on behalf of Apache*

 2. this does not deny some contributions made externally (not on behalf
    of Apache) were not also incorporated (I'd speculate that some were
    likely adopted, say patches in BSD or similar)

 3. this work is originally written somewhere else and not a voluntary
    contribution on behalf of the Apache Group whatsoever, but published
    as-is into the commons.

The genesis of Apache is a fork.  Not a hostile fork, but a fork of an
effectively abandoned work.  It's possible to read the statement above
that all contributions are directly offered to Apache, but that really
isn't what it said.

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