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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: A systematic approach to IP review?
Date Mon, 19 Sep 2011 18:05:27 GMT
On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM, Marcus (OOo) <> wrote:
> Am 09/19/2011 06:54 PM, schrieb Rob Weir:
>> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
>> <>  wrote:
>>> Rob,
>>> I was reading the suggestion from Marcus as it being that since the code
>>> base is in a folder structure (modularized) and the wiki can map folder
>>> structures and their status nicely, it is not necessary to have a single
>>> table to manage this from, but have any tables be at some appropriate
>>> granularity toward the leaves of the hierarchy (on the wiki).
>> Using the wiki for this might be useful for tracking the status of
>> modules we already know we need to replace.  Bugzilla would be another
>> way to track the status.
> How do you want to use Bugzilla to track thousands of files?

No.  But for tracking module review, Bugzilla might be better than the
wiki.  It allows us to have a conversation on each module via

>> But it is not really a sufficient solution.  Why?  Because it is not
>> tied to the code and is not reproducible.  How was the list of
>> components listed in the wiki generated?  Based on what script?  Where
>> is the script?  How do we know it is accurate and current?  How do we
>> know that integrating a CWS does not make that list become outdated?
>> How do we prove to ourselves that we did this right?  And how to we
>> record that proof as a record?  And how do we repeat this proof every
>> time we do a new release?
> Questions over questions but not helpful. ;-)
> A list of components of unknown derivation sitting on a community wiki
>> that anyone can edit is not really a suitable basis for an IP review.
> Then restrict the write access.
>> The granularity we need to worry about is the file.  That is the
>> finest grain level of having a license header.  That is the unit of
>> tracking in SVN.  That is the unit that someone could have changed the
>> content in SVN.
>> Again, it is fine if someone wants to outline this at the module
>> level.  But that does not eliminate the requirement for us to do this
>> at the file level as well.
> IMHO you haven't understood what I wanted to tell you.

I understand what you are saying.  I just don't agree with you.

> Sure it makes no sense to create a list of every file in SVN to see if the
> license is good or bad. So, do it module by module. And when a module is
> marked as "done", then of course every file in the modules was checked.
> Otherwise it's not working.

That is not a consistent approach. Every developer applies their own
criteria.   It is not reproducible. It leaves no audit trail.  And it
doesn't help us with the next release.

If you use the Apache Release Audit Tool (RAT) then it will check all
the files automatically.

> And how to make sure that there was no change when source was
> added/moved/improved? Simply Commit Then Review (CTR). A change in the
> license header at the beginning should be remarkable, right? However, we
> also need to have trust in everybodies work.

We would run RAT before every release and with every significant code

You can think of this as a form of CTR, but one that is automated,
with a consistent rule set.

Obviously, good CTR plus the work on the wiki will all help.  But we
need the RAT scans as well, to show that we're clean.

> BTW:
> What is your plan to track every file to make sure the license is OK?

Run RAT.  That is what it does.

> Marcus
>>> I can see some brittle cases, especially in the face of refactoring.  The
>>> use of the wiki might have to be an ephemeral activity that is handled this
>>> way entirely for our initial scrubbing.
>>> Ideally, additional and sustained review would be in the SVN with the
>>> artifacts so reviewed, and coalesced somehow.  The use of SVN properties is
>>> interesting, but they are rather invisible and I have a question about what
>>> happens with them when a commit happens against the particular artifact.
>> Properties stick with the file, unless changed.  Think of the
>> svn:eol-style property.  It is not wiped out with a new revision of
>> the file.
>>> It seems that there is some need to balance an immediate requirement and
>>> what would be sufficient for it versus what would assist us in the longer
>>> term.  It would be interesting to know what the additional-review work has
>>> become for other projects that have a substantial code base (e.g., SVN
>>> itself, httpd, ...).  I have no idea.
>> The IP review needs to occur with every release.  So the work we do to
>> automate this, and make it data-drive, will repay itself with every
>> release.
>> I invite you to investigate what other projects do.  When you do I
>> think you will agree.
>>>  - Dennis
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Rob Weir []
>>> Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 07:47
>>> To:
>>> Subject: Re: A systematic approach to IP review?
>>> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 8:13 AM, Marcus (OOo)<>
>>>  wrote:
>>>> Am 09/19/2011 01:59 PM, schrieb Rob Weir:
>>>>> 2011/9/19 Jürgen Schmidt<>:
>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 19, 2011 at 2:27 AM, Rob Weir<>
>>>>>>  wrote:
>>>>>>> If you haven't looked it closely, it is probably worth a few
>>>>>>> of your time to review our incubation status page, especially
>>>>>>> items under "Copyright" and "Verify Distribution Rights".  It
>>>>>>> the things we need to do, including:
>>>>>>>  -- Check and make sure that the papers that transfer rights
to the
>>>>>>> ASF been received. It is only necessary to transfer rights for
>>>>>>> package, the core code, and any new code produced by the project.
>>>>>>> -- Check and make sure that the files that have been donated
>>>>>>> been
>>>>>>> updated to reflect the new ASF copyright.
>>>>>>> -- Check and make sure that for all code included with the
>>>>>>> distribution that is not under the Apache license, we have the
>>>>>>> to combine with Apache-licensed code and redistribute.
>>>>>>> -- Check and make sure that all source code distributed by the
>>>>>>> project
>>>>>>> is covered by one or more of the following approved licenses:
>>>>>>> BSD, Artistic, MIT/X, MIT/W3C, MPL 1.1, or something with essentially
>>>>>>> the same terms.
>>>>>>> Some of this is already going on, but it is hard to get a sense
>>>>>>> who
>>>>>>> is doing what and how much progress we have made.  I wonder
if we can
>>>>>>> agree to a more systematic approach?  This will make it easier
to see
>>>>>>> the progress we're making and it will also make it easier for
>>>>>>> to help.
>>>>>>> Suggestions:
>>>>>>> 1) We need to get all files needed for the build into SVN.  Right
>>>>>>> there are some that are copied down from the website
>>>>>>> during the build's bootstrap process.   Until we get the files
all in
>>>>>>> one place it is hard to get a comprehensive view of our dependencies.
>>>>>> do you mean to check in the files under ext_source into svn and remove
>>>>>> it
>>>>>> later on when we have cleaned up the code. Or do you mean to put
>>>>>> somehwere on apache extras?
>>>>>> I would prefer to save these binary files under apache extra if
>>>>>> possible.
>>>>> Why not just keep in in SVN?   Moving things to Apache-Extras does not
>>>>> help us with the IP review.   In other words, if we have a dependency
>>>>> on a OSS module that has an incompatible license, then moving that
>>>>> module to Apache Extras does not make that dependency go away.  We
>>>>> still need to understand the nature of the dependency: a build tool,
>>>>> dynamic runtime dependency, a statically linked library, an optional
>>>>> extensions, a necessary core module.
>>>>> If we find out, for example, that something in ext-sources is only
>>>>> used as a build tool, and is not part of the release, then there is
>>>>> nothing that prevents us from hosting it in SVN.   But if something
>>>>> a necessary library and it is under GPL, then this is a problem even
>>>>> if we store it on Apache-Extras,
>>>>>>> 2) Continue the CWS integrations.  Along with 1) this ensures
>>>>>>> all
>>>>>>> the code we need for the release is in SVN.
>>>>>>> 3)  Files that Oracle include in their SGA need to have the
>>>>>>> license header inserted and the Sun/Oracle copyright migrated
to the
>>>>>>> NOTICE file.  Apache RAT (Release Audit Tool) [2] can be used
>>>>>>> automate parts of this.
>>>>>>> 4) Once the SGA files have the Apache headers, then we can make
>>>>>>> regular use of RAT to report on files that are lacking an Apache
>>>>>>> header.  Such files might be in one of the following categories:
>>>>>>> a) Files that Oracle owns the copyright on and which should be
>>>>>>> included in an amended SGA
>>>>>>> b) Files that have a compatible OSS license which we are permitted
>>>>>>> use.  This might require that we add a mention of it to the
>>>>>>> file.
>>>>>>> c) Files that have an incompatible OSS license.  These need
to be
>>>>>>> removed/replaced.
>>>>>>> d) Files that have an OSS license that has not yet been
>>>>>>> reviewed/categorized by Apache legal affairs.  In that case
we need
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> bring it to their attention.
>>>>>>> e) (Hypothetically) files that are not under an OSS license at
>>>>>>> E.g., a Microsoft header file.  These must be removed.
>>>>>>> 5) We should to track the resolution of each file, and do this
>>>>>>> publicly.  The audit trail is important.  Some ways we could
do this
>>>>>>> might be:
>>>>>>> a) Track this in SVN properties.  So set ip:sga for the SGA
>>>>>>> ip:mit for files that are MIT licensed, etc.  This should be
>>>>>>> reflected
>>>>>>> in headers as well, but this is not always possible.  For example,
>>>>>>> might have binary files where we cannot add headers, or cases
>>>>>>> the OSS files do not have headers, but where we can prove their
>>>>>>> provenance via other means.
>>>>>>> b) Track this is a spreadsheet, one row per file.
>>>>>>> c) Track this is an text log file checked in SVN
>>>>>>> d) Track this in an annotated script that runs RAT, where the
>>>>>>> annotations document the reason for cases where we tell it to
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> file or directory.
>>>>>>> 6) Iterate until we have a clean RAT report.
>>>>>>> 7) Goal should be for anyone today to be able to see what work
>>>>>>> remains
>>>>>>> for IP clearance, as well as for someone 5 years from now to
be able
>>>>>>> to tell what we did.  Tracking this on the community wiki is
>>>>>>> not good enough, since we've previously talked about dropping
>>>>>>> wiki and going to MWiki.
>>>>>> talked about it yes but did we reached a final decision?
>>>>>> The migrated wiki is available under
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> can
>>>>>> be used. Do we want to continue with this wiki now? It's still not
>>>>>> clear
>>>>>> for
>>>>>> me at the moment.
>>>>>> But we need a place to document the IP clearance and under
>>>>>> we have already some
>>>>>> information.
>>>>> This is not really sufficient. The wiki is talking about module-level
>>>>> dependencies.   This is a good star and useful for the high level
>>>>> discussion. But we need to look file-by-file.  We need to catch the
>>>>> case where (hypothetically) there is a single GPL header file sitting
>>>>> in a core OOo source directory.  So we need to review 100,000's of
>>>>> files.  Too big for a table on the wiki.
>>>> If you think in files than yes, it's too big.
>>>> But when you split this up into the application modules and submodules
>>>> and
>>>> sub-sub-modules, then different people can work in parallel when it's
>>>> known
>>>> who is working in what module.
>>> We don't really have a comprehensive view of the licenses in the
>>> source tree until we do a file-by-file scan.  Until we do that we just
>>> have an approximation.
>>> But once we have a detailed view, then it is natural to work on the
>>> larger chunks module-by-module.  Most files we need to worry about
>>> will be in a module where we will treat all files in that module the
>>> same way.  But until proven otherwise, we need to be alert to the
>>> possibility that there is a single non-OSS Microsoft header file
>>> sitting in a directory someplace.  I'm not saying this has actually
>>> happened, or that it is likely to have happened.  I'm just saying that
>>> our review needs to be detailed enough that we can catch such a
>>> problem if it occurs.
>>>> IMHO this should work and there is always an actual and current
>>>> overview.
>>>> Marcus
>>>>> Note also that doing this kind of check is a per-requisite for every
>>>>> release we do at Apache.  So agreeing on what tools and techniques we
>>>>> want to use for this process is important.  If we do it right, the
>>>>> next time we do a review it will be very fast and easy, since we'll be
>>>>> able to build upon the review we've already done. That's why I think
>>>>> that either using svn properties or scripts with annotated data files
>>>>> listing "cleared" files is the best approach.  Make the review process
>>>>> be data-driven and reproducible using automated tools.  It won't
>>>>> totally eliminate the need for manual inspection, but it will: 1) Help
>>>>> parallelize that effort, and 2) Ensure it is only done once per file.
>>>>>> Juergen
>>>>>>> -Rob
>>>>>>> [1]
>>>>>>> [2]

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