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From Curt Arnold <carn...@apache.org>
Subject code contributions and CLA's (Was Re: XMLSocketHubReceiver available - answer to Scott Deboy e-mail)
Date Tue, 21 Nov 2006 18:11:32 GMT

On Nov 20, 2006, at 11:26 PM, Scott Deboy wrote:

> I agree that using a bug tracking system is a useful way to track  
> (and not lose) contributions - however, I can't find anything  
> mentioning 'scope' requiring a CLA, in ASF or LS docs.
>
> This particular commit is very limited in scope, and has nothing to  
> do with the other logging projects - only that it enables them to  
> write a reverse-connect appender, similar to our  
> SocketHubAppender.  There are three source files.  As Elias  
> mentioned, it's essentially a duplicate of code from  
> SocketHubReceiver - hardly controversial.
>
> The CLA is a requirement for those of us making commits.  For  
> contributors to mailing lists, it seems that isn't the case.  At a  
> minimum, different projects may have differing policies, and I  
> don't think LS has a policy above and beyond what's described as  
> required on the ASF license page.
>
> Accepting contributions via mailing list is a common practice.  I  
> assume that's one of the reasons mailing lists were explicitly  
> described in ASL 2.0 as one way for a 'contribution' to be  
> 'submitted'.  The fact that he applied the ASL 2.0 license to his  
> source files and submitted then to a mailing list maintained by the  
> ASL seems to qualify as a valid contribution.  At that point.   
> There are steps folks can take to try and make the odds that a  
> patch will be committed, to be sure, but it's not a requirement (I  
> could just have easily created a bugzilla issue for him).
>
> My primary interest in responding is to make sure we do everything  
> we can to -encourage- contributions from the community.  Anything  
> we can do to remove barriers to contribution is positive (assuming,  
> of course, that all ASF policies are adhered to).
>

I'm spinning the code contribution and CLA discussion off to a  
different topic.  We probably should not digress too far on this  
before jumping over to legal-discuss@apache.org or find some more  
explicit guidance.

First, I'll acknowledge that I misunderstood the nature of the  
contribution that started this discussion.  I skipped over the  
<snippet> section after the signature which described the code as a  
modification of existing log4j code.

 From http://www.apache.org/dev/committers.html#committer- 
responsibilities:
>
> Applying patches
> In order to grow and maintain healthy communities, committers need  
> to discuss, review and apply patches submitted by volunteers. The  
> Committers are also responsible for the quality and IP clearance of  
> the code that goes into ASF repositories.
>
> Monitoring commits and issues
> Committers should review commit email messages for their projects  
> and point out anything that looks funny or that may bring in IP  
> issues. Monitoring Bugzilla / Jira for bugs or enhancement requests  
> is also a responsibility of Committers.

Basically, it is all of the committers responsibility that no code  
that might bring IP issues is committed into the SVN repository or is  
incorporated into a release.  If a committer thinks that there may be  
any controversy (IP or otherwise) about code he is considering to  
commit, it should be first discussed on the -dev list.  If anyone on  
the list has a concern (IP or otherwise) about a commit after the  
fact, then a discussion should be started on the -dev list or the  
code changed vetod and rolled back.

I personally feel a lot more comfortable when substantial new  
features are accompanied by a CLA and would recommend anyone who is  
considering writing something new and big to contribute to review the  
terms of the CLA before getting started.  In this case, I  
misunderstood the nature of the contribution.

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