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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Best practices for contributing code to both Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice
Date Wed, 14 Nov 2012 18:28:22 GMT
I've heard some discussion and interest in this topic off-list.  There
has been some practical experience, but nothing that we've written
down or promoted.  I'd be interested in seeing if we can come up with
some solid best practices.

The problem:  Many (most?) open source contributors are not opposed to
AOO or LO.  They are just interested in helping out.  If they produce
a patch, or documentation, fix a bug or add a translation, they want
to maximize the public good that comes from that work.  License
differences are confusing and frustrating and bring them no joy.  They
want a set of clear instructions for how they can  do the most good
with the least process overhead.

Naturally, I'm looking at this from the AOO side.  But most of these
issues are symmetrical.  So for sake of argument, suppose I identify
myself primarily as a LibreOffice developer/translator/technical
author, and I want to make my work available more broadly.  What
should I do?  As I see it, the issues are threefold:  communications,
technical integration and license.

On the communications side, how do I let AOO know that I've done work
that I want to contribute to them?  Sending a note to dev@ or posting
a patch in AOO's BZ would work, of course.  But both require extra
work for the contributor.  Are there any lighter weight ways of doing
this?  For example, could we suggest a tag that could be used in git
or Bugzilla, for the contributor to indicate their intent that the
contribution be made available to AOO as well?   Something like
#AOOCONTRIBUTION ?  That would make it easy for us to search for such

Technical integration -- Due to divergence between the projects, not
every LO patch can be applied to AOO automatically.  Some will, but
many will require adaptation.  Certainly the contributor could
integrate and build their patch for both products.  That would be
idea.  But it is asking a lot.  Would we accept less?  Or maybe we
sugest areas where technical integration would be easier and require
no extra work?  Otherwise, integration would require extra work on our
end.  But this is not fatal.  In fact it could lead to a set of "easy
tasks" for new developers.

License -- the differences here are well-known, but are easily solved.
 A contributor merely needs to state that they are making their patch
available to AOO under ALv2.  There are various ways to record this
fact publicly.  One is to make the statement in the source system (git
or BZ).  But that is extra work.  Another way might be submit an iCLA
to Apache.  Another way might be to publicly record an intention on
our dev@ list, along the lines of, "All of my (future/past)
LibreOffice contributions should be considered also contributions
under the Apache License 2.0 to the Apache OpenOffice project".

Another other ideas?


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