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From Paul Sundling <>
Subject Re: 1.2.0 is tagged and frozen
Date Tue, 24 Feb 2004 14:26:47 GMT
I want to start off by saying I look up to you and respect you.  I don't 
consider myself an equal to you or several of the other giants on this 
project, but I do consider myself part of this community now.  In fact, 
earlier today I changed my email address from to ;)

The way I see it, there is a natural order of things.  Normally you 
start out as a user, then move to a lurker on the dev list.  You start 
to become active on the list.  Then you start helping in little ways as 
a contributer and for the few elite chosen few, the top status as a 

My personal plan was to take care of some grunt work like author 
tags/licenses/fixing common maven report errors to make them more 
usable.  Some of that I've already done.  Then I planned to specialize 
in adding unit tests, and as I become more familiar with the inner 
source code, to make more core contributions.  Someday I might even be 
accepted as a committer.

Not to be dramatic, but removing the author tags from the volunteers 
page itself sends the message that non-committers are an  even less 
important part of the community.  There's largely some truth to that, 
but tt would be disappointing to see the contributors list go away.  
It's nice to get acknowledgement in CVS and on most of my of patches 
(but not all), I did get that.

As for the legal issues.  The Committers being actors is true wether or 
not people are listed on the page.  As for as a list accumulating over 
decades, the list could always be version(minor or major) specific.

Taking a step back, here is how some other projects are dealing with 
this issue:

Tomcat: they don't even deal with such a page and point instead to the 
overall jakarta whoweare.html which lists committers and project 
management committee(PMC) members. 

Jakarta Logging: list PMC members and committers, with pictures even.  I 
guess jboss isn't the only one to do that. :) 

Ant: PMC & committers

So perhaps I'm a singular voice in the wilderness, but removing the 
author tags from the volunteer page seems to be a decision important 
enough that a vote might be in order.  Regardless of the outcome, I'll 
still volunteer to take care of it and submit a patch.  I would however 
recommend that if the changes are made, the page be retitled, from 
volunteers to whoweare.  After seeing other projects, I can definitely 
see the other side on this one.  The bottom line is that I like feeling 
a part of this project and the only difference is how easy it to defend 
that position to myself or outsiders.

So I'll list the possible options(perhaps there are others I haven't 
1] continue maintining volunteers with list of contributers like now 
instead of author tags
    a] leave sorted as now
    b]move list of source&doc contributers to bottom of page. below 
commiters list & description
    c]move contributers list to a seperate page that is only linked to 
from bottom of the page.
2] remove source & document contributers from voluntters page
    a] leaving page called volunteers
    b] changing page to whoweare
3] remove page entirely and point the link to the jakarta whoweare page

Paul Sundling

Ted Husted wrote:

>On Mon, 23 Feb 2004 11:23:08 -0800, Paul Sundling wrote:
>>I should probably still remove <author> tags from the docs and
>>consolidate those into the volunteers page also.  
>I'm afraid that our volunteers page is subject to the same considerations as the author
tags. :(
>* Low hanging suit. In the unlikely event of a law suit, this is a (very) convenient list
of parties to join to the action. We may think it's silly, but it is what an attorney would
do. Each of these people would then be responsible for having themselves severed from the
suit. (Guilty until proven innocent, I'm afraid.) The ASF would do what they could, but resources
are limited; we shouldn't tempt fate. 
>* No strings attached. An important ASF principle is that all the code and documentation
belong to the Foundation and its Community. Tags and other credits tend to imply some people
"own" more of the resources than others. When a resource is donated to the foundation, we
need to emphasize that it belongs to the Foundation, free and clear. 
>* Duty now for the future. ASF projects are meant to live for decades. The current list
is already lengthy. What will it look like ten years from now? How much of the contributions
of those we list today will really be part of the product then? Tags and lists like these
cannot be sustained for the full life of an Apache product.
>Sadly, we should probably trim the Who We Are page down to the list of Struts Committers
who are members of the Jakarta PMC, since these individuals are the legal representatives
of the Foundation. In this context, the Struts Committee Members would be presented as the
"decision-makers" rather than the "authors". (Technically, what we do is a "work for hire",
even though we are all unpaid volunteers.) 
>Of course, we'd still give credit where credit is due via the CVS commits, if for no other
reason than to retain an audit trail. Of course, a very ambitious attorney could still try
to join everyone cited in the CVS log, but the CVS events are shielded by the Committers being
the actors, and so it's a horse of a different color. 
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