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From "Daniel F. Savarese" <...@savarese.org>
Subject Re: proposed ammendment to mirroring policy
Date Wed, 25 Aug 2004 19:49:45 GMT

In message <Pine.WNT.4.61.0408251139550.3740@HEC-4949>, "Joshua Silve" writes:
>1. Are we going to put a disclaimer on all external links from apache.org 
>sites?  I *hate* sites that do that sort of thing.  Web users understand 
>that links, be they informational or advertising, don't constitute 
>endorsements.

I wouldn't suggest that all external links bear disclaimers.  Apache
practice tends to be (correct me if I'm wrong) to do things like this
only when there's evidence they're needed.  From the discussion so far
(mostly on infrastructure), it seemed that an explicit statement of the
relationship between the ASF and mirror sites would resolve the slice of
the debate centering around the perception of the relationship between
the ASF and one of our software distributors.

>2. There is a major operational issue here.  Getting all the projects to 
>make changes to their download pages is a very difficult proposition.  Who 
>is going to work on tracking down each one to get the change made?

It may in fact not be practical.  I was under the impression the mirror
download pages had been largely centralized into sharing one or two scripts
that got customized through includes/templates of some sort (I haven't checked
it out lately, so I may be way off base).  If that's the case, it should
be only a matter of adding a preamble to some text in a couple of download
scripts and the script that generates http://www.apache.org/mirrors/.  If
not, then someone who feels strongly about the perception of an endorsement
can volunteer to track down and make the changes.  The key here is compromise.
If ASFers who would prefer not to change anything are open to a disclaimer
and those who would prefer not to list the site on the basis of the
perception question are open to a disclaimer, then I would think those who
would prefer not to list the site would be willing to step up to do the work.

>Having said that, I do believe that providing as much information possible 
>to our downloaders is a good thing.  But lets make it less legalistic and 
>more informative, like:

Whatever language makes explicit the relationship between the ASF and
its mirrors will fill the need.  I thought this might be an acceptable
compromise to alleviate some concerns without contradicting the "it's
not our role to take a position" position (if anything, it makes the
position explicit).  If one of the problems that has been hypothesized
actually materializes from listing mirrors.playboy.com/apache, then there
can be further assessment of how to handle this and similar situations
that arise in the future.  Since this looks like the first time the
situation has arisen, and there's insufficient basis to predict the
consequences, it's probably not unreasonable to use it as an experiment
to determine if any policy refinements are necessary.

Anyway, it's just a suggestion to break possible deadlock.

daniel



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