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From Doug Cutting <cutt...@apache.org>
Subject Re: What is the top level of the source tree and what exactly is an Apache distribution?
Date Tue, 17 Sep 2013 16:41:33 GMT
On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 2:50 AM, Stephen Connolly
<stephen.alan.connolly@gmail.com> wrote:
> * Source control is not an Apache distribution and hence we do not need to
> have LICENSE and NOTICE files in source control, it can be a nice
> convenience, but there is no *requirement*.

I think perhaps you're looking for clear lines where things are
actually a bit fuzzy.  Certainly releases are official distributions
and need LICENSE and NOTICE files.  That line is clear.  On the other
hand, we try to discourage folks from thinking that source control is
a distribution.  Rather we wish it to be considered our shared
workspace, containing works in progress, not yet always ready for
distribution to folks outside the foundation.  But, since we work in
public, folks from outside the foundation can see our shared workspace
and might occasionally mistake it for an official distribution.  We'd
like them to still see a LICENSE and NOTICE file.  So it's not a
hard-and-fast requirement that every tree that can possibly be checked
out have a LICENSE and NOTICE file at its root, but it's a good
practice for those trees that are likely to be checked out have them,
so that folks who might consume them are well informed.

For example, when I want to determine the license of some project, I
often don't find and download a source release, but instead browse its
source code repository and read the license there.  I appreciate that
it's almost always at the top-level and assume that this is consistent
with the license in its source releases.  If I were a lawyer pursuing
a case I'd be wise to actually check the source of a specific release,
but my inquiries are often of a more casual nature.

Doug

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