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From Phil Steitz <pste...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Query RE: Forking
Date Tue, 23 Mar 2010 20:09:07 GMT
rwinston@apache.org wrote:
> Hi all
> I am the primary maintainer of commons-net. Summary: I am looking
> into forking the project and doing future releases from somewhere
> else other than Apache Commons. There are a few reasons for this:
> one of which is I would like to collaborate with developers
> external to Apache Commons, one of which has done a tremendous
> amount of work that I would very much like to make use of.

Have you asked this person to get involved in the Commons community?

 I am
> also concerned about the dwindling activity around the Commons
> community, and the general efficacy of Apache Commons per se.

You should raise those concerns on Commons-dev.  The overall commons
community is by no means inactive.  Like most components,
commons-net has had its ups and downs in terms of active committers
- sounds like you have a good idea above on how to get it going again.

> with this in mind, I have the following questions:
> * I am assuming (possibly naively) that a fork to another Apache
> 2-licensed project should not be a problem, provided relevant
> attributions are made - is this correct? *

Anyone is free to do anything with ASF code that the ASL allows.

 Obviously package
> names, etc. would need to change (this is a given)

Not necessarily. What would be a bad thing would be to release code
that is incompatible with ASF-released code with the same class
names.  Lots of OSS and commercial products embed ASF code with our
class and package names.  Someone more knowledgeable about the
nuances of the ASL can comment / correct me; but I am pretty sure
that attribution is all that is required legally.  What is the
*right thing to do* is a separate issue - see below.

 - are there
> any other considerations that would need to be taken into
> account? * It may be possible at some stage to do a "reverse
> fork" back into Apache - would CLAs be needed from the main
> contributors if this is the case?
You would need software grants from the external contributors and CLAs.

Honestly, I think *the right thing to do* in this case is to bring
the external contributors into the Commons community and take their
code through the incubator clearance process.  We have done this
quite a bit in Commons and it has helped us grow the community and
improve our components.  I would be willing to help with this, as I
am sure would other Commons committers.

If you really want to start something else somewhere else, then you
are certainly free to do that.  In that case, the *right thing to
do* in terms of package names, etc., is to either try to maintain
explicit dependency on ASF-released code (i.e., build something on
top of commons-net) or fork and repackage.

> Regards -- Rory
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