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From Justin Mclean <jus...@classsoftware.com>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] NuttX Proposal
Date Wed, 27 Nov 2019 01:56:05 GMT
Hi Greg,

Nice to meet you and thanks for your answers.

> Some of the files are so old that it may not be possible to even contact all of the authors.
 I am the committer on all files and also listed as the author in the CM systems up to a few
years ago (other people are given credit only in ChangeLogs and ReleaseNotes). Most have given
copyright rights to me.  Is it the author, the committer, or the copyright holder that matters
here?

It’s generally preferred that ICLAs from all major contributors are obtained, we’ll need
to discuss and work out what’s required here. It might be OK with just a software grant
from you if are the copyright owner. Any other IPMC member have an opinion?

People on the initial committer list and any new committers added during incubation will need
to sign ICLAs.

> No one but I can commit to the existing repositories so I am the committer of everything.
 The names are not actually committers, but authors from the git commit --author= argument.
 In the early years CVS and SVN were used and in the early GIT years, I did not yet know about
the --author= option.  So you can clearly see when I discovered --author= in the data at:
https://bitbucket.org/nuttx/nuttx/addon/bitbucket-graphs/graphs-repo-page#!graph=contributors&uuid=d90bf438-7869-4921-8926-fd25b0901043&type=c&group=weeks
Maybe around 2015?

I probably should have used the word contributor rather than committer, it would be expected
that you start out with more than three initial committers. These people also form the PPMC
(podling project management committee). Once you graduate to a top level project you form
a PMC that group. Generally that contains people who want to stay on and  help with the oversight,
community building and direction of the project. 3 people is the absolute minimum for a PPMC/PMC
and we really like to see a minimum of 5 people, but there’s no hard rule on this. One possible
option would be to ask existing contributors who wants to be a committer on the new project.
Note that contribution can also be in forms other than code, for instance creating documentation,
speaking at conferences, organising community events, so people who do this should also be
considered for the initial list. Having a commit bit means they are committed to the project
and not that they are required to contribute or commit code.

> They are aware superficially but I don't think most appreciate the full implications.

IMO It would be good idea to start a conversation about that on your mailing list, include
links to about the ASF [1], the Apache Way [2], the Incubator policy [3] and ASF release policy
[4]. Your champion can help with this, if they haven't already (I’m not aware of what gone
on up to this point so apologies if that’s already happened). These policies may sound bureaucratic
to some but are there to support the ASF values. Please emphasise you are not expected to
change overnight and be 100% compliant from day one, as long as during the incubating process
you make progress everything is good. There is also have a code of conduct [6] that we follow.

I (or others) can join in on that conversation and answer any questions people have if needed.
Not to discourage you, but you might want to read about what can go wrong or issue some project
can run into [7]. Selecting good mentors will help with a lot of these potential issues.

>  I have done 133 releases of NuttX alone. 

Where do you currently place releases? Your release process is likely to need to change as
at the ASF releases are made by the (P)PMC voting on them, and in the case of incubating projects
the IPMC voting on them before they can be released.

> There are a few, very old 4-clause BSD files in the C library (leveraged from old, old
BSD C library files).

Given the University of California, Berkeley rescinded  the 4 clause BSD licenses these files
should be OK. [5] I’ll see if I can track down the Apache Mynewt discussion about that.

> Don't copyrights have a shelf life like patents?

Yes but it’s a long time, life of author + 70 years from teh published date in most cases.
If they are really old (< 1978) it’s probably 95 years from the published date.

> I spoke with the Mynewt folk a couple of years back about incorporating some their IoT
components into NuttX a few years back.  Licensing was an obstacle then, but times are changing.

Given you have compatible licenses what was the issue? Just the perceived complexity of the
ALv2 license you mentioned or another issue? Mynewt had some quite complex licensing issues
to sort out that required a number of different approaches, but is a good example of what
can be done.

Thanks,
Justin

1. https://community.apache.org/newbiefaq.html
2. https://www.apache.org/theapacheway/ and also http://theapacheway.com
3. https://incubator.apache.org/policy/incubation.html
4. http://www.apache.org/legal/release-policy.html
5. ftp://ftp.heise.de/pub/ix/ix_listings/programmierenheute2010/lizenzen/The%20BSD%20License.pdf
6. https://www.apache.org/foundation/policies/conduct
7. https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/INCUBATOR/Incubating+Issues


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