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From Ralph Goers <>
Subject Re: Making up policy on the fly
Date Wed, 19 Aug 2009 05:11:37 GMT

On Aug 18, 2009, at 5:13 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:

> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Ralph Goers <>
>> To:
>> Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:00:00 PM
>> Subject: Re: Making up policy on the fly
>> On Aug 18, 2009, at 4:22 PM, Craig L Russell wrote:
>>> So I found it:
>>> Please take a look at
>> [1]
>>> If this document is not normative, please let me know. Granted, it  
>>> says
>> "should" and not "must", so if there is a discussion presumably  
>> it's about
>> whether "should" means "must".
>>> Otherwise, let's shut this discussion down and start following the  
>>> rules.
>> OK then. There is something wrong with how hard that was to find  
>> though. And
>> you're right, instead of "If An Artifact Contains Code Under  
>> Several Licenses,
>> Should It Contain Several License Files?" it would be much better  
>> if it read "If
>> An Artifact Contains Code Under Several Licenses, May It Contain  
>> Several License
>> Files?".  However, I think we should pretend it does.
> It's written the way it is because we are aware that not all Apache  
> projects
> comply with the recommendation.

Being ambiguous is no way to set policy.

I don't really care whether the license file contains all the license  
text or points to other licenses, but by saying "should" it basically  
says "This is our preferred way of doing it, but if you are doing  
something else no one is going to stop you."  Since it doesn't say  
what the other options are that would imply that even having to search  
for the other license files is OK too, as long as they are somewhere  
the user can find.

How about PMC's should vote on releases? Maybe we should just leave it  
at "PMCs should vote on the source code for a release".  "Apache  
projects should use the Apache license".

Yes, this gets ridiculous, but if you don't say what is acceptable and  
what is not then don't bother to say anything at all.

I remember when the policy regarding @author tags was set several  
years ago. Plenty of projects were using them to identify developers.


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