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From Ralph Goers <>
Subject Re: Q. Forks without concensus?; A. anytime / depends / never without agreement
Date Sun, 08 Jan 2012 00:01:11 GMT

On Jan 7, 2012, at 8:05 AM, Sam Ruby wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:53 PM, Ralph Goers <> wrote:
>> On Jan 6, 2012, at 8:17 PM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
>>> The ASF is not about code; it is about community.  If a community forks, or otherwise
emerges around a codebase, we are not accepting the CODE: we are accepting the COMMUNITY.
>>> And it seems to me that if we are to say that a COMMUNITZY is not permitted to
participate despite use of code that is perfectly proper according to the license, then we
are beggaring out own license, the whole point of which is to permit forks, and to prevent
a sole copyright holder from assuming control over the community.
>>> If a corporation were to create an ASF-licensed codebase, and later decide to
"take back" control, would we refuse a COMMUNITY-based project based on that codebase?
>> The answer to that is yes. It has happened.
> As always, the answer is a bit more subtle than that.
> More typically, what happens is somebody asks a few questions.
> Then the people who were pushing the idea realize that that they don't
> have answers.
> A bit of time passes.
> Then those who were originally pushing the idea state that they
> weren't allowed because some unnamed "they" wouldn't let them.

It isn't my intention to drag in a different set of parties, which is why I haven't linked
to messages on other lists.

However,  what you say above isn't my recollection at all. As always, Roy gave a refreshingly
clear answer which I quoted several days ago. You then more or less backed that up by saying
the i's had to be dotted, the t's crossed and to document what was being done. Then be prepared
to answer hard questions.  You finished with

"Matters of law are non-negotiable.  Matters of policy are.  However
you had better have a solid reason and a d**n good plan before you
challenge an established policy like everything here is a voluntary
contribution.  Search the archives.  For example, look at earlier
versions of the Apache License.  It is a part of our DNA and who we
are at this point.  It is not something we are going to change

While your answer was not as crystal clear as Roy's you said multiple times - go get a software
grant. Our response was, "We aren't going to bother because we know we won't get one". 

I am not sure why you are backing off from this now. I have no problem with this policy. I
just wish it was written down on the "How it works" page and then applied uniformly.  To see
current directors who have all been members of the foundation for a long, long time rendering
different opinions on what the policy is isn't helpful.

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