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From "Rahul Akolkar" <>
Subject [OT] Open
Date Mon, 10 Nov 2008 22:11:54 GMT
On Sun, Nov 9, 2008 at 1:14 AM, Russel Winder
<> wrote:
> For a couple of my projects, Codehaus is the host so the central
> mainline is a Subversion repository.  However most work is done using
> Bazaar or Git since people do not need an account to be able to work
> using a full VCS.  Using a DVCS makes working on a FOSS project truly
> open.

Yes, there are many advantages, productivity improvements etc. But
lets not tout openness.

There are certain things to keep in mind. We are truly open in the
sense that anyone can access the code and propose changes. We are not
truly open in the sense that we make a concerted effort to vet any
contributions and make sure they are encumbrance-free. We require
folks demonstrate merit first. We require people to understand and
agree to certain terms before they make significant contributions. In
essence, we require contributors to be aware there are certain
requirements that enable corporations, large and small, and
individuals alike to pick up code developed here and use it in their
products or work with a reasonable degree of assuredness. Lets call
this requirement the state of awareness.

Consider there is a DVCS master (say, a focal point for official
releases) that pulls from N levels of a tree (the topology may be very
different, but for the sake of this discussion, a tree may be a
reasonable starting point). It is then, not sufficient to have this
state of awareness for some levels n where n < N. It has to exist from
the root to each leaf. Furthermore, it has to be transparent, trivial
to ascertain, auditable and governable (governance is a slightly
emphatic term).

Any practice that dilutes the above value proposition that our
software has for many of our users, be it a true or truthy (AKA
popular perception) dilution, is not acceptable.

This is all possible with DVCS. It is possible to make sure that all
code is pulled in with this state of awareness, all parties involved
understand and subscribe to the thinking that is behind our license
etc. But therein you already have a restriction. And within those
bounds, we are already truly open.


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