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From Rob Weir <apa...@robweir.com>
Subject Re: Refactoring the brand: Apache ooo + OpenOffice.org? (was re:OpenOffice.org branding)
Date Tue, 02 Aug 2011 00:45:09 GMT
On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 8:32 PM, Terry Ellison <Terry@ellisons.org.uk> wrote:
> <snip>
>>
>> Obviously different open source foundations or forges or projects will
>> make this determination in different ways.  At Apache, the requirement
>> is described as:
>>
>> "Using A Wiki To Create Documentation
>>
>> Podlings may use a wiki to create documentation (including the
>> website) providing that follow the guidelines. In particular, care
>> must be taken to ensure that access to the wiki used to create
>> documentation is restricted to only those with filed CLAs. The PPMC
>> MUST review all changes and ensure that trust is not abused."
>>
>> http://incubator.apache.org/guides/sites.html
>>
>> So documentation is special.  And a lot of what I see on the OOo is
>> documentation, for end users as well as developers.  Build
>> instructions, component architecture overviews, FAQ's, Admin Guides,
>> etc.  These are all forms of project documentation.  I don't see how
>> we avoid limiting write access to those pages.
>>
>> Remember, the thing that ensures that someone can take an Apache
>> project and create a new distribution or a new derivative of it, is
>> the Apache 2,0 license.  That ensures that they can take the code, the
>> documentation, translations, etc., and reuse it.  This includes the
>> documentation.
>
> Rob,
>
> OOo isn't a new project.  It's been in continuous development for some 15
> years, and has a user population in millions.  The active support community
> is in hundreds if not thousands.  Before we use the letter of some guideline
> to abandon a huge body of knowledge and good-faith contributions perhaps we
> should seek clarification on the interpretation of such guidelines by the
> appropriate Apache authorities?
>

Apache OpenOffice is a new Apache project.  That's why we're in the
Incubator.  That's why we have Mentors.  That's why, if we do not
demonstrate reasonable progress in acting like an Apache project, we
can be shut down at our Quarterly Review.  The next one is in 3 weeks.

> I agree with you that the documentation that is formally distributed with
> the product such as the online documentation must be properly licensed to be
> distributed, as does website content which carries the Apache logo and is
> "Apache content".
>

The rule I quoted was in the context of a describing access controls
for a wiki that contains documentation, including the project's
website.

> But does this really apply to a community wiki, where some user has created
> a HowTo in Russian on using DataPilots in Calc, say.  Are you saying that he
> will have to sign an iCLA or we delete the content.  If some user spots a
> typo in the documentation and corrects it in the wiki, are you saying that
> we must ignore this unless she signs an iCLA?
>

I was talking about access controls.  I was not talking about existing
content and whether we need to delete it.  For the later question, we
need to do some IP review.  If the copyright on the wiki pages was
assigned to Sun/Oracle, then they can grant it to us under a
compatible license.  That is how they were able to grant us the source
code.  On the other hand, if the wiki pages are under a variety of
eclectic licenses, then we will need to determine exactly what we can
do with it.

But note, this is exactly the same problem that is solved by requiring
that those who edit documentation sign the iCLA.  That ensures that
our documentation is copyable and reusable by others.  If OOo had
taken such steps, we wouldn't have to worry about whether we'll need
to delete some Russian DataPilots page because it has an incompatible
license.

> I apologise if these seem trivial, but the Community wiki and forums by
> nature contain content generated by the community, and there is a true
> continuum here.  Surely, an end-user product as complex as OOo can only
> succeed in a FLOSS world if it embraces rather than rejects a community
> support model.
>

I can certainly see the value of a community wiki that anyone can
edit.  Can you see the value of a documentation wiki that has
controlled access and ensures that everything is under a single
permissive license? I think we need both.


-Rob

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