[ocaml-infra] ocaml.org licensing

Amir Chaudhry amirmc at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 00:34:56 GMT 2014

Dear all,

Please can I remind everyone that the discussion is about licensing. I appreciate that long-term governance is also an important consideration but it needs to be covered independently as it's a more complex issue.

At the moment we have many people contributing to the site and the new tooling has made it even easier to do so.  I'm sure everyone agrees that we need to resolve the issue of how the current and incoming content is licensed.  A constructive discussion on just this topic will help us reach a conclusion.  Once we've reached a conclusion, please be aware that there's still the practical matter of actually re-licencing the existing content.  

I'd be grateful if we could keep our discussions within the scope to ensure we keep moving forward.

Many thanks,

On 26 Feb 2014, at 21:46, Fabrice Le Fessant <fabrice.le_fessant at ocamlpro.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 5:57 PM, Anil Madhavapeddy <avsm2 at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>> 3/ I am concerned by the "governance" part of
>>> http://ocaml.org/about.html . I don't think the 5 current members are
>>> representative of the OCaml community, 3 of them are in the UK, 1 in
>>> the US and 1 in Belgium. Given that the current rules gives them too
>>> much power (each of them has the right to prevent anybody from joining
>>> the group: I have never seen that anywhere else, I would actually
>>> expect the contrary, that any member would have the right to add new
>>> members), I think it is a barrier for adoption and contribution by the
>>> wider community (especially the French one, see for example how
>>> outdated the page http://ocaml.org/docs/install.fr.html is, latest
>>> version is 4.00.1 there).
>> It's important to note that the governance structure arises from the
>> people who participate and have done most of the work as volunteers
>> (particularly Ashish and Christophe).   That's why the first line is
>> "a small team of individuals volunteer their time to manage and develop
>> the site".
> The point is: is ocaml.org THEIR website, or the website of the
> COMMUNITY ? If it is their website, it is clear that they should keep
> the control of what they have done. But if it is the website of the
> community, then the control should belong to the community, i.e. a
> representative group of persons, and contributors should not have more
> control, but just be credited for what they have done (this can be
> done by adding a "credit" page, or  a hall-of-fame of contributors).
>> I agree that consensus is a rather strong form of governance, but it's
>> also not been a barrier so far.  I'd very much like to see ocaml.org
>> remove as many blockers to external contributors as possible, particularly
>> in the realm of translations.
> I think it has already been a barrier, but it was not noticed, just
> because it is hard to see contributions that are not sent.
> Contributing to a website is not the same as contributing to free
> software. In the case of free software, you usually contribute by
> something that is going to be useful to yourself first, and that can
> then be useful to other people too. For a website, why would somebody
> contribute ? In some way, if you plan to become an heavy contributor,
> you need some insurance that you are giving your contribution to the
> good place, that the website is the one of the community, and not just
> yet another project of web portal for OCaml. For that, if the website
> is not already attracting everybody, you are going to check that you
> like the team driving the website, if you know them, if you like what
> they usually do, if they are likely to like what you are going to
> contribute, etc. So, I think it is important to have a much larger
> team than the current team, maybe also with members who are not heavy
> contributors, but who are famous in the community.
>> To address your short-term concern about diversity, would anyone from OCamlPro or INRIA Gallium be willing
>> to step into the team?
> I already applied a few months ago. I can check around me at OCamlPro
> and Gallium if there are other volunteers to contribute.
> Best,
> --Fabrice
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