[ocaml-infra] ocaml.org licensing

Amir Chaudhry amc79 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Feb 28 15:33:07 GMT 2014

On 28 Feb 2014, at 14:28, Christophe Troestler <Christophe.Troestler at umons.ac.be> wrote:

> On Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:39:38 +0000, Anil Madhavapeddy wrote:
>> On 27 Feb 2014, at 10:35, Fabrice Le Fessant <Fabrice.Le_fessant at inria.fr> wrote:
>>> Ok, so if we only focus on licensing, I would like to have licenses
>>> attached to directories in the GIT directory, i.e. make it easy to
>>> know which file is under which license. It is especially important for
>>> point (D): whoever wants to customize its own version of the website
>>> (for example, for a version of the website translated to another
>>> language), but with a different design (with flags, for example :-) ),
>>> should know immediatly the parts that shouldn't be used on the new
>>> website, and have to be replaced.
>> I agree with this.  Although it makes the source files uglier, I also
>> prefer having an explicit license per-file, since this eases copying
>> individual source modules into other projects.  (This doesn't apply to
>> documentation, just source code).
> Maybe we can even add the license as a couple of lines to the top of
> each file (so it is immediately clear what it is if one presses the
> "edit" button).  For example, for .md files, this could be
> <!-- Content is under CC BY-SA 4.0, Code examples under UNLICENSE.
>     See LICENSE.md for more details. -->
> "headache" could do most of the work for us.

Firstly, I agree that having license info at the top of each source file is better.  It becomes more clearly visible for people who are contributing solely via the web-based workflow (we've had a number of those now).  

Secondly, what's "headache"?

Finally, although this is not purely a licensing issue, I'm concerned about the comment "whoever wants to customize its own version of the website …".  If this a reference about people (already) wanting to fork the site and maintain other versions then I'm quite concerned.  Licensing shouldn't prevent content re-use but this sounds like the opposite of building a community.  

>>> Otherwise, I think we (OCamlPro) are good with the current licensing policy.
>> Great!
> Glad that we are moving forward!

Excellent! Thanks.

>>>> The question of *who* the contributors are is very
>>>> straightforward as we have git logs of all activity [1].  You can
>>>> even see this per page if you wish [2].
>>> I think contributors deserve a better place on the website than being
>>> in a GIT log. Having a credit page listing all the contributors would
>>> be enough. It would be easy for anybody that contributes to add his
>>> own name to that page in the same pull-request as the content being
>>> pushed.
>> This will get out of date pretty fast, and also results in a lot of merge
>> conflicts if there are multiple outstanding requests.  I recommend just
>> autogenerating it using Thomas' Git implementation 
>> (http://github.com/samoht/ocaml-git).
> We also have not to forget the people¹ who contributed to the
> tutorials and who do not appear in the Git log.  Also note that some
> people appear several times with different names and some other use
> abbreviations that may not be clear (e.g., "MM", "lehy", "mrnt0810").
> For the git log, as long as the contribution is good, I do not care
> much but for an acknowledgment page, it may look funny.

Provided it can be done in an automated manner, I don't mind having one page on the site, even if some of the names looks odd.   I'd mention at the top that it's generated from the git log and I wouldn't worry too much about people with different names.  I'm more keen on keeping things automated, even if they're not perfect.

To be more specific, I'd put the output of the following on a page (with additional text as above).
$ git log --format="%aN" | sort | uniq

I count about 50 or so contributors (allowing for duplicates).

Best wishes,

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