[ocaml-infra] ocaml.org licensing

Fabrice Le Fessant Fabrice.Le_fessant at inria.fr
Fri Feb 28 16:07:08 GMT 2014

On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 4:33 PM, Amir Chaudhry <amc79 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> 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).

Then, we should have both: headers in files for people contributing
through the web, and licenses in directories for people contributing
the Unix way.

> Secondly, what's "headache"?

It's a tool in OCaml to change automatically the headers of many files.

> 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.

I don't see a link between preventing other people from creating their
variant of ocaml.org, and "buiding a community" (which I interpret as
"growing the OCaml community"). I would prefer having 10 major
websites about OCaml (one for OCaml under Windows, one for the Chinese
community, one for OCaml on mobiles, etc.), with 10,000 users behind
each one, than having just one website with 500 users, which would be
"the community website".

Whatever you will do, however good you are, you will always end up
with forks. I raised the problem of governance earlier, because I
think it is a good way to delay such forks. Also, in a pull-request
discussion, I suggested to use Wikipedia policy on moderation: allow
all modifications a priori, and then remove/change wrong quality
modifications a posteriori when they are discovered. This way,
contributors will have their content online fast, and are less likely
to fork to get their contribution online by themselves.

You might also want to have the equivalent of "Affero GPL" for
contents (I am not a specialist, but I imagine some CC licenses do
that): let people use the content of this site, but force them to
allow you to take back their contributions.

> 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).

Indeed, it would be a very good thing.


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