[ocaml-infra] ocaml.org licensing

Amir Chaudhry amc79 at cam.ac.uk
Fri Feb 28 17:30:39 GMT 2014

On 28 Feb 2014, at 16:07, Fabrice Le Fessant <Fabrice.Le_fessant at inria.fr> wrote:

> 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.

Isn't this overkill?  I was thinking one LICENSE file in the root and the brief mention in the source.
What do others think? (apologies if I've misunderstood this part of the thread)

>> 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.

In the interests of staying focused, I'll withhold my thoughts on most of the above for a separate thread.

On a practical note, I will say that we have *dramatically decreased* the time taken from merging something to seeing it live on the site.  This was a conscious effort and content is usually live just a couple of minutes after merging.  Where features are being added/changed, it's reasonable to expect some discussion, as you would with any software project (note that no-one changes features on wikipedia - only content).

> 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.

The ShareAlike component of the CC-BY-SA deals with this.  As you've already mentioned OCamlPro is ok with the scheme as proposed so I don't think we need to consider any other licenses.

>> 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.

There's now an issue to track this:

Best wishes,

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