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Subject: Re: Signing off.

Re: Signing off.

From: Jerry Van Baren <>
Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 11:18:26 -0500

gl wrote:
> After Linus was about to commit one of my patches, it turns out the
> project leaders are not willing to accept contributions under a
> pseudonym. This may be normal in the GPL world, but for someone from
> the Windows / BSD license world, this seems utterly bizarre. An
> open-source project should be about contributions, and be as
> accomodating as possible to the people it asking to contribute their
> time and effort to. I have no problems following technical guidelines -
> but I'm not about to compromise my personal choices for a project that
> requires quality contributions to survive.
> So, as the decision is apparently final I'm signing off. I guess my
> various patches and WPS will either remain private, or will be released
> independently at some point. Although if they're not going to get to
> CVS, I don't really see the point.
> I think you guys should debate whether this really is the best way to go...
> --
> gl

My 2 cents:

This is an open source project. Anybody is free to take the source and
run with it, within the constraints of the GPL, which is not onerous at
all. In the least onerous case, if you don't distribute your build, you
don't even have to make any of your changes public.

There are a set of developers who created the Rockbox project and
maintain it. This has taken an enormous amount of effort to build
initially and continues to take a substantial effort to maintain it.
This is _their_ sandbox, and because it is their sandbox, _they_ get to
set the rules.

Since the project is open source, each and every one of us is free to
make our own sandbox by forking the existing Rockbox project. The
current Rockbox developers, via the GPL license, have given each of us
permission (within the GPL license constraints) to use as our own the
enormous amount of effort that they already put into the Rockbox
development. That is a mind-boggling level of generosity if you stop
and think about how many thousands of hours of other people's labor you
can pick up and use as your own with a single wget, at no charge to you.

Now if I fork the code and make my own sandbox, _I_ am free to set the
rules as I see fit for _my_ sandbox. If I want to allow
anonymous/pseudonym contributions, _I_ am free to allow that in _my_
sandbox and the existing Rockbox crowd cannot tell me otherwise.

BUT in like manner, I have no business to try to tell the existing
Rockbox crowd that _they_ must accept anonymous/pseudonym contributions
in _their_ sandbox.

The bottom line IMHO: Forking and supporting the resulting fork is a
tremendous amount of work. If you feel strongly enough about
anonymous/pseudonym contributions to step up to that task, fork it and
prosper. Nobody will (or can) prevent that. Otherwise accept the rules
laid out by the current Rockbox sandbox (IMHO, questioning is
acceptable, complaining is NOT). You are their guest in their sandbox,
please behave as one.

Hope I didn't speak out of turn, please correct any mystakes,
Received on 2006-03-08

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