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Subject: Re: Signing off.

Re: Signing off.

From: gl <>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 10:35:15 -0000

Jerry, I totally agree, except is it wise to loose a passionate and
competent contributor because of this policy? Just because the maintainers
have chosen a certain policy, doesn't mean it's right, not even necessarily
for what they're trying to achieve themselves. There's room for improvement
everywhere, and on all sides.

And as to generousity, it _is_ incredibly generous, but it has it's perks.
It's also incredibly generous to want to spend time and effort to make a
contribution to a project like this worthwhile, and up to a level that it is
genuinely useful to other people. It's much easier for me to code my way,
my style, on my chosen platform, implementing only the things I care about
and only how I care to do it. The maintainer's should equally never take
that for granted.

Projects die all the time. What's interesting is that this one email of
mine sparked a massive response, yet most of the technical questions I
posted since my arrival have gone unanswered. This is not the vibrant dev
community I was expecting, so I have to ask myself: is it because there
aren't many people contributing, or because of the tone the maintainers are
setting? Both could point to the same problem.

> The obvious solution, the one I suggested to BlueChip is to make up a
name and use that. The "leaders" have no way of knowing if the name
you give is actually yours or not. I don't normally go for deception
but in this case since the goal is noble and there is no harm to be
done, do it.

Neon, that's exactly my point. I could've done that, only it's not my
style. But if I had, who would have known? That's exactly why it seems
foolish to me. For all we know there's a whole bunch of developers who
didn't complain and just faked a name.

> What brings me back to rationality is that I don't want to have to
> maintain a separate code fork indefinitely.

Exactly, fragmenting talent is counter-productive. For myself, I'm about to
do a major overhaul of the WPS system, implementing the 'viewport' idea
Daniel spoke about, because I have a kick-ass WPS design that requires it.
I'm proud of my iRiver peakmeter backlight patch, the file grouping is
interesting, the I'm looking eventually to extend playback and record to
20bits on the iRivers - it's seems stupid to not be able to have this work
committed with a credit of my chosing, which is the only thing I ask for in

> I almost tend to say "grow up, get rid of the nicknames" but I think some
> people will get offended if I do that.

Yes, I would. I respect your point of view, what bothers me is that you
don't respect mine. In the artistic world, pseudonyms are common.

> Of course, the contributors would have to be OK with not receiving any
> credit or copyright power

Deal breaker. Credit is the only thing I ask in return for my contribution,
and I certainly reserve copyright on my code at all times.

> Can't you just release your patches into public domain in order to work
around the need to provide your name for all the copyright bullshit?
Technically, it should work, and you can remain as anonymous as you wish.

The point is that, according to Linus, the project will not accept any
contributions from unnamed (in their eyes) sources into CVS. So what's the
point of my spending all this time and effort to bring my mods up to an
acceptable level? I can just quickly hack in the things I care about and
get on with my life. And that's my point - the project offers a lot to us,
but we offer a lot to it. A bit of flexibility is all I'm looking for.

> firstly i dont understand why you would want to stay annonymouse.. i
like the egoboost of seeing my name on the web :D

As do I, I want my contributions credited as 'gl.tter', as I do in all my
other software projects. Maybe I should legally change my name ; ).

> It is not about what license we use. To me, it is about who does what in a
legal / copyright angle and that we are a real project with real people
real names.

Dan, if legal concerns were the main issue, that would be worth looking at.
In my offline discussion with Linus, he didn't mention it once so that's not
the main issue here. And if I give you a fake name, how does that protect
the project's legality? Would you want a urine sample aswell? ; ).
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jerry Van Baren" <>
To: "Rockbox development" <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 4:18 PM
Subject: Re: Signing off.
> 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,
> gvb 
Received on 2006-03-09

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