[ng-dhtml] Fwd: contributing the OpenRecord IP to the Dojo Foundation

Alex Russell alex at dojotoolkit.org
Thu Oct 6 11:05:48 CDT 2005

Good questions.

On Wednesday 05 October 2005 9:25 pm, Martin Cooper wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Oct 2005, Alex Russell wrote:
> > The OpenRecord project would like to develop under the auspices of
> > the Dojo Foundation, and seem willing to abide by our guidelines
> > regarding code ownership and the like.
> >
> > Should we take them on? Yea or nay?
> A few questions come to mind that might be worth some thought up
> front:
> 1) If I'm not mistaken (and if I am, it's Google's fault ;),
> OpenRecord is primarily an app rather than a toolkit. Certainly there
> may be some pieces that would migrate to the Dojo toolkit. However,
> it's still a fairly fundamental change to the foundation to move from
> a singular focus on a toolkit to including applications built on that
> toolkit. You need to be sure that's a path you want to go down.

I'm not sure that this is something to be terribly concerned about. They 
have an independent set of developers working on their project, and 
given that this is open source, people spend their time where there is 
interest. The Foundation is something of a paper tiger anyway, so it's 
not like they'd be drawing away financial resources. We're also not 
discussing release coordination or anything else that would detract 
from the current developer's focus on the toolkit. Additionally, 
someone suggested that we get a sample app, and this might serve as 

> 2) If the foundation is open to applications built on the Dojo
> toolkit in addition to the toolkit itself, what criteria are you
> going to use to determine whether or not to accept or reject J Random
> App? I'm assuming you wouldn't accept _every_ request to donate code.
> ;-)

This seems much harder to answer and I don't know that I have a good 
one. OpenRecord is, today, a giant ball of JavaScript, which makes it 
something of a cultural fit, but there is lots of bad JS out there, and 
to date we've only accepted what I think are high-quality code bases to 
work from.

Those suggest some directions to answer the question, but I'm not sure 
if I even like where they point. Perhaps we can just leave it to a 

> 3) How will you determine provenance of a donated body of code? This
> isn't usually an issue with patches or other small contributions, but
> with a large chunk of code, you need to know up front how you want to
> deal with that. (The ASF has a formal Software Grant to help with
> this, although that doesn't solve the entire problem either.)

Right now the proceedure being discussed looks like:
	* they will gather CLA's from all of their known contributors
	* should that not be possible, we step back and re-examine
	* assuming it's possible, they submit them to us
	* we go get beer 

We can (and, perhaps, should) ask for a copy of their SVN repo and see 
how far back it goes. I'm not keen to spend a lot of time patting them 
down, esp given the relative (small) risks.

> 4) It seems that the OpenRecord folks want to dual-license their
> code, rather than switch the license to the AFL. What criteria will
> you use to determine which licenses are acceptable to the Dojo
> Foundation, which licenses you will accept dual license with, and
> which licenses you will reject?

Unknown. I expected this to be the most contentious point. 

I made it clear to the OpenRecord folks that we wouldn't even begin 
discussing this process until they accepted that we'd license their 
code under the AFL. The CC Public Domain "license" is a potentially 
problematic choice of alternate terms, but I'm not sure by how much. 

If case law decides that you *can* assign something to the public domain 
(which is very unclear today), then we may loose the power to license 
their code under the AFL. OTOH, if it's possible to dedicate something 
to the public domain, that satisfies what I consider to be the 
project's licensing goals. 

We picked the AFL to drive adoption without worry as to ownership based 
on the understanding that we can't put things in the public domain, but 
if that option is available, I think we would have chosen that instead. 
It seems that of all the potential alternate licensing terms, they've 
picked the one that most matches our goals.

I'm not sure that suggests an answer other than that the Foundation 
should clarify the goals of its licensing and say "yay" or "nay" on a 
case-by-case basis until we have need of a more formal process.

> The above might seem like nit-picking to some, but they are all very
> real issues that have come up at the ASF, and each one has generated
> heated discussion, at the very least. So I'd strongly recommend that
> you discuss at least some of this before making any decisions.

Thanks for helping us watch our back.


Alex Russell
alex at dojotoolkit.org BE03 E88D EABB 2116 CC49 8259 CF78 E242 59C3 9723
alex at netWindows.org  F687 1964 1EF6 453E 9BD0 5148 A15D 1D43 AB92 9A46

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