[python-committers] Use hg commit --user?

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Sun Mar 6 20:42:27 CET 2011

On Mar 6, 2011, at 2:33 PM, Antoine Pitrou wrote:

>>> Le dimanche 06 mars 2011 à 13:19 -0500, Steve Holden a écrit :
>>>> In short, if someone isn't able to sign a contributor agreement we
>>>> should ask ourselves whether it's really appropriate to incorporate
>>>> their contributions into the code base.
>>> What do you mean with "isn't able"? Surely everyone is physically and
>>> technically able to do so :)
>>> Now, if someone (such as Anatoly) actively *refuses* to sign an
>>> agreement when asked to, I agree they might not be reliable. But I don't
>>> think that's the case we're talking about.
>> I meant "isn't able" in the sense that the would-be contributor
>> doesn't have rights in the code they seek to contribute.
> Ok, but how do you know that, if they still sign an agreement?

There isn't much we can do about people willfully lying to us. This does not relieve us of the obligation to try and ensure that contributions are covered by a contributor agreement.

>>>> If you make checkins of other people's code you should be as certain
>>>> as you can that you have the right to include it - since your
>>>> contributor agreement states that you assign to the PSF the right to
>>>> relicense your contributions.
>>> I don't understand your reasoning. When I check in someone else's work,
>>> the author of the checkin is mostly someone else (I guess under the hood
>>> it may be more complicated, in French law it might be called a
>>> "composite work" or a "collective work", but let's try to ignore that).
>>> So *my* contributor agreement can't apply to the checkin since it is
>>> only valid for my own contributions.
>> We'll need to get advice on this: if you are adding the code to the
>> code base then it is surely covered by your contributor agreement
>> (assuming you are adding the "this code provided under a contributor
>> agreement" notice as requested in the developer notes). If you aren't,
>> then shouldn't you be?
> Sorry, I don't understand your question: shouldn't I be what?
Shouldn't you be adding the notice?

> As for the "this code provided under a contributor agreement" notice, I
> haven't seen it added in a long time (neither by me nor by anyone else).
> I'm not convinced it should pollute our commit messages and/or our code
> files (since it would end up basically anywhere, or at least that's the
> desired effect).
>> If you aren't happy that you have the rights to do that then I don't
>> believe you should be checking in those contributions because they may
>> threaten to encumber code we are licensing to third parties.
> I'm not unhappy with it. I'm simply quite sure that an agreement I have
> signed cannot be forced on a third-party (the submitter and main author
> of the checked in code) who hasn't signed it. Legally, I mean.
>>>> Wouldn't it be easier and more straightforward to have these people
>>>> sign contributor agreements even if you continue to check in their
>>>> code?
>>> Well, between mandating the signature of an agreement, and not mandating
>>> said signature, I think the easiest and most straightforward (both for
>>> them - who have to sign it -, for us - who have to check that an
>>> agreement exists -, and for the PSF - who has to gather and record said
>>> agreements) is the latter. All other things being equal, that is.
>> "The latter" meaning requiring contributor agreements? I hope so, but
>> language is rarely as clear as we would wish.
> No, "the latter" meant "not mandating said signature".

OK. As far as I am concerned, adding code to the repository that is not covered by a contributor agreement is a recipe for disaster, and I would like to hear what other committers think. I'm not sure how or when the committers list was dropped from our conversation, but I hope you don't mind me adding it back for that purpose.


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