resolveImage

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Re: resolveImage

Post by LCMark » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:35 pm

We're still firming up the best practice for such things - it was hard to envisage how things might work until we started...

There does need to be a formal process for adding things and changing things after all, and features need an element of formality of definition in terms of what they do and how they should function - we can't just have dozens of people attempting to hang things from the engine source-tree without any co-ordination or oversight over what is going on. Indeed, I'd like to ensure that people know what they are working on will be accepted before they start working on it. Apart from anything else, being dual licensed means that we take responsibility for all code that is submitted and have to commit to maintaining it thus we need to understand it and its function - its been my experience that commercial customers don't tend to like features being removed after they've been added ;)

[ Note that after Open Language, things become much easier - you'll be able to extend the core without the code for the extensions having to live within the core. Work on the core will then reduce to (essentially) further refactoring, and adding extension hooks for modules to utilise to provide their function ].

Having an entry in the QCC for all features and bug-fixes seems to be a must - it gives a central place that enables us to see easily what is being done [ In particular, bugfixes need to be co-ordinated ] and is perhaps the best place for the 'final' spec for what the feature is.

In regards to discussions...

Github will be restricted to discussions about the code in pull-requests, which isn't really appropriate to have anywhere else - essentially just code-review.

These forums seem to be working quite well in the way we actually intended the engine-contrib mailing list to be, we're going to have an internal chat about this next week now that we have some experience. It might be the mailing list idea dies a death.

At the moment this flow seems quite a good potential flow - chat about it here, come up with proposal, post as enhancement request, questions about implementation here, submit pull-request (at this point there shouldn't be any doubt over its eventual acceptance), code-review type discussions occur on github, code integrated.

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:45 pm

Ok, I do think it would be good to take the engine list out of the mix.
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Re: resolveImage

Post by LCMark » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:20 pm

I think the engine list might be something we just don't need - we could just make it a requirement to sign the contributors agreement in order to post to this forum.

(This is a legal thing - we can't have people posting code here without them have agreed it comes under the terms of that agreement... Otherwise we could get into trouble later if code is posted but the individual concerned doesn't ever submit a patch and someone else uses it in a patch).

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:12 pm

I think this is a broader issue that needs a solution that covers everyones arse not just yours. There needs to be a license on code posted to the forum and lists. There's too much sharing going on not to do this. It should be something extremely lax that does not even require attribution. If you don't agree to it then don't post.
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Re: resolveImage

Post by markw » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:45 pm

Please take a little more time on firming up your contribution process beyond the initial experience with people who are eager to get started and contribute something. Personally I think these forums are terrible. There are two issues which I'd consider showstoppers for this being a central part of a contribution process:
1) phpBB forum / topic subscriptions only send an update notification with a link back to the forum, they don't email you the text of the post so you can follow from your mail client without having to jump back to the forum all the time - I've been trying and already given up following the discussion here on my smartphone in spare moments - even without the poorly supported mobile use case this makes a terrible flow breaker and thus productivity killer.
2) The search for looking back at old issues on the forum is very limited. As an example, rather critically for a search on something technical, if I remember an issue with something with a specific version number and want to find it, the forum will strip out my version number from the search (because it is too short/common) so a search for Xcode 4.3.3 will find all results with Xcode and completely ignore the version number, similar for building on Mac OS 10.7 as just a couple of examples we have already that will be lost to most future hunters.

If I had to choose between forum and mailing list, I'd go with the mailing list but there are better alternatives. One possibility I've mentioned already elsewhere is the new forum software, discourse (http://www.discourse.org/). Another great option which links very nicely with the pull request and eventual commits is simply to use the built-in issues on GitHub - were these already considered and rejected for any reason? Might be nice to keep all issues for the open source code on GitHub and only use your bugzilla to track commercial / enterprise version only stuff (which may potentially need to be kept private).
I think this is a broader issue that needs a solution that covers everyones arse not just yours. There needs to be a license on code posted to the forum and lists. There's too much sharing going on not to do this. It should be something extremely lax that does not even require attribution. If you don't agree to it then don't post.
This is the simplest solution - I'd actually suggest that you post a notice saying anything posted to the forum (or whatever you replace it with - please!) is covered by CC0 (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) - the creative commons public domain equivalent. I'd definitely suggest not getting into poor tooling choices and restrictive posting environments based on the legal risk of some code snippets posted in a feature discussion not being officially contributed - worst case there is going to be they sue and you have to take their 10 lines of code (or whatever small amount) out of the code base and re-write it, any sane judge is not going to impose anything worse than that even if they consider your notice ineffective, the claimants copyright valid and the usage to fall outside fair use. A decision against you here would open a whole can of worms considering how much code is shared under this kind of scheme on StackOverflow!

Mark

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Re: resolveImage

Post by mwieder » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:53 pm

Mark-

No basic disagreements on anything you said here. I think StackOverflow is the only one who's gotten the format for web forums right. Otherwise they're a terrible way to communicate and a worse way to try to find anything.

I do want to point out, though, that the CC licenses are expressly not recommended for software releases. Yes, I've released public domain software with a CC license before, and I've also used a WTF license and an MIT license. The CC license wording has always looked fine to me for PD releases, but note that there is a big difference between a public domain license and a GPL license, so there might well be a conflict between posting code on a web forum where everything is implicitly public domain and reusing that same code in a GPL software release. And probably more complicated with a dual-license release.

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:26 am

CC0 is recommended in a number of places on this page which also states it's GPL compatible: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#CC0

+1 for me for making all posts to the forum and any runrev owned lists come under the CC0. Also I think it would be good if there were an easy way for people to backdate that... would a post to each list stating that all past contributions by a person should also come under this license be sufficient (each person happy to do that would need to make the statement for themselves). Either way we need to look forward with more attention to detail on licensing.

I expect it's the intention of any/most posters to these lists that the content be public domain so this just formalises it to a public domainish license. We are getting dangerously off the engine contribution topic but I do think this is important. I also wouldn't like to see us use the CC attribution share-alike like StackOverflow because the licensing headaches that could come out of that over the years are significant. There's lots of cut and paste coding going on...
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Re: resolveImage

Post by mwieder » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:59 am

CC0 is recommended in a number of places on this page
Creative Commons itself recommends against this.

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequen ... oftware.3F

But I've already said that I've released software with a CCO license and I don't see a problem with making this forum implicitly public domain. That's been my assumption all along. I don't think that making it retroactive would hold up in court, but I also can't think of an instance where this might come up.

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:06 am

We aren't talking about complete software. We are talking about post content which may or may not contain code. I'm not sure if that makes a difference legally but clearly it mitigates the risk of anyone copy and pasting code from RunRev's forums and getting into licensing issues for it. The retroactive thing would I think need to be an individuals statement... anyway... it doesn't matter too much as long as we have the change moving forward.
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Re: resolveImage

Post by markw » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Your Creative Commons link quite specifically says they don't recommend any of their licenses be used with software except CC0. CC0 is better than plain public domain because the full legal text has the most permissive license they could think of as a fallback for countries where it's not legally possible to give up your copyright.

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0_FAQ ... ntation.3F

Although most people consider posting to a public internet forum releases their work into the public domain, legally that is not the case at all. Judges do care about context though, I suspect if someone posted something to a forum specifically about contributions to an open source project and then tried to sue people for violating their copyright if they used it they'd get thrown out of court. Having a CC0 notice in your terms and conditions is just an extra insurance policy.

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:24 pm

I think in RunRev's case they may well want their contributor agreement to govern post access to this forum. It's not hard to go ad press the button. But this is a broader issue that needs addressing in this community. I've already been told off by Mark for discussing the wrong things here so perhaps he can suggest an appropriate way to raise this issue with RunRev so we can have a good result for everyone. Clearly CC0 is a perfect option.
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Re: resolveImage

Post by markw » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:45 pm

I think in RunRev's case they may well want their contributor agreement to govern post access to this forum. It's not hard to go ad press the button.
It's clearly the easiest thing for RunRev to do but that doesn't make it the right thing.

As a general principle for running an open source project you want to aim for the absolute minimum of obstacles to contribution at any point. Clearly the contributors agreement must be signed by anyone submitting a pull request before it can be accepted but they shouldn't have to do it otherwise.

A simple example of a really obvious case where this could be a barrier to contribution - users of new features. It'd be great to get feedback on scope, use cases and syntax for new features from a broader subset of people who would use it. Many of those many not have the slightest interest in contributing directly to the source code, so they shouldn't have to sign the contributors agreement to be able to participate in the discussion. If you force them to do so, a decent number will simply not bother to contribute to the discussion. Obviously you can take the topic to another forum that's not protected to get feedback but that kind of defeats the object of having a specific forum for discussion contributions (if I might suggest a change of mindset to really help open up the development of LiveCode going forward - this forum is for "Engine Contributors" but it should really be "New Features" - since discussing a bug fix contribution should be in the issue tracker and you don't want to discourage people from suggesting handy new features just because they aren't interested in contributing them themselves - it also creates an unnecessary distinction between additions to the platform from RunRev staff and those from outside. Ideally a new feature would go through the same process wherever it was coming from, plus there might be people in the community willing to implement stuff RunRev have on their roadmap but don't have the resources to do at the moment).

Besides, simply locking down access to this forum to those who've signed the contributors agreement means we're stuck with this forum! :p

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Re: resolveImage

Post by mwieder » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:31 pm

Mark - you;ve got more experience in this area than I do, so I'll defer to you on this. I do like the CCO public domain license, and if that keeps us out of trouble I'm all for it.
Besides, simply locking down access to this forum to those who've signed the contributors agreement means we're stuck with this forum! :p
LOL. :P

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Re: resolveImage

Post by markw » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:58 pm

For the benefit of the RunRev staff I should add that the Symbian Foundation didn't force any legal agreements on discussion about contribution and they had a full time legal team plus policy review from major OEMs. They also talked to other major open source projects, particularly ones with big commercial interests (e.g. Eclipse Foundation) before deciding how it should be done. Unfortunately they based most of their tooling choices around a temporary need to host a pre-open source, foundation member only version of the code. Fortunately RunRev doesn't have that kind of issue.

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Re: resolveImage

Post by monte » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:59 pm

Obviously RunRev have had legal advice that this is necessary. I think the pull request is the point we should have the agreement... No agreement, no accept. The agreement makes it clear that you must have the right to license your contributions so obviously copying somebodies code from this forum or SO etc shouldn't be done. I guess RunRev themselves could do it if it's covered by the agreement though but they could also copy and paste code from here if it were CC0 covered... If this forum were CC0 covered instead of contributor agreement covered then people would be able to copy and paste code from here into projects outside of LiveCode. Maybe that's the problem trying to be addressed? Obviously nobody will post complete code for major features here though so it's probably not a significant issue.
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