Monday, 5 January 2015

Re: [Ubuntu-bugcontrol] Please, consider reflecting on the Canonical Contributor Agreement

On 2015-01-05 14:32, Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> On 01/05/2015 05:08 AM, David Henningsson wrote:
>> Second; if you contribute just a one or two line fix, then probably the biggest issue with the CLA is the paperwork. And
>> as long as your contributions are tiny compared to the total project, sure. One can just give the code away.
> A one or two line fix does not actually require the CLA. Only contributions of a "substantial nature" (ie. a fix that
> is not 10 lines or fewer or could not easily be described over the telephone to someone familiar with the code) require
> the paperwork.
> If you're just proposing spelling fixes in the documentation or a one-liner to use the newer file name for an icon, it
> should get accepted upstream without fuss. If you contribute such small fixes frequently, the sum total will exceed the
> threshold and you will need a CLA on file for additional contributions. This is a judgement call on behalf of the
> project manager, and the goal is to balance the inconvenience (to a contributor) of the CLA against the inconvenience
> (to Canonical) of not having the CLA.

I assume the lack of an exact and clear measure of whether a patch
requires a CLA makes people err on the side of caution, requiring CLAs
for where it should not be needed.

That is a problem for both sides, i e, not only for the project manager,
but also if you're contributor unwilling to sign the CLA, you would not
write the patch in the first place if there was a risk it would not get
in due to the CLA requirement.

There isn't a software you can feed with patches and it outputs yes or
no depending on whether a CLA is needed or not? :-)

David Henningsson, Canonical Ltd.

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