java-nio-charset-enhanced -- Milestone 4 is released

Martin Buchholz martinrb at
Tue Apr 7 00:27:41 UTC 2009

Hi Mark,

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 21:51, Mark Reinhold <mr at> wrote:
>> Date: Sun, 29 Mar 2009 11:27:26 -0700
>> From: Martin Buchholz <martinrb at>
>> On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 15:44, ulf.zibis at wrote:
>>> Am 27.03.2009 22:49, Martin Buchholz schrieb:
>>>> It's too difficult to give credit to external contributors.
>>>> One problem is that the Contributed-by: line is a red flag to
>>>> lawyers and other folks that might cause the legality of the change
>>>> to be questioned without end.  Let's try to get Ulf a proper commit bit
>>>> and make sure the legal questions come to an end.
>>> Aren't "Contributed-by" and "author" comments usual practice in open
>>> source products?  Even in Sun's JRL source author was mentioned. I
>>> think, the lawyer guys and girls from Sun should rethink that subject.
>>> Ok, we will see ...
>> The problem is more human.  One would like to give credit for good
>> ideas or good analysis, but the only official way to give credit in a
>> commit message is via a simple
>> Contributed-by: email-address
>> which raises legal doubts even when there is no copyrighted material.
> Exactly what sort of legal doubts do you have in mind here?
> We already require the contributor of any nontrivial change to submit an
> SCA prior to that change being integrated.  Is that not sufficient?

I am worried about:
- contributions that do not require a copyright assignment,
  e.g. an excellent bug report
- contributions from a Google employee, because of repeated institutional
  amnesia that Google has a blanket SCA, which is not reflected in

>> I guess one can abuse the Summary: field to squeeze in thank-yous,
>> but it's pretty obvious that you are circumventing the process.
> Perhaps -- but if we need to fix the process, then we can do that.

It seems that for changes for which I have an external contributor,
there is a large variety in the nature of the contribution;
sometimes an off-hand remark will cause an avalanche of work on my part.
The nature of the collaboration cannot
be expressed in the commit comment.  Perhaps we could have
a Thank-you: with free-form content in addition to a Contributed-by:
with the latter reflecting a legal copyright author to keep the lawyers happy.

Speaking of which -- hopefully jcheck will soon be open-sourced?!


> - Mark

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