[legal-discuss] What are the minimum set of things we believe need the CLA?

Sean Dague sean at dague.net
Sat May 31 11:00:06 UTC 2014

An interesting conversation happened when I put up a review to pull in
devstack-vagrant to gerrit from github -
https://review.openstack.org/#/c/96835/ about what in gerrit requires
the CLA. I specifically don't want the CLA required on this, as I've
actually gotten organic contributors on github because people found it
useful to show up and throw a patch my way (then came back because the
round trip from patch submission to merge was very short).

This in stark contrast to a conversation I had to have with a new
contributor that wanted to patch the README on one of our projects,
which I had to sheepishly point to our how to contribute page. Every
single time I have one of these conversations I feel terrible, and that
I should apologize profusely, because what we ask new contribs to go
through is insane. As someone who's contributed to lots of Open Source
on my spare time, a CLA is basically something that I'd never bother to

About 1/2 our dev tools in openstack-dev are not currently CLA required.
It actually makes me wonder if any of them need to be. As these tools
typically won't be part of an OpenStack release, it makes me wonder if
we can drop the CLA on them entirely as a technical matter. For
instance, why is there a CLA on devstack?

Given that the board still seems stalled on approving a transition to
the contribution framework the development community wants, I wonder if
we can at least reduce the number of projects that are creating new
developer friction by having a clearer view on what in gerrit we believe
has to have the CLA, and ask all the other projects if they want to
remove CLA enforcement.


Sean Dague

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