[openstack-dev] [openstack-tc] Proposal to recognize indirect contributions to our code base

Mark McLoughlin markmc at redhat.com
Mon Nov 11 15:57:43 UTC 2013

Hi Nick,

On Mon, 2013-11-11 at 15:20 +0100, Nicolas Barcet wrote:
> Dear TC members,
> Our companies are actively encouraging our respective customers to have the
> patches they mission us to make be contributed back upstream.  In order to
> encourage this behavior from them and others, it would be nice that if
> could gain some visibility as "sponsors" of the patches in the same way we
> get visibility as "authors" of the patches today.
> The goal here is not to provide yet another way to count affiliations of
> direct contributors, nor is it a way to introduce sales pitches in contrib.
>  The only acceptable and appropriate use of the proposal we are making is
> to signal when a patch made by a contributor for another comany than the
> one he is currently employed by.
> For example if I work for a company A and write a patch as part of an
> engagement with company B, I would signal that Company B is the sponsor of
> my patch this way, not Company A.  Company B would under current
> circumstances not get any credit for their indirect contribution to our
> code base, while I think it is our intent to encourage them to contribute,
> even indirectly.
> To enable this, we are proposing that the commit text of a patch may
> include a
>    sponsored-by: <sponsorname>
> line which could be used by various tools to report on these commits.
>  Sponsored-by should not be used to report on the name of the company the
> contributor is already affiliated to.

Honestly, I've an immediately negative reaction to the prospect of e.g.

  Sponsored-By: Red Hat
  Sponsored-By: IBM

appearing in our commit messages.

I feel strongly that the project is first and foremost a community of
individuals and we instinctively push as much of corporate backing side
of things outside of the project. We try to spend as little time as
possible talking about our affiliations as possible.

And, IMHO, the git commit log is particularly sacred ground - almost
above anything else, it is a place for purely technical details.

However, I do think we'll be able to figure out some way of making it
easier for tools to track more complex affiliations.

Our affiliation databases are all keyed off email addresses right now,
so how about if we allowed for encoding affiliation/sponsorship in
addresses? e.g.

  Author: Mark McLoughlin <markmc+ibm at redhat.com>

and we could register that address as "work done by Mark on behalf of
IBM" ?


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