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

Jay Pipes jaypipes at gmail.com
Thu Nov 14 00:14:40 UTC 2013

On 11/11/2013 12:44 PM, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 03:20:20PM +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.
>> We would appreciate to see your comments on the subject and eventually get
>> your approval for it's use.
> IMHO, lets call this what it is: "marketing".
> I'm fine with the idea of a company wanting to have recognition for work
> that they fund. They can achieve this by putting out a press release or
> writing a blog post saying that they "funded awesome feature XYZ to bring
> benefits ABC to the project" on their own websites, or any number of other
> marketing approaches. Most / many companies and individuals contributing
> to OpenStack in fact already do this very frequently which is fine / great.
> I don't think we need to, nor should we, add anything to our code commits,
> review / development workflow / toolchain to support such marketing pitches.
> The identities recorded in git commits / gerrit reviewes / blueprints etc
> should exclusively focus on technical authorship, not sponsorship. Leave
> the marketing pitches for elsewhere.

I agree with Daniel here. There's nothing wrong with marketing, and 
there's nothing wrong with a company promoting the funding that it 
contributed to get some feature written or high profile bug fixed. But, 
I don't believe this marketing belongs in the commit log. In the open 
source community, *individuals* develop and contribute code, not 
companies. And I'm not talking about joint contribution agreements, like 
the corporate CLA. I'm talking about the actual work that is performed 
by developers, technical documentation folks, QA folks, etc. Source 
control should be the domain of the individual, not the company.


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