[Incubator] CONTRIBUTING.md and LICENSE.md not a requirement for incubating projects?

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 09:56:27 PDT 2017

Morning Cameron good to hear from you.

In a couple email threads, and the most recent board meeting, we are
getting input on what makes a good community project (and what kind of
projects we wish to promote as open source spatial).

I love the idea of aligning the very short community project checklist and
the incubation checklist. In particular we hit on a great way to
communicate our incubation ideals during the marketing/rebranding by
emphasizing open, geospatial and fair.

1) CONTIRBUTING.md and LICENSE.md are best practices from github allowing
projects to be searched effectively, and the appropriate instructions shown
to those making pull requests (not as effective as a CLA but something).

2) Check the headers - I am hoping for something lighter weight then the
provenance review (which requires checking history). Several projects have
done multi-file searches (we can provide a grep example) to detect files
without a header. This subject has been complicated by our recent osgeo
legal advice that headers are not required as many of have been taught (but
that LICENSE file is).

This provides three easy checks, all of which introduce our priorities as a
software foundation:

- fair: Check for a contirbuting.md file (required for github, but need
should be met somehow for other platforms)
- open: The quick check is looking for a LICENSE.md (github) or LICENSE.txt
file and confirming it is on the OSI approved list. I hope a grep can
identify any files with out headers and a void a time sync.
- geospatial: This is the tricky one to confirm - any suggestions?

Implicit in this is a tension between being flexible (many projects can
show they are open to contributions by citing their developers guide rather
than including a CONTRIBUTING file) and prescriptive (tell projects exactly
what to do). I would personally err on communication; we are doing open
source advocacy here so it is more important that projects *are*
participatory than that they have exactly the right files.

There are a few more requirements from the discuss list focusing on
borderline cases between open source and free software. I would like us to
take care to be kind to each other discussing this balance and not lose
sight of our strong core of geospatial/open/fair.
Jody Garnett

On 12 September 2017 at 02:32, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>

> Hi incubation committee,
> One thing the OSGeo-Live community have picked up is that OSGeo Community
> projects are being asked for CONTRIBUTING.md and LICENSE.md files [1],
> however there isn't an obvious corresponding requirement for this in the
> OSGeo Incubation Graduation Checklist [2].
> I'd suggest that the Graduation Checklist probably needs updating.
> I also notice the requirement for Community projects to check headers for
> Open Source compliance, although there isn't  specific guidance on how such
> checks should be applied. It sounds very similar to a "Provenance Review".
> Our experience with OSGeo incubation is that the "Provenance Review" is
> usually the biggest time sink and stumbling block for projects going
> through incubation. I'd be interested to hear Jody's thoughts on this.
> Warm regards, Cameron
> [1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Community_Projects
> [2] http://www.osgeo.org/incubator/process/project_
> graduation_checklist.html
> --
> Cameron Shorter
> Open Technologies Consultant
> Geospatial & Software Architect
> Open Source Developer
> M +61 (0) 419 142 254 <+61%20419%20142%20254>http://shorter.net
> _______________________________________________
> Incubator mailing list
> Incubator at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/incubator
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