[Spread-users] CVS access to Spread

Theo Schlossnagle jesus at omniti.com
Wed Aug 22 14:10:35 EDT 2001

First, I am not maintainer of Spread and do not claim to speak for 
them.  I am just a casual contributor that has watched the development 
of this healthy project over the past few years.  I do contribute to and 
maintain several other open source projects.

On Wednesday, August 22, 2001, at 01:08  PM, Jon Stevens wrote:
> When will anonymous be given out? Just create an account, stick it in 
> the
> CVSROOT/readers file and give us the username/password.

First off, through prevalent, anonymous CVS access is not an required 
part of OSS.  The idea is "open" (Open Source Software).  The Spread 
community is currently small enough and the project's core is 
complicated enough that "open" CVS access should be perfectly acceptable.

Open CVS access is just as good and it apparently gives the Spread 
maintainers what they want (which is seeing who is using it -- readonly 
or not).  My interpretation of the the announcement of CVS access didn't 
say anything about restricting it to certain people.  It just said, mail 
in for a password.  I understood it as "everyone who wants access gets 

Personally, I don't like pserver.  I would never set up anonymous CVS in 
that fashion if given the choice.  I _always_ try to set up CVS over ssh 
only.  As for creating an anonymous account with no password as a 
readonly CVS user over ssh... Maybe that is a solution (and IMNSHO a 
good one).

> Also, you don't want to give out commit access to just anyone. The way 
> that
> the ASF works is that this is a privilege that people must earn first by
> showing that they have the coding skills necessary to contribute to the
> project.

Thanks for the tip.

>> Some of you have been sending us fixes and patches: We are also working
>> through some licensing issues so that we could easily accept your
>> contributions and release them with Spread. You will hear from us in 
>> the
>> next few days. We will also post more explanations on how to contribute
>> on the spread.org web site.
> What licensing issues? Spread is currently under a license which gives 
> it no
> more licensing issues.

Are you familiar with copyright and licensing?  You cannot merge 
contributions into a project if they are inappropriately licensed and 
copyrighted.  This the reason that the FSF has the painful assignment of 
copyright rigamarole.  This, to most people, is annoying.  If instead 
the maintainers require that contributions be licensed under a specific 
compatible license (like BSD, MIT X11, etc.), then there are no issues.

Currently, there are no guidelines on the contributions to Spread.  I 
believe what they are saying is that they are setting guidelines so that 
there will be no legal problems accepting contributions.  Please don't 
stand in their way.

> That is because no one could use it commercially.

Absolutely false.  I used Spread commercially prior to its open source 

I assume you meant that no one could use it commercially without 
obtaining a license?  This was true.  And this would be why they made 
regular exceptions with regards to its use in other open source 
projects.  Splash! and mod_log_spread both use Spread and the whole 
system could be used commercially prior it opening Spread.

> Advice #1: Let some people who are experienced with dealing with OSS 
> help
> you along instead of continually tripping over your feet. Ben is a 
> perfect
> example of such a person to help out.

Ben gives many of us here at CNDS advice on a regular basis.  I consider 
his advice invaluable as I am sure the Spread maintainers do too.  There 
are several other Open Source maintainers that we work with regularly 
here, and we try to draw on all of the knowledge and attend to there 

Theo Schlossnagle
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2047R/33131B65/71 F7 95 64 49 76 5D BA  3D 90 B9 9F BE 27 24 E7

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