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SubjectRe: [RFD] Explicitly documenting patch submission
On Sat, May 22, 2004 at 11:46:29PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> This is not about proving authorship - it's about documenting the
> process. This does not replace or preclude things like PGP-signed
> emails, this is _documenting_ how we work, so that we can show people
> who don't understand the open source process.

What aspects of the process do you want to document?

The patch-submission process can be more complicated than a simple path
up a heirarchy of maintainers--patches get bounced around a lot

If you're trying to document who contributes "intellectual property" to
the kernel, then documenting the process of creating the patch would
seem more important than documenting the actual submission--any
significant change is often the result of complicated discussions
between multiple parties who wouldn't necessarily appear in the chain of

I gues I'm still a little vague as to exactly what sort of questions we
expect to be able to answer using this new documentation.

A couple examples (which I think aren't too farfetched):
* Developer A submits a patch which is dropped by maintainer B.
I later notice this and resubmit A's patch to B. I don't
change the patch at all, and the resubmission is my only
contribution to the process. Do I need to tag on my own
"Signed-off-by" line?
* I write a patch. Developers X and Y suggest significant
changes. I make the changes before I submit them to maintainer
Z. Suppose the changes are significant enough that I no longer
feel comfortable representing myself as the sole author of the
patch. Should I also be asking developer X and Y to add their
own "Signed-off-by" lines?

--Bruce Fields
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