Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2020 20:30:50 -0500 From: Rich Felker <dalias@...c.org> To: musl@...ts.openwall.com Subject: Re: Authorship/attribution and stalled patches On Sun, Nov 01, 2020 at 08:16:32PM -0500, Rich Felker wrote: > It came to my attention that there are a few patches in limbo where, > after some discussion, it seems I was waiting for an updated patch > from the contributor to apply, and it never appeared. I could and > should just make the changes myself (this would have been more > efficient to begin with), but I'm not sure what to do about > authorship/attribution in that situation, and it probably deserves > community input. > > A while back, I started trying to make better use of git commit > authorship to credit contributors, rather than just mentioning "patch > by X" or "based on patch/idea by X" in commit messages. However I > still don't have a clear feel for how this should work in the case > where the patch is modified before being applied. Are there > established norms for the degree to which a patch should be modified > while leaving the author intact, or should it just always be converted > to commit authorship by the person who makes the final changes, with > original author in the description? It's really a tradeoff between > potential misattribution of mistakes or changes the original author > might not like, and failure to credit, and I don't know where the > right balance is. A further special case of this is where the content of the diff is fine, but the commit message needs significant rewording to be acceptable (e.g. the original only explains a what rather than a why, or includes a why that's not the actual reason the patch is needed). For other cases mentioned in the quoted text above, the Co-authored-by: pseudo-header popularized by Github seems to be a reasonable solution. But I don't feel it's appropriate to relegate someone to a "co-author" when the entire diff (or even 99% of it) is by them and it's just the commit message that was rewritten. (Ideally, git's data model would have separate authorship for commit message and diff, and I don't think existing committer field in the model is interpreted that way.) Rich
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