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Re: Data::Alias takeover request

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Steffen Mueller
April 11, 2011 09:26
Re: Data::Alias takeover request
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On 04/11/2011 04:31 PM, Zefram wrote:
> Steffen Mueller wrote:
>>                  Primary maintainer status is mostly about being able to
>> allow others to upload new versions.
> That's not a significant concern for me.  That's the significance that
> the PAUSE permission system ascribes to primary maintainership, but I'm
> really interested in loosening the socially-enforced constraint that
> mst laid down when granting me co-maint:
> |          Please *only* use this co-maint access for bug fixes for 5.12 and
> |any further bug fixes that result from that for the moment; my motivation
> |is not a fast takeover but merely a fixed version on CPAN (I cite Adam
> |Kennedy's treatment of Template as precedent for this).
> Under the "bug fixes for 5.12 and any further bug fixes that result from
> that" rubric, I've only updated the module to handle new Perl versions.
> I'd like to have the authority to fix bugs not related to core version
> (the RT queue has a few), to substantially refactor, to reimplement
> the parsing side using new core facilities (while retaining the old
> implementation for compatibility to older Perl versions), to improve
> documentation, and so on.
> Should I, at this stage, have the full authority that a primary maintainer
> normally has?  Apparently not, if you're willing to transfer primary
> maintainership back to xmath on his request.  That's OK.  So what should
> be the extent of my limited authority regarding the module?

As far as I know, there is no known-good solution to this dilemma. In 
the end, we've almost always gotten a Yay/Nay response from the original 
author on issues like this.

Some general considerations on the topic that were written by Andreas, 
brian, and myself (IIRC) can be found in the "takeover" section of 

Personally, I support what you intend to do. As a PAUSE admin, I have to 
say it would be really important for the general practice in these 
matters to get an ack from Matthijs.

In the end, I guess it comes down to the notion of ownership of a 
namespace, not the code. The code's licensed under the same terms as 
perl itself, so as long as you acknowledge the copyright of the original 
author and keep the license the same, I see no *legal* issue with your 
doing pretty much anything else with the code. As for the namespace, I 
believe the ulterior responsibility lies with the people who run the 
whole PAUSE system. That would be Andreas and a few others. "Ownership" 
of a module == namespace is a very fuzzy thing, probably with little to 
no legal interpretation. The policy of the PAUSE/CPAN admins has been 
explicitly vague with the motivation to protect the authors of modules 
without closing all loopholes to do (something close to) the right thing 
if somebody disappears. This is what the aforementioned 04pause.html 
tries to convey.

I realize that this does not provide a solution for your (or our) 
dilemma. But maybe it helps you make some sense of the hand-waving.

Finally let me say that yes, primary maintainership also comes with a 
notion of being somewhat less restricted than "let's keep things 
minimally invasive", but it does not mean complete disregard of the work 
of another contributor (to the CPAN or perl).

Best regards,

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