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Re: Including ESS with Emacs

From: Alex Branham
Subject: Re: Including ESS with Emacs
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2018 11:11:52 -0600
User-agent: mu4e 1.1.0; emacs 27.0.50

On Sun 25 Nov 2018 at 10:45, Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> wrote:

>> We'd like to contribute ESS to the FSF so that it can become part of
>> Emacs.
> Yay!
> [ I think it'd be best to include it into GNU ELPA rather than into
>   Emacs, tho.  ]

Right, I was including ELPA as "part of Emacs". We'd be completely happy
being in "core" Emacs or on ELPA, whatever the maintainers think is

> It should be all authors who contributed more than 15 lines-or-so of the
> current code.  `git blame` can be a good starting point, but note that it
> can be misleading: someone who just adds a `save-excursion` and reindents
> all the code will cause git-blame to hide the contributors of all the
> reindented code.
> The way I went about it in the past is to collect all the known authors.
> Then I remove those who already have signed paperwork, and those who
> contributed less than 15 lines of code (by looking at the
> corresponding commits).
> Then I try to contact all those that remain.
> This often involves a fair bit of work and time, to try and find current email
> addresses, to get an answer, to sign the paperwork, to get the FSF to
> process the documents, ...
> After that, there are typically some authors still pending, either
> because they refuse to sign, or because you can't find a valid email, or
> because they don't reply.
> At that point, you dig into the code in more detail, to try and see
> which part of their contribution remains in the current code and whether
> that can fall under the "15-lines worth of code" (where a renaming of
> a variable counts as 1 line even if it touches 100 lines).  That often
> lets you remove a few more from the pending list.
> Finally, there will probably be a few hold outs who contributed
> a non-trivial amount of code which is still present but whose copyright
> paperwork we can't get.  At that point, we have to take a yet deeper
> look at what to do with it: rewrite the code, drop it altogether, or
> move it to a separate package.
> Note that if at the last stage there is still a major contributor, it
> might render the whole effort pointless.  So it's best to start with the
> most prolific contributors.

Thanks, this is very helpful! I'll work on generating such a list of
contributors. What is the best way to go about telling people how to do
the copyright process? I know for a contribution to Emacs they email
yall requesting the copyright form but it might be annoying for yall to
deal with all of ESS's contributors. Does it make sense for you to email
me the form and then when I reach out I can include the form with my

Thanks again,

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