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Re: Including ESS with Emacs

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Including ESS with Emacs
Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2018 08:01:24 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

I'm continuing this discussion off-list,


Alex Branham <address@hidden> writes:

> 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
> best.
>> 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
> email?
> Thanks again,
> Alex

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