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Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Ema

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Emacs?
Date: Tue, 12 May 2020 17:53:53 +0300

> Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
>  address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden,
>  address@hidden
> From: Clément Pit-Claudel <address@hidden>
> Date: Mon, 11 May 2020 22:46:23 -0400
> > Then you describing a situation different from the one that started
> > this.  This thread is about copyright assignments for GNU ELPA, where
> > we discuss packages that already exist on some site that we consider
> > for adding to ELPA.
> Sorry, I did think it was related.  If I start signing all my future commits 
> to Emacs packages outside of Emacs & ELPA with a key that FSF knows about, 
> then won't that mean there won't be a problem with these commits when/if the 
> corresponding packages consider moving into ELPA?

For a single package with a single committer who is also the author,
perhaps that would work (assuming the FSF staff arranges for the
copyright list to be accessible via some URL in a secure and
privacy-respecting way).  But the question which started this was much
more general: it asked why do we need to request assignments at all,
if we can determine mechanically, at some future point in time, that
the author of every commit has signed the papers.  That is a much more
general and potentially complicated situation than what you describe.

Besides, if you make that test and discover one or more commits by
people without an assignment, what do you do then?  Those commits
could be years in the past, and the persons who made them could be
hard to find and ask to sign the papers.

> Part of the answer to "Why are so many packages not trying to get included in 
> GNU Emacs?" is that, at least for me, I have no idea how to track whether 
> people have assignments on file, so I don't put my packages in ELPA.  If 
> there was an easy way to check, I would.

I think there was an agreement that providing a public API for
checking this would be good.  But "Someone" needs to do that, and even
after that not every situation could be resolved mechanically,
certainly not at "git commit" time.  A human should be in the loop.

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