FYI: Contributing to the Dataphor open-source project

Modified: 2009/04/07 23:29 by n8allan - Categorized as: Development


1. Can I contribute to Dataphor?

Please do!

One of the main goals of the Dataphor project is to involve the greater development community.

There are many ways to contribute to Dataphor. Here are a few:
  • Join the forums and become active in the discussions
  • Obtain a source code checkout of Dataphor's code base and start looking through the code (be sure to see the Developers category for technical details about the code base)
  • Write your own extensions or components and distribute them yourself (i.e., independent of the main Dataphor distribution)
  • Write your own components or add-ons and contribute them back to the main code base
  • Contribute bug fixes and feature enhancements to the main code base


2. I found a bug! How do I report it?

First check that this is not already a known issue by checking the FAQ and the forum history. If you can't find your problem mentioned anywhere, it is most helpful if you can create a "recipe" to replicate the bug.

Currently, defects are reported through the forums.


3. What license is Dataphor distributed under?

Dataphor is distributed under the New BSD license.


4. How do I contribute code to Dataphor?

Similar to the Apache projects, before you contribute any code to the Dataphor code base, you must first print out, sign, and submit a Dataphor Third Party Contribution Agreement.

Details can be found here.


5. I can't submit a Dataphor Contribution Agreement; how can I contribute to Dataphor?

Fear not.

Although we cannot accept code from you, there are still plenty of other ways to contribute to Dataphor. Here are some examples:
  • Become an active participant on the forums
  • Write and distribute your own components (remember: Dataphor components can be distributed completely separately from the main Dataphor distribution - they can be added to existing Dataphor installations, and don't even need to be open source)
  • Report bugs
  • Do a good deed daily


6. What if I don't want my contribution to be free / open source?

No problem.

While we are creating free / open-source software, and we would prefer if everyone's contributions to Dataphor were also free / open-source, we certainly recognize that other organizations have difference goals than us. Such is the reality of software development in today's global economy.

As such, it is perfectly acceptable to make non-free / non-open-source contributions to Dataphor.

We obviously cannot accept such contributions into the main code base, but you are free to distribute plugins, enhancements, etc. as you see fit. Indeed, the the BSD license is extremely liberal in its redistribution provisions.

Please also see this FAQ entry about forking the Dataphor code base.


7. I want to fork the Dataphor code base. Can I?

Yes... but we'd prefer if you didn't.

Although Dataphor's license allows third parties to fork the code base, we would strongly prefer if you did not. Forking is not necessarily a Bad Thing, but history has shown that creating too many forks in implementations leads to massive user and system administrator confusion. The users then become responsible for figuring out which Dataphor they want / need to use, which can be a daunting and confusing task. The whole goal of Dataphor is simplicity, so let's work together to keep it that way.

We do periodically have "short" forks. Specifically, sometimes an origanization needs to release a version of Dataphor with a specific feature.

If you're thinking of forking the Dataphor code base, please let us know - let's see if we can work something out so that it is not necessary.


8. My contribution was not accepted into the main Dataphor code base. What now?

If your contribution was not accepted into the main Dataphor code base, there are likely to be good reasons for it (perhaps technical, perhaps due to licensing restrictions, etc.).

If you wrote a standalone component, you can still distribute this component independent of the main Dataphor distribution. Dataphor components can be installed into existing Dataphor installations. As such, you can distribute your component -- even if it is closed source (e.g., distributed as binary-only) - via any mechanism you choose, such as on a web site, FTP site, etc.

We would like to thanks the folks at Open MPI project which with their permission, most of the above content was taken.

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