Without one or all of these, people won't contribute to open source projects. Developers need to make a living, they love the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment that comes from writing high quality software, and they enjoy the company of talented, like-minded developers. Happy and successful open source developers will often have a combination of these three things in abundance. If they don't, they'll give up the ghost and get a real job, or take their ball and go home. When they do, we call this "voting with their feet."
With the recent adoption of the new ASF2.0 license, @author tags will no longer be allowed in any Apache source code. This has several people in the Apache community very upset and concerned. This decision steals fun, glory and potentially money from the developers who have contributed in good faith to the Apache community.
And so Costin Manolache penned his objections to the ASF removing @author tags from Java source code. "Removing the author names from the code they wrote is as bad as removing it from a published article or book or research paper", he writes. Costin has also reluctantly decided to quit the Ant Project and resign from their Project Management Committee.
In all fairness, the new Apache licence calls for a file to be included with the software that lists off all the contributors and copyright holders of the work. Also, all contributors to the ASF are required to sign an agreement giving copyright authority to the organization, so the organization is well within its legal rights. ASF's leaders believe that highlighting the contributions of committing members breeds ego and conflict in the community.
Ultimately the argument boils down to a very ideological one, between those who believe individual software developers are the primary force behind the creation of good software and those who believe that the community as a whole drives the development of good software. The ASF is known for its stress on community-building and pressure for cultural conformance.
Unfortunately, some developers - particularly very strong-willed ones - refuse to be broken or relegated to the Memory Hole. And they shouldn't.
The rest of Costin's well-written argument can be found here. µ
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