[Kde-scm-interest] svn, git, bzr

Michael Pyne mpyne at purinchu.net
Thu Jul 24 02:35:03 CEST 2008

On Wednesday 23 July 2008, Friedrich W. H. Kossebau wrote:
> I am especially interested how accountability (or what the term is) will be
> treated if some code is developed off the central repository system. With
> the current central system every commit is bound to one account, checked by
> password. But how to handle the merge of a branch in another repository
> with perhaps local accounts, not given by the KDE admins? How should
> copyright assignment be handled? BTW, doesn't the same problem already
> arise with subversion today when svnmerge is used, as done e.g. in the
> merging of the PIM enterprise branch, which are commited by one person and
> have no clear authorship (thus copyright ownership) registered with the
> system, IIUC. Is this alright?

The Linux kernel hackers have various tags they add to their emails and 
patches (i.e. Signed-off-by: foo at kernel.org) which is the mechanism they use 
to handle this.  I admit that it appeals to the military officer type in me.  
In my branch even routine reports get reviewed through the chain of command 
from originator to a supervising officer (at least the appropriate Department 
Head but quite often all the way to the Commanding Officer).

The question as I see it is: Are we required to track this kind of 
information?  If not, should we?

Then if we must track it, how do we do so?  I would of course prefer that 
however it is done, it is as foolproof as possible.  So I don't know if 
manually adding tags to the commit log (like AUTHOR:foo at kdemail.net) is the 
best, I think making it part of the command itself would be better (i.e. bzr 
commit-for --author blah).

Really though a lot of this has nothing to do with DVCS per se, we already 
commit patches to the repository from new contributors with no account (and 
take care of the attribution in a human-readable way in the commit log).  So I 
don't see this as a big issue yet, unless there's a legal reason to be more 

 - Michael Pyne
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