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<== Date ==> <== Thread ==>

Subject: External source code repository
From: "Rees, NP \(Nick\)" <nick.rees@diamond.ac.uk>
To: <core-talk@aps.anl.gov>, "Mark Rivers" <rivers@cars.uchicago.edu>, "Tim Mooney" <mooney@aps.anl.gov>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 12:19:36 +0100
Hi,

One result of the two synApps meetings at Diamond was a desire for an
external, site neutral, source code repository for synApps type
applications and possibly EPICS extensions. The reason is that because
the wide developer base for synApps and extensions, and the modern
security concerns, creates to much overhead to authorise all the
potential users to have access to one of our local site's repositories.

Another decision we felt was reasonable was to host the repository with
subversion, rather than CVS, since this makes file renames and other
directory operations traceable. For an external repository, this is
particularly important.

The obvious place is Source Forge - so I waited until the end of
February when Source Forge became subversion hosting and I have now
created an epics project on source forge.

So far this is all speculative - it is just a proposal, but I wanted to
ensure I had the name reserved. What I now want to do is explore the
details. The biggest problem seems to me to be licensing. A lot of code
has been developed by people who can release under an Open Source
license (I chose GPL as the initial default license for the EPICS
project), but some can only be issued under the EPICS license.

The problem is EPICS license is not OSI approved (and all Source forge
code must be issued under an OSI approved license), and hence anything
tainted with it may not be able to be submitted to source forge. OTOH,
the EPICS pages say that the EPICS license is designed to be OSD
compliant, but has not be submitted to OSI for approval. Reading the
licenses, my main concern is that the EPICS license makes a distinction
between copies in source and copies in binary form - which kind of
implies that binaries can be distributed without source. The OSD
explicitly forbids this.

So, there are a number of possibilities:

1. I can propose to the community that we start using source forge for
any
   driver/application/extension that can be release under an open source
license.
2. We can try and get the EPICS license OSI approved.
3. We can try and get the EPICS license changed.
4. We can try some combination of the above.
5. We can drop the whole idea altogether.

The real problem with 1 is that it might stop any DOE person from
touching the code, which is not the intention. Hence, I would like to
find where we are on the true open source nature of EPICS and whether we
can try and move away from the DOE-centric position we still seem to be
in. Any suggestions, comments, ideas are welcome.

Cheers, 

Nick Rees
Principal Software Engineer           Phone: +44 (0)1235-778430
Diamond Light Source                  Fax:   +44 (0)1235-446713


Replies:
Re: External source code repository Andrew Johnson

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