[Geany-devel] AUTHORS && THANKS files

Matthew Brush mbrush at xxxxx
Fri Sep 23 03:33:22 UTC 2011


I was just looking at these files for some reason and a few things 
struck me as kind of odd.  The header of the THANKS file says:

"This file lists all *external* people that have contributed to this 
project." (emphasis added)

which sounds kind of odd.  For example, it seems all of the core 
developers and regular contributors are listed here.  I don't even think 
of myself as "external", let alone Nick, Frank and Colomban and many 
others in the list.

And then in AUTHORS, it lists the core developers, and then under 
"Regular Contributors" it lists only two people.  I'm curious what the 
criteria for being a "Regular Contributor" is, since I've seen a bunch 
of regular contributions on the ML and patch tracker, many of which were 
made by people other than those two people.  At first I thought it might 
be people who have SVN commit access, but then there's the COMMITTERS 
file, so that's not it I don't think.  IMHO, anyone in the THANKS file 
that has actually authored any code or translations should be listed in 

On a similar topic, I noticed in the source files, on top of the license 
in the comments, some files list Nick and Enrico as the copyright 
holders, some also have Frank, others Colomban, and yet others Lex (and 
maybe others still).  It seems as though if you contribute significant 
portions of code to a file, you should add your own copyright blurb in 
the comments?  Would it not make more sense to have a single copyright 
holder for all files in the project, be it a person (ie. the current 
lead/maintainer), or an organization (ie. The Geany Software Foundation :)

Also, if someone contributes a significant amount of code to one or more 
files, does that mean they hand-over the copyright of that code to one 
(or maybe all?) of those people listed in the various file headers?

The reason I ask about the copyright thing is that I'm currently working 
on something that basically adds entirely new files and I wasn't sure if 
I should add my own copyright blurb in the fileheader or that of someone 
else.  It almost seems like currently the copyright blurbs in the file 
header comments are more like an "Authorship" or "Attribution" than 

I think it might be useful to put some information about this in the 
HACKING file so that contributors clearly know whether to put their own 
copyright in the header, or if not, who's name/info to pass the 
copyright on to.  Also whether they should add their names to the 
AUTHORS file, or THANKS file, and whether they should update the 
ChangeLog (if that sticks around) and to update the documentation.  It 
also wouldn't hurt to mention in there that all of the submitted code 
will become/has to be GPL, just in case that's not clear.  We're coders 
after all, not "law talkin guys".

Matthew Brush

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