Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Attribution and the Golden Rule

Gallio uses the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Today I discovered a breach of that license wherein an author of another Open Source project copied code from Gallio and removed the copyright notices and attribution.

I have contacted the author and hope to resolve the matter amicably.

Giving Credit Where it is Due

You may have noticed that I take pains to acknowledge the work of others when I borrow their ideas.  For example, I credit xUnit.Net for their idea of abstracting the reflection layer (among other things).  That simple idea has shaped a fair bit of the Gallio test object model so I'm grateful to have encountered it.

On an even grander scale, there are many others whom I credit for the development of unit testing and the idiomatic form it has taken in .Net.  MbUnit borrows heavily from NUnit, JUnit and other frameworks, not to mention the work of Kent Beck and other founders.

Professional Courtesy

Recently I have noticed others borrowing ideas from Gallio and MbUnit.  I think it's great!  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  But I do feel something is missing.

Open Source software does not get built in a vacuum.  There are many people involved in the conception, development, promotion and distribution of software.  We depend crucially upon the goodwill of others and so it behooves us to act with humility and respect for one another and our respective projects.

The more widely we disseminate the good ideas of others, the more positive impact they will have.


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1 comment:

R said...

Ouch. The author of Notepad2 recently had a similar issue although not as severe.