Project identification & naming
ryandesign at macports.org
Sat Apr 28 22:04:02 PDT 2007
On Apr 28, 2007, at 21:59, Juan Manuel Palacios wrote:
> Working on my dp2mp-move branch just now I came up with some
> questions regarding our naming as a project, as there are still
> some references to darwinports, opendarwin and, eeehhhmmm, Apple in
> key parts of our sources, and I'm not too sure what we should do.
> My biggest question is with respect to the "com.apple.<target>"
> naming we still use to identify each of the installation stages:
> can we move that to something more consistent like
> "org.macports.<stage>"? Note that I didn't ask "should we" just
> there, simply because a full migration to the new name is the very
> objective of the branch, so that's a given. I'm asking: can we? are
> there any legal ramifications of any sort if we do, given that it
> was Apple who first started the project? Please bear with me if
> these seem like silly questions, not only am I not a lawyer but
> also I don't live in the US, so I'm not at all acquainted with
> pertinent legal procedures, if any. Any other roadblocks to moving
> that to our own naming? (other than bugs that will arise, which
> I'll look after as I work on the branch).
Seeing things like "com.apple.destroot" always confused the heck out
of me when I first started using DarwinPorts. I thought it referred
to some process of Mac OS X. I also didn't understand why a Java-
style reverse domain specification was needed at all. If it is, then
I would definitely vote for changing it to
org.macports.phase.<whatever> or similar.
> On the same tune, I'm also wondering about our identification: can
> we call ourselves a "working group"? a "vendor"? a "distributor"?
> none? all? For an example of what I'm referring to, check out the
> differences between the base/src/package1.0/portrpmpackage.tcl file
> in trunk and in the dp2mp-move branch:
> (Line No. 159)%define distribution DarwinPorts
> (Line No. 160)%define vendor OpenDarwin
> (Line No. 159)%define distribution MacPorts
> (Line No. 160)%define vendor MacPorts
What are these variables ("distribution" and "vendor") used for?
> It would be good to get a clear definition of what we are and
> aren't, in order to call ourselves consistently. As another
> example, our base/portmgr/License.html file (shipped with our
> dmg's) claims in its header (per my own not too educated addition
> of our name):
> Copyright (c) 2002 - 2003 Apple Computer, Inc.
> Copyright (c) 2004 - 2007 MacPorts
> All rights reserved.
> Is that correct? incorrect? incomplete? Putting that same
> (corrected) info in our front web page would also be a good idea,
> I'm figuring (other than the incredible number of cleanups it
> needs, I think that's an important one).
I'm not a lawyer either, but I think things can only be copyrighted
by legal entities -- that is, real people and corporations. Apple is
a legal entity because it is incorporated in the state of California.
I am a legal entity because I am a natural person. But "MacPorts" is
not a legal entity, so I don't think it can claim any copyright of
Someone could create a legal entity for MacPorts, if we thought that
would be useful. I think some other open-source projects have that.
Note that, according to the Wikipedia article "Copyright," an
original work is automatically copyrighted the moment it's created;
it's not necessary to say so with a copyright statement.
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