Richard Fontana wrote:
I attempted to cure a Harvey Birdman Rule violation in a git commit
message, but re-reading HBR now, I am not sure that is really compliant
with the spirit, and possibly the letter, of HBR.
I certainly disagree with those few people in the Open Source and Free
Software community who have recently argued that "only the spirit, not the
letter, of the law matters". So, from my perspective, I'm not worried about
your "HBR spirit compliance", since "compliance with the spirit of a
isn't coherent as a concept. The "terms as written" are what you need to
comply with. (And, if complying with the letter yields problematic policy
outcomes, that it merely means the "letter" should be redrafted. :)
But, I think you complied with the letter of HBR, but certainty on
that epends on the nature of the email exchange between you and Lloyd:
So, HBR says:
> Should such private communications nevertheless occur,
> such communications are expected to publish summaries of any relevant
> discussions in a manner or medium accessible to the general net public.
A git commit is a "medium accessible to the general net public"
You wrote in the Git Commit:
HBR CURE: Winston Lloyd pointed out to me in an email conversation
that the 'downstream' language was ambiguous.
I read that early this morning and thought it complied, but my thought was:
"it complies as long as the email thread went something like this:
* Lloyd writes you a private email telling you that.
* You write back saying: "Good idea."
If there was further conversation in email, then the HBR cure is possibly
You and I have previously debated (and I think we posted an HBR cure summary
at some point on this):
"Except in extraordinary cases, private telephone calls,
teleconferences, private in-person meetings, and private email
communications shall not be used to discuss substantive development of
... whether or not that text should be there at all in HBR, since we know
people are going to need to HBR cure because private conversations cannot
be stopped. I was ultimately convinced that it was right to have that text
in HBR, by comparing it to analogous copyleft situation: copyleft
violations are commonplace, but that doesn't mean we simply eviscerate
copyleft because people so many distributors violate. More enforcement is of
course the answer, not eviscerating the license.
The main flaw in HBR, just as in the CHR that inspired it, there is no actual
penalty for violation. Lack of penalty reinforces this idea that somehow
"the spirit matters, not what the rule says". And, that simply hands another
tool for the unscrupulous to manipulate the scrupulous.
Maybe HBR should actually have a penalty, such as being banned from
contributing to the project for a period of one year if the HBR violation is
confirmed by at least three other people? :)
There's also the problem that HBR violations are *much* tougher to uncover
than copyleft violations.
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