I was doing a code review of this module and came across the following text. It appears that if the module is enabled for a certain period of time, a nag-screen is enabled in the admin section of the module asking for donations to a list of specific charities. It doesn't mention that not donating is also an option, so I could see users unfamiliar with the GPL thinking that they would have to donate to continue using the code legally.

The offending code is in outline_admin_settings_form().

The most offending line is "The outline module is charity-ware". I'm guessing that if it was changed to "The outline module is licensed under the GPL. If you find this module useful, consider donating to the following charities.", there would be no issue.


Members fund testing for the Drupal project. Drupal Association Learn more


sfranchi’s picture

Status: Active » Closed (fixed)

Are you sure of what you're talking about? Please, take a look to this module name "jWYSIWYG" and please put the comment in the right place.


Dave Reid’s picture

Status: Closed (fixed) » Active

The text is also in the README.txt and could probably benefit greatly from the use of the word "optional".

sfranchi’s picture

Status: Active » Closed (fixed)

Hey Dave, you're writing in the wrong place, this is ***NOT*** the Outline module page. The path you're looking for is http://drupal.org/project/outline

Dave Reid’s picture

Status: Closed (fixed) » Active

Um..this is the webmasters issue queue, not the jWYSIWYG issue queue. The module I referred to in #2 is the same the original poster referred to in the first post. Please don't change this issue.

Crell’s picture

Project: Drupal.org webmasters » Outline
Version: » 6.x-0.x-dev
Component: Other » Documentation
Category: task » bug

I'm moving this over to the outline module's queue so we can discuss it with the maintainer. I can see how the current text may be misleading to those who don't already understand the GPL.

beginner’s picture

Title: Outline module might be violating the GPL » Outline module is GPL
Category: bug » feature

outline.module IS GPL. If it makes you happy, I can add an explicit mention about this.

Thank you deviant for contacting me directly.

My biggest interest in life is to learn and improve myself, and to help improve our society at the same time.

Calling this module a charityware has been an interesting experience so far. It led me to figure out that there are three types of people:

1) Those who go out of their way to try to support charitable actions. I try to belong to this group.

2) Those who don't care either way and simply do nothing. This is the majority to which apparently all the module users belong: I am not aware of a single outline.module user who has done anything to support any charity as a result of using the module. And I have not sued them nor done anything against them. That's their choice. Respecting people's freedom is in itself a charitable action and a reason why I like the GPL.

3) Those who go out of their way to prevent others from supporting charities. This is fortunately a very, very small minority. But we do live in a sad society where people who simply try to do good things are denounced.

Dave Reid’s picture

I hope you are not considering us to be a part of #3. We're just trying to make sure that there's a distinction between "you must do something to use this module" and "hey this module is GPL and free to use, but if you find this module useful, here are some ways you can contribute." There is a difference and conflict between licensing something with the official GPL-compatible Charity-ware license (used by Vim) and the Drupal contrib-required GPL v2 license.

We also live in a sad society that is in a recession where people can't afford things or give away what they want. If I use a useful, well-maintained and well-coded module I like to donate somehow ($5 or so) to the modules maintainers but things have been too tight for me in a while. In general, yes people usually tend to fall into category #2.

I sincerely hope you're kinda joking with: "And I have not sued them nor done anything against them."

deviantintegral’s picture

It's probably in your best interests to clarify the wording somehow. If I took the time to file an issue, think of how many users encountered it and decided to simply not use or contribute (code, support, etc) to your project?

Also, though this really is a different issue, the way you implement the per-user variable for showing the notice would cause me at least to not deploy your code. Having random "nag screens" is not something I can give to clients, where the divide between site administrator and user is much foggier. How you choose to implement such things is up to you (in the end it turns out Outline doesn't match what I need), but note you may be driving away free patches and such unintentionally.

beginner’s picture

a) No, I am not joking: I have really not sued anybody, and I have really no desire to do so at any time. Why should I? If you understood the rest of my comment, you probably know that I am completely sincere. People are free and take their responsibility in both what they do and do not do.

b) The original report (#0 above) is completely misleading. Have you read the README text? Donating to a charity of your choice is the last of a series of options that do not cost any money, and all of which are also optional. Nowhere is it written that people must do anything. All the language says: You can do this... We would appreciate if you did this... etc.
The language presented in the original bug report (#0) is a misleading deviation of the actual text used.

c) I know that many are living through economically difficult times. First, I never asked any money for myself. Second, donating money to the charity of your choice is only one option. Third, I am not rich myself but make a living as a private tutor. Yesterday, the mother of one of my students told us that they would have to stop taking classes because her husband's salary had been cut. I am told the child very kindly offered his own pocket money to pay for the tuition :) My immediate reaction was to offer the tuition for free: equal education opportunity comes before financial matters. All this to say that I have never blamed anybody for being in a financially tight situation.
So the whole donation/financial argument in #0 and #7 is completely irrelevant.

There are many, many ways to support charities and charitable endeavours that do not cost a single cent.

d) I am the new maintainer of the charityware web site you link to and I can tell you this: there is NO charityware license per se. The whole "GPL violation" thing is a red herring.

e) And example of people in the category #3 would be: someone interested in the module and willing to contribute patches to make it better (and thereby also promoting charitable causes), but who finally prefer creating a whole new module rather than having anything to do with any charity.

Dave Reid’s picture

Category: task » feature

We didn't mean to start an argument.

a) I will clarify: "I sincerely hope you're kinda joking" should have said "I sincerely hope that you are joking that you ever thought about suing users, because that didn't really come off as joking." I can see now that you didn't mean that, but something like that will not rub well with higher-ups in Drupal, even if you didn't mean it.

b) The code in outline_admin_settings_form() is the main conflict. There's one little admin option and the rest of the screen is devoted the the charity-ware text, which should be moved to something in hook_help('admin/help#outline'). It does not belong on an admin options screen. I would suggest some changes in the text (which I'm taking directly from outline_admin_settings_form):

"The outline module is free to use under the GPL, but we encourage users that find the module useful and important to contribute back by supporting the charity work of the following web sites."
instead of:
"The outline module is charity-ware. Please contribute back by supporting the charity work of the following web sites."

"If you choose one of the options above, please let the maintainer know! Your optional help and support is appreciated greatly!"
instead of:
"Please, let the maintainer know about the options you chose. Thank you for your support and cooperation."

c) I never said you blamed anybody for being in a financially tight situation and not donating. I could easily see that since this module is very aggressive and prominent for it's charity-ware, it might put off users that want to use it or might consider helping somehow.

d) You are correct about the license. I was going off the Vim license, which referenced charity-ware.org. I hope that charity-ware.org continues success under your control! :)

e) If someone made a new module very similar to the functionality of your own, please come report in the wonderful Drupal Duplicated Modules Hall of Shame. :)

beginner’s picture

Category: feature » task
sfranchi’s picture

Now is where it should be.

beginner’s picture

Category: feature » task

@Dave Reid:

Thank you for your feedback in this issue. I need one more thing from each of you.

I will consider the feedback I received and rephrase the text accordingly.

Meanwhile, I wrote:

There are many, many ways to support charities and charitable endeavours that do not cost a single cent.

To illustrate one very simple way, I would like each of you to provide me with a list of charities whose work you like and I will blog about them. Your list can be as long as you wish (3~5 or more...). They don't all need to be registered charities. I'll be happy to blog about and support any non-commercial, advertising-free web site that is dedicated to helping our society. I'll post a blog post about them in my personal web site, and possibly cross-post in other web sites where I am a member, in places where it is most relevant. Doing so will drive at least some traffic to their sites and improve their google ranking. Every little helps.

You may post your list as a reply in this issue.


sfranchi’s picture

I think you typed my name there by error, I'm not part of this thread.

beginner’s picture


In some confusing ways, you have been part of this thread since #1 ;)

One way or another, just like the other three, you are invited to participate in this little game where I get to blog about a selection of your favorite charities.

Crell’s picture

My recommendation is to remove the text "The outline module is charity-ware. Please contribute back by supporting the charity work of the following web sites." And replace it with something along the lines of "If you like this module, please contribute by supporting the charity work of the following web sites."

I also agree with #8 that a nag screen, while legal, is an inappropriate place for such a message. The README file is fine, but within the module's admin UI is really uncooth. I certainly wouldn't even consider using a module that puts itself in my clients' faces. I would suggest removing it from the code entirely, and instead having a similar request on the project page itself. Many modules have donate buttons for the author on the project pages, so I see nothing wrong with a donation request for charity on the project page, either. It's more polite and would probably get more traffic anyway. :-)

beginner’s picture



So, what's your list of charities and advertising-free charitable web sites whose action you like and that you would like me to support?

deviantintegral’s picture

*bump* - any changes along the above lines committed to CVS yet?

@beginner: I think the goal here is to ensure that modules in Drupal Contrib both match the licensing requirements and are clear about it. It's amazing how many of my clients (or co-programmers) don't understand the basics of software licenses. So I think if your documentation is cleared up a little, everyone will be happy - no need for you to go out of you way and do work on top of that :)

greggles’s picture

This needs to be fixed so that users are clear that the code is not "charity-ware" but GPL code and that the author supports charities. Crell's proposed change in #16 seems reasonable to me.

The security team just received a report about this problem from a user who was confused by the links and thought that a spammer had taken control of his site injecting these links into it. I mention that only to demonstrate that this uncommon use of a module to get users to donate money to a charity is causing extra work for some of the most valuable contributors to the project. In my opinion, that wasted time is justification for fast action.

beginner’s picture

@Greggles: your comment about donating money to a charity is a misconception caused by the deviant manipulation by the OP who has shown little integrity by distorting the actual text used.
It is not necessary to donate money to support a charity (though that helps). You are invited to participate in #13.

Anyway, the module has no stable release yet. Users are not yet supposed to use the module on a live site, as per the module description on its home page. I have committed a small patch to clarify the GPL status of the module. More extensive changes will be made before a stable release is published.

greggles’s picture

@beginner, I don't see how they've distorted the text. It currently says:

"The outline module is a charityware released under the General Public License (GPL v2)"

This is both misleading to your end users and inaccurate. It is inaccurate because the code must be GPL v2+. It is misleading because "charity ware" means a lot of things to a lot of people so it's confusing. It would be much better to just say what Crell proposed in #16.

beginner’s picture

Status: Active » Fixed

Re. my offer in: #13, I am very saddened that 5 people together cannot come up with the name of a single charity or a single charitable web site.

greggles’s picture

Status: Fixed » Active

@beginner - you've created a false argument and are surprised that we cannot fulfill it. This is unrelated to the main point:

Claiming that a module on cvs.drupal.org is "charity-ware" confuses end users and wasted the time of drupal.org security team.

I had forgotten this issue until you closed it. If it were up to me, I would block your access to CVS, remove the offending lines, and mark all the modules as abandoned, until and unless you agreed not to add this confusing text about a pseudo-license to the modules. It is not up to me...that's just my feeling on this issue.

beginner’s picture

Status: Active » Fixed

I had originally set the issue as fixed because I had committed a fix. If you do not wish to receive notification emails, you may adjust your subscription settings here:

Threats and intimidation are not conducive to dialogue.

I had already replied to all the points made. Here it is again:

1- outline.module is under the GPL. The GPL is not a pseudo license but the official license used at drupal.org. I have never claimed nor wanted to imply that my code was under any other license. I understand the reasons why non-GPL code is not allowed to be hosted at cvs.drupal.org. But since I have clarified a long time ago that my module IS GPL, this point alone should have brought this issue to a close (i.e. fixed).

2- charityware is NOT a license and has never been. The official charityware web site (now at http://charityware.info) has existed since at least 2003 and has never published any license. On the contrary, it had been clearly stated for years that charityware is available under various licenses, including Free Copyleft licenses like the GPL as well as commercial licenses.

3- I don't see in which way the label charityware confuses users. We live in a society where everybody seeks personal gratification regardless of any law or obligation (to the extent that they can get away with it). See for example how many mp3 and movies are illegally and constantly downloaded from torrent or file sharing networks! People are used to getting things for free all the time. I really cannot fathom a user who somehow would have been "tricked" into doing something he was not willing to do in the first place, especially in a context were the download and the use of the module is completely anonymous.

4- Even if 'users had been confused' and somehow against their will contributed something to charitable activities (e.g. by linking to a charity web site or blogging about their good work), how bad can this be? Seriously: I completely understand that physhing attempts by the internet mafia is taken very seriously from a security point of view: users can be tricked into revealing their credit card numbers and other personal details to people who are the scum of the internet. But what would be the consequences of someone, a very hypothetical person, who somehow would have been confused enough to unwillingly link to a web site working for the good of the society? What's there to be afraid of? But again, I would be curious to see if you can find one single user who unwillingly donated anything or linked to anywhere because of this module. Heck, I'd be surprised but happy to learn that at least *one* user (out of hundreds of current users) has *willingly and happily* contributed a little something back to good web sites and good people because of this module!

5- I cannot be held responsible for the behavior of the users of the module. After all, the module IS under the GPL, and the module is offered without guaranties as per the license (and it doesn't mean that I haven't worked hard and will work even harder to make the module first class).

6- So not only I cannot legally be held responsible for the user who has contacted the security team, but furthermore, this user is a nitwit! I already said that the module still doesn't have a stable D6 release, and that user was not supposed to use the module in a live environment (as said on the module home page). Besides, he's obviously not very bright, because had taken 20 seconds to read, he would have figured out it was not a security issue. Blame him for wasting your time, and yourself for wasting it further with this non-issue! Anyway, I have removed the part of the text in question.

7- As to the accusations of 'nagging' users, they are grossly exaggerated: how often do you visit ?q=admin/settings/clean-urls on your web site? A site admin wouldn't have had to visit the outline setting page much more often. Believe it or not (and I guess you won't), the collapsed effect was initially introduced as a way to make the form more user-friendly (so that the fieldset wouldn't come open again after submitting the form, and the fieldset would only be open once, on the first visit). Anyway, again, I understand why people have misrepresented my intentions, and I have removed the code accordingly and that's why I had set the issue as fixed.

8- I am not the one to have created a false argument. Contrary to the various claims made above, I have never written anything that implies an obligation, and I didn't ask for donations (or only as a last option for those who really wanted to).

9- My offer to blog about and publicize any charity of your choice was in reply to the false notion expressed above that donating money is the only way to help a charity. This is nothing that you couldn't "fulfill". It would have taken 30 seconds of your time to come up with the name of charities whose work you like. Personally, whatever the context, I would have jumped on the offer, because providing a helping hand to those who do a great job for the benefit of us all is more important than our petty disputes.

10- If you want me to remove the label 'charityware' altogether, this is a won't fix. I don't get it: the folowing behavior is ok:
* putting a chip-in box and asking financial contributions for oneself is ok.
* adding a link to one's own web site at the bottom of a contributed theme is ok. Incidentally, http://charityware.info/ uses a Drupal contributed theme and you can see a link at the bottom of each page linking to the themer's web page. Thus, search engines register this link from charityware.info to the themer's home page on *every* page.
So asking for money for oneself is ok. Adding a link on other people's web site to one's own web site is ok. But asking, should people be so kindly inclined, to contribute (in a financial way or not) to charitable endeavors is a crime worth the worse punishment at drupal.org!?? You would ban a user who has contributed to Drupal core, to Drupal contrib and in many other ways.

11- I think the whole dispute stems from different perspectives and priorities we have in life. I am personally, extremely aware of the suffering of so many people around the world. I am aware of the tremendous challenges that we must deal with collectively. And each time I hear about or get to know someone who does what he/she can to help where help is most needed and urgent, I am truly emotionally overwhelmed and very grateful for their contributions. I only want to increase the chances that my work will somehow, indirectly and thanks to the generous hearts of the module users, contribute to making our world a better place for all.

I hope this answers all the questions you may have had.

greggles’s picture

Status: Fixed » Reviewed & tested by the community
5.27 KB

I think the whole dispute stems from different perspectives and priorities we have in life. I am personally, extremely aware of the suffering of so many people around the world.

This is a normative statement (we should help people who suffer) and you are using it to claim that 1) I am indifferent to the plight of others and 2) as a justification of your positive statement: that you must add this charityware stuff to your modules.

This kind of faulty rhetoric will lead us nowhere good. My disagreement about putting charityware in the module has nothing to do with my positions on charity or helping other people.

Patch attached, RTBC.

Gerhard Killesreiter’s picture

Beginner, stop being annoying. If you want to offer modules with nag-screens host them elsewhere, not on drupal.org.

If you decline Greg's patch I'll simply unpublish the project.

beginner’s picture

Status: Reviewed & tested by the community » Fixed

There is no nagscreen, anywhere.

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

Status: Fixed » Active

It is regrettable that you have chosen to continue being annoying. I've put the module up for adoption and will later make a new release which incorporates Greg's patch.

beginner’s picture

I have replied to ALL concerns that have been voiced. I have defended myself against lies proferred above. I have replied logically to the accusation made. Not having any more arguments to throw my way, I am now simply "annoying".

The module is GPL. There is no nagscreen. So on what ground to you take such actions? Your only justification seem to be that I am "annoying". ... ??

Is that an *official* decision of the drupal webmasters? What course of appeal do I have?

Gerhard Killesreiter’s picture

I am discussing my position that no external links should be included in modules hosted on drupal.org with the infrastructure team.

I am firmly of the opinion that drupal.org should not be abused as a vehicle of any agenda.

aclight’s picture

I may be in the minority, but I think beginner took appropriate action. From what I can tell neither the README.txt nor the admin screen ever stated that a donation was required. I'll admit that stating that the module is "charity-ware" is a bit confusing, since it's not clear what exactly that means.

Personally, I would be less likely to use a module that included requests for donations, etc. in administration screens of the module itself, and would definitely be reluctant to use such a module on a client's site, but I don't think that means that we should prohibit such requests.

As the code currently stands, the mention of the GPL license is technically incorrect, as it mentions only version 2. I would recommend that all mention of licensing be removed from the module, as LICENSE.txt is automatically included with module downloads by the packaging script. If the author wants to request that a charitable contribution be made, so be it. If other users of the module don't like this being included, they have the option of modifying their code locally, or not using the module.

Gerhard Killesreiter’s picture

The problem is that we need to draw the line somewhere.

This author requests donations, another one a postcard, the next one nudie pics...

This is leading down a path I do not want to take the Drupal contrib repository.

Especially the formulation "xy-ware" is confusing to people.

greggles’s picture

Status: Active » Needs review

For anyone interested, there is now a proposed set of guidelines for links like this: http://drupal.org/node/439226

greggles’s picture

Title: Outline module is GPL » Move license and donation information to places fitting with cvs.drupal.org guidelines http://drupal.org/node/439226
Status: Needs review » Fixed
aclight’s picture

This is probably note the best place to discuss this, but it seems a bit hasty to me to have removed the commit access of a module's author, then retroactively write guidelines that themselves are marked as being an initial draft for discussion. By the way, Drupal core itself violates these guidelines with the Powered by Drupal footer which is enabled by default, even though the retroactively written guidelines state

A good question to ask is, "Will all or almost all users of this module or theme wish to have this feature?" If the answer is no, then the feature should probably be left out. At the very least, it should be an admin-configurable option that is off by default and can be easily disabled when present.

Finally, the commit was made by a bogus user that appears to have been created for this sole purpose.

I'm all for community guidelines and all, but I really don't think that the way this situation has been handled is appropriate. If this were my module, I'd be pretty pissed at what has happened.

greggles’s picture

I think the arc of this issue and the policy is quite common and fits with the typical policy making process in Drupal and beyond:

1. a specific issue comes up that creates a need for policy
2. draft policy is written and sent around for discussion
3. discussion happens (or not)
4. policy is enforced

The question remains of how much of a waiting period is appropriate on the policy? It's now been two weeks which is the relatively standard amount of time that we wait for things like this (see abandoned project policy, for example).

There are several places where core breaks from policies that we have for contrib (jQuery in core and our policy against third party libraries in cvs).

The "bogus" cvs user was created so that the commit wasn't associated to any specific individual. This is to limit the credit on an individual's account for actions taken related to maintenance of cvs.drupal.org. While we want this issue fixed, neither killes nor I want to be associated with the outline module. dww did something similar a few years ago (cleaning up .info files so they fit with the standard) and made a short-term edit (hack) to the commit scripts so that it wouldn't be associated with him. Now we have a user account which can be used to do maintenance activities that we don't want associated with an individual in a more flexible manner.

As to whether or not action on this specific module was hasty, the issue is about 4 months old and the proper course of action was known since Crell's (Drupal Association's Legal Adviser for Code) comment #16 on December 23rd . That doesn't feel hasty.

I do feel really bad that a side effect of this discussion and action is that a valuable contributor to the project (Augustin) is no longer able to maintain the project, and likely quite upset (rightfully so). But I also feel bad that we wasted a lot of time of other valuable contributors arguing over this issue. Ultimately if an agreeable consensus can't be reached then more aggressive action is required. If Augustin decides that he is willing to work within the guidelines then it seems completely reasonable to grant access back to the project.

What solution would you have preferred? More time for discussion?

aclight’s picture

I would have preferred

1. A user not to have his module taken away from him for violating a policy that, at the time, did not exist.
2. That the community guidelines have actually been discussed and approved, in some general form, by the community. The guidelines at http://drupal.org/node/439226 were written by Nedjo, and that page has only one edit by the same person. There is a bit of related discussion earlier in this issue, and also in an issue in the infrastructure queue. With the exception of specific legal policies that are in fact based in law, I think that discussion (or at least specific approval) of a policy should be a requirement, not an option. If nobody feels strongly enough about a policy to support it or argue against it, then it's probably not a policy that is necessary.
3. Commits to a module that affect the true code of the module be done by a real CVS user. You mention dww's changing a bunch of .info files about 1-2 years ago, but I believe he did that using his dww username. If you're taking action on behalf of the d.o infrastructure team, I don't see any reason why you need to hide behind another account. Just to be clear, I'm not trying to imply that you are at all being cowardly, only that making the commit under a bogus username makes it harder for a user to trace a commit back to a real person. In the case like where dww changed a ton of .info files at once I don't have a problem using a bogus user, but for something like this that is limited to one project I think it would have been more appropriate to use your own account (assuming you were the one who made the commit).

The module's maintainer actually made (IMO) a good faith effort at responding to Crell's advice in #16, when he changed the text to be something that mentioned charity-ware but also stated that the module was licensed under the GPL. After his access was removed from the project, he couldn't have made any changes to be compliant with the not-yet-in-existence policy even if he had wanted to. I agree that charity-ware might have been a bit confusing, but as it was in the same sentence as GPL I think the possibility of true confusion was pretty limited.

If the new policy regarding advertising had been discussed by more than about 4 members of the community, and the module still violated those guidelines, and if the author still refused to make changes, it might be appropriate to then have a CVS admin make the changes and remove ownership of the module.

Gerhard Killesreiter’s picture

Well, I don't think you'd have acted so unreasonable as the module's author has.

As the code is now committed, the author can have the module back, if he wishes (and promises to not revert the patch).

WRT the guidelines: I think these only summarize how we've dealt with similar issues in the past. So they are not really retroactive.

greggles’s picture

1. Policies are created in response to incidents. This is the incident that prompted that policy. Do you expect us to create policies in anticipation of events that may never happen? Surely not. We did have a similar event earlier this year with hidden links but the module author in that case removed them quickly. So, it seemed that this kind of policy was common sense which wouldn't need a policy.

2. As far as I'm concerned, they were discussed and approved. This issue was discussed among 8 people on the infrastructure list and the Drupal Association list which, between them, have hundreds of long time community members who read the list. The fact that nobody else has edited the page is tacit approval. If you feel they weren't publicized widely enough, you have the ability and the right to publicize it further.

3. Your goal is that people know a real person to contact behind the account I've added a note to the profile of the bogus cvs userfor anyone who has a question about the behavior of that user. My goal with the bogus cvs user is that it is not a one time use, but that it can be used for other things like this if/when they happen in the future. Given the meteoric growth of contribs and the fact that we've already had two incidents this year, I have a feeling we'll encounter more situations that call for actions by a separate party.

The possibility of true confusion is clear: we had someone mail the security team thinking that their site was hacked. For every report of an issue like that I assume at least some multiple of people who are confused but don't take the time to report it.

Renee S’s picture

We had someone mail the security team thinking that their site was hacked.

Honestly, that's what I thought, for at least a few seconds. It was a "whut?" moment, and when I see screens like that I automatically assume "scam!" Screens asking for cash are certainly not consistent with the way I see Drupal; I thought I'd stumbled into commercial Joomlaland... Sticking it into the actual module and having it pop up post-install feels kind of sneaky (even if it wasn't meant to be, which I'm sure it wasn't.) I don't care what it's about, charity or not. Plenty of authors put something on the module download page asking for donations and the like, and that's certainly reasonable, but there is a fair expectation that something won't end up in a user's install that they didn't expect.

@aclight: The best policy is always hands-off until an incident happens where there has been a failure of common sense, and anything else is just useless at best and CYAing at worst. That does mean that it is triggered, rather than preemptively prescriptive, but that's not the same thing as "making it retroactive." Policy in this case is an interpretation of an existing philosophy re advertising and the GPL. Four months is certainly long enough. Heck, IMO two weeks is long enough.

Status: Fixed » Closed (fixed)

Automatically closed -- issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.

pdcarto’s picture

I do feel really bad that a side effect of this discussion and action is that a valuable contributor to the project (Augustin) is no longer able to maintain the project, and likely quite upset (rightfully so).

So I'm supposed to accept this mea culpa in trade for a valuable Drupal module and Drupal community member? The Drupal community screwed this up - big time. (And by the way, I take issue with the assertion that the unfortunate outcome was a "side effect" - it looked like a pretty direct effect to me.) We created a policy, applied it retroactively, and did not offer to undo that punishment after the complaint had been addressed and after coming to a very divided opinion on whether we acted properly. We say that @beginner can have the project back if he promises to behave better. @beginner does not owe us an apology and promise of better behavior, we owe him one!

shunting’s picture

pdcarto @42:

Especially unfortunate, since this module has a lot of well thought out functionality that the underpowered book module is lacking.

It's a shame that justice couldn't have been tempered with mercy in this case.

bomarmonk’s picture

As a nod to the CVS managers and standard bearers, Drupal is an open source community. Good communities must have standards that its members agree to maintain. I am sorry to see that this contributor ran into a conflict with these standards, as his project has great promise and I admire his idealism. Perhaps, in answer to his own question about charities, he could consider Drupal itself. The software and the online community benefits from the volunteerism and charitable contributions of developers, like himself. It is a shame that his project and his work had to suffer as a result of good intentions on both sides.

milesgillham’s picture

I'm rather saddened to have just come across this discussion. I understand there is now Guidelines regarding advertising and Drupal projects.

What I can not find is something entitled Process for Punitive Measures Regarding Policy Violations. Can anyone point me to where such a process is defined? As part of it I'd like to see sections on how a party can appeal a decision, and on describing how a party can eventually be reinstated to their module. I'm looking for simple boundaries, timeframes, and how corrective action would be applied in a reasonable way to avoid sanctions.

If such a policy suite doesn't exist I don't intend to be presumptuous in offering a starting draft, I don't expect that I'm senior enough in the Drupal sphere to instruct the Drupal community on what the policy should be, but I do seek definition and guidance.

I'm a module maintainer myself, this thread is a core issue for me.



greggles’s picture

As mentioned earlier we only create policies as they are needed. In my opinion it feels clear that if someone wants to take over their module again or protest a decision like this they can post to the webmasters queue. If we created a process document that you describe I'm not sure that anyone would find it.

Beginner still has CVS access and the ability to post in a variety of places including here.

Gerhard is the cvs maintainer, though, so it's hard to appeal to someone beyond him.