A few days ago, we published a new document on OXIDforge: the OXID Contributor Agreement or OXID-CA. In this blog post, I’d like to discuss the purpose of this document and our reasons for publishing it.
What is this document for?
This document governs your contributions to the OXID eShop codebase. It is a document that outlines the principles that cover your contributions and how OXID eSales will handle these contributions. These contributions might include new functionality that you contribute and that makes sense to integrate into the default installation of OXID eShop. It might also include bugs that you fix as a developer, or enhancements that you make to the code.
Why does OXID want me to sign a cumbersome form?
The business concept of OXID eSales is the so-called „dual licensing model“. Under this model, we offer different editions of OXID eShop under different licenses. However, all editions of OXID eShop are developed in one branch. This means that if you contribute your code for OXID eShop Community Edition, your code will also be used in OXID eShop Professional Edition and OXID eShop Enterprise Edition. By signing the Contributor Agreement, you simply declare that you accept this modus operandi.
By signing this agreement, what rights am I giving up?
When you agree to the OXID-CA, you grant OXID eSales AG joint ownership to your contributions. You retain all rights, title, and interest in your contributions and may use them for any purpose you wish. However, because the ownership is now shared, you lose the ability to *exclusively* license your copyright on your contributions to others.
Does the OXID-CA conform to generally accepted practices for community
Yes, it does. It is based on the Oracle Contributor Agreement. Many other open-source communities and projects have contributor agreements, including the Free Software Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation, and the Eclipse Foundation.
What benefit do I gain?
On the community front, the OXID-CA allows OXID eSales AG to act as stewards of the OXID codebase and supporting materials, holding copyright on these resources on behalf of the OXID eShop community. In other words, once your contribution is taken over into the default installation, OXID’s core developers will be responsible for future maintenance.
However, this doesn’t mean that your contribution will not be recognized. All OXID project participants receive credit for their contributions, even if their contributions are rewritten or removed, on a special contributor’s list.
How do I get started?
There’s a wiki page on OXIDforge that leads you to the OXID Contributor Agreement and to the accompanying FAQ pages. Please read the FAQ carefully and make sure you understand every single point. If you’re happy with the agreement, fill up the form and send it to [email protected]
We’d be glad if you contribute PHP unit tests along with your code.