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One Approach To Open Source Code Contribution and Testing

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the treat-warnings-as-errors dept.

Databases 83

An anonymous reader writes "Brian Aker, one of the core developers of MySQL, has written up a lengthy blog on how the Drizzle fork is handling both its code contributions and its testing. He has listed the tools they use and how they work with their processes. He also makes an interesting statement about the signing of corporate code-contribution agreements and how there are some, including Rasmus (creator of PHP), who refuse to sign them."

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83 comments

If this is not the first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28213989)

I will smear honey about my asshole and testicles and roll around on a fire-ants' nest. As always, links to pictures would be posted!

as always? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214027)

may i see your previous photos?

Linux is an OS for virgins (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214191)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Really? (1)

docbrody (1159409) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214277)

Normally I don't feed the Trolls, but whats the deal with this post ^^. I have seen it before, word for word. Same exact off-topic rant about linux?

Is there some /. reader who has actually saved this text just so he can paste it into slashdot posts? Really? Why?

Re:Really? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214415)

There are number of sad, pathetic people out there who, having no lives to speak of, being universally reviled by their parents, peers and people of the opposite sex, replace those normal human desires with an obsession for trolling various groups. In a proper world, these people would be given plenty of counseling, drugs to stabilize their deteriorating mental condition and rehabilitated so that they could become useful members of society. In our world, however, they should have a two hundred pound lead weight tied to their ankles, and then dropped over the nearest bridge.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214651)

No, the trolls are the true patriots. Many of these individuals have grown weary of sensationalist bullshit blog articles and mindless groupthink.

This (please read the whole thread) [slashdot.org] was the final straw for many right-thinking citizens with excellent karma.

Those frustrated saints have since turned to activism [slashdot.org] in the hopes that Slashdot will again become respectable.

Re:Really? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215081)

Not true! Good trolls have the potential to provide a very humorous outlook on life. Whenever I see a troll, I laugh at their sad state of affairs and speculate as to what misfortunes may have provoked them into becoming such insensitive clods. I say, we need to unite our fellow trolls and empower them into an organisation. They should be able to vote on various agendas and have civil protests to show what they do and do not like about society. Without trolls, life would be boring.

Long Live The Trolls!

Note: Brian, please feed the goats while I am out.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28215615)

These people... are called "Linux Users".

Why does snoop dog walk around with an umbrella? (1)

jpedlow (1154099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28216003)

FODRIZZLE! haha, been wanting to drop that one for a while! :D

Re:Really? (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215639)

What do you mean by "normally"? You've been here what - three days? - and posted five comment, four of which were "me too!".

Get of my lawn you dumbass n00b.

Re:Really? (1)

docbrody (1159409) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215759)

hmm, I think you checked the wrong persons history... but i forgive you, n00bs are allowed such mistakes.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28216163)

You aren't allowed anything. Fuck off, you cunt.

Re:If this is not the first post... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215605)

smear honey about my asshole and testicles and roll around on a fire-ants' nest.

Do all of that, wait for the wounds to almost heal and do it again, twice. Or use MySQL.

Close call.

News: David Carradine alive and well! Hoax death. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214007)

Apparently Carradine was eaten by wolves on the Connecticut turn-pike. All reports say he was delicious.

fst pst (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214029)

hihi

Here's my approach (-1, Troll)

buttmanchu (1569675) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214031)

Delete it since most open sores "programmers" are shit.

Re:Here's my approach (1, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214081)

Your approach has some merit... the thing is... have you ever seen that closed source software? .... yeah it's more of the same, trust me.

Re:Here's my approach (0, Offtopic)

protologix (1395243) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214157)

Too true. Of course, the biggest difference is that the open shit doesn't try to sue you.

Re:Here's my approach (0, Offtopic)

Vuojo (1547799) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214145)

And closed source code is always perfect?

Re:Here's my approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214205)

Yes. Wait, no. Uh... can you ask the question again?

Re:Here's my approach (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214331)

Did he say so? Just because one criticizes the quality of open source code doesn't mean you think closed source code is perfection.

Re:Here's my approach (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214511)

Well, maybe, just maybe the fact that he said "open sores" instead of "open source" hints that he's less than favourably disposed to it?

Re:Here's my approach (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214541)

Being favourably disposed to something doesn't mean one think it's perfection.

Re:Here's my approach (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#28237459)

Yes, and the fact that teddy bears wear green doesn't mean that piranhas chew on paint tubs...

Sorry; just getting with the surreal spirit of your comment. Maybe we should start a dadaist comment club.

all-your-code-is-ours (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214185)

I don't write code anymore. At all. It's not my source of income, and I value other hobbies higher.

Yet I refused to sign an all-your-code-belongs-to-us agreement at my current employer, and almost didn't get the job because of it. The HR red-tape machine couldn't deal with a process exception, so the CFO of the company had to step in to resolve the issue on their end with their legal team.

The reason I'm sharing it is this: the clueless HR drones are the ones enforcing the sign-it-or-go-away policy. If you're worth your salt, and the company management is good, they'll make exceptions. And from a principles point of view, you probably shouldn't work from a company that wants to enslave you.

There, fixed it for you (4, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214371)

"The powerless HR employees ..."

Don't blame individuals for a systemic problem.

Re:There, fixed it for you (3, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214763)

My experience is, from stints at four employers (two of those very long stints) in the tech industry, is that the HR drones are, in fact, clueless. HR clerkdom is where you put employees you don't want to fire, but can't cut the mustard in other areas. Maybe this is a function of my previous employers... but I've seen it too many times to think it's not a normal situation.

Yes, the problem is systemic. But clueless HR drones do, indeed, hinder resolution by not escalating when required, by not knowing how to handle exceptions.

Interestingly, my one non-tech-industry employer did not have this problem. HR clerkdom was where they screened raw graduates for promotion to other departments, mostly as admins. If they weren't up and running well in 60 days, they got canned. That HR department was a pleasure to work with... all the fresh hires new to escalate immediately on process exceptions.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (2, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214385)

And from a principles point of view, you probably shouldn't work from a company that wants to enslave you.
While this is nice in principle, nearly every company wants to enslave you and even those that don't want you to sign similar slips of paper to work for them. I love my job and they really don't want to enslave me, but when I came in I didn't have the leverage to not sign. Good for you that you were but for the rest of us: Odds are they won't bother with following through with something like that unless a) it is in competition (or perceived competition) with the company or b) it is interfering with your performance or c) they can leverage it into something that would rake in large profits with little expenditure.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (2, Interesting)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214465)

Also on an interesting note, I had to sign an all-your-creative-work-are-belong-to-us agreement for my employer. When I went back for my Master's Degree my agreement to the student handbook essentially said all my submitted work was the school's property. Contractually I don't think I had the right to sign over those works to the school because I've already signed them over to my company. I wonder how that works for TurnItIn.com. Theoretically they now have materials in their database that I never had the rights to give them and my company could legally demand those materials be purged. Sure it won't happen and would put me in a legal bind I'm sure but it is interesting.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215635)

yes, very interesting.

If a court upholds the agreement you had that all your code belongs to the first contracted party, then all we need to do in future is to sign a legal agreement that all-your-creative-work-are-belong-to-us with your mum before you join a new company.

If they side with the later, then join, and then sign with your mum :)

If they agree with both parties... then neither have rights to the code that each has the rights to... if my head stops spinning, I think that means its all a load of unenforceable bo**ocks. Sign the agreement with your mum anyway.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215875)

Why not sign it with yourself? Mum could easily rip you off.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28216743)

Pfff. Why bother with a third party?. Do what other tax che- err.. Business men do.

Create a company/LLC/whatever of which you are the sole employee, director, authority, etc and assign rights to it.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28225541)

a load of unenforceable bo**ocks

Unenforceable buttocks; what a concept!

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (2, Interesting)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 4 years ago | (#28216139)

Your school-versus-work situation made me remember that of a PhD student at my university. His PhD studies are financed by a company and at the start of the project, the university apparently signed over, to the company, the rights to any inventions that might come about as a result of the students work. However, and the company should have known this, according to Swedish law, the rights to the invention belongs to the researcher himself, not his university. So as far as I understand, the financing company sits happliy awaiting inventions they will not get.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (3, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#28216177)

I'm an employer.

I'm going to offer good pay, full-time schedule, excellent (expensive!) medical/health benefits, a courteous and comfortable work environment, and in exchange, I want you to work for me. I have no desire to pay you to start up a competing company - do that on your own dime like I did. I don't care if you want to build a PHP thingie that keeps track of your MP3 collection, but if you come up with a useful idea while working on our products and decide to keep it for yourself rather than provide it, that would piss me off - it's my dime that you developed it with!

I'm not asking you to never work for anyone else, I really don't care much what you do after you quit. But while you're working for me, I do expect you to (ahem) work for me.

Really, what is wrong with that arrangement?

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (2, Insightful)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28216355)

I want you to work for me. I have no desire to pay you to start up a competing company - do that on your own dime like I did.

I don't get it. What you pay him is his own dime.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#28217043)

When you buy something, you should have rights to whatever it is that your buying. It does not matter whether you are buying a CD, a car, or somebody's time.

Think about it: if you paid somebody to clean your house, and they worked on their sister's car while charging you for the time, wouldn't you be upset? There you are, paying (your dime) to have some gal's car (that you don't even know) fixed. Sound fair to you?

If I hire you to do something, I'm paying you for your time, and I have rights to that time. That's the point of a job. You agree to let somebody else dictate what you do with your time in exchange for money. Thus, what an employee does with his/her/its time is paid on the employer's dime. Because what you do while "on the job" is being paid for, it is a form of theft if you don't do what is being asked.

Econ 101, folks...

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (5, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#28217249)

If you are paying me to come into an office every day and write code for you, you own the stuff I do whilst I am in the office and you are paying me. You should NOT have any claim to the ideas I work on when I am not in the office and being paid by you. If you want to claim ownership of the ideas I have on the weekend when I am not being paid by you, forget it.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28219445)

And that is the distinct difference the GP was completely missing. He isn't paying you to come up with other ideas - he's paying you to solve a specific problem. The people who are paid to come up with good ideas are paid extremely well. Companies nowadays want to pay their employees the salary of somebody who solves specific problems, but the companies want to claim that they are being paid to come up with good ideas. It doesn't work that way, and as GP said, "Econ 101 folks".

You want all of my ideas, you pay me enough to make me happy.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 4 years ago | (#28222759)

I think I see the root of the problem here. I'm a salaried employee. As a salaried employee, my time is not bound to normal working hours. Theoretically that means I have to work till my tasks are done (sidenote: theoretically that should also mean that I should be able to leave work if my tasks are done despite not having worked a full traditional work week.) Companies have lately taken to this notion to mean salaried employees are essentially always on the clock. That means a company can hang you with a blackberry and require you to have it with you at all times, a company can ask you to sign an agreement saying any work you do during your employment period with the company is the company's work if they are interested in it, in some extreme cases companies have tried to regulate their employees activities outside of work either to save on health care or keep them from bad-mouthing the company online. All of these are overstepping what was the original intention of salaried employees, that is to save the company money by not having to pay overtime to guys who are solving really tough problems regularly.
In short: Do be aware of such pushes into your actual life. Fight when you have the leverage to do so. Complain on /. when you don't. Have a nice day.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 4 years ago | (#28226261)

I'm salaried as well; however, I make certain that any job I take does not have any rights to anything I do off-the-clock - e.g. not using company resources, or company time. And company time is defined any time I am allocating to the company per time sheet. If it doesn't go on a time sheet and I'm not at the office, it's my own time, my own dime, and my own work to own - not the company's. It's a pre-requisite to me for any job I take.

I have not problem with them taking the "rights" for what I do with company time and resources. That's a natural part of the work agreement. But even for salaried employees it does not require that all things created during the time of employment - whether using company time and resources or not - belong to the employer.

And yes, I would go somewhere else if it became an issue.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28263065)

Think about it: if you paid somebody to clean your house, and they worked on their sister's car while charging you for the time, wouldn't you be upset? There you are, paying (your dime) to have some gal's car (that you don't even know) fixed. Sound fair to you?

Of course he has to work for you in the time you pay him for it. I don't see why you're explaining this to me.

What I meant was that, once you pay him for it, he gets to do what he wants on his own time, on his own dime, even if that means starting a competing company.

if you come up with a useful idea while working on our products and decide to keep it for yourself rather than provide it, that would piss me off - it's my dime that you developed it with!

I understand, but I'm not so sure you can really say this reasonably.

Econ 101, folks...

I admit not having taken any official economics courses or anything, but is this really in econ 101?

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28217301)

If you pay someone to work on X, and he comes up with a useful idea about Y while waiting for X to compile, should you own that idea about Y?

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220471)

YES!

(that's why I *never* think while at the office)

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28219081)

I have no desire to pay you to start up a competing company

A *competing* company? Yeah, sure. That's a reasonable request. What about a non-competing piece of software?

I don't care if you want to build a PHP thingie that keeps track of your MP3 collection

I have to ask because a "PHP thingie" for personal use is one thing, but what about a useful piece of software which is clearly not related to your business in any way shape or form.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 4 years ago | (#28219393)

Really, what is wrong with that arrangement?

It's not realistic, that's all.

Programmers get dozens of ideas while working on whatever it is they're working on. What do you propose to do about it? Short of keeping their brains in a jar, I mean. They will share those ideas, IF they feel motivated and IF they work environment is responsive enough to new ideas. Is yours?

I've worked in many companies who took a bit too much of the "plantation owner" approach towards the programmers, and then wondered why they never contributed ideas or, indeed, why productivity itself suffered. At some point, the programmer tells himself "screw this", starts doing the bare minimum and keeps the ideas to himself.

Also it would be good to remember that an idea, by itself, is nothing. It needs testing, it needs refining. At least half of the ideas that pop-up while programming would prove to be unfeasible in some way, if tested out.

Also, you can't shut the brain down at will. A good programmer is a person whose brain is a finely tuned instrument, who loves his work and who thinks of it in the most odd places and occasions. Furthermore, sources of input are all intertwined. So when a programmer gets an idea, it may happen anytime, anyplace, in response to stimuli that may have come from anywhere, including (but not exclusively) the workplace.

Who's to say what had the defining merit for an idea? It may have been the work he does for you, but then again it may not. If you're deluded into thinking that programming is a 9-5 job and that programmers don't explore other areas of thinking (arts, math, tech, history, philosophy, sports, hobbies) on their own, then you've already fallen into the slave driver rut.

My advice: treat programmers nicely, motivate them to contribute and feel they're doing themselves a service when they bring forth ideas, and count on their professional ethics. But remember that you'll never own all their ideas, and that using a heavy-handed approach will drive them away and STILL not get them to share their ideas.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 4 years ago | (#28219663)

[...]it's my dime that you developed it with!

It's about balance of power between 2 parties.

If the developer more or less steals your ideas or time, he's doing you wrong.

If you steel his ideas you did not pay for, you do wrong. An over extending contract enables you to do just that.

As a consultant I often work on clients software but in the mean time I develop some stuff I want for my business and other customers at night/weekend. I've had very interesting experiences learning how to use things (technologies, products). But until now I've never seen any idea worth copying, never mind stealing, in 'Enterprise' software.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28223343)

I think ethically you should disclose every idea that entered you head have since they own them. I had any idea to pimp out the cute receptionist, or I should say you have an idea. Youâ(TM)re welcome.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

cervo (626632) | more than 4 years ago | (#28225201)

1) If it is related to the work at work then yes you should have first right to it. Ie if you are paying your employee to work on an operating system and they develop a new scheduling algorithm then you have rights to it. However if the employee offers you the algorithm and you are like no it's not part of our scheduled project and then he goes on to develop it on his own time (without using any company resources) and it becomes the next big thing you can't go back and claim you have rights on it. a) note if you are a super international company with like 10 lines of business and your employee is working in IT for 1 line of business but creates something else for one of the other 9 lines of business, then that is tricky..... Especially since you are paying them to work on your 1 line of business but not the others....

I would say there is a fairness doctrine. If you invent something related to your job, you should offer it to your employer first. Otherwise as long as you develop it on your own time and equipment you should have all rights.

2) Stuff done on the employee's own time belongs to the employee and not you. If he/she is working on it during work hours or using equipment that you gave him/her then you have a claim. If it is being worked on in his/her own time and equipment then no you shouldn't have a claim on it. Assuming it's not an idea that was thought up as a result of work (in which case in fairness you deserve at least an offer to use it).

But I agree with some agreements. It should be obvious but I see why there need to be legal agreements to say keep your employers shit secret. After all it's not fair to go leaking out customer lists or other data you have access to. Also leaking out your employer's software secrets/proprietary algorithms should be a no no. But there is also the issue of gaining experience and on the job knowledge. That you should take with you. And the line between technique and proprietary software secrets is a slippery one. Especially on "obvious" inventions. Still there is no way you should be giving or using any source code from your employer to anyone (unless it is under an open source license that permits it and your employer makes it available for distribution so anyone can access it). On the other hand because you wrote a binary search for your employer that doesn't mean you can't go writing a binary search for anyone else. Or because you write some new indexing scheme for a database file using a btree/hash table/etc. does not mean you shouldn't be able to do that for anyone else....

And that's the bottom line. If you're paying me to be a junior developer why the fuck should I give you stuff I develop that you would pay someone 5 or 10 times my salary to create for free. Let's say you are paying me 80,000 to work on your database system. I do that 40 hours per week or whatever, you keep me busy full time. My main job is doing reports for business users. Meanwhile at home I create a revolutionary new database system. This is a trickier case because you could argue it is related to what I do at work. However using a database for reporting and developing one are completely different. If I was working for Oracle on their core engine there would be an issue. But as my job is reporting for end users and not database engine design I would say it's not related at all to what you're paying for and you have no claim as long as I don't work on it during work hours.

But let's say you pay me to work on a project. Then I work on that project and in my own time I create another project that is closely related. Then you probably have a claim on my project if you want. But if you are paying me as a grunt developer and I deliver you a full project where I was a project manager/qa tester/architect/developer and you just take it and don't give me a bonus, percentage of the revenue, promotion, etc. I'm going to quit. And I'm going to go invent something to bury you and give it away for free.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28245049)

" Really, what is wrong with that arrangement?"

          Nothing is wrong with that arrangement, but you have companies that think if you come up with some idea at home, code it at home, in your own time, that the company still owns the results. That's a problem.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214389)

Seconded.

When I came to work for my current employer, there was an ambiguously worded section that could be taken to mean that they owned any code I wrote whether at work, or on my own time. I talked to the divisional controller and had a clarifying statement inserted to put a division between work done on the company dime, and anything I did outside of that. They didn't have any problem with that, and it hasn't negatively impacted my working relationship with anyone here.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214425)

By reading this post you hereby agree that all code written by you from now until the year 20009 belongs to me.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214477)

HR is not meant to protect employees. They are mindless robots, there to insulate the company from employees who might sue them. They just hand-down absurd contracts and rules, that everyone must constantly violate, so that they always have a leg to stand on when they fire someone. Blame litigious Americans for necessitating this stupidity.

I had a similar experience to yours where I was joining a company and my boss, and his boss, overrode the standard contract when I refused to sign the non-compete. I had to stick to my guns until the 11th hour, but they agreed it was dumb. It was a small company with no HR department.

Compare that to a company with 28k employees, with a big HR department, where the drones simply did not understand the concept that contracts can change. It was the paper everyone signed - they had no comprehension of what it meant, no idea who wrote it or why, or what it did. They were completely divorced from the needs of the company, oblivious to the complaints of my manager, or me. My lawyer informed me the contract was meaningless and unenforceable, so I signed it. (It wasn't a non-compete though, phew!).

And that second company that is constantly in the top 10 - 50 companies to work for, internationally, on multiple different surveys.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (1)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214655)

I agree with your opinion about not signing an agreement like this, but I believe the blog post is referring to something slightly different. Many open source projects require contributors to sign an agreement that basically say that the code you are contributing does not have existing copyright restrictions. This is a little different than the employer/employee contracts that says all your code/work/ideas/children created during employment belong to the company. The contributor license at apache [apache.org] for example, I think is more aimed at preventing them from being sued in case someone uploads all their company's proprietary code to an open source project.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (5, Funny)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#28216695)

I refused to sign an all-your-code-belongs-to-us agreement at my current employer, and almost didn't get the job because of it.

They almost always have a place for you to fill in exemptions for code/inventions you already owned before coming to work for them. As a Debian developer, I always just fill in "Debian GNU/Linux" in the exemption spot, and no one has ever objected, despite the fact that that's a hole big enough to drive a dozen web servers, eight web browsers, thirty-two Content Management Systems, four word processors, seventy-five programmer's editors, nine complete GUI toolkits, thirty-six programming languages, four hundred and seventy three games of varying quality, twenty-one window managers, forty-five email clients, a partridge in a pear tree*, and Goddess knows what else through. I used to try to explain the truly massive implications of those three simple words, but everyone (HR, manager or engineer) always said, "that's fine, we don't have a problem with it", so I stopped bothering.

Of course, it may help that I'm in California where employee rights laws are generally pretty strong.

* all numbers just guesses--I actually think that Debian may have three partridges in pear trees somewhere in its repositories.

Re:all-your-code-is-ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28217505)

In my case, refusing to sign the contract reduced it from just over 24 pages of legalese to 3 pages.

I noted that the "all of your current IP" conditions included plant and animal breeders rights, and asked if they wanted notarized copies of 20 years of breeding records.

your delusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28217789)

you think that because you got away with it, you are worth your salt.

i guarantee you there are thousands of people who are worth their salt, who had to suck it up and sign it anyways, because they had to eat and pay rent, and there was no enlightened CFO to come fix things

it is really stupid to assume that 'good people' will always get excepted from the idiotic rules of society.... and its also stupid to assume that those who didnt get excepted somehow 'did not stand by their principles'.

people who really stand by their principles usually get punished for it, they are not the ones that get special exceptions and rewards by magical genies in the corporate hierarchy. see General Taguba for example.

If I signed a code-contribution agreement (2, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214281)

Saying that anything I invent or discover (or along those lines) during my time working at my company - and in my spare time I decide to make Flash games...

Does that make my hobby-work belongs to a company that holds no interest in it? If it gets sponsored on a website could they claim rights?

Re:If I signed a code-contribution agreement (1)

N3Roaster (888781) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214445)

That depends on what the exact wording of the agreement you signed is. Could be yes, could be no. Practically, they probably don't really care.

Re:If I signed a code-contribution agreement (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214829)

A friend of mine had a great idea which turned into a great product (that you probably have several copies of, even if you don't know it) that turned into a successful company. Knowing his own limitations--he's a tech guy, not a business person--he effectively hired someone to take over the reigns. CEO, COO, CFO and all, so they could eventually go public.

He stayed on as the president and CTO, and in the process of turning into a public-ready company, he effectively signed over everything. Once, over beers, he was talking about how he already knew the next few ideas he wanted to explore, but he couldn't talk about them or write them down because all of that would be discoverable, that they would legally be company property.

I would say that was sad, but just a few months ago, I looked him up, and he had sold his interest in the company for over $20 million dollars less than 10 years after founding it. Not even including the salary I'm sure he maintained during his tenure, that's not a bad amount to force you to limit your output of ideas for a decade.

Don't know if he's gone on to the other ideas. I'm sure some of them have already been done in the intervening time, but it looks like he basically spends his time with a technology think-tank. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Emoticons (2, Insightful)

AltImage (626465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214583)

Is it really necessary to have 6 smilie faces in the article? I wonder how many also show up in the Drizzle source. I also find it interesting that the author opts for the less common "no-nose smilie face" :)

Re:Emoticons (1)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214837)

:-) is more common than :) ? where on the internet do you go that people who actually regularly use smilies are the same people who would type 3 keys rather than 2?

LOL

(see, i didn't type laughing out loud, because that would be dumb)

Re:Emoticons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28218311)

I don't think it is a question of 2 characters versus 3. The difference is mostly in spacing depending on the font. In fixed width fonts, like are generally used when displaying code, :) looks more proportionally correct. Thus, people who code a lot or use command line email/IM clients would likely use :).

On the other hand :-) looks much nicer on variable width fonts, and would probably be used more often by people with GUI email/IM clients or who converse in forums.

Re:Emoticons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214909)

Did you say less common? Who wastes time adding a nose?

Re:Emoticons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28215095)

Did you say less common? Who wastes time adding a nose?

When making an ASCII Greybeard the Ent, you must add a nose.

Marketing (3, Insightful)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#28214743)

A drizzle is a display of rain that is rather unimpressive. Also, it's a prelude to heavy rain and getting soaked and miserable. On the Drizzle website is a picture of a rainy cloud, which at least in western cultures is an image associated with things that are unhappy.

At this point in their project I think that some smart marketing is more important than nitpicking over code.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28214857)

With all the hoops he's making people jump through to send in code, I'd say they've got a world of problems over there. Count out Drizzle as the MySQL fork that rises to the top.

Re:Marketing (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215115)

With all the hoops he's making people jump through to send in code, I'd say they've got a world of problems over there. Count out Drizzle as the MySQL fork that rises to the top.

Perhaps it may 'drizzle' to the bottom.

Re:Marketing (2, Funny)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28217685)

I believe it's meant to be a pun on "cloud computing". So it'll seem especially stupid in 12 months from now when "dust storm 3.0" is the Next Big Thing.

Re:Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28220743)

[Drizzle is] a prelude to heavy rain and getting soaked and miserable.

You've never experienced Bastard Rain? You know, the sort of heavy drizzle that doesn't seem to be making you wet, until you get to your destination and you look down at your sodden clothes and...

"Bastard!"

Maybe it's a British thing...

Regression testing? No onerous coding contracts? (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215407)

Seems to me Perl developers, among others, have been doing this for years. Where's the news here?

Re:Regression testing? No onerous coding contracts (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28215993)

MySQL did the same thing for years too. I don't think Brian would claim to have invented a lot of these things, but he definitely deserves credit for shepherding the project to take advantage of them.

open source fags dominated by aids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28217377)

do you open source? than stay away from me faggot homo fag.

eliza (-1, Troll)

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