Extension Etiquette

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Chris__M
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Extension Etiquette

Post by Chris__M »

What is the etiquette for borrowing/appropriating/reusing code for your own needs?

Say, for example, you have a specific need for an extension for your own site. You can see one here that is half-way towards what you want. You can see that the development is slow but ongoing - the guy is doing this in his spare time. But you don't want to wait. You are also fairly certain that where you want to go with it isn't the same place the original author is headed.

You don't want to hijack their project, so what do you do? Take their code for your own purposes, rename it to a different name/owner/developer so (a) your changes aren't accidentally overwritten by updates of the original extension (b) if your own extension gets out there, it won't be confused with the original?

Retain the original author's name in the authors list, after your own, as an acknowledgement of their work? Ask them for permission first?

Obviously, I can do what I like for my own website, but why I am asking these questions is I already have a friend asking if they can have my extension when it is done. I want to do right by everyone.
rxu
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Re: Extension Etiquette

Post by rxu »

What you're talking about is most likely licensing, f.e. see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licens ... .0.en.html
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MuhClaren
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Re: Extension Etiquette

Post by MuhClaren »

If you're talking about borrowing a method or three it probably will suffice to give credit to the author, with a link to the source, in the PHPDoc block (the block comments for the method(s).

If you're wanting to take and use an entire class, classes, or full extension, while it's probably permitted under the license to smash -n- grab the code, it'd be best to contact the source author and ask / let him know that you intend to fork his work, while giving credit to him (or her) in your forked product. This is just a respect issue, and not necessarily a requirement.

I've seen some folks in this community take an extension that has really nice code, and the author deserves the accolades for, and the person forking it will make a few tiny changes, largely insignificant, and proceed to re-brand the extension as their own, along with spamming their website in all of the comments of every possible file (to drive traffic).

In short, that is really effed up. The author probably has more class than to call him out on it, but one thing is for sure, and that is the decreased willingness of that author to give more free products to the community. The fact that you're concerned about it, and wanting to do the right thing, is a good sign right from the start. Beer +1
Chris__M
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Re: Extension Etiquette

Post by Chris__M »

Cheers. That makes good sense.

If I do proceed I would be using significant parts of someone else's extension, but making major changes to functionality and appearance. As some of this will involve stripping out significant stuff I don't want to appear, I doubt that the original developer will want to go that way, so yes we are talking a fork.

I also have no intention to "market" the extension here or elsewhere (apart from the friend who asked to share the extension); although I'd have no problem with the original designer taking my code back and putting it up as an alternative.

I'll get in touch with the original developer, and see what he says.
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MuhClaren
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Re: Extension Etiquette

Post by MuhClaren »

Sounds like a fair plan, Chris.

Speaking from my personal perspective, I know that if someone was nice enough to ask to fork my project, the fact that they bothered to ask would likely result in my approval, but also afford them a dialogue with me in the future should they have questions about something I wrote. Further, I'd be quite pleased to have someone fork my project, and then see that fork become a huge success. Not only would it look good for them, but I'd get to share in the fame as having provided the basis for their product. Cool deal.

Good luck with your project.
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3Di
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Re: Extension Etiquette

Post by 3Di »

Chris__M wrote:Cheers. That makes good sense.

If I do proceed I would be using significant parts of someone else's extension, but making major changes to functionality and appearance. As some of this will involve stripping out significant stuff I don't want to appear, I doubt that the original developer will want to go that way, so yes we are talking a fork.

I also have no intention to "market" the extension here or elsewhere (apart from the friend who asked to share the extension); although I'd have no problem with the original designer taking my code back and putting it up as an alternative.

I'll get in touch with the original developer, and see what he says.
rxu wrote:What you're talking about is most likely licensing, f.e. see https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licens ... .0.en.html
In case you'll get no responses just use the code leaving in place the credits where credits are due. That's all.

Informing the Author about your willings it is a pure act of courtesy, somehow due.. though.

That's all at the end of it.

In the past I forked some projects without having had any response from the original Author ( that's just acourtesy by my side, somehow due, though )
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