Commit b588454d authored by Eric S. Raymond's avatar Eric S. Raymond

New policy on copyrights and licenses, output formats, and names.

parent f407650a
......@@ -57,6 +57,97 @@ cause buffer overruns and (all too often) exploitable security holes:
In general, avoid functions that are non-reentrant. When in doubt, see[Thread-safety and POSIX.1]
=== Naming conventions ===
Every binary and script we install has an "ntp" prefix on the name,
because namespace pollution is rude. If you write a new tool that you
want us to install, follow this convention.
Generally we favor "ntp" rather than "ntp-" for consistency and to
reduce the amount people have to type. Choose tastefully.
=== Well-tempered output ===
We are devotees of the Unix rule that programs should play nicely
with other programs. We like output formats that are simple,
regular, and machine-parseable without ambiguity. The practical
goal to aim at, given our choice of scripting languages, is
is to make writing script wrappers in Python easy.
There is more than one way to arrange this. If you can design a
simple tabular output format, or something resembling an RF2822 header
that's easy for both human eyes and programs to parse, do that.
Besides being simple, formats like these are easily handled by either
Python or shellscripts.
Such simplicity is often difficult or impractical for heterogenous
data that needs to be both grouped and labeled, so we have another
convention for those cases. Here it is:
Wherever it is reasonable, tools that generate complex reports to
standard output should be able to emit two formats. The default can be
relatively unstructured multiline text for human eyeballs. There
should also be a -j/--json option that emits a self-describing JSON
object. You can read about JSON at
Be aware that if you present a tool design with a messy output format
abd no JSON option it is quite likely to be rejected.
=== Copyrights and licenses ===
Much of the historic code in this distribution is under an "NTP
License" resembling BSD-2-clause. Our favored licenses are
BSD-2-clause for code and Creative Commons Attribute 4.0 License for
Please do *not* submit code under GPL or other licenses which place
conditions on derived works; we cannot accept such code.
We use the SPDX convention for inclusion by reference You can read
about this at
When you create a new file, mark it as follows (updating the year)
as required:
/* Copyright 2015 by the NTPsec project contributors
* SPDX-License-Identifier: BSD-2-Clause
For documentation:
// Copyright 2015 by the NTPsec project contributors
// SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0
Modify as needed for whatever comment syntax the languge or markup uses.
Good places for these markings are at the end of an extended
header comment, or at the very top of the file.
When you modify a file, leave existing copyrights in place -
especially all references to Dr. Dave Mills, to Mr Harlan Stenn, and
to the Network Time Foundation.
You *may* add a project copyright and replace the inline license
with an SPDX tag. For exmple:
/* Copyright 2015 by the NTPsec project contributors
* SPDX-License-Identifier: NTP
We recognize that occasionally a file may have changed so much that
the historic copyright is no longer appropriate, but such decisions
cannot be made casually. Discuss it with the project management
before moving.
=== Conventions for #ifdef guard names ===
Parts of this code are a thicket of C preprocessor conditionals.
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