What is a CLA and why do I need one? How do I join the community as a contributor?

Formalities

What is a CLA and why do I need one?

Samvera uses an Apache-based Contributor License Agreement to ensure that code contributed by individuals and institutions may continue to be freely used by the entire Samvera, and indeed the entire open source, community. Signing a CLA does not waive your copyright; rather, it grants that all code contributed to the project is freely available under the open-source Apache 2.0 license. If you are wondering why Samvera requires both individual and corporate CLAs, it’s about coverage. Some institutions ask employees to sign over their copyright as part of their employment, allowing the institution to assert ownership over the employee’s intellectual property. Since Samvera is not aware of which institutions do and don’t follow this practice, we ask that all employers and all individuals sign a CLA to be sure that neither party can revoke contributions because of IP ownership claims.

In short, to contribute any code to any Samvera codebase, we will need to have two CLAs on file for you: one that you sign yourself, and one that someone with signatory authority at your institution signs. To contribute non-code assets, such as documentation, you are not required to sign any CLAs; we merely ask that you make your contributions available under a Creative Commons license.

See Samvera Community Intellectual Property Licensing and Ownership for more details.

Membership in GitHub organizations and repositories

First things first: sign up for a GitHub account. All development work within the Samvera community takes place on GitHub.

When you begin doing Samvera development, you’ll want the ability to push your work directly to Samvera-managed codebases. Fortunately, the community of developers is quite informal about this – ask (on one of the established community communication channels) to be added as a contributor to the codebase you’re working on and you generally will be added in short order.