FAQ

Contributing to Cilk Plus

Why is there a contribution process?

In order for Intel Cilk Plus to be released under multiple licenses, Intel must maintain rights to the code base.

For Intel to maintain rights to the code base it needs to dual-license, contributors to the Intel Cilk Plus project must contribute their code and explicitly agree to the contribution terms in order to properly assign these rights to Intel.

When you contribute you don’t lose rights to your code (we give them right back to you!), but you give us enough rights that we can make the outbound dual-licensing work. MySQL and other open source projects work the same way.

The best way to make changes to Intel Cilk Plus is to contribute them. That way they get into the main source base for Intel Cilk Plus and will be included and tested in all future releases.

Is there a mailing list for users or developers?

No. The Intel Cilk Plus forum has an RSS feed, and we are going with that currently. Many think this is a better solution and we will find it adequate. Others are skeptical. Until traffic and activity increases, a slow or inactive mailing list is generally not a good idea. We’ll give this try this for a while, and see where it leads us.

Who will decide which contributions are accepted to the Intel Cilk Plus code base?

The final decision will rest with the maintainer - Intel.

Why do you have a contribution agreement?

The Intel contribution agreement is needed to ensure that Intel has the rights to your contributions so that it can enforce the Intel commercial license effectively for Intel Cilk Plus.

Do I lose any rights to my contribution under the Intel contribution agreement?

To preserve the needs of all product users, you will need to assign your copyrights to Intel, which are licensed back to you.

Why should I assign my copyrights to Intel?

Intel needs the rights to your contributions so that it can effectively enforce the Intel commercial license for Intel Cilk Plus.

What will Intel do with my contribution?

After successfully meeting the submission criteria, Intel will incorporate the contribution into the Intel Cilk Plus source base.

How do you plan to manage the process of introducing changes made by the community to your commercial products?

We will actively review the proposed changes to the source and assess market demand for the newly proposed changes. The more a change contributes to a capability that shows high demand from our user base, the more likely we are to incorporate the change.

Does this project include the “right to fork?”

Yes. But may we say “ouch!”? Forking has been called a “nuclear option.” We are committed to being excellent maintainers – translating our passion for parallelism and for helping software developers into a fantastic project. A project which is a good experience for all involved. If “forking” seems like a good idea for some reason, we hope we’ll have the chance to discuss it and work out differences. We think the industry will benefit from a single strong project.

However, we also believe that the “right to fork” is an important right. It is a “check” on the maintainers which helps bring balance. Of course, if your maintainer is evil or bad in your opinion, this “check” can be powerful.

So we believe in the “check” but we think that projects should be well maintained and, in general, not fork. Therefore, we adopted standard licenses, which include the “right to fork.” No funny little “extra” clauses saying you can’t fork. If we fail to be a good enough maintainer to build a community which does not fork – we’ll be sad and disappointed. Enough said.

Do you expect to accept all input unchanged?

We hope so. When that is not the right thing for Intel Cilk Plus, we’ll work it out with the submitter. We’ll need to review the impact of the change, and introduce changes that result in the most overall customer benefit.

What turn around do you expect on accepting changes in from the community?

We plan to regularly post new updates to the Intel Cilk Plus source; the turnaround of a specific change will depend on the complexity of the change and the time it takes to complete each step of the review process. We’ll strive to make the process visible for the community.

What process do you expect to follow when determining whether or not to accept contributions from the Open Source community?

First, you'll need to create an account on the Intel Cilk Plus website. Then we will need you to complete an Intel contribution agreement.

When can I start contributing fixes and enhancements to Intel Cilk Plus? How can I start doing that?

You can start contributing now. Please review the guidelines posted on the Submit Contribution page for the necessary instructions and forms.