Development Resources/Contribution Questionnaire

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Many contributions to a project must be checked by the Eclipse Intellectual Property (IP) Team prior to their inclusion by an Eclipse Project or distribution from an property. Contribution questionnaires (CQ) are the main interface between the Eclipse community and the Eclipse IP Team.

Contributions that require the completion of a CQ are identified by the Eclipse IP Due Diligence Process. Committers should be familiar with this document.

The term "contribution questionnaire" has become synonymous with the notion of a record that tracks the ongoing inclusion of IP in a project. That is, the "questionnaire" part is only the initial aspect, and individual CQs persist indefinitely.

If you are not sure whether or not you need a CQ, ask your project leadership (Project Lead, or PMC members), project mentors, or the EMO for guidance.

Eclipse committers should be familiar with the following documents:


Initial Contribution

All new projects are required to make an initial contribution before any code can be committed into an version control system (VCS). The Eclipse IP Team will review your initial contribution and tell you (via comments on the CQ) when you can commit the contribution into your project's VCS.

Note that the Eclipse IP Team cannot validate the history initial contribution; the initial contribution must be provided in the form of a snapshot of the project code and must be committed as it is reviewed (i.e. old history must, unfortunately, be left behind).

Initial contribution CQs are created using the Eclipse Developer Portal. Please see Submit initial contribution questionnaire for an overview of the process.

Significant Contributions

Significant contributions of code to be maintained at, as defined by the Eclipse IP Due Diligence Process require a CQ.

Contributions should have a record in Eclipse Bugzilla with either a patch, or information about the source (e.g. see Handling Git Contributions). Patches must be attached by the contributor themselves (who has implicitly agreed to our Terms of Use).

As part of the approval process, the author of the contribution will be asked to assert the following on the Bugzilla record:

  1. I authored 100% of the content
  2. I have the right to contribute the content to Eclipse
  3. I contribute the content under the EPL

A Contribution CQs, which should include a reference to the Bugzilla record, are created using the Eclipse Developer Portal.

Third Party Libraries

Projects require a CQ for every third-party library that project code makes direct use of. If your code makes indirect use of a third party library through another Eclipse project's code, you do not require a CQ for that library.

You need a CQ if:

  • the manifest for one of the project bundles makes a direct reference to a third-party library (either the library bundle or a package from the library);
  • any Java class in the project's code includes an import statement for a package from a third-party library;
  • project code uses Java reflection (e.g. Class.forName("..."))or other means to reference a library's class; or
  • project code uses OSGi Services to make a reference to a specific implementation of a service.

Note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive. Also note that CQs for third-party libraries are version-specific. That is, a separate CQ is required for different versions of the same library.

Nested projects that are distributed as part of a parent project's aggregated distribution can leave their CQs on the parent project. If a nested project chooses to provide an independent distribution (either completely separately, or in addition to the aggregation), the CQs corresponding to that project will need to be realigned. Note that the IP logs for an aggregated distribution can be combined (this is supported by tools).

There are some special cases in the form of "except prerequisite" and "works with" CQs. For more information, please see the Eclipse Policy and Procedures for Third-Party Dependencies.

Piggyback CQs

Many third party libraries have already been approved for use in Eclipse projects. Many of those are immediately available via the Orbit Project. While these libraries have already been cleared for use by all Eclipse projects, their use must be tracked. Usage is tracked so that--in the event that a issue is uncovered following the due diligence process--we can mitigate the impact of that issue.

In this case, a "piggyback" CQ can be created on top of an existing CQ. Piggyback CQs are generally approved very quickly as the due diligence work has already been completed.