I understand, and completely agree, that personal involvement in a software project which you are recommending should be disclosed while answering a question. What I am unsure of is whether you need to, and the level of involvement at which you need to, begin disclosing when you are involved in a package deriving from the app you are recommending.
My specific case
I am an official developer on a website that repackages Windows software for use from removable media (link is in my profile if you need to know more about the site).
There are a number of ways to which I could be potentially connected to an individual package on the site:
- I am directly responsible for the package
- I am not directly responsible for the package, but have had releases of that package attributed to me
- I am not responsible for the package, but have assisted the developer with the initial packaging by contributing code that helps implement portability
- I have had no involvement at all with a package but know of it and can/will provide support for it
- I have had no involvement with, and may not even know about, a package
All effort I expend on the site is purely voluntary, so at no point above do I receive anything for my involvement with any given package. (In future there is the potential for paid software to be made available through the site, but I am unsure of what involvement volunteers will have with those packages.)
We don't change the base application (except under extremely rare circumstances) and either do not need permission (the base application is under an open source licence or a freeware licence that allows repackaging/redistributing) or we obtain permission to release a portable version.
So, on to my questions:
If I were to recommend the original application (with which I have had no actual involvement) should I add a disclosure statement for the portable package, and at which levels of my involvement in the portable package should I disclose? (There have been instances where a portable package has become officially supported by the app's developer, or at has been linked to from the app's website)
Example: I answered the question Tool for taking screenshot and quickly editing it with PicPick. There is an official portable release of PicPick on the site I am involved with to which I have provided a small amount of help in the initial creation of the portable package (falling into point 3 above). I did not add disclosure here as I am in no way involved with PicPick itself.
If I were to specifically recommend the portable package at which levels above should I disclose my potential involvement? (Obviously 1, probably 2, maybe 3, the rest I am assuming no?).
Obviously this is a very niche question, but I would like to have some semblance of consensus so I can't be blamed for promotional posting where I have assumed I do not need to disclose my almost-but-not-quite-related involvement.