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From Stefano Mazzocchi <stef...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Of One-man Efforts and the like
Date Fri, 20 Feb 2004 22:16:47 GMT
Scott Robert Ladd wrote:

> After looking at the archives of recent messages, I decided to join this 
> group for a short time, given that my work is being discussed.
> 
> As a matter of clarification: Jisp is not a database, it is a embedded 
> engine that can be used to *create* databases.
> 
> I found this quote rather interesting:
> 
>  > FWIW: I think we should actively weed out one-man-effort dependencies.
>  > People have the freedom to change their mind, but we shouldn't be a
>  > victim of that.
> 
> Change the words "one-man" to "open source", and see how it reads. I've 
> been in on debates about whether or not to use "open source" code... I 
> suggest the Apache might want to take the high road here, and judge 
> matters based on quality and applicability, not broad prejudices.

Scott,

there are many ways to describe the spirit of the apache community, but 
there is one that I like more than all the others: "we care about people 
more than we care about code".

While the FSF family of licenses is reciprocal (aka viral, but the term 
has a negative connotation and it's not appropriate to use) in respect 
of code freedom protection (and suggests ethical uses of branding), the 
Apache family of licenses is reciprocal in respect of brand protection 
(and suggests ethical code freedom).

Both are "free software" licenses in Richard Stallman's sense of the term.

But because you are redistributing software (and not brands!), the GPL 
replicates in code, while the ASL doesn't.

This makes it possible to include ASL software in the GPL, while the 
opposite is not possible.

And will never be.

By design.

Now. You, as the author and copyright holder, have the freedom to modify 
licensing at any time and for whatever reason. Here, nobody will tell 
you what's good or bad for you, you know that better than we all do.

But here I'm going to tell you what's good and bad for us, so that you 
can have enough information to act in the way that you consider most 
appropriate.

> As I stated before, I'm willing to provide Apache with a specific 
> license if it makes everyone's life easier.

A specific licensing to the ASF won't be acceptable unless the ASF is 
able to redistribute and sublicense with the same terms. This in fact, 
means dual licensing. The mozilla foundation choose this path.

Be aware though, that the ASF is against dual licensing because it 
leaves the door open for SCO-like attacks.

In short, if Jisp is GPLed, we will be forced to look someplace else or 
fork the current 2.x codebase (which is ethically bad, but legally 
allowed by the licensing terms under which Jisp 2.x was distributed)

                                     - o -

So much for licensing.

Now for the one-man show.

The ASF is respected in the software industry not only for the quality 
of the code it produces but for the long-term stability of the 
communities that maintain a software.

As you show rather evidently, a single person cannot reach enough 
critical mass to run a project and maintain it in time. It's an unstable 
situation: either the software dies, or it becomes commercial or a 
community develops around it.

Just like the strenght of a chain is given by its weakest ring, a 
software project that wishes to give long stability as a feature cannot 
affort to base itself on projects that don't exhibit the same trends.

Open Source licenses allows forking to be a way out (this is critical 
requirements for OSI certification of a license), but ethically, it is 
considered a dramatic event and it's highly discouradged, given the 
amount of negative energy that brings with it.

Now, this is *NOT* a critique against you, your way of doing stuff or 
your licensing choices, but it's just stating facts on how software 
licensing and project collaborations work.

Be aware of the fact that we are debating the same issues with other 
libraries that are core for us and this is because we have been burned 
in the past and don't want to get burned again.

                                      - o -

So much for one-man shows.

Now for apache pretending and not giving back.

telnet www.coyotegulch.com 80
Trying 64.70.152.229...
Connected to coyotegulch.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
HEAD / HTTP/1.0

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 22:11:31 GMT
Server: Apache
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html

-- 
Stefano.


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