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From "Daniel F. Savarese" <>
Subject Re: Netcomponents - Q about license
Date Sat, 28 Dec 2002 04:25:46 GMT

In message <>, Paul Libbrech
t writes:
>I entirely agree with you that it is scary, however, for a newbie, I do 
>understand it is not that easy to grasp both the usage of the library 
>and the license issues. The page:
>shows one license type, somewhat personal, whereas the Apache 
>Foundation ownership seems to be present at some places...

I'm just going to offer some further disambiguating comments which
will get archived and can be referenced if this comes up again.
NetComponents was first a commercial product with a liberal
binary license (i.e., free in almost all cases), then after
the company ceased to operate, I continued to make the software
available under the same license due to the large user base, then
an LGPL repackaged binary and source release was made, after which
the user community took control of the software and under Jeffrey
Brekke's and Winston Ojeda's leadership brought the latest version of
the software into jakarta-commons-sandbox/net under the ASL.  Earlier
versions of the software remain available, frozen in time along
with their accompanying licenses.  A trail of documentation exists making
it clear where the latest version of the software is being maintained
and under what license.  There has been no branching and anyone using
the software should use the code in the Apache Jakarta Commons Sandbox
so that they have the latest source code under the most flexible license
and can submit patches or request bug fixes/enhancements against the
current source tree.  Users are actively encouraged to contribute and
help move the software out of the sandbox.  It remains to be seen whether
a sufficient number of users will contribute as developers and advance
the software beyond its current stable feature set.  This uncertainty
should be factored in to any decision to use the library in new projects
that may require enhancements but are unwilling or unable to contribute.

>As far as I know, the example code is also covered by the license so 
>Daniel's remark should only be interpreted as "look further, there are 
>better uses than the example"...

That's exactly what I intended and I apologize for flaming or otherwise
sounding rude.  I just could not understand how anyone could possibly
come away with the impression that the library prints information
to standard output, so I reacted with a "shame the programmer into
actually reading code before jumping to a conclusion" response instead
of a more understanding reply.  Even though I don't think I quite flamed
about the licensing issue, I should have been more understanding.  I
did some log checking and there are still thousands of downloads of
the NetComponents release under the original ORO license.  Whereas
getting people to abandon OROMatcher/PerlTools/etc. and adopt Jakarta-ORO
has been very successful, the same hasn't been true for NetComponents.
Continuing to make the old versions available from a mostly
"frozen in time" set of Web pages is probably causing confusion and
is my fault.  I'll try to do something to steer more folks to


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