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From <de...@segel.com>
Subject RE: How Open Source Works (was Re: Spawning Data on Multiple Directories)
Date Fri, 05 May 2006 15:35:56 GMT


I sense some hostility on your part as well as a continued difficulty in
comprehending the thread of posts. 

Please see below....

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean T. Anderson [mailto:jta@bristowhill.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 05, 2006 8:52 AM
> To: Derby Discussion
> Subject: Re: How Open Source Works (was Re: Spawning Data on Multiple
> Directories)
> derby@segel.com wrote:
> > Jean,
> >
> > In IBM speak, what is your value add proposition?
> My valued added to this thread is to clarify how the ASF works.
I don't believe how ASF "works" was ever an issue.  I am very familiar with
how different models of Open Source works as well as how it is possible for
companies to get involved in Open Source from a commercial perspective.

Specifically with respect to Derby, IBM did release their Cloudscape code
under Apache's Opens Source License, as well as continuing to sell support
for Cloudscape. Sun Microsystems did announce a commercial licensed version
JavaDB which they also pledged to support and to maintain as part of the
derby code stream.  Neither is altruistic in their actions.

> Don't demand that others fix *your* issues.
I don't recall ever demanding anything.

In fact, I don't recall that I ever raised any *issues* that were specific
to my adoption of Derby.

> Don't demand that others take the product in *your* direction.
Again, this is a tad confusing. What exactly is *my* direction?
I do not recall in every attempting to *dictate* the future of Derby or to
even exert an effort to control the direction of Derby. I'll leave that to

What I did raise is that Derby is going to approach a junction where
requested features by a certain segment of core users will start to conflict
with those that adopted Derby based on its early core features. (ie small
embeddable footprint.)

What I and others have done is to suggest that there be some design changes
that would allow those who implement solutions using Derby, to use a "plug n
play" method of including those features they require, limiting the size of
the footprint. Note too that I didn't *dictate* the direction. Actually the
suggestion came from a Sun Employee. I merely stated the need or rather
identified the problem.  What I did state was that such a discussion *is*
required since any redesign of this magnitude would cross multiple Jira
issues along with requiring a concerted effort.

Again, this discussion is at such a high level, it has nothing to do with
the actual *development* of Derby code, just a proposal to determine the
future direction of development of Derby.

I merely pointed out that both Sun and IBM have the ability to gain from
this discussion on design and that they should step up to the plate and
allocate resources to work on the future product development of Derby. They
have the most to gain. 

Going back to your earlier post, software development under Apache, while an
Open Source model, still has to follow the same path as development of
software under a commercial entity.

Unless the software is in a "break/fix" mode, meaning that there will be no
net new features, just patches to correct existing defects, then there has
to be a centralized team directing the flow of resources.

Its also interesting to note that while both IBM and Sun have the most to
gain from any talks about the future direction, they also have the most to

>From IBM's perspective, they need to protect their existing implementations,
thus they would want to continue to keep Derby's footprint small. Hence, the
"break/fix" model. It would also be consistent in that it would limit IP
"leakage" risk.  If anyone were to "donate" usable IP, then it would be to
IBM's advantage in that they would gain from that IP...

>From Sun Micro's perspective, they lack a DB to compete with IBM, and HP and
Microsoft/Intel so they could use JavaDB as a full featured relational
database, which would increase the size of the foot print. In addition, Sun
can see that there is a benefit to maintaining the small footprint.

It is interesting that neither company, both with deep enough pockets to
fund the development costs, are willing to cede an IP advantage to the

> You're welcome to become part of this community and work with others
> toward goals that are commonly agreed upon. We welcome any contributor.
Sorry, unlike you, I don't have the deep pockets of IBM to cover any costs
of indemnification that might arise.  There is no economic incentive for me
to contribute as a developer.

But since you asked earlier ...

I am here as a user of Derby.  I use Derby in solutions that I know can take
advantage of existing code and that the current defects have a minimal
impact. Actually I intend to use Derby in phase II of a project that I am
currently developing....

It is as a user that I have noticed the trend and that there has been a lack
of overt leadership by either IBM or Sun. (Both are looking for a free lunch
so to speak....)

It seems that you, as an IBM employee, are defensive when someone suggests
that IBM or even Sun to step forward with resources to enhance Derby.

I would suggest that your time would be better spent on focusing on the
future direction of Derby, than trying to act as a gatekeeper.

But hey!
What do I know? ;-) 
It's not like I had the sense to talk to an attorney about the restrictions
that they wanted to place upon me as an employee, and about any potential IP
ownership issues I might face even if I did work on my own equipment on my
own time... Or that I hand the sense to stay pigeon holed as a sales critter
when I could have worked in the lab as a developer....
Naw. Stuff Like that takes too much thought process. ;-) Yet I digress.

What do I know? I guess, not a whole heck of a lot... ;-)


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