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From Raju Bitter <rajubit...@googlemail.com>
Subject Re: Flex incubation on Apache as Opensource
Date Sun, 15 Jan 2012 14:18:57 GMT
Amit,

I've voiced my concerns around the runtime a few times, both in the
incubator mailing lists, and in this mailing list.
http://old.nabble.com/-PROPOSAL--Flex-for-Apache-Incubator-to33005429.html#a33012665
http://markmail.org/search/?q=+list%3Aorg.apache.incubator.flex-dev+avm

Roy Fielding said in his presention at the Flex Summit
(http://tv.adobe.com/watch/flex-community-summit-december-2011/what-it-means-to-be-an-apache-project-part-2/)
that he considers the JVM just as proprietary as the Adobe AVM. Apache
didn't have a good experience with Oracle/Sun and the Apache Harmony
project, which probably explains his feelings towards the JVM. But I
have to disagree. The advantage of the JVM is that you have a large
number of companies building JVMs, for both desktops, servers and
mobile.

But back to Flex and the ASF: It seems that Apache Flex is mainly
focused on working on the Apache Flex framework, and does want to
leave a discussion around the single-vendor dependence of Apache Flex
out. That's a community decision, and the motivation is probably that
most people working on the project
a) want a future for Flex,
b) want to see something positive happening quickly (first Apache Flex release),
b) have products depending on Flex, and the current setup of Apache
Flex is still much better form them than the situation in late 2011.

Roy Fielding said as well, that the "Main benefit of open source is
independence of any particular vendor". That doesn't fit in well with
Apache Flex, since there's a lot of project dependency on a single
vendor - in my eyes. My idea was to define a high-level goal of an
alternative runtime for the project, but that's not how Apache
projects work: No roadmap, no high-level goals. I'd say that's a
limitation of what you can do within an ASF project, since it will be
relatively difficult to "plan" a product with this approach, but
without this approach there might be roadmaps and plans, but nothing
gets done.

Read the first paragraph on the page describing the ASF:
http://www.apache.org/foundation/
"The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and
financial support for a broad range of open source software projects.
The Foundation provides an established framework for intellectual
property and financial contributions that simultaneously limits
contributors potential legal exposure. Through a collaborative and
meritocratic development process, Apache projects deliver
enterprise-grade, freely available software products that attract
large communities of users. The pragmatic Apache License makes it easy
for all users, commercial and individual, to deploy Apache products."

Nothing is being said about open standards, and that the software
created through ASF should only support open runtime environments. ASF
makes sure that a company cannot influence a project DIRECTLY by
having a group of employees control an ASF project, based on what Roy
Fielding said. And if the ASF board does not oppose the influence
Adobe has on Flex by the dependency on Flash Player and ActionScript
(something the community cannot vote on), it's ASF's decision.

As a community member, you can either accept the current situation and
support Apache Flex, or decide you don't like the setup and not do it.

- Raju

At the same time I sympathize with all developers wiling to make
something happen for Apache Flex, and hope that the vendor dependency
Flex has can be resolved at some time in the future.

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