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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: A few more IP issues and code preparation
Date Tue, 21 Jul 2009 22:37:41 GMT
2009/7/21 Scott Wilson <>:
> On 21 Jul 2009, at 22:20, Ross Gardler wrote:
>> Whilst we are waiting for the relevant legal documents to be filed
>> perhaps the Wookie team would like to prepare the code for import.
>> There are four incompatibly licensed dependencies (assuming the notice
>> file is up to date):
>>    c3p0
>>    Java Transactions API
>>    MySQL Connector
>>    Hibernate
>> These cannot be brought in to ASF infrastructure and thus must be
>> removed from the repository and build instructions updated
>> accordingly. We'll have to replace these dependencies during
>> incubation. I note that during the proposal stage Scott mentioned that
>> moving to CouchDB might make sense. we can explore this once the
>> initial code import is complete.
> Removing Hibernate+MySQL+c3p0+JTA will require a bit of a rethink on the ORM
> front - maybe we can use OpenJPA, or just get rid of ORM and use plain JDBC
> & SQL. CouchDB could be interesting for the actual widget instance
> preference and state data.
> However its a fair chunk of work removing these dependencies - is it best if
> we fix these outside the incubator and then move the code when its working,
> or submit the code as-is but with just the libraries and build info removed
> (i.e., not working) and then fix it in the incubator?

The problem is not that your code depends on them, it is that because
of the licence incompatibilities we cannot distribute from ASF
infrastructure. So there is no need to break things completely. I

- Remove the libs.

- Add a step to the build instructions saying the libs need to be
manually downloaded and placed in the lib directory

- make build.xml check for their existence and failing with a sensible message

This means that anyone building Wookie will be aware that there are
licence incompatibilities and must act accordingly if they
redistribute. In other words, there are no hidden surprises in our

>> Since my initial evaluation of the code I have identified a few other
>> potential conflicts:
>> I am unsure of our ability to Apache License the Moodle, Elgg and
>> Wordpress plugins since each of these containers is GPL and I have no
>> idea if the viral nature of the GPL is invoked by these plugins. It is
>> a contentious issue. The FSF general claim that modules are "touched"
>> by the GPL whereas Linux says they are not (and I'd suggest that Linux
>> Kernel modules are closer to the GPL code than a typical Moodle plugin
>> for example).
> I think its a reasonable question to ask whether the Apache Wookie project
> should include the plugins, or just the engine. If not the plugins could be
> handled outside in a separate project, or (my preference, but difficult in
> practice) they can be taken on by the container projects themselves.

The rails one can certainly come into the ASF and would act as an
example. I'd like to see a project socialsite and/or Wicket and/or
roller plugin developed pretty quickly as examples. I'll return to the
other plugins at the end of this mail.

>> I also note that there is some code from Apple which is not under a
>> licence I am familiar with. See
>> I'm also not sure about the widgets in
>> I'm pretty sure the code for (at least some of) these come from the
>> Google Wave project, what licence are they under and do they contain
>> any code from other third parties.
> The Apple files included in shared/mac-resources can be removed - this was a
> convenience for when running converted Apple Dashboard during early testing,
> but isn't appropriate for inclusion now.

OK. That's a simple solution then.

> Looking at the Widgets in the /widgets folder:
> * WookieWiki.wgt uses Creole.js, which uses an MIT-style license.

MIT is fine - but you may need to add an entry to the NOTICE file.

> * Sudoku.wgt uses some Google JS code which has no identifiable license.

Assuming this is the code from the wave API samples I'd suggest a mail
to the API group asking them to clarify the license situation. Almost
certainly they will put it under a permissive licence since it is
sample code.

Can you, or one of the committers please follow this up.

> * WaveWord.wgt uses some code from
> of indeterminate license,
> and JQuery which is dual MIT and GPL.

JQuery is fine as we can take it under MIT.

The other code is a concern for two reasons. The first is that there
is no clear licence, this can probably be resolved with a quick email.
However, there is every possibility that the code infringes on Mattel

It may be better to leave this widget in another location, see end of this mail.

> * Test.wgt doesn't use any outside code (its for testing API compliance with
> specs).
> * YouDecide.wgt doesn't use any outside code.


> Inside the /WebContent/wservices folder are widgets included in a default
> build:
> * Natter uses some Apple code; this can be removed as its just chrome.
> JQuery again. And the smileys are actually Skype emoticons under the Skype
> Component license:
> however I think these
> actually aren't being used under the license appropriately and would need to
> be replaced with some genuinely open emoticon images. If anyone knows of any
> this would be very handy!

I often use for icons, I'm
pretty sure there are some emoticons in there to. CC-BY-SA licence

> None of the other widgets (weather, vote, chat, forum) use any external
> code.


>> I'd like to hear the thoughts of the mentors on handling these issues.
>> I'd also appreciate it if mentors can look over the code to see if
>> there are any items I've missed (note the lib files are in an unusual
>> place:
>> )

My suggestion for the plugins and widgets of questionable licence is
to do as Scott suggests and start a separate google
code/sourceforge/whatever repository to house incompatibly licensed
plugins (which are actually plugins for containers rather than for
Wookie - the name is confusing) and widgets.

Lets call it wookie-extras

Committers on Wookie should be given commit on wookie-extras too, but
committers on wookie-extras do not automatically get commit on wookie.
we can have a lower barrier to commit on wookie-extras and treat it as
a kind of incubating site for widgets.


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