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From Gianugo Rabellino <gian...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Rejection of any ENCUMBERED Microsoft Donation to POI
Date Thu, 27 Mar 2008 02:34:23 GMT
Hi Andy!

good to hear from you, I hope all is well. First of all, let me  
express that I'm happy to have you helping out with due diligence and  
oversight: as we move in potentially dangerous water, it's good to  
know that you'll be monitoring progress and ensure no mistakes are  
made. Now, just to clarify where we're at:

On Mar 27, 2008, at 1:15 AM, Andrew C. Oliver wrote:

> http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml? 
> articleID=206905858&subSection=News
> I vote -1 to any donation from SourceSense or Microsoft which holds  
> these terms:
> "
> For patented protocols, Microsoft said it would offer licenses on  
> "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms." Open source developers  
> can access the protocols for free for noncommercial use without  
> fear of lawsuits, Microsoft said.
> "

Point taken and well received, even though from a formal stand point  
I wouldn't say you have taken any binding stance as I don't think  
this is actually a real vote, but rather an intention. It would be  
good if you could formalize that as a formal proposition so that the  
PMC can voice the community opinion, however this might require a bit  
more legwork in clarifying the scope of your "blanket rejection".

Having said that:

- I'm aware of the potential IP issues surrounding this project

- Nick had a conversation on legal-discuss, wrt the OOXML schemata,  
which could be a potential issue. I reckon we had a green light on  
that, with the proviso of adding appropriate NOTICE/LICENSE files.

- insofar, there has been no donation to speak of, either from  
Microsoft or Sourcesense. What we have done has been incremental  
coding, starting from scratch: most of the work came from POI  
committers, with substantial help from an external contributor (Paolo  
Mottadelli, a Sourcesense employee), who recently earned commit  
privs. So, no dumps of "questionable" code that wasn't properly  
scrutinized: all the work from Sourcesense has been done in  
isolation, that is there is not even the most remote possibility of  
tainting so far. SVN history is our best friend here.

- I don't see any substantial donation coming from Microsoft as in  
"here is a bucket of code": Microsoft devs most likely will join this  
list, provide feedback and contribute, but I would expect this will  
happen within the usual ASF rules.

I hope this helps clarifying a bit. If it doesn't, please, please,  
please be extremely vocal: we need as many eyeballs as we can  
possibly have to ensure that the resulting code is completely  


Gianugo Rabellino
Sourcesense - making sense of Open Source: http://www.sourcesense.com
Blogging at http://boldlyopen.com/

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