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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Re: Apache should join the open source java discussion
Date Thu, 18 Mar 2004 23:57:13 GMT
At 01:46 PM 3/18/2004, Antonio Gallardo wrote:

>If you read the open letters there is clear they suggest an full GPL
>license, because if not maybe it can end (intentionally) in a fork.

As Noel said already - GPL does not inhibit forking.  The license does
prohibit adopting the same name for a fork.  If someone forks Tomcat
(which they could do under many licenses) they could not call it Tomcat.

A forked Java would not be "Java" - although some "Cappuccino" fork
could behave identically and be an improved implementation.

>Forking the competence is a long know way to win a battle. The UNIX
>history is a good example of how a BSD-style licence can end forking and
>no-one is the winner.

How do you call BSD code adopted by the GNU folks, the Microsoft folks,
even SCO as a no-win?  True it is not homogenous.  But we have Linux and
Mac OS/X - both strong OS's - neither would exist without dedicated
personal and corporate interests.  I can write nearly identical network
code on all three, because the BSD Sockets layer was 'forked' in so many
directions.  Would we be better off with none of this?  AT&T's System V
staff might believe so.

Forks reflect that folks disagree, and sometimes hit insurmountable
roadblocks and obstacles.  The best fork generally attracts the most
interest, but that actually means the best supported/community/docs
and many features beyond simply code.

A forked Java would not be "Java", could not be called "Java", and would
succeed only if the vast majority of the huge Java community walked 
away from Sun's effort.  If that happened, I'm sure such an exodus would 
have been well earned.

* BSD like license - code may drift from published version,
  without being disclosed (closed source).
  Published code may be incorporated/adopted into BSD or GPL
  licensed forks/distributions.

* GPL like license - code may drift from published version
  without being disclosed to parties other than recipients
  (limited disribution.)
  Published code may only be incorporated/adopted into GPL
  licensed forks/distributions.


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