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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <ge...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Any news on the TCK for Harmony?
Date Mon, 14 May 2007 19:32:15 GMT

On May 13, 2007, at 10:04 PM, Joe Schaefer wrote:

> "Geir Magnusson Jr." <geir@pobox.com> writes:
> [...]
>> Realistically, I'm not too surprised given that it was in their  
>> best interest
>> to not throw gasoline on this fire before or during their  biggest  
>> conference,
>> JavaOne.  Sure, I would have preferred the  courtesy of a reply, but
>> considering the source, I'm not surprised.   Maybe we'll get one  
>> this week
>> (probably not - Sun recovers from it's  J1 hangover the week after  
>> the
>> conference), or maybe not.   In some  ways, it doesn't matter.  We  
>> understand
>> the whole equation (including  Sun's motivations behind their  
>> breach of
>> contract) and we believe  that our position is the correct one,  
>> both in the
>> letter and the  spirit of the law.  To that,  I'll note that Sun  
>> has yet to
>> actually  dispute this.
> What I don't quite yet understand is why the terms of the TCK were not
> disclosed when we first announced our intentions to implement JSR-176.

Because we understand the JSPA and after N TCK licenses (I forget  
what N is) I never suspected this would happen.  As a matter of fact,  
the first draft of the TCK license we received was just fine - it was  
like every other TCK license we received.  THe only thing it was  
missing was the "list price" for the JCK in the event that the ASF  
converted to a for-profit entity. :/

At the time, I suggested that they put any number they wanted (I  
suggested $1B) given the likelihood of the ASF being a for-profit.   
But someone wanted to be a sticker for process, and my assessment is  
that once the sales people caught wind of this, that's when this  
problem started.

> 95% complete is too late in the game to find out the spec cannot be
> implemented in open source.  AIUI the EC has to be notified of
> all the business terms of a spec prior to ratification.  Was this
> a simple oversight?

I don't think so.  I believe that there is no requirement for full  
TCK terms at ratification, and the spec lead can change them at  
will.  That's one of the things we've changed in our voting - we will  
vote no on any spec that doesn't give TCK terms to us for final review.

Remember, a FOU *isn't allowed*.  If we had to worry about every  
term, there would be a laundry list of things we'd have to ask for  
assurance won't be done.  The JSPA establishes a framework in which  
we work.  Either the "rule of law" stands, or we're in some kind of  
Mad Max standards body.

For me, the core problem is that Sun is violating the terms of the  
JSPA.  It's my belief that we need to treat Sun with that in mind  
going forward, as we would treat any participant in the JCP that is  
in violation of the rules.  True, the structure of the JCP is that in  
which Sun is is the common countersigner to the JSPA, but we  
shouldn't "beatify" their position in the ecosystem.  Sure, they  
invented Java, and all things considered, have done a decent job of  
stewardship.  However, the fundamental premise behind the JCP is that  
it's a community process, and I think we should seriously test this  
assertion and decide what to do once we know.

> I've also reviewed the resources for spec leads available at
> http://jcp.org/en/resources/guide
> and the template licenses are chock-full of Field-of-Use provisions.
> How does one know which JSR's can be safely implemented in open
> source?

Our position is that *every* JSR can be safely implemented in open  
source.  That's based on the work we did 5-ish years ago.

The problem isn't that the JCP is fundamentally flawed - sure, it's  
not perfect, but it's been perfectly fine for us until now.  This  
incident is - IMO - that of a community member attempting to game the  
system in a way incompatible with the letter and spirit of "the  
law".  I believe this is the position we should take, and see if the  
JCP is capable of self-governance.


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