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From Ralph Goers <Ralph.Go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: jcp-open Digest of: get.703_703
Date Thu, 05 Jul 2007 08:34:38 GMT


William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
>
> How does that help the developer who happens to be one of 10k employees
> of Microsoft Corp, who happens to want to contribute to an ASF project?
>
> This is the definition of cutting off our nose to spite our face.
>   
Maybe I'm naive, but I thought committers at ASF do so on their own. The 
CLA I signed was on my own behalf, not my employers. Whether I am 
allowed to contribute on my employer's time is up to them. However, I am 
always free to do so on my own time. If my employer asks me to make 
specific contributions to the Apache projects where I have that right 
(and they have in the past), then I would expect them to fulfill any 
obligations necessary for me to do so.

Out of curiosity, do you know of any Apache committers who Microsoft 
employees and are able to author and contribute code on Microsoft's dime?

>
> Ok, so only companies who make an attempt to offer open standards will be
> screwed?  The employees of companies who offer only closed standards are
> unaffected?  This is good how, exactly?
>   
No, only companies that attempt to be perceived as supporting or 
providing open standards but don't really do so would be impacted.
>   
>> What do you think Sun's response to such a clause would be. They only
>> have 2 choices a) stop the nonsense with the NDAs and TCKs, or b) stop
>> using Apache software. Frankly, because of your previous argument -
>> regarding the leverage of the Apache code base, I can't imagine that Sun
>> would find it more profitable to find alternatives to Xerces and Xalan,
>> etc.
>>     
>
> Or neither.  They have a useful license to our code already (even if they
> forked from today forward) and could continue the nonsense, while those
> who particpate from dozens of academic institutions are concerned if their
> colleges at the college have semi-open standards that interfere with their
> developing ASF software.  Who wins?
>
>   
Good question. How long did Microsoft's Java on Windows last under 
similar circumstances. Software decays over time. It would become more 
and more costly for Sun to try to keep up. Of course, Sun helped that 
along by suing Microsoft.

Remember, this is all about a more forceful and tangible approach to 
deal with the problem. If it is actually necessary to do I'm sure there 
would be quite a bit of debate over wording, such as excluding academic 
institutions or whatever.  The real point is, that when it comes to 
"real" leverage the ASF has is the support it has with some very large 
corporations and their willingness to provide their clout, and the 
Apache license itself.
>> Actually, I don't agree with any of these. I would stay in all the JCRs
>> and simply vote No on every ballot for a JSR that doesn't explicitly
>> meet Apache standards.
>>     
>
> Well, that happens to be the FIRST option, stay put and try to effect change
> from within.  How do you figure your position is different?
>   
To use a very crude analogy I view the first option as diplomacy. It is 
always the preferable solution. However, if it doesn't work then you 
need something with clout behind it. I guess I see this as "Speak softly 
and carry a big stick".  I equate speaking softly to carrying on, 
voicing our concerns and voting down JSRs (or any other specification we 
can) with inappropriate licensing terms. The big stick is how Apache 
code is licensed for use.  Shoot, if we wanted to we could just add 
"This license applies to everyone but Sun". That wouldn't have any of 
the language problems you have brought up ;-)  Of course, I think that 
would be a horrible way to solve this.

Again, my point here is not any specific language change, but the 
realization that we should not be afraid of modifying the license if 
doing so will achieve the desired purpose. At the same time I recognize 
that this would have to be done very carefully to avoid unintended 
consequences.

Ralph



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