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From Dalibor Topic <robi...@kaffe.org>
Subject Re: Looks like Sun responded to the Open Letter
Date Mon, 13 Aug 2007 00:01:46 GMT
Geir Magnusson Jr. <geir@...> writes:

> But you're confusing things here - your theory about NDAs giving  
> advantage to the signatories is reasonable, but having a proprietary  
> RI or TCK doesn't give anyone an advantage because of the license.

I think keeping the RI or the TCK proprietary gives whoever gets to be the spec
lead a clear advantage over others, as they need access to them to verify their
compatibility with the specification. 

If both RI and TCK have to be open source, I don't need to trust the spec lead
to grant me a license I'd consider reasonable and non-discriminatory, I know
I'll get one.

> Again, I don't understand your argument here.   I think that EG  
> activities are trending towards the totally open.  One counter- 
> example is Java SE 7, which seems to be happening outside of the JCP,  
> entirely inside Sun.

I agree there is a very nice positive trend, in particular in respect to
providing transparency around new JSRs. Unfortunately that trend does not seem
yet to extend to TCKs, as far as I have seen it. 

Basically, it seems that some of the proprietary software vendors on the EC are
moving away from business models based on keeping both the RI and the TCK
proprietary to one where the RI is open source, and the TCK is proprietary. 

That's still great progress, but it's still a discriminatory system, where you
need to sign NDAs to work with the proprietary TCKs.

> > Unfortunately, turning around Sun only changes one vote on the EC.  
> > That's not
> > sufficient in order to fix the JCP.
> 
> Well, right now, they are the only member of the EC that is trying to  
> rig the game for themselves by trying to dictate control of *any*  
> implementation of the JAva SE runtime, so I think if you fixed that,  
> you'd have a decent environment to work in.

I understand that it looks that way from the inside, after all the hard,
thankless work the ASF has put into the JCP - I'm sure you understand that it
still doesn't look that inviting from the outside, as long as the NDA barrier to
participation is there.

> > The soft one is to create advantages for free software  
> > implementations of JSRs
> > over proprietary ones, so that the value of proprietary JSR  
> > implementations
> > decreases over time, and therefore the companies behind them lose  
> > the incentive
> > to rig the system in their favor. No money, no problem.
> 
> That wouldn't be an open standard, and actually contrary to the  
> notion of freedom, isn't it?  Let others distribute their IP as they  
> choose....

I don't think that those advantages need to be mandated by the JCP. 

I think the JCP should mandate open source RIs, TCKs, and CC licensed specs for
every JSR. But I don't think the JCP should limit the licensing choices to just
open source ones for implementations of such JSRs. That'd be sufficient for the
soft strategy to work, but it's not necessary, and besides, it would be cheating.

There are better ways of ensuring that free software implementations of JSRs win
over their proprietary counterparts, for example by providing better support for
them. The soft strategy has nothing to do with the JCP, and everything with the
free market.

cheers,
dalibor topic



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