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From "Geir Magnusson Jr." <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: Should we be warning Committers?
Date Fri, 05 Oct 2007 18:03:44 GMT

On Oct 5, 2007, at 10:17 AM, Noel J. Bergman wrote:

> William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
>> Roy T. Fielding wrote:
>>> Noel J. Bergman wrote:
>>>> Please see:
>>>>   http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2007/Oct-03.html
>>>>   http://blogs.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9790795-16.html
>>>> for a discussion of issues related to proprietary code being  
>>>> exposed by
>>>> Microsoft.
>>>>
>>>> I know that the Harmony project discusses similar issues, but  
>>>> should we
>>>> ensure that the broader ASF Community is clued in?  What are the  
>>>> actual
>>>> risks of exposure and contamination, for example?
>>> None.  People still don't understand the difference between  
>>> copyright
>>> and trade secrets, and I doubt we can do a better job by  
>>> pretending we
>>> can explain them to our own committers.  At best we could ask one of
>>> the legal folks to write an article.
>
> It seems that an article, or references to one, might be a good idea.
>
>> Ditto, there's nothing to see here.  MS has for a very, very long  
>> time
>> shipped the sources to their clib, their mfc and atl classes etc.   
>> Now
>> they are doing the same for .NET (and they already did of non- 
>> production
>> implementation example with Rotor).
>>
>> None of these have ever been licensed as open source.  Can you  
>> point out
>> some explicit case that one of our developers working on ASF code  
>> would
>> be likely to trip over?
>
> How do the concerns raised by Miguel de Icaza and others regarding  
> the .NET framework sources differ those addressed by Harmony's  
> "Authorized Contributor Questionnaire" (http://harmony.apache.org/ 
> auth_cont_quest.html)?  As I read Harmony's document, having read  
> the source code for java.*, published in src.jar with each release,  
> disqualifies you from contributing to the related area in Harmony.

That was our choice to ensure that there was no possibility of code  
making it accidentally over the line, because sun shipped their  
source all over the place.  It was a natural thing to debug into it  
in many environments.

Sun made it very clear that the weren't going to formally disclaim  
any interest in "structural similarity", which I am sure we're going  
to have given we have smart people implementing the same classes to  
the same spec, so we went the conservative route.

We've never had to limit anyone, btw.

>
> So which is it?  Does the situation differ, or should the handling  
> be the same?  And where does one draw the distinction?  Does it  
> effect Harmony because it is implementing those classes, as opposed  
> to being a user of them?

It was the Harmony project choice, not a requirement or request of  
the ASF or the Incubator.  We wanted to be as sure as we could that  
we limited the problems that could happen later.  The current TCK  
battle is proof that we were right in thinking this way, because  
clearly Sun doesn't want this to happen.

geir

>
> 	--- Noel
>
>
>
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