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From "Mattmann, Chris A (388J)" <chris.a.mattm...@jpl.nasa.gov>
Subject Re: Building ASL code requiring LGPL 3rd party
Date Wed, 30 Mar 2011 20:36:30 GMT
On Mar 30, 2011, at 12:44 PM, Smiley, David W. wrote:

>> SIS isn't a competitor to JTS you troll. It's a project to try and build open source
geospatial software under the Apache Software License. Not the *GPL.
> Oops; I misunderstood!  If SIS is not going to have point-in-polygon detection or other
similar geospatial intersection code then please set me straight.  I really thought there
was substantial overlap. Of course few projects have identical purpose/scope, but if it's
close enough then I think it's a fair statement (thus not "troll"-like) to say they compete.

Sorry, disagree, it's totally troll like. 

>> Go read the proposal in the Incubator and instead of trying to roll yet another special
whosamuwhatsit exemption to get around eating the ASF dogfood, why don't you try contributing
to something of similar interest?
> I don't understand what you ask of me aside from reading the incubator proposal. I profess
ignorance to incubator details, but I don't see how that's relevant since Lucene/Solr is not
in incubator; though SIS is but is not what this legal-discuss communication is about.

You're talking about SIS when you don't know what it's about? Go read the Incubator proposal.

>> And I don't care what legal mumbo jumbo or special exemptions you're granted, that
doesn't detract from the issue at hand. It's a library that's licensed under GPL or LGPL and
unfortunately there are tons of issues with that.
> Back on topic:
> I take definite issue with your statements here. This is my perspective:  So there was
sincere uncertainty amongst both of us about exactly how LGPL code could be used by an ASF
project, Lucene/Solr in particular. We shared this uncertainty after looking at ASF policy
documents. Neither of us being experts on such matters, I sought out people/a-venue for resolution.
Resolution is clearly desirable to FUD, which is otherwise what we were left with given non-action.
And barring new developments, (which could still happen, it's early still) there is a resolution.

There is not a resolution. This is not a place for legal resolutions. Go hire a lawyer and
get a decision in court for that.

This is a place for legal advice related to Apache projects. Advice is not a resolution.

> Do you dismiss this resolution on legal-discuss by those more knowledgeable about these
matters than you or I?  

No I'm saying that as a consumer of software from Apache, as an ASF member (and VP of several
Apache projects, and contributor to the foundation since 2005), I'd be wary of using *GPL
software in Apache software, even through your convoluted suggestion of build-time/run-time
thingeemabobber, and even if you get advice on this list that that's probably OK. You can't
and won't stop me from telling people that. In fact, it was me responding to Upayavira's rhetorical
question saying that a project should consider this. In your case, it's up to the Lucene PMC.
In my case, it's up to the projects I'm on the PMC for, on the one hand, and on the other
with my ASF member hat, it's also part of my concern for our foundation's projects.

> Well you just did, actually.  Instead of your FUD based statement "there are tons of
issues with [LGPL]" why don't you start by raising a specific point of concern to this list
(not to me but I'll be listening).  

I don't need to raise concerns, others have which is why I originally pointed you to those
concerns on the Lucene/Solr list and which is why you came over here. 

You are trying to get a patch accepted to Lucene and Solr and begging to become a committer
and it's in your best interests to have that patch accepted so you can attain your desire.
You are so interested in having that happen, you are not realizing that the foundation that
hosts the software you're trying to get your patch accepted to has issues with *GPL software.
Issues so fundamental they've created entire web pages that try and call out these differences,
tons of mailing list conversations, etc, etc., more than needs to be brought up here. You
are trying to act like you now have a black and white court decision when you don't.

> You, Chris, don't decide ASF policy, the terms of either ASL or GPL licenses, nor are
you any longer on the Lucene PMC.  

As a member of the ASF, I *do* help decide ASF policy. I help elect a Board of Directors,
I help VOTE on foundation-wide issues and in general help out with ASF from a foundation perspective.
Get your facts straight. 

I can't control what the Lucene PMC does directly, I can only help provide advice based on
my experience here at the foundation and through my role as a foundation member. You see,
the ASF favors a decentralized project model where the PMCs are tasked by the Board with day-to-day

Issues as fundamental as what license to use, exceptions, or understandings of that license,
etc., are discussed on foundation-wide lists, by a combination of foundation members, users,
members from the ASF projects, etc., of which I am a part of.


Chris Mattmann, Ph.D.
Senior Computer Scientist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, CA 91109 USA
Office: 171-266B, Mailstop: 171-246
Email: chris.a.mattmann@nasa.gov
WWW:   http://sunset.usc.edu/~mattmann/
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089 USA

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