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From "Smiley, David W." <dsmi...@mitre.org>
Subject Re: Building ASL code requiring LGPL 3rd party
Date Wed, 30 Mar 2011 21:56:58 GMT
On 3/30/11 4:36 PM, "Mattmann, Chris A (388J)"
<chris.a.mattmann@jpl.nasa.gov> wrote:

>On Mar 30, 2011, at 12:44 PM, Smiley, David W. wrote:
>>> 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.

What's under dispute here is ASF policy (not licenses).  And legal council
doesn't necessarily have to get involved for ASF policy.  So... authority
figures on this list that decide that policy are those who adjudicate it;
no?  (this is separate from project specific policy in which PMCs are

>> 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.

Ok; point taken.  You are entitled to your concern of LGPL software as
anyone else is, even though you have not [yet] disputed:
1. that the licenses do not exclude each other from working together
2. that ASF Policy does not prohibit use of LGPL.  It gives guidelines on
how and how not to.

>> 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
>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.

It is obvious that you (and of course others) have vague "concerns" with
LGPL use.  Despite your personal concerns, members of this list have
declared that there isn't a licensing compatibility issue and my patch as
I've described it does not violate ASF policy.  I don't think you've
disputed these points specifically, aside from your personal policy which
does not apply to this ASF project with which you have no current

>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.

I want to be a committer so I can help in the efforts to make Lucene/Solr
awesome but I dare you to find a case of me "begging" to become one, nor
do I see what relevance this has any way. I indeed have an interest in
getting a patch using JTS committed (and thank you for +1 'ing it, by the

The foundation has pages to help clarify this issue since there is care
needed to use LGPL in a compatible way, but that does not translate into
"verboten".  It seems that your personal policy is that there is no
compatible way.... but this is ASF policy we're talking about not yours.

>> 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.

I should have acknowledged your noble involvement with the ASF so as to
not hurt your feelings, but nonetheless my statement is true.  But being
such a prolific ASF member (and a big user of Lucene/Solr) I can
understand why you are weighing in on this matter with your opinion.

Any way; I've gotten the information I needed.  Thank you all for your
time, and even yours Chris.  Back to actually getting work done.

~ David

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