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From Mike Pogue <mpo...@apache.org>
Subject Re: PROPOSAL: Implementation of the JAXP classes for xerces-J
Date Thu, 09 Dec 1999 21:55:31 GMT
Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> >
> >So if it is fine with everyone I would like to go ahead and check these
> >classes in... You just need to download the jaxp.jar and have it in your
> >classpath to use it...
> >
> We don't have consensus on this, and Sun has a really nasty history
> of using intellectual property as a club with which to bash
> competitors. Please don't check any Sun source code into the tree
> until the licensing is quite clear. What you propose may in fact be
> OK, but we need to avoid precipitous action here.

I agree.  I think we have two things we need to be clear on, in order to
be able to check in a JAXP wrapper:

1)  The current Sun license does not say that the abstract classes (API)
can be freely used.  It doesn't distinguish between trade secrets in
implementation, and trade secrets in API.  It does refer to the
Software  "...(including, but not limited to, libraries, source files,
header files, and data files)".  I read this to mean that the API *was*
intended to be covered by the JAXP license.  

(Rajiv, Could you do a quick check with your lawyers on this?)

Also, Sun might not be aware of this -- IBM used a special "letter" to
license in the code from IBM to Apache.  By doing this letter, it
clarified all these kinds of issues. You can view this letter on the
http://www.apache.org site, as part of the minutes of the 9/16 board
meeting.  Doing a letter like this might be a way to clear up the
licensing questions more quickly.

2) My understanding is that nobody can use the names "Java" or "Javax"
other than Sun, unless they are a licensee (and then, only under the
terms of the license).  So, it's not clear to me that we have the right
to use the package name "javax.*" anywhere in the Apache code.  

When we asked Larry Cable (Sun) about this by email, he replied that he
thought it was a good question, and would ask the Sun lawyers.  But, I
haven't heard anything back yet.  So, Rajiv, maybe you could check on
this, too?  It might affect what we have to name the JAXP package when
you check it in.


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