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From Paul Libbrecht <p...@activemath.org>
Subject About third-party software in ASF distributions
Date Thu, 14 Mar 2002 19:42:05 GMT

Hi ASF folks,

I sort of recognize from the current debates about JCP that it may not 
be the perfect time to send such a request, but I'll dare it.
This mail is sent to both XML and Jakarta general list as they are both 
involved, thanks to tell me if it is useless to send it to both.

Recently, in our ActiveMath project we spent some time to prepare an 
appropriate license and, of course, we had to sort out all the 
third-party libraries we were using.
As most of them are Apache or Mozilla licensed, there was no big deal.

I quickly realized, however, that some others were coming in. SAX and 
DOM, to name a few. I scratched and found the license. Then a bit 
more... ah the servlet interface class-files. Woups, the download of 
them requires a big license: we had been happily using Tomcat 3.1 which 
was doing a clean job until I read it: you may deliver the software 
(servlet 2.1 class-files) with your product as long as the release date 
of your product is no later than 180 days than the release of the 
software covered by this license. (quoting non-verbatim)

That is (we're way later than six months from the latest release of 
servlet 2.1), we could not distribute the product with our beloved 
Tomcat 3.1 and had to upgrade.
This came as a surprise !

I then scratched more to download jaxp 1.1 (the 1.2 being still in early 
access) and... nowhere to be found ! Fortunately someone of us had a 
complete download with a license...

This mail would like to request that all Apache distributions, wether 
from Jakarta or XML group, be distributed with all the licenses of 
accompanying software.
I feel it is important so that the download is a real "pick-up-and-go". 
And it is especially important with Sun software (like Jaxp or 
servlet.jar) which have licenses which involve non-empty obligations.

If it is not possible to include such licenses (e.g. because 
redistribution of the redistribution is not possible) it should also be 
clearly stated such and pointers to the download of the separate 
interface-class-files should be available. (I actually fear it is the 
case with the jaxp or servlet classes).

Also, I'd prefer these classes to be packaged separately than put in the 
same java archive. I seem to understand, among others from the jaxp 
(official and inofficial) FAQ that the tendency goes along the lines of 
"the reference implementation (crimson and xalan in this case) contains 
the specifications' interfaces" (note, I'm not quoting verbatim).
This would allow normal developers to apply decent versioning.

And if this has anything in common with the current JCP debate then I 
would even  insist: putting these licenses or pointers to downloads of 
them displays to the public the limitations that ASF has and allows to 
attract attention on the problem even more than not saying anything.


  = Paul Libbrecht       Java developer    The ActiveMath project =
  = http://www.activemath.org/~paul           paul@activemath.org =

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