Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
All rights reserved
Posted Jan 17, 2013 16:20 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Then, when 4.0 is ready for release, it will go through the standard release reviews and a vote, and when it is released, users and downstream consumers can be confident it meets the high standards we place upon releases.
But those who poke at unreleased code will likely find all sorts of issues, including bugs, discordant headers, performance or security issues, incomplete translations, etc. That is the nature of unreleased code.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 16:23 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 16:45 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Start with the terms of the SGA as stated here:
Then look at the README file in the root of the contributed code:
As stated there, the license headers clue you in on which specific files were contributed under the SGA. Ironically, the same text that some are expressing so much angst about is the same text that allows anyone to see what the contribution is. Go figure.
If it is not clear whether the code is suitable for your particular use, then it is your responsibility to get competent advice. But all the data you need is right there.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 16:54 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
"Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions
of this Agreement, You hereby grant to the Foundation and to
recipients of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetual,
worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable
copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of,
publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute
Your Contributions and such derivative works."
That's fine as long as the Foundation is distributing the work, but from another comment by you:
"These files have not been published by Apache"
which leaves open the question of what distribution actually is in this case - I'd have thought that having the code in svn would count as distribution, but I'd also have thought it counted as publishing. It'd be straightforward for the ASF to make the situation completely unambiguous.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:18 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Generally, an SGA gives sufficient rights for project members to work on the code and prepare it for release. If you want to help with that then we'd welcome your help. Send a note to email@example.com and introduce yourself. However, if your needs require code only after it has been reviewed, tested, and voted on as an Apache release, then I'll be equally happy to hear from you then.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:25 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:42 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
If you have a question for the ASF, then why don't you ask them? They have a legal discussion mailing list where you are free to ask them about what an SGA means. But I do know that they value transparency and would probably not be keen on answering questions on pay-walled websites from anonymous posters.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:46 UTC (Thu) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:57 UTC (Thu) by dashesy (subscriber, #74652)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 20:53 UTC (Thu) by jubal (subscriber, #67202)
Posted Jan 21, 2013 8:20 UTC (Mon) by ceplm (guest, #41334)
Posted Feb 1, 2013 1:03 UTC (Fri) by mema (guest, #89121)
The donation of the Symphony code to Apache was noted both by IBM, Apache, and even Meeks at his blog.
Since when is a donation, nothing? Only when IBM does it and its not under the GPL?
Posted Feb 3, 2013 21:26 UTC (Sun) by ceplm (guest, #41334)
My problem is with the people kind-of-relasing code under uncertain situation and not willing to clear it up. I cannot help myself but to feel that there is some attempt to keep the copyright status unclear so that the codebase they have no control over cannot profit from their code. Which seems to me to be against the spirit of all open source movement stands for. Just to be completely clear, and I am very much hoping I am wrong in my feelings, and the situation will settle quite quickly.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:33 UTC (Thu) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
For the original files contributed by Oracle this took a very long time to sort through all the files by an Oracle employee to double check Oracle really had the right to do that for all the files mentioned in the software grant and/or had to ask to have additional files added to the grant. Only IBM knows how much work that really would be for the symphony files.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:46 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
That is a policy statement, not a legal statement.
This is an important distinction. For example, an Apache project can not release software containing GPL code. That is a policy requirement. But legally, anyone else, outside of Apache, is free to mix ALv2 and GPL code together, if that suits their needs. The licenses are compatible in that way.
You should not confuse the stricter policy requirements incumbent on an Apache project versus what the license permits any random person to do.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:52 UTC (Thu) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
It doesn't have to be in every header; a simple document, just like IBM's, would be enough. Something along the lines of "This code is released to the general public under the terms of the Apache License v2", or whatever language you guys actually like to use.
Unless and until you explicitly release the code, it sure looks to me that IBM has given it to you, but not to us. I see no clear chain of permissions that would allow me to change and share that code freely.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 17:55 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Well, kind of. Part of that license is a grant of permissions to anyone to whom that software is distributed by Apache. The question is what the precise meaning of "distribute" is in this case - we've already had an assertion that the code in question hasn't been published by Apache. In any case, Rob's right that this isn't the right venue for an authoritative answer, and so I've mailed the appropriate mailing list.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 18:26 UTC (Fri) by vonbrand (subscriber, #4458)
Surely you have a tame Perl hacker at hand, who can code up a global search & replace on the files? If they belong to Apache now, there is no legal problem in stripping/adding/updating the copyright headers. And the interested parties are grown up people (even if the recurrent flamew^Wdiscussions seem to belie that) who know what they are getting into when digging into a code drop.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 18:37 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 23, 2013 20:03 UTC (Wed) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 20:20 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
The only real risk I can see is the potential for the README not to reflect the SGA that was actually signed. Unfortunately the SGAs are not made publicly available, and so there's a chance that the code provided in the repository does not reflect the code that IBM agreed to license and verifying that is difficult.
The apology line forms on the left. Please take a number.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 20:43 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 20:49 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 21:10 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Paranoia is one thing. Refusal to even look around at easily available facts, or send questions to Apache for a quick confirmation, is pathetic.
Congratulations for being the first one to attain this august level of legal research and deductive logic. This level of accomplishment apparently is out of reach for the typical Lwn.net author or commenter.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 21:17 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 21:30 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
I don't see why you are so resistant to acknowledging that a volunteer-led project will work on what it considers to be its priorities and do so on its timetable. We do not take orders from random bystanders. Sorry, that's not how it works. Your impatience is irrelevant to me. Help if you want. Complain if you want. But your worth is not decided by your complaining.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 21:48 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 22:07 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
What you fail to understand, or at least appreciate, and by failing to understand this entirely miss the Big Picture about Apache, is that our releases are the way we benefit other projects. It is the scrutiny and review we give to code, as part of our pre-release reviews, that make it much safer for others to use. Our releases procedures are focused on preparing source distributions that others can use, to build derived products from. We carefully review file headers, produce aggregated LICENSE and NOTICE files, carefully verify that we can build from our source tarballs, etc. Our due diligence reduces risk and raises the comfort level that others have in using the code. That's what Apache does. We don't just slap an Apache License on things, hold our nose and toss it over the wall.
You seem to acknowledge this when you express impatience that we have not done this further review work already. LibreOffice acknowledges this when they merge in code form our releases and rebase their entire product on the released Apache code.
As for your assertion that the "ASF chose to take on the role of stewardship of this code". You are in error there. There has been no vote on this. SGA contributions do not require a vote. A release requires a vote. That is when we make the greater claims, as I have explained at greater length previously.
As for this article, the inaccuracies are legion, and I've rebutted several of them in another comment. But life is too short to waste time with a pedantic correction of every error.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 22:32 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
The SGA places conditions on the ASF, so I'm sceptical that it can be in effect without explicit agreement on the part of the ASF. I'm assuming that writing a significant body of racist invective, dropping it into a C file and then sending it to apache.org along with a signed SGA would not result in it automatically appearing in a subversion repository. You chose to accept this code, and in doing so you accepted that you would be taking responsibility for it.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 22:48 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
So you are equivocating, redefining terms in an attempt to rescue a failed argument and apparently proceeding without any aim other than to argue. That is a sign that it is time to end this pointless discussion.
As always, anyone with a serious interest in Apache OpenOffice can find our mailing lists and ask questions there. Those who wish to speculate without facts, exhibit paranoid delusions, or pontificate about what other volunteers should be doing will find pleasant company here on Lwn.net Or just wait until next week for Slashdot. It's cheaper.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 22:56 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:17 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
So if you put a "racist screed" in a C file (or preferable C++) and hid it within an SGA contribution, it could get into SVN. But as soon as it was found, it would be removed.
And if we found a Microsoft-owned header file in the contribution, then that would be removed.
And if we found a functional error then that would be fixed.
And if we found a security flaw, then that would be fixed.
And if a license header was wrong, then that would be removed.
This is all done as part of making an Apache release. This is all done openly, transparently on our mailing lists. (Subversion commit messages are echoed to a public mailing list).
When you think of it, how else would you transparently review, within a community, a software contribution, unless you first put it into a public repository where everyone could view it?
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:24 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:33 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 3:48 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
Rob Weir being an IBM employee, working in the division that developed Symphony, is very aware about what the Symphony code base contain... Heck, surely IBM use source control internally, and surely know exactly while line come from Sun, which come from IBM and which come from 3rd party...
But Rob also is in charge of building an eco-system of volunteer to support IBM effort to take control of OpenOffice.org.
So he came up with a new twist on the so-called 'liberal license'... sure once you have it you can keep your modifications for yourself and distribute then under the term you want (non-copyleft)... but in order to achieve that you must come and work for Rob to integrate the piece you want into Rob's project of choice, before you can consider using that code for your own purpose...
Hey, why not ? it is a trick as good as another to try to 'attract' contributors... I'm learning every day about 'The Apache Way'.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
Upton Sinclair -
I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1935)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 4:42 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
If you want a fully reviewed code base, then you'll need to wait for an official release containing that code. But no one is forcing you to wait for the release.
And if you think the wait is too long for your purposes then you are welcome to help us integrate it. But no one is forcing you to do that. You can always just take the un-reviewed code as is. Or wait for a release.
So the choice is really yours.
What you cannot do, at least not with any respect or credibility, is refuse to take the code as-is, refuse to help integrate it, and just whine about it endlessly.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 20:26 UTC (Fri) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
There is code in the SVN which may or may not be available under an open license. No on can know whether this code is open until and after Apache has reviewed the code, confirmed and voted that it is freely available. Otherwise you are at your own risk on whether it's freely available and because the official signed agreement (and any containing provisions) is not available well you are going to be pretty much guessing. (this is the first post out of more than a dozen in which you've freely admitted this after berating people on how simple it is)
This [code review] process will not be completed until and after the code has been inserted into the working Apache OO.org code, anything not deemed "worthy" of the Apache OO.org codebase will not be processed at this time and could in the future become lost code. (you have no intent to review or ascertain ownership of any code you don't use in the Apache OO.org codebase).
Not only that, but Apache will not help anyone sort out confusion on any piece of code unless that code follows the above process and is merged into Apache OO.org codebase first.
The only way for Apache to confirm any piece of code is actually under it's stewardship is for that code to end up in Apache OO.org.
Finally, Even if volunteers only wanted to help sort ownership of the SVN code and NOT integrate it into Apache OO.org they would be refused as the only help being asked for and accepted is to integrate into the Apache codebase. Apache will provide no assistance in ascertaining ownership of any code which is not used in Apache OO.org codebase.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 20:55 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:01 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
So your choice is really whether waiting for an Apache release, with the additional review we put into it is important to you. Many of our users feel that this is indeed important to them.
In fact, I'd say that LibreOffice also agrees on this, since they waited for the Oracle contribution of OpenOffice to be reviewed and approved by us before rebasing their product on it. So their confidence in changing the project's license from LGPL to MPL was only possible because of the careful review we did on the OpenOffice contribution.
But if you don't feel that the benefits of that extra review is worth the wait then don't wait. But also don't cry about it.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:33 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Since the SGA is provided by someone asserting that they are providing a certain set of rights, then the risk of hosting the code is very low. Similarly, Lwn.net can host your comments, and mine, without first checking for copyright infringement, because as part of your account setup you asserted that you would not post infringing material.
With unreleased code, your confidence must be based on your own review. That doesn't make it unknowable. It just means that it is your responsibility.
For released code, Apache projects do extensive review, and you can choose to accept (or not) that due diligence as sufficient for your needs. We do this transparently on our mailing lists and we have a reputation for getting it right. That is part of the value we add.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:24 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
You're behaving as if code has no value until it's been through the Apache release process. Going through that process undeniably adds value, but it's potentially useful to others even without that. IBM provided a grant of permissions to a body of code - it would take very little time for you to explicitly pass on that grant (including appropriate disclaimers), and in the process you would make it much easier for others to make use of the code in advance of it working its way through your release process. Does that really seem like an unreasonable request?
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:47 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
In fact, there were concerns expressed by LibreOffice at the time we made the contribution, that if we contributed it, that we would force it down Apache's throat and replace OpenOffice with Symphony. But that is not how it works. We provided the Symphony source. It was put in a separate directory, segregated from the OpenOffice source. And then we discussed, openly and transparently what to do with it. The community -- not IBM -- decided it would be best to selectively merge in enhancements from Symphony into OpenOffice, and that is what we are doing.
Now you can say that the code might be "potentially useful to others" if we made a different choice. Perhaps. But I can also say that it will be very useful to millions based on the direction we agreed on, as a community, to make. But in the end, the decision is made by the volunteers who do the work, not by complaining bystanders.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:52 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:14 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Your main complaint seems to be with a project decision not to release the Symphony contribution itself as an Apache product. But that was the consensus of the project. The decision was to merge it into OpenOffice.
But here's an idea. If you really want to see an Apache project based on Symphony, then you can make a proposal for that, to the Apache Incubator project. Propose a new project, based on that source code, and find volunteers to help you work on it. More experienced Apache members will help you understand the requirements for reviewing the code and getting fully in conformance with Apache release requirements. If you get the equivalent of 5 or 6 full time engineers working on it then you can probably do it in 2 or 3 months.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:20 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:27 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:33 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:44 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
To your other point, if someone wants a favor from IBM then I suspect that a courteous, well-reasoned request to an IBM email address might get greater consideration then rude sniping and demands via comments. Just saying.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 1:05 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
But ok. Let's put this another way. If I provided a patch that added a new document to the top level of the symphony svn tree, containing a list of files that the existing README implied were available under liberal terms and explicitly indicating that (barring accidental inclusion of third party code) these files could be redistributed under those terms, could that be merged?
Posted Jan 18, 2013 1:30 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
But if that is the root cause of your confusion, then I'll look into providing that list in Subversion.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 1:34 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:33 UTC (Fri) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
Ah, we finally get the explicit admission that this is being made difficult on purpose.
All you guys need to do is stick a README file in that directory, explicitly transferring the rights you have to it, to the rest of the community. You consistently refuse to understand this, professing ignorance, but the quoted sentence is the real reason.... you're actively uninterested in making life any easier for the competition.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:47 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Downstream consumers of our code will benefit greater, after our source distributions have been carefully reviewed, voted on and released. That is how Apache works. We're not interested in slapping our license and brand on code, flipping it or acting as money launderers for the open source community. When we release code it means something.
Posted Jan 23, 2013 19:42 UTC (Wed) by juliank (subscriber, #45896)
Posted Jan 23, 2013 20:01 UTC (Wed) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
In other words, you're going to keep it to yourself as long as you possibly can, to try to damage LibreOffice. A simple README transferring your rights to the broader community would shut everyone up, but you refuse to do that, because you want the competitive advantage. And you're saying so, right here, a second time.
After your posts here, I think a lot less, a LOT less, of the Apache Foundation.
Posted Jan 23, 2013 23:28 UTC (Wed) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
No LibreOffice programmer has expressed interest in using this code, has said they lack permissions to use the code, or has even come to our mailing list to ask for clarification about what the license on these files is.
Please send me a link if you believe I am in error.
No one from Apache has ever said that the "broader community" does not have rights to use these files.
Posted Jan 24, 2013 16:35 UTC (Thu) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
Please send me a link if you believe I am in error.
Sure. Check https://lwn.net/Articles/532665/
That is some seriously disingenuous bullshit you're pulling there. "No programmer has expressed interest", when the official spokesperson for a competing project is complaining about it. The spokesperson! For the whole project!
And all you can do is whine about no actual coders coming to you, hat in hand, when their entire project is officially saying that you're withholding the code?
This is easy to fix, but you're not interested in fixing it. An attitude like that does not belong in open source. You should be ashamed of yourself. We're supposed to all be on the same side. If you want enemies, and to be able to put slimy bullshit over on your competition, while furiously polishing your tin halo, go back to proprietary development, where that kind of crap belongs.
Stop arguing with me and go fix this.
Posted Jan 24, 2013 18:15 UTC (Thu) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
1) Italo is not a programmer. He is the LO marketing lead.
2) His message is not an "official communication" from the project. It is just an ill-tempered post from him on a mailing list.
3) It was not a query, request for clarification, etc., to Apache. If he wants something, he knows where to go for it. So do you.
4) He is wrong on his assertions.
But other than weak grasp of facts and logic, your analysis is impeccable.
Posted Jan 25, 2013 1:43 UTC (Fri) by malor (subscriber, #2973)
Per Corbet, he's (an? the?) official spokesperson for the project, to wit:
The specific suspect in question is Italo Vignoli, a director of the Document Foundation and spokesperson for the LibreOffice project.
Stop wasting time arguing with me. The fact that you're still replying to me, instead of just fixing it, is yet more proof that you want to sling words and do your damndest to slow down the competition, not help the open source community.
You're only interested in helping if people line up and do exactly what you say, in exactly the way you say it, which means you don't really want to help at all, you're looking for excuses not to. ("They're not programmers! They didn't ask on the right list! They're asking behind *gasp* a paywall!")
All excuses, and all transparent bullshit.
Posted Jan 25, 2013 2:16 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Difficult on purpose ???
Posted Jan 25, 2013 22:47 UTC (Fri) by Wol (guest, #4433)
Why on earth should Rob make his life difficult, to give you an easy ride?
The paper trail is designed, by Apache, to make Apache's life easy. How on earth can you stand there and claim that it was designed to be "being made difficult on purpose", just because it doesn't make *your* life easier!
The whole point behind Open Source is that people do things FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL BENEFIT but don't make life difficult for other people on purpose. Everything here I see implies that Rob and Apache are doing exactly that - they are not doing things to make your life easier, true, but equally they are not actively hindering you.
If their failure to act is harming you, you need to persuade them that that failure is not in their interest, not just moan about why they should put themselves out to make your life easy.
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:52 UTC (Thu) by marcH (subscriber, #57642)
Unreasonable? No, but why would they spend time on this? Just because the competition is whining on LWN?
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:55 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 0:23 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
But as I showed in my response to the article, this is just wrong. The merging work is occurring in branches and anyone can follow the work there:
And did you even read the LO marketing director's post? He is even further out in left field, claiming that IBM never contributed code to Apache:
Posted Jan 18, 2013 4:29 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
The Article said:
"That, of course, is an entirely non-free license header. Interestingly, over 2,000 of those files also have headers indicating that they are distributable under the GNU Lesser General Public License (version 3). These files, in other words, contain conflicting license information but neither case (proprietary or LGPLv3) is consistent with the Apache license. So it would not be entirely surprising to see a bit of confusion over what IBM has really donated. "
Sure... _nothing_ to do with license clarity... at all!
1/ IBM and Apache announce that they have signed a secret legal document
2/ IBM PR announce that they have donnated something called 'Symphony' under AL2 license. Since the document describing what 'Symphony' actually _is_ is 'private, for all we know, what is cover be a Basic Applesoft program that play Beethoven 9th.
3/ An IBM employee dump a bunch of files with random license headers.
4/ Rob, another IBM employee claim that none knows what's in it until some undisclosed uniquely qualified person spend the time to 'inspect' it.
Of course according to Apache's own policy, apache membera shall not touch the license/copyright header unless he is the owner... add to that that non-apache member have no access to the secret license document, so would be incapable of 'inspecting' the code's license in the first place. Which lead with the practical limitation that only IBM employees could safely touch that code...
5/ So in conclusion IBM has granted a license to Apache to make some publicly undisclosed list of file available under AL2. but in the end it is practically still only available to IBM.
1/ IBM has a private Island in the Bahamas...
2/ IBM announce in PR campaign that, in a burst of generosity, now the public will be allowed to visit the island.
3/ but... to visit you must first acquire the Island nationality, which can only be done via a Work visa and 3 years of continuous work on the island next to it... which happen also to be owned by IBM.
The OT trivia line forms on the right. Please take a number.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 5:15 UTC (Fri) by ghane (subscriber, #1805)
However, looking at the second article quoted above: http://lwn.net/Articles/532694/
"Please remember that Italian have invented fake donations back in the
year 315, when the fake "Constantin donation" allowed the birth of the
Vatican State and the power of the Popes (which are both based on a
If it *had* been created in AD 315, it would not have been a fake, would it? That's the whole point.
And now, back to your regular programming ...
Posted Jan 18, 2013 10:35 UTC (Fri) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167)
Posted Jan 17, 2013 23:28 UTC (Thu) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
As seen in the case of the Oracle code drop this process takes a couple of months. IBM is not willing to do that for all the files (the simplest explanation is that they just don't have the resources to check every file they contributed).
In that sense the ASF is as much a third party as everybody else. Even though they have access the more legal files than other third parties. They still like the contributing company to make the changes necessary so the intended license of code and what the file actually claims matches.
They can nicely ask Rob Weir to check with his legal department and make the changes to benefit the wider community (and all Apache hackers), but they cannot force him or any other IBM employee/volunteer to do any of that work. In that sense IBM employees are as much volunteers as any other Apache contributor.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 4:34 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
Sure, IBM takes IP so lightly that they have published a software on the market (Symphony) while having no idea about the legal status of the source code of that product...
Posted Jan 18, 2013 5:20 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
For example, when we reviewed the OOo code contributed by Oracle, we founds some errors and had to get them corrected with an amended SGA. Without our careful review, consumers of Apache OpenOffice, including LibreOffice, would have been worse off. For example, it would have introduced serious flaws into their rebasing of LO on AOO, and their subsequent license change to MPL, issues that could have caused them or their users trouble latter. So LibreOffice is already benefiting from our hard work in reviewing contributions. I'm certain they will continue to benefit in the future as well
If LibreOffice is interested in Symphony code (and they should be, lest they fall behind) then they should also want to see it carefully reviewed and brought into released form. That is in their best interest as well.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 6:53 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
Thanks for a good laugh... It is nice to see you keep an healthy sens of humour...
Priority of cleaning up unclear legal status
Posted Jan 18, 2013 8:39 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
IBM seems not very interested in the symphony code base anymore, they now have the (proprietary) IBM Docs (cloud based office) project. And clearly some people IBM assigned to the former symphony/apache project, like Rob Weir, have different priorities than helping out with cleaning up the legal uncertainties of the contributed files.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 12:33 UTC (Fri) by shmget (subscriber, #58347)
nah... they are very much aware. The the mail below from ooo-dev
show clearly that it is deliberate.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:04 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:29 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
But if you wanted certainty, then you would write to Apache on their legal-discuss list, ask questions about the SGA license, read the README that is posted for the Symphony code and see that this is actually quite simple.
The license is in the SGA:
The README tells what files are covered:
If you are not willing to accept that, then you are like the Obama-doubting "Birthers" who harbor paranoid delusions about his birth certificate unless they can waterboard the doctor who delivered him.
Hack or complain. Pick one.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:37 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:44 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Again, you seem to be harboring paranoia about what might be written on the reverse of Obama's birth certificate.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:48 UTC (Fri) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:59 UTC (Fri) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784)
Rob appears to be trying to imply that Matthew is as paranoid as the conspiracy theorists known as "birthers", who think Barack Obama was not born a US citizen (despite his birth having been validly registered in the city of Honolulu, Hawaii, USA in 1961, which is after Hawaii's admission to statehood) and so is ineligible for the Presidency.
Tacky, Rob. Real tacky.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 16:16 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
On the other hand, there are some who actually have these delusions that there are secret exceptions and reservations ,and that this code was designed to tempt,lure and deceive LibreOffice, only to pounce on them later.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 16:47 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:02 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Actually I believe you are both acting in good faith to clear up the self-evident confusion and that you two will have it sorted out shortly.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:16 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 19, 2013 16:24 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
I was not speaking of Matt. I was speaking of the post from the LibreOffice Marketing Director
Not at all. I don't for a second remotely think that Matt believes what he is writing. He is playing Devil's Advocate.
Posted Jan 19, 2013 23:56 UTC (Sat) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 20, 2013 0:00 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 20, 2013 0:10 UTC (Sun) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
You took the position of someone submitting a racist screen to Apache, a position you presumably do not agree with, for sake of debate, to test the quality of the original argument, etc.
Posted Jan 20, 2013 0:22 UTC (Sun) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Jan 20, 2013 0:29 UTC (Sun) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 19, 2013 16:22 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
The imputations of bad faith to Matthew (without any evidence) are a nice touch too. I have no *idea* how Matthew has kept his cool through all this, but if working on AOO means working with Rob I can see why LibreOffice is taking off.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:49 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
What extra information does that list contain? If the information contained within it isn't relevant, why am I being asked to refer to it?
Posted Jan 18, 2013 16:05 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Now would you agree that the status is clear, based on the README and the SGA license?
Posted Jan 18, 2013 16:21 UTC (Fri) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
1) Add an explicit link to http://www.apache.org/licenses/cla-corporate.txt and the revision number in the preamble, just to avoid any potential doubts about whether "a Software Grant and Corporate Contributor License Agreement ("SGA ")" refers to the standard Apache one or a different one negotiated by IBM and the Foundation (in much the same way as "released under the terms of the GNU GPL" is ambiguous as to which version it refers to).
2) Add "These materials are contributed under the SGA" to point (2)
I think that those would make the intended copyright status completely unambiguous, but I think the change you've already made goes a long way.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 13:20 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Imagine if the project agreed to publish (release) the Symphony codebase. That would require months of up front work, but would also be an ongoing obligation. We would need to provide patches and do CVE reporting on discovered security flaws. We would need to track bugs. We would need to respond to user and developer queries. We would need to maintain the code and periodically come out with new releases.
We were certainly willing to do this, if the project wanted to make Symphony be the new base for the OpenOffice project. But after examining the code and lengthy discussions, the community decided against that path and decided on the "slow merge" approach, to take enhancements from Symphony and merge them into OpenOffice. That is fine. I can see the merit in that decision. It is less disruptive to users. It keeps us on the code base that more volunteers are familiar with, etc.
But once that decision was made, it no longer makes sense to release the Symphony code base, and take on those support obligations. To do so would be to have responsibilities to maintain and support two different code bases, Symphony and OpenOffice. Double the work. Who would want to do that? Remember, the point of the Symphony contribution was to end the Symphony fork and concentrate resources on a single project, not simply to maintain the fork to another venue.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 14:01 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
But you seem to misunderstand what people are asking for from IBM. Nobody is asking for a full blown ASF blessed Symphony release.
The current status of the symphony donation is unclear because the file headers don't match the intended license IBM says they wanted to grant to the ASF and the general public. As you say yourself IBM might have made mistakes in their SGA list or the code dump. And ASF policy is that only the contributor of the files can update the license headers. Without that having happened neither other Apache hackers nor the general public can really legally (re)use this contribution. By cleaning up the file headers and double checking their legal status you as IBM would not just help the general public, but also your fellow Apache hackers to work on integrating and completing the "slow merge" sooner.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 14:31 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Take a look at the README. The file headers tell you which files are IBM contributions, versus pre-existing OpenOffice files. And read some other, more perceptive comments on this same topic.
In any case, you seem to misunderstand what Apache projects do. We don't just take code, slap a new license header on things, hold our nose and toss it over the wall for public consumption. That is not how we operate. We're not the money launderers of the open source world. We do thorough reviews or we don't release at all. There is no Apache-lite release. I sense that you wish this were not the case, but it is.
And note that there is absolutely no issue for project members to touch the code. They already have. Indeed, with the Oracle SGA it took 6 months to clean up all the headers, and all along we were all working on the code base. So that is non-issue, more FUD.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:11 UTC (Fri) by mjw (subscriber, #16740)
The issue is precisely the indirect nature of the license grant. If IBM would clean up the header files that does give legal clarity (as opposed to anybody else changing those legal statements on the files).
People don't question the value of what Apache projects do. That is indeed much more than the single act of IBM clearing up the legal status of the files by cleaning up the headers.
Various Apache project members have stated on the mailinglist they feel not cleaning up the headers is a problem and they don't want to touch any of the files till IBM does that.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 15:32 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
You seem to be upset that we're not also maintaining a second fork of Symphony for the benefit of LibreOffice. Sorry, but no one has volunteered to do that. We're working on one codebase.
Posted Jan 19, 2013 16:26 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
You seem to be upset that we're not also maintaining a second fork of Symphony for the benefit of LibreOffice. Sorry, but no one has volunteered to do that. We're working on one codebase.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:07 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
I'm guessing that there is probably legitimate disagreement on that point, there are many instances of code dumps where a dead project is released without any obligation for ongoing maintenance. The quicker that is done the quicker that others can pick over the corpse for juicy tidbits.
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:22 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
It would probably be very unsatisfying to develop new fantasies that Apache will do this for the Symphony contribution. The plan of record, as decided by the community, is to merge enhancements from Symphony into OpenOffice and release this code as part of Apache OpenOffice 4.0.
Remember, Symphony is not an entirely different code base. It is a fork of OpenOffice.org. We're just rejoining the codebases and ending the fork.
If LibreOffice is truly interested in having "juicy tidbits" from it, then it is in their best interest for us to merge the code into Apache OpenOffice, where they can cherry pick from it, just like their ongoing harvesting of features from OpenOffice 3.4.1. It will be much easier for them to have one code base to sync from, then deal with two.
Congratulations! [was: priority of cleaning up unclear legal status]
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:33 UTC (Fri) by jubal (subscriber, #67202)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:42 UTC (Fri) by rcweir (subscriber, #48888)
Posted Jan 18, 2013 21:54 UTC (Fri) by jubal (subscriber, #67202)
Posted Feb 1, 2013 1:06 UTC (Fri) by mema (guest, #89121)
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds