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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
The apology line forms on the left. Please take a number.
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)
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