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More DTrace envy

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 3, 2008 14:13 UTC (Thu) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
In reply to: More DTrace envy by mjw
Parent article: More DTrace envy

Well, Danese left Sun quite a few years ago. Also, be sure to read Simon Phipps response
(linked from the Wiki article you linked to).

I accept there are differences and difficulties. However, it is Suns' prerogative to define
how the software it created is to be derived from. Again though, Suns' licence does *not*
(AIUI+IANAL) prevent other OSes from re-using that code - not even Linux (even if it does
require collective action from Linux copyright holders). Reading the tea-leaves to find
evidence of Suns' "evil" intentions is however not at all productive, no matter whose side
you're on. Then projecting a moral duty of having to respect these *divined intentions* is,
again with all due respect, not very sensible.

If there are problems on some side, then the only way understanding can increase and so
solutions (if any) are ever be found is through dialogue.


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More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 3, 2008 14:29 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

You have it backwards. 

It's not that the GPL is incompatible with the CDDL... The CDDL was designed, specifically, to
be incompatible with the GPL. Even if all the Linux kernel developers decided that CDDL was
acceptable, then it still wouldn't matter. Sun _doesn't_want_it's_code_in_the_linux_kernel_. 

That's it. They don't want Dtrace to be in Linux. They don't want ZFS in Linux. Get it? They
did it on purpose.  So all the philosophical or political are the arguments that are MOOT. Sun
made sure of that. Sun says their code isn't going into Linux, then their code isn't going in.
There is absolutely no question about this.

Your the only one mentioning 'evil' here or anything like that. You can see their intentions
very clearly written in between the lines in the CDDL license even if you don't believe
Danese. All the legal ramifications have already been worked out years in advanced for
Mozilla-like licenses and Sun could of easily made it compatible with Linux, but they chose
not to do that. EASILY. No question about that at all. 

Most everybody, unless they are loonies, is happy that Sun has their code under a open
license, even if it's intentionally incompatible with the (pre-existing and very well
established) GPL license.

They may change their mind in the future and make the license compatible, but until then it's
not going in. 

You see, that's how you know Sun wouldn't mind having it's code in Linux. If they made the
license compatible then you'd know it was ok. Everything else is handwaving.

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 3, 2008 14:55 UTC (Thu) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

Even if all the Linux kernel developers decided that CDDL was acceptable, then it still wouldn't matter. Sun _doesn't_want_it's_code_in_the_linux_kernel_.

Sun has published its code under the CDDL. It's a free software licence that's quite permissive. At least one other OS (if not two) has incorporated code (the crown jewels no less) from Solaris, by way of the CDDL licence. Take that + whatever statements you want from its officers that seem interpretive or estopping and ask your lawyer for an opinion.

What you feel Sun wants, or what you think the CDDL was designed specifically for, is amazingly speculative at best and largely irrelevant to anyone considering porting CDDL code.

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 3, 2008 19:21 UTC (Thu) by bronson (subscriber, #4806) [Link]

> what you think the CDDL was designed specifically for, is ... largely irrelevant to anyone
considering porting CDDL code.

Do you seriously believe this?

Do you agree that the CDDL is incompatible with the GPLv2?  If so, then don't you think that
someone considering porting CDDL code to a GPL project had better consider whether his actions
are even legal?  That hardly sounds irrelevant!

If there's estoppel that would allow the CDDL to be used with the GPL, do you suppose you
share a link?  Every communication from Sun that I've seen has very specifically avoided this.

If Sun actually does want its CDDL code to be incorporated into GPLv2 projects, it would take
only tiny changes.  Since the GPL is older and more popular (http://freshmeat.net/stats/), one
would expect that Sun carefully considered researched GPL compatibility.  Even if the
incompatibility is an honest mistake, then why doesn't Sun make the tiny changes required now
to rectify the situation?

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 5, 2008 19:13 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> Sun has published its code under the CDDL. It's a free software licence that's quite
permissive. At least one other OS (if not two) has incorporated code (the crown jewels no
less) from Solaris, by way of the CDDL licence. Take that + whatever statements you want from
its officers that seem interpretive or estopping and ask your lawyer for an opinion.

They don't care if FreeBSD or OS X adopts ZFS or Dtrace because those operating systems are
irrelevant and are not competitive.  Sun doesn't care if OS X adopts ZFS because they won't do
anything interesting with it. At most it will make OS X users feel better because they can
finally have a file system that doesn't suck worse then Vfat.

If Sun has it's software adopted by the Linux folks then they lose control over it. They will
improve it and incorporate it into Linux and it will be yet another reason why nobody has a
reason to choose Solaris over Linux. 

Linux is now the dominate Unix system out there. Sun wants to maintain control over their
'ip'. They've done that with most everything they've released.  They are learning to let go,
but it's slow coming.


Then explain to me why the hell Sun has not extended it's patent protections (use our IP and
we won't sue you) only to the users of CDDL-licensed code and not open source programmers and
users in general? Other people have done this (Redhat, Novell (not talking about the MS-Novell
agreement, but previous things they've done), it's certainly possible.


> What you feel Sun wants, or what you think the CDDL was designed specifically for, is
amazingly speculative at best and largely irrelevant to anyone considering porting CDDL code. 

_read_the_license_.  The license expresses intent. That's the point of it.

70%-90% of open source software used in a commercial environment is going to be licensed GPL.
Your telling me that Sun made CDDL problematic to be used in the majority of popular open
source software by ACCIDENT?

All they had to do was make a exception. They can still do it now. Mozilla did it. 

They took and copied a license that everybody, including the original authors (Mozilla),
realizes is problematic when combined with other open source software and Sun didn't realize
it?

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 6, 2008 11:10 UTC (Sun) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

You're the second person to have misread my (I thought fairly clear) comment, so I guess I
need to reply and clarift: I specifically said that *your* opinion of Suns' motivations in
choosing the CDDL was largely irrelevant (not least because motivations, even when generally
acknowledged, aren't that relevant).

Next (sorry to restate, but its important to the coherence of this post) you have been given
several reasonable, practical and good reasons why the GPLv2 would not have been acceptable to
Sun, regardless of Suns' motivations towards Linux, namely:

- Sun did not want to dictate to ISVs that they must GPL their code. (This one you have heard
directly from Bryan)

- Sun does not want licence-forking (to cover any rebuttal to the previous point of "so use
LGPL", as the LGPL can be converted to GPL, and ignoring the fact that the LGPL is far from
pretty)

- The GPLv2 is out of date with regard to patents. That Sun added patent cross-licensing+MAD
terms to CDDL suggests this may have been a factor. (Why it applies only to CDDL? I've no
idea.. I suspect there may be legal, technical difficulties in drafting the language to have
many other licences - particularly with regard to the 'MAD' aspect of the CDDL patent
language. Can you provide a pointer to the grants you refer to? Be interesting to read).

Next, ignoring the above and if we accept your argument: Exactly how did you develop this
massive sense of entitlement that you think it is your automatic right to Suns' code on
licensing terms favourable to your chosen OS? I'm a Free Software Foundation supporter and I
always understood that the ethical reasoning for companies to choose the free software was out
of respect for their *users*...

Finally, can you tell me with a straight face that had Sun chosen the GPL but it had chosen
the GPLv3 (imagining the GPLv3 had existed), that you'd then not be complaining here today
about Suns' choice of licence? Even though it too is incompatible with Linux to the *same
extent* as the CDDL is (namely: it'd require linux copyright holders to agree to update the
Linux not-quite-GPLv2 licence)?

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 7, 2008 2:39 UTC (Mon) by clump (subscriber, #27801) [Link]

Forgive me, but the argument appears to be about whether CDDL-licensed can be used in Linux, or specifically GPL-licensed works. You started by saying:
Licences being incompatible is a moot, philosophical matter...
and:
Look, the CDDL appears to be absolutely fine with copyright holders of GPL works incorporating CDDL software and distributing it.
However this next quote is curious given your views:
Exactly how did you develop this massive sense of entitlement that you think it is your automatic right to Suns' code on licensing terms favourable to your chosen OS?
With the last quote, it looks like you agree that the CDDL and GPL aren't compatible. You object to people arguing *why* Sun chose the license. Fine. But you very much appear to give legitimacy to those not wishing to mix the licenses together.

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 7, 2008 9:48 UTC (Mon) by paulj (subscriber, #341) [Link]

You have deliberately omitted the statements immediately following the ones you've quoted
which qualify those quotes. The first quote is particularly out of context, as the qualifying
statement is in the same sentence: "... if no one thinks the infringment matters.".

That's quite trollsome behaviour, something I would not have expected from an LWN subscriber.

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 7, 2008 17:22 UTC (Mon) by clump (subscriber, #27801) [Link]

Ignoring your attacks, myself and some others here obviously think infringement matters.
That's kind of the point... It's also ironic that you've gone out of your way to condemn others
for thinking they know why Sun chooses the licenses it does, yet you consider it a deliberate
attempt to troll when someone points out what appears to be inconsistency in your logic.

By all means, disagree with my point if I am wrong but don't pretend you're taking the high
road.

More DTrace envy

Posted Jul 3, 2008 15:41 UTC (Thu) by zooko (guest, #2589) [Link]

Be careful using the notion of "Sun" as a person which can have intentions and plans and so
forth.  Even though the people who chose CDDL did so deliberately in order to avoid their
technologies being added into Linux (according to Danese Cooper's public comments and other
private communications that I've had with other Sun employees), that doesn't mean that Bryan
Cantrill so chose, or even that he is aware of or believes that it was so chosen.

Anyway, Bryan Cantrill's knowledge, opinions, and intentions are necessarily different than
those of other Sun employees, and neither is he wholly responsible for what the company does
nor is the company wholly responsible for what he does.

There is a sense in which companies cannot actually have intentions.  Fortunately, in our
society we allow them to enter into binding agreements, such as by publishing their software
under an open source licence, so that we no longer have to form a mental model of the
company's intention in order to know what we can do with their source code.

P.S.  I'm glad that free and open Solaris exists, as well as other free and open operating
systems such as the BSD's and apparently eventually Symbian.  If every computer in the world
ran Linux, we would all be poorer for it -- monoculture leads to stagnation and fragility.
Diversity and competition is the fount of creativity and excellence.


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