links for 2007-01-31


Does GPLv3 seem like a good idea for some concrete reasons or just bloggers-intuition?

Posted by tmv on January 31, 2007 at 12:31 AM PST #

Wouldn't it be a bad idea to decide on using GPL3 before it is finalised? If GPL3 is a good idea now, why was it not chosen as the license for java? Conversely, why not GPL2 for OpenSolaris?

Posted by Martin Garton on January 31, 2007 at 04:15 AM PST #

@tmv: Well, if the license turned out to be a good one (in particular clearer & with much less open to interpretation) being available for all the code that has gone GPLv3 but for which there is no compatibly-licensed ketnel could be very interesting.

@Martin: Totally agree, this is a discussion not a decision. We should probably have the same discussion around OpenJDK too.

Posted by Simon Phipps on January 31, 2007 at 04:38 AM PST #

Simon, As I had commented to Mr. Grisanzio, Open Solaris under GPL assures immediate WORLDWIDE review. GNU/Linux owes no small measure of current GLOBAL success to GPL adoption, there is a valid reason. Legitimate, shared 'novel' code!

Posted by William R. Walling on January 31, 2007 at 05:47 AM PST #

Why would that be interesting? Are there technologies that people want to put into OpenSolaris but can't because of licensing restrictions.

Posted by tmv on February 01, 2007 at 05:30 AM PST #

I tried to post the following in response to Stephen's blog, but it gets tagged as SPAM.

The author of the text that Jim quoted was both right and wrong in what he said.

That would be me. :-(

Yes, it is possible to incorporate DTrace support into FreeBSD, but the FreeBSD project won't allow that support to be included by default in the GENERIC kernel that is installed by 99% of FreeBSD users.

It was the "default" issue that I misunderstood when I started the DTrace port to FreeBSD. I thought that the presence of a KDTRACE (DTrace support) kernel option which would be enabled by default and able to be turned off (by anyone not wanting to accept the CDDL) would be OK. I was wrong.

I debated this with some of the FreeBSD core members and I have to say that I became convinced by their argument. I did try to convince them otherwise, though. ;-)

For the record, it isn't the CDDL on the C source files that was the issue. It was only the license on the Solaris header files. The simple #include of any CDDL header file in the FreeBSD kernel is sufficient to attach a patent legal incumberance to the entire kernel.

I have to question whether that was really what Sun intended when they created the CDDL. Does Sun really expect any and every company shipping binary code containing CDDL code (even just with the inclusion of a header file in order to be API compatible) to give up their entire patent portfolio?

I have asked Sun to address this issue, as Simon is aware. He hasn't responded to my last email on the subject in which I asked for clarification of Sun's position on this matter. I wanted a statement from Sun that I could include in my DTrace project status report in which I intended to notify FreeBSD users that the DTrace port to FreeBSD had missed the deadline for inclusion in FreeBSD 7.0. Since I didn't get a response from Simon, I elected to remain quiet on the subject rather than start a licensing bikeshed. (FreeBSD developers will know what I mean by that.)

I've received emails from developers within Sun who prefer the BSD license. Some are even FreeBSD users and some are even FreeBSD contributors.

I think that a lot of people read the word "open" and think "free". OpenSolaris my be open (meaning that people can look at the source code) and it may be free in a monetary sense, but is by no means freely usable.

I have asked Sun for legal clarity which would allow me to use the OpenSolaris APIs without legal incumberance.

I am still waiting.

In the mean time, I have a T2000 here with 32 processors and 32 GB of memory sitting here idle.

Perhaps I should just send it back to Sun?

Or perhaps Sun could just pull their company finger out and embrace freedom.

Complete freedom. No encumberances.

Posted by John Birrell on February 03, 2007 at 05:05 PM PST #

Hi John. I'm sorry I'm not replying often enough, but your issue turns out to be a spider's web and I am still working on it. Honestly.

As for 'freedom' - well, that's a religious topic. "Embracing" it to the satisfaction of all is a hard thing. I heard your BSD-centric view and understand it, though.

Posted by Simon Phipps on February 03, 2007 at 08:31 PM PST #

@tmv: I've replied at length on the thread in the OpenSolaris forums. While I have actually not come to a final conclusion on the matter, it seems that the (internally valid) views of the FSF could be satisfied without significant harm to the rest of us and that the consequence would be widespread adoption of GNU/OpenSolaris in the extensive areas they influence. This won't be a view that the BSD and CDDL factions will want to tolerate, but it may well make great sense. I'm still reading and listening though.

@Martin: Very bad idea, yes, but we already have enough of an idea to start exploring. No decision will be made until after the final GPLv3 is ratified in the spring, though, I can assure of that from both an OGB and a Sun perspective.

Posted by Simon Phipps on February 03, 2007 at 08:35 PM PST #

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