Home > Oracle and SUN > Sun Sets Up Open Source Office Sun Sets Up Open Source Office Andrew Youll 2005-08-20 Oracle and SUN 35 Comments Sun Microsystems has set up its first department dedicated Open-Source software, in anticipation of more Sun Microsystems code being opened up to the public. About The Author 35 Comments 2005-08-20 3:28 pm jon1012 A department dedicated to embrace the community using alway new licenses all more bizarre one than the other ? Why don’t they stick to GPL ? then I would welcome their dedication to Open Source 2005-08-20 3:45 pm Andrew Youll Many view the GPL as not truely open, as open source you should be allowed to use the code as you wish, yes the GPL does this, but it requires you to release modifications you make, many businesses view this a restriction which they’re not willing to accept. 2005-08-20 3:55 pm jon1012 Yup… Maybe you are right, but GPL is a standard and something that can help knowledge and code to be exchanged, and global information and knowledge be improved by something it’s detractor call “viral licensing” (and also of course, the releasing of the source code ) If you see the FSF recommendation on the CDDL license (used for open solaris) here is what is said: ” This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the CDDL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the CDDL for this reason. Also unfortunate in the CDDL is its use of the term ‘intellectual property'” (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html) 2005-08-20 4:00 pm > Maybe you are right, but GPL is a standard IT IS NOT. There are no “standards” for OSS! > that can help knowledge and code to be exchanged ALL OSI-approved licenses can do that. That’s why we have OSI. > That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module > covered by the CDDL cannot legally be linked > together. This is the FSF’s fault. If the FSF were less interested in world domination (this is not a joke: the FSF definitely wants all software to be GPL some day), then the FSF would’t need to forbit this. Learn it: NOT the CDDL forbids you to link these things together, only the FSF does! > We urge you not to use the CDDL for this reason. This is pure lobbyism. Lobbyism for GPL world domination and intolerance. 2005-08-20 11:40 pm rm6990 Yup… Maybe you are right, but GPL is a standard and something that can help knowledge and code to be exchanged, and global information and knowledge be improved by something it’s detractor call “viral licensing” (and also of course, the releasing of the source code ) If you see the FSF recommendation on the CDDL license (used for open solaris) here is what is said: ” This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the CDDL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the CDDL for this reason. Also unfortunate in the CDDL is its use of the term ‘intellectual property'” (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html) I disagree with you, as do many others, but why the hell was this modded down? He wasn’t trolling, just stating his opinion. 2005-08-20 5:08 pm orestes That and the fact that many projects can’t be GPL’d without an enormous amount of work to untangle all the licensing issues involved. 2005-08-22 5:22 am butters “I have a dream that, one day, my four children will live in a world where they will not be judged by the color of their license, but by the content of their contribution to free software.” I believe it was the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that said those very words nearly 40 years ago, and look how far we’ve come. Even the OSN staff members cannot refrain from discriminating against various licenses. This is licensism, and until we eradicate licensist propaganda from the OSN staff, we can never hope to mod our world free at last!! O my People, let us beat our swords into plow shears, and let us lions and lambs lie together in the field, because only then can we be delivered to a Promised Land, where we can have lively discussion that stays on topic. 2005-08-20 3:55 pm It’s boring now! The GPL – is not the only OSI-approved free OSS license – does not allow combining code with anything else than GPL code, not even Apache or Mozilla – does not protect OSS authors from being sued for patent infringement, which the MPL, the CDDL and some other licenses do Learn it now: Being dedicated to OSS means being dedicated to OSS and not to GNU. GNU is not a synonyme for OSS and GNU is not allowed to claim OSS for itself. 2005-08-20 4:18 pm Mark Williamson Actually, you can combine GPL code with other licenses so long as they don’t impose any *additional* restrictions over the GPL’s provisions. e.g. 3 clause BSD license, MIT license (I think), public domain code, other licenses. You don’t have to relicense those portions, you just distribute the *aggregate* work according to the terms of the GPL. The new Apache license includes restrictions regarding patents that are GPL incompatible (although the FSF think these are a good idea and are talking to ASF about resolving these compatibility issues, IIRC). 2005-08-20 5:54 pm BrianH A department dedicated to embrace the community using alway new licenses all more bizarre one than the other ? Um, no. They’ve said that one of the reasons for setting up this department is to help Sun projects decide which of the existing OSI licenses would be appropriate for them, to cut down on license proliferation. You see, Sun caught a lot of flack for creating new licenses before. On the other hand, many of the OSI licenses are GPL incompatible, often for good reasons like differing treatment of patents. GPL incompatible doesn’t mean that the license is bad, just less useful until they fix the GPL. 2005-08-20 3:44 pm Ronald Vos That they only set up an office now shows how serious Sun takes open source software. The whole Sun open source effort has been driven by a few upper management people (and by 1 woman in particular, whose name escapes me) who managed to convince the other high brass. The rest have been doubtful enough to not do any full dedication, and would rather see a community spontaneously rise up to do some free coding for them. 2005-08-20 3:50 pm DittoBox I was just slightly confused when I read this: “Sun Sets Up Open Source Office” I thought Sun was creating a new office suite to open source it. Then I read the summary. 2005-08-20 4:02 pm Uhm, Sun employees have made it clear everywhere on the net why they prefer CDDL. And the CDDL is not that much different from the MPL. Sn is also a big corp. The left hand may not know or agree with what the right hand does. As for the GPL: Your statement is incorrect. You don’t have to put your sourcecode back under the GPL. 1) Only if you distribute a binary based on your code. And only to the people you distribute it to. IOW if you run the software internally on your corporate network with your modifications then you don’t have to put the sourcecode in the wid. 2) You are allowed to dual-license your source code. The Mozilla project does this: MPL and GPL. 2005-08-20 4:17 pm i rather use notepad in windows 98 2005-08-20 11:43 pm rm6990 i rather use notepad in windows 98 You would rather use notepad in Windows 98 than an office of employees set up by Sun dedicated to Open Source Software? Hmmmm….how very strange…. I think this is a severe case of not RTFA. 2005-08-20 4:56 pm “IT IS NOT. There are no “standards” for OSS! ” Oh yes there is. OSI has a standard definition of OSS by itself and there are several open source standards like the Docbook XML standard or the open document standard for office suites introduced OASIS http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=office “Learn it: NOT the CDDL forbids you to link these things together, only the FSF does! ” SUN fully well knew that the GPL which has existed for decades before CDDL was not compatible with its license when it knew it, yet it choose to incompatible for no big gain. thats what being questioned and get your terminology right FSF != GNU GPL Why do you need to be compatible with GNU GPL http://www.dwheeler.com/essays/gpl-compatible.html 2005-08-20 4:59 pm “is not the only OSI-approved free OSS licens” Definitely not. there are several other GPL compatible licenses. Sun didnt choose one of them http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicens… The deliberately choose a incompatible license by adding more restrictions. 2005-08-20 6:00 pm Most major projects on the OSS world don’t use GPL anyway… Mozilla, Apache, IBM, Sun… More and more oss supporters are releasing their work in a true free non-GPL license. Linux is an exception, but Linux was released long time. I doubt Linus would choose GPL if he would start linux today. 2005-08-20 11:51 pm rm6990 Most major projects on the OSS world don’t use GPL anyway… Mozilla, Apache, IBM, Sun… More and more oss supporters are releasing their work in a true free non-GPL license. Linux is an exception, but Linux was released long time. I doubt Linus would choose GPL if he would start linux today. Now I’ve heard of proprietary software products being released as Open Source software, but I’ve never heard of a publicly traded corporation being released as Open Source software…..didn’t even know it was possible… Oh, btw, Sun released OpenOffice.org under a dual-license (GPL/LGPL and SISSL)…just in-case you didn’t know. IBM’s NUMA, RCU and numerous other technologies have been released under the GPL. I’m not saying the GPL is the best of all licenses, but out and out lying to prove your point isn’t the best way to make people believe you. 2005-08-20 7:58 pm This has got to be one of the saddest discussions in a while. A really weak GPL troll starts it off, and it’s obvious the rest are struggling against a lazy Saturday afternoon (in this hemisphere, at least). Where’s the beef, people?! 2005-08-20 9:57 pm markjensen I don’t think that the first poster was intentionally trolling. It seems he just stated that he would prefer Sun to use GPL (or perhaps a GPL-compatible license). Sun certainly has a mixed history with Open Source, and with Microsoft. Buddy-buddy one minute, then sworn foe the next. I would be a bit wary of Sun until they make up their own mind on which direction they are heading. I mean “every direction” is counterproductive. Yes, investigate all reasonable alternatives, but you don’t have to commit to those directions all the the same time (or one after another). 2005-08-20 11:39 pm tpenta That quote from the FAQ gets used a lot. The problem is it’s simply not true. If that were true, you would have difficulty building GPLd applications on Solaris or OpenSolaris. Linking is not the problem. The appropriate clauses of the GPL (section 2b) come into play only if you then wish to distribute the result. Alan. 2005-08-20 11:51 pm orestes The appropriate clauses of the GPL (section 2b) come into play only if you then wish to distribute the result. The entire GPL only comes into play if you’re distributing the code. Any other rights you have to a GPL’d program come from copyright law. 2005-08-21 4:07 am Arun The entire GPL only comes into play if you’re distributing the code. Any other rights you have to a GPL’d program come from copyright law. I am getting tired of the same point being regurgitated again and again. Why would any OSS licesnes terms matter if no one is reditributing code? I don’t think the FSF or anyone can do anything legally if I intermignle CDDL code and GPL code without redistributing it. What exact point are the GPL proponents trying to make with such statements? orestes, I wasn’t trying to sngle you out, just making a general statement about and obviously moot point. 2005-08-21 6:48 am Lumbergh The FSF/Stallman has no say on what can and can get mingled in with the GPL. They have no legal authority. All that matters is copyright holders. 2005-08-21 12:53 am tpenta Which is exactly my point. It’s perfectly reasonable to link. The HPL however would forbid such code from being distributed. It’s a subtle but important difference. The way that it is surrently written is horribly misleading. Alan. 2005-08-21 1:18 am Did anyone misread the label as Sour Office? 2005-08-21 1:40 am Hmmm… I wonder if this Open Source Office is an Office with Windows and a View? Or is it stuck in the basement next to the mailroom? 2005-08-21 3:11 am Lumbergh Any license that is viral like the GPL and forces independent modules to be open source can not be considered free. The FSF is irrelevant these days. The CEO of OSDL (where Linus works) has welcomed proprietary development on linux. OSI failed miserably at trying to get a trademark for the term “open source”. Trying to trademark “open source” is almost as bad as all of Stallman’s antics. 2005-08-21 3:42 am kaiwai Agreed. It seems to me that there is a small, microscopic number of people in the ‘opensource community’ that pushes this, Nothing but GPL attitude. The reality is, those who actually DO programme – you know, the ones that actually contribute things to the software world, and of actual value (EMACS doesn’t count – its the biggest, bloated POS that ever graced gods green earth) take a pragmatic approach – in the case of Mono, its a GPL compiler and VM, with the framework licenced under the MIT/X11 licence. Its about using the best licence for the job rather than this militant approach the FSF and its cohorts try to push, that its either GPL all the way or nothing. 2005-08-21 4:59 am > I am getting tired of the same point being regurgitated again and again. Why would any OSS licesnes terms matter if no one is reditributing code? Simple. The point is that some state that under the circumstance where you wrote a modification to GPLed sourcedoe, you are _obligated_ to give that change back under the GPL. This is simply not true. Its not true under the CDDL either. There’s no license under which this is true. It has nothing to do with proponents, it is related to factual correct information which apparently is necessary given all the incorrect information being spread. This is why people describe the mechanisms since there’s a small group of trolls and a bigger group of uninformed or misinformed people out there. Wether such mechanism is defined by an individual as viral, communist or nazi — i’d care less for that as long as its also correctly described. As long as people spread the misinformation you’ll probably see people correcting it. Think: Cause and effect! 2005-08-21 5:12 am Arun Simple. The point is that some state that under the circumstance where you wrote a modification to GPLed sourcedoe, you are _obligated_ to give that change back under the GPL. This is simply not true. Its not true under the CDDL either. There’s no license under which this is true. It has nothing to do with proponents, it is related to factual correct information which apparently is necessary given all the incorrect information being spread. As you said. Most OSS licenses are designed to activate when a product is distributed. Talking about the terms not applying when one doesn’t redistribute derviative work is moot. I think most people who you claim make factual errors are implicitly talking about the terms of the license which matter most when OSS is used for purposes of redistribution in a project. Having pages and pages of flamewars based on semantics and literal interpretation of words is very distracting and unproductive. That’s all I wanted to say. 2005-08-22 12:20 am John Nilsson Anyone who hasn’t read The Cathedral and the Bazaar (the whole book not only the essay) should read it before posting another post about GPL, FSF and OSS. The fact is that FSF and GPL is not about Open Source, it’s about Free Software. To really understand the FSF try to read free as a verb… OSI and the Open Source Movement doesn’t give a shit about Free Software. It’s all about how open source is superior in development scalability, QA, market expansion and as a medium to act in as craftsmen. The FSF however is all about fundamental rights to learn and study code and other ideological issues. As in EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD, debating whether the GPL is Good(TM) or Bad(TM) is pointless with out a context. Good for what? Bad for what? GPL is very good for the FSF and it’s goals. I think it is not so good for the goals of SUN. The fact that SUN doesn’t wan’t to be GPL compatible has probably to do with not wanting to have Solaris scavanged for code to be integrated into Linux (a competing product). Whle I love most GPL software I don’t think this is a bad move by SUN. The code is still availible to play with, you just can’t make a Linux out of it… 2005-08-22 1:17 am jmcpAtSun As I understand it — from internal discussions — Sun doesn’t really care whether linux or any other flavour of Unix picks up ideas from OpenSolaris. What matters is that if you are going to do that, you adhere to the license terms under which you got access to the OpenSolaris sourcecode. There’s already an effort underway to port DTrace to FreeBSD btw — and the DTrace team is very active in responding to questions from the porters. The in”compatibility with GPL” thing is almost 99% to do with the licensing agreements which Sun has signed with other companies to include some of their IP in Solaris, and not due to fear about scavenging. Seriously, if Sun was worried about scavenging, do you think that OpenSolaris would exist at all? It’s about the conversation, not the end result. (And who knows what the “end result” is going to be anyway?) 2005-08-22 1:48 pm John Nilsson Seriously, if Sun was worried about scavenging, do you think that OpenSolaris would exist at all? Well yes… open source is a powerfull development modell and SUN knows it. But you are probably right anyway, reading my post again I realize that I have no foundation for that statement, and it does sound a bit silly when you think about it 😉 If SUN was afraid of Linux there are better ways to go about it.