This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Up early, poked mail, read blogs. Nice
blog from Mathias Bauer, a man whose opinion I weigh heavily,
but with whom it seems I profoundly disagree.
- First the light-hearted piece, I confess I missed
out on mba's
amusing pantyhoses piece, due (I think) to not being CC'd as
asked in the quoted text (no doubt an honest mistake). The humerous
example of the construction of a religious convictionally selective
license is amusing: what is less funny is that only Sun chooses how
OO.o is (privately) licensed, under what terms, and to whom.
- The historical review is most helpful, although at some
level I think it ends up basically just re-stating the problem:
that Sun demands total ownership of everything, and will continue
to do so; but lets consider it:
stated in the ESC that we (Novell) are no longer willing to
assign ownership rights to Sun for new, separable modules. Why ?
If you're a particular fan of Sun, this can be seen as some malign
and divisive strategy - after all, why shouldn't people want to
assign their rights to Sun en-masse ? Of course we talk to Sun and
others about improving OO.o continually, but the simplest explanation
here is a suspicion that this one company is bent on retaining complete
ownership of OO.o, as it's share of contribution decreases, and
that that is deeply unhealthy and unjust (nevermind deterring
other contributors). Anyhow, from subsequent actions it seems that
suspicion was strongly vindicated:
- In categorically rejecting this simple and moderate
progression to a more balanced ownership structure Sun obviously strongly
defended it's demand to continue owning everything, even as it's proportion
of contribution shrinks. Sun seems not content to own just it's own code
(and changes to that), but wants to own everything. Furthermore, it
appears to suggest (on the basis of its various special positions in OO.o ?),
that this cannot be changed; it is also interesting to hear
that all Sun Open Source projects are like this.
- Subsequently Sun made an offer to distribute the solver
as a separate plugin. If Sun (or others) want to provide the solver as
a plugin, they have all the rights they need (as has anyone else), as
indeed they have all the rights to ship it as part of OO.o itself (under
the LGPL), and even to ship it in StarOffice - under the LGPL. As has
been said before, we're eager to see the solver (etc.) as part of OO.o.
- So - finally we have the re-statement of the status-quo
from Mathias: as if this is an immutable law of gravity:
It was always absolutely clear from the very beginning of Kohei's work and it
was reinforced several weeks ago that the Kohei Solver will not get into the
OOo code base without a JCA.
- It has never been clear that Sun's demand for total ownership
(and hence ultimate control) would continue indefinately. Indeed
quite the opposite, we have been
promised a foundation from day one. Unfortunately it seems to be the
case that there will be no re-examination of the ownership structure; ie.
just re-stating the problem.
- Last week, Sun took the steamroller approach of reinforcing
it's demands by decided that instead of making the solver a
plugin itself (or whatever fudge it could construct), it would start
re-implementing it from scratch. At that time, of course we started
pointing people to http://go-oo.org/.
- Then, interestingly, later in the week Jim Parkinson
re-stated Sun's position, though it seems there will be some
welcome consultation on it. A major thrust of his blog
is a proposed move to the SCA - whose only practical purpose is to
strengthen Sun's ownership rights with a stronger copyright assignment;
but back to Mathias:
To sum up: the decision whether the Kohei solver or any other of the
components Novell holds back will be contributed to OOo or not is a decision
of Novell, not of anybody else.
- The JCA (or SCA) is not an immutable law, it is not necessary
to assign everything to Sun to achieve any of the worthy stated aims of
defending the license, re-licensing, etc. The JCA is not the very basis of
civilisation, without which nothing can exist: an eternal tradition
handed down from the elders, beyond question, for-your-own-good, etc.
etc. Instead it seems to me an unbalanced control structure that retards
OO.o's growth, and requires changing. It could easily be changed tommorrow
by Sun. Switching to a more just and reasonable model is emminently sensible
- though of course it is hard to imagine a King becoming a radical Republican.
- Finally, I look forward to the result of Jim's first
Advisory Board meeting; and applaud his commitment
that Sun is steadfastly behind a strong, transparent and fair
community process. I am really looking forward to seeing that arrive.
- Finally got to other mail; dug at configmgr again, and busy finding
and chasing missing components etc. finally got keys to get and set properly.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)