☞ Gaming The System

  • “When a company says which of these conditions it will accept, that will show you how far it plans to depart from the principles of free software.”

    An interesting discussion by Richard Stallman that indicates he is still willing to tolerate copyright aggregation by corporations. The fact is no corporation will accept these extra clauses he has written, so unless they include them in their standard agreements by default, he might just as well say (as I did) “avoid copyright aggregation.”

  • “lobbyists have attempted to put the focus on “mixed solutions with open and proprietary code” and have FRAND licenses declared compatible with open software”

    The people involved definitely should know better than this. While it is possible to build specific cases of FRAND licensing that can be considered compatible with open source licensing, the class in general never can be and the voices saying otherwise should be ashamed of themselves as they attempt to sell everyone’s freedoms in exchange for corporate marketing dollars.


  • ForgeRock’s training group is now ready for business and pumping out courses on OpenAM and OpenDJ. This page is the new training calendar.

☞ Plus ça change

  • If anyone has forgotten why RAND and RAND-Z terms are a defect awaiting exploitation to undermine software freedoms, this article – from 2005 – ought to jog your memory.

  • You can tell the world has changed when there's a malware alert about a massive rise in malicious exploits of Java flaws, and it's raised by Microsoft. Is the problem here that there's no automated update mechanism for Java on Windows for most users (or it's turned off), I wonder?

☞ Monday Links

  • Stephen Colebourne articulates what I am sure has been on many people’s minds – that it’s time for an independent JCP, and that the only way Oracle would tolerate such a thing would be to remove core Java from the JCP. This is the start of a great proposal and I hope it receives recognition, serious consideration and a response from Oracle.
  • While I agree with the article which I beieve is a well observed reflection on politics and society, I disagree with the title as a general statement as I believe open, meriticractic oligarchy to be the proven and true pattern for open source governance.
  • Mendelbrot is someone I would have loved to have met. We were both at IBM at the same time, so it might have been possible, but we never did. His work has profoundly influenced me. I believe he discovered a new fundamental aspect of reality that we will continue to discover allows us to objectively explore and explain things previously thought to be purely subjective. One of the greats of the 20th century has left our community, and left it immeasurably richer.
  • This could be a profound health breakthrough for men.

☞ Monopolies and patents

  • The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) is still in play, and despite attempts by companies like Microsoft to "own" interoperability and neuter it to become a concept defining a preference for proprietary monocultures, there is still a chance the EU will enact procurement legislation that attacks their de facto monopoly and brings long-term software freedom benefits to European administrations.

  • The fact the BSA supports ACTA tells us more both it in a moment than large quantities of analysis could do in a day. I predict BSA will be a key user of ACTAs provisions in their pursuit of closed software by proprietary vendors and their oppression of those vendors' customers.

☞ Another Kind Of Broken

☞ Turning Point Discussions

  • It was a long session, but the conversation flowed between me, John Newton and Luis Sala of Alfresco and FLOSS Weekly anchor Randal Schwartz.
  • Nothing new to people who understood software freedom from the beginning to mean open collaboration between equal participants, but all the same it’s good to see an analyst saying it. Given previous analysis latency this presumably means we’ll hear Forrester saying it in 2014, VCs investing on the basis of it by 2015 and Gartner inventing it for the first time around 2017 😉
  • Excellent summary of the situation from O’Grady (as usual). The only thing lacking is speculation about the new power distribution in the community. With Oracle winning the bet that might would defeat right, there seems space for some analysis of whether the Java community just became sharecroppers.

☞ Good For Java?

  • “IBM will work with Oracle and the Java community to make OpenJDK the primary high performance open source runtime for Java. IBM will be shifting its development effort from the Apache Project Harmony to OpenJDK.”

    As always in these corporate mating dances, the real meat is in what’s not said, especially about the Google lawsuit, the future of Apache Harmony without IBM, the licensing arrangements, the governance of OpenJDK and the carving-up of control of the JCP. 

    Will IBM actually join the community or is this a corporation-corporation deal like with OpenOffice? What else was agreed in the deal between IBM and Oracle that made this happen? Where does this leave open source developers in the software patent wars? There’s plenty to explore, but sadly none of the articles so far have asked any of these questions.

  • Tim Ellison is the chair of the Apache Harmony PMC, so his comments here are very significant – one might even suggest they amount to calling for Harmony to be wound up, not that that’s one person or company’s decision.
  • Repeat after me “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”
    Sacha Labourey pretty much nails the issues here. The Java community needed clarity over whether it was an open, level playing field or whether they were just sharecropping someone else’s property. Clarity is clarity, whether you like it or not.
  • Mark Reinhold focuses as I’d expect on the technical collaboration. But the comments highlight that the announcement has been made with the details of the OpenJDK governance still unresolved.
  • List of the people working on Harmony. Not only is the list apparently out of date, it has such a strong IBM contingent (I wonder how many of those “independents” are actually IBM or Intel contractors) that I am amazed it has escaped Apache Board scrutiny for so long.

[Also on ComputerWorldUK]

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