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Live Q&A With Outercurve Foundation President Jim Jagielski 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
Jim Jagielski is one of the co-founders of the Apache Software Foundation, a director of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), new President of the Outercurve Foundation, and as we mentioned yesterday, your interview subject for the next two hours. Mr. Jagielski will be answering your questions below until 2:00 ET (18:00 GMT). Please keep it to one question per post so everyone gets a chance.

Update: 2pm ET has come and gone. Mr. Jagielski might stick around for a bit and answer questions later so make sure to check back. A big thanks to him for his time and answers! Here's a link to his user page where you can read all his responses.
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Live Q&A With Outercurve Foundation President Jim Jagielski

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  • What are your thoughts on the software patent ban New Zealand just passed?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Outercurve was founded by but supposedly separate from Microsoft. But most of your projects are Office and Visual Studio plugins, Windows applications and .Net. How separate can you be?

    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:14PM (#44697405)

      Outercurve accepts projects from anyplace, although it's true that many of come from MS or have a distinct MS orientation. But that it common with all foundations when they start. After all, the Apache Software Foundation started w/ "just" Apache; Eclipse w/ Eclipse and even the Linux Foundation was about Linux itself. But foundations grow beyond their initial roots, and that's what we're doing w/ Outercurve.

  • Are there any plans to ever revive the Apache Harmony project (Open Source Java Platform), or is it dead forever?

    • Re:Apache Harmony (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:16PM (#44697423)

      As long as Oracle controls the EA and JCP, and it does, believe me, there's no way that Harmony could be rebooted since their requirements for access to the TCK would prevent Apache from releasing Harmony as a real Open Source project, no matter what the license of the project.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's your biggest project right now, and is it Windows related?

  • Hi. The .net product manager at Oracle recently responded to a request to have the Oracle .net provider put into a NuGet package by refusing over licensing reasons: https://forums.oracle.com/message/11149050#11149050 [oracle.com]

    It's not the legal concerns around downloaders. It's the legal rights around how uploaded software is treated.

    -----------------

    https://www.nuget.org/policies/Terms [nuget.org]
    User Submissions.

    Outercurve does not want to receive confidential or proprietary information from User through the Web site. Any material, information, or other communication User transmits or posts ("Communications") to the Web site will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary and Outercurve will be under no obligation of any kind with respect to such information. Outercurve will be free to reproduce, make derivative works from, use, disclose, and distribute the Communications to others without limitation. At our sole election, Outercurve may provide authorship attribution by listing User's name.

    -----------------

    As soon as I upload something to the Outercurve Foundation (via nuget.org), I've given them plenary rights to the software. That's a big problem for most commercial software distributions, including ODP.NET.

    If you're an open source vendor, then this policy is fine. If Outercurve wants to distribute commercial software, it cannot co-opt ownership rights. This is the biggest issue, but there are others. For example, how can Oracle ensure that no one else on the site represents themselves as Oracle? There's no way to authenticate the "author", especially if you're downloading directly within Visual Studio.

    Fundamentally, all these business issues can be boiled down to characteristics of open source (i.e. bazaar, torrents) distribution. If Outercurve introduced closed source/commercial-friendly (i.e. cathedral, iTunes) distribution, it would eliminate pretty much all of Oracle's business/legal concerns. But Outercurve is devoted to working with corporate developers in open source environments. If the component is closed source, then it doesn't fit within Outercurve's mission. That makes me skeptical they would ever support commercial distribution.

    Essentially, Oracle would need to open source ODP.NET just for nuget.org distribution. That is like putting the cart before the horse.

    Now, if somebody created a commercial software NuGet distribution channel, people could purchase, rent, or try out commercial software from it. That would be something Oracle would consider. That's why I asked about an alternative popular NuGet feed.

    Since Outercurve is specifically mentioned here, do you have any comment on this? Is there plans to fix the situation for freely available (but commercial) tools like the Oracle provider?

    Thanks.

    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:20PM (#44697477)

      I am not aware of the details of that situation, but, to be honest, I'm not sure what they are talking about. The policy terms are similar to those of numerous FOSS organizations, which are based around the idea of openness and transparency. That's what the point of that statement is regarding User Submissions.

      • by Tridus (79566)

        The situation is essentially that the base NuGet repository is a highly convenient way for Visual Studio users to get packages, and people want the Oracle .net provider to be there. Oracle says they can't put it there because it's not open source (it's free as in beer).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:17PM (#44697439)

    How tough is it to consign a project to the Attic?

  • Why is Theo de Raadt so grumpy? NN
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:18PM (#44697453)

    If you care about software freedom, why doesn't your organization promote copyleft type licenses like the GPL?
    Sadly, the apache license doesn't require others to release the code, and helps proprietary projects.

    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:28PM (#44697553)

      I do care about Software Freedom, but I also care about User Freedom itself. Open Source and Free Software have a lot more in common than people think, but it is the differences which people focus on and which, imo, make it easier for FLOSS detractors to "prove" that FLOSS is broken. Apache may focus on the ALv2, but Outercurve accepts all Open Source and Free Software licenses.

      • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:28PM (#44698545)

        Also, to be clear, even though I'm mostly associated with the ALv2, I hack and develop code under a bunch of other license as well, including GPL, et.al.

        A license is a tool, and you pick the license based on how you want, or don't want, your code to be distributed, used and shared. There is no one-size-fits-all license, and your choice of license should be done with some thought, not based on who has the longest or bushiest beard. :)=

    • by Teckla (630646)

      If you care about software freedom, why doesn't your organization promote copyleft type licenses like the GPL?
      Sadly, the apache license doesn't require others to release the code, and helps proprietary projects.

      The software company I work for can't use code licensed under the GPL. Thankfully, Apache projects are not GPL'd, so we can contribute back to them.

      Think about that for a minute.

  • âoeMr. Burns, Your Campaign Seems To Have the Momentum of a Runaway Freight Train. Why Are You So Popular?â

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The OuterCurve Foundation mission statement [outercurve.org] says the Foundation "has no pre-suppositions about particular projects, platforms, or open source licenses." But are there some specific projects that you, personally, would like to work with? Projects you think would benefit the open source community greatly by what you do?

    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:09PM (#44697857)

      For me, Open Source is all about empowerment and enabling people to share information for the betterment of mankind. So I am personally drawn towards projects that enable that at some level. I am also about education and advocacy of that empowerment, and that's why I enjoy speaking and presenting about Open Source and communities as much as I do.

      Of course, some projects are just fun to hack on and scratch some little itch that I have...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is Hadoop going to take over the world? Or, I guess an appropriately in-scope question is, do you plan for Hadoop to take over the world? And if so, what happens when it is so aggressively co-opted by private companies that it becomes too difficult to maintain as an actual open platform (ahem Android)?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why do we need another foundation. Couldn't our time and money be better spent focusing on what is already out there?

    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:33PM (#44697593)

      In the trenches, it may seem as if FLOSS has won, but it hasn't... at least not yet. There is still quite a bit of FUD related to it, especially in the gov't arena. So any foundation or entity which helps promote FLOSS is useful.

      Outercurve sets out to do some of the things that other foundations don't. For example, we are agnostic about governance models and which FLOSS license to use, which separates it from some more well-known foundations :) But also the main focus of OC to to provide in-depth assistance in mentoring projects and helping them reach their potential. It's a much more "hands-on" foundation, and that's why our mentors are so important. Most foundations assume that projects and people have a pretty good understanding of open source; Outercurve actually teaches it.

  • Yesterday there were two stories on Slashdot that made ASF seem like it lost its way. I was surprised that nobody who was mentored through the ASF (as I was) has responded. How do you feel that ASF is when it comes to enriching the open-source developer community through its multiple mentorship programs?
  • For developers of small open-source projects, how to Outercurve and the ASF differ? What are the strengths of Outercurve that would compel developers to use Outercurve over other foundations like ASF, Eclipse.org, or Github?
    • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:46PM (#44697721)

      First of all, Github isn't a foundation. It's infrastructure. If all you want and need is someplace to host your project, Github is fine.

      If, however, you want to build a *community* around your project, then you need the sort of help and guidance that a foundation provides. ASF, Eclipse, Outercurve, et.al. have some underlying "requirements" regarding that (for example, at the ASF the project must be under the ALv2, at Eclipse it must be the EPL (although there are ways around that)). Outercurve has the lowest barrier to that. OC doesn't force one license or another (it must be an Open Source license though), nor does it force a particular governance model, nor a specific infrastructure. In fact, I would suggest that people who are hosting their projects @ Github and really want them to be a viable Open Source project, *needs* a foundation like Outercurve to help them make that transition. Most projects on Github don't even have an associated LICENSE. Sweet Sassy Molassy!

  • by jimjag (68949) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:24PM (#44697981)

    What efforts would *you* like to see Outercurve (or whoever) take on to benefit the FLOSS community??

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd like to see it put more emphasis on the fact that it is a different entity from Microsoft. I think part of the reason that it still has so many MS-centric projects is because people perceive it as being MS, which leads to there only being MS-centric projects. It's a vicious cycle.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Put up a strong statement against software patents on your front page and make it a key component of your values statement.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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