Mauve license

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Mauve license

Stuart Ballard
(including the Classpath list as well as Mauve list here as I don't
know how many people actually read the mauve list)

Recently on the Harmony list there's been some discussion of how tests
should be written and where they should be put. I chimed in pointing
out what I thought would be a no-brainer - tests for public APIs
should be in Mauve of course.

I only just made that post and I haven't seen the responses yet, but
it occurred to me to look and see what Mauve's license is just to make
sure that wouldn't be a showstopper, and, well, as I'm sure many of
you know, it's GPL.

This is slightly strange to me. We (the Free Software community) are
forced to make our own test suite because Sun won't release theirs
under terms we can use, but when we do write our own, we put it under
a license that prevents even other Free Software projects from working
with it. Our test suite is under a stronger copyleft than Classpath
itself is!

I understand why we want Classpath itself to be copyleft. But what on
earth benefit are we getting from preventing people from
"proprietarizing" our testsuite?

My understanding is that a license change could be difficult to effect
at this point because I don't think a copyright assignment has been
required for Mauve contributions and therefore there are probably a
lot of copyright holders, some of whom may be difficult to track down.
But if it *could* be managed (and if the Harmony hackers could be
persuaded to put their tests there), I think it would be a major win
for everybody.

Mauve gets a bunch of new contributors (Harmony certainly seems to
have a fair bit of momentum at this point) and code (I believe some of
Harmony's big contributions came with test suites that could be
integrated).

Classpath and Harmony both get a bunch of new tests.

Harmony hackers get to see that Classpath hackers aren't inflexible
GPL-zealots, and both groups of hackers get used to working together
on a project that benefits both.

I don't think it's a coincidence that all the projects that originally
collaborated on Mauve ended up combining their class libraries,
either. Once people get used to working together, the level of
collaboration can only go up from there...

Stuart.

PS I didn't include the Harmony list on this post mainly because my
understanding is it's of absolutely no interest to them unless there
*is* some way for Mauve to make this change. "GPL software is a
nonstarter for us" is a quote I saw on the Harmony mailing list a
couple of days ago...

--
http://sab39.dev.netreach.com/
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Re: Mauve license: How with COST.OMG.ORG?

Audrius Meskauskas
The packages for testing org.omg classes contain the source code from
the currently the most probably dead cost.omg.org CORBA open source
testing suite that was originally released under LGPL license. To
integrate into Mauve, I of course needed to modify the code (the
original test versions just prints messages to console). This means the
license conversion into GPL. If we change the license, all such tests
should probably be removed, and the Harmony project should also think
about this. Event if they get the alternative CORBA implementation from
somewhere else, it still needs a test suite to prevent degradation due
subsequent develompent.  cost.omg.org is written by several serious
companies. I would take for me another year to write such thing from
scratch, it is not much simplier than the implementation itself.

The opponents of GPL license should think if they really want to reject
this valuable resource as well.

Audrius Meskauskas



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Re: Mauve license

Dave Gilbert-4
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard wrote:

>(including the Classpath list as well as Mauve list here as I don't
>know how many people actually read the mauve list)
>
>Recently on the Harmony list there's been some discussion of how tests
>should be written and where they should be put. I chimed in pointing
>out what I thought would be a no-brainer - tests for public APIs
>should be in Mauve of course.
>  
>

Indeed.

>I only just made that post and I haven't seen the responses yet, but
>it occurred to me to look and see what Mauve's license is just to make
>sure that wouldn't be a showstopper, and, well, as I'm sure many of
>you know, it's GPL.
>
>This is slightly strange to me. We (the Free Software community) are
>forced to make our own test suite because Sun won't release theirs
>under terms we can use, but when we do write our own, we put it under
>a license that prevents even other Free Software projects from working
>with it. Our test suite is under a stronger copyleft than Classpath
>itself is!
>
>I understand why we want Classpath itself to be copyleft. But what on
>earth benefit are we getting from preventing people from
>"proprietarizing" our testsuite?
>  
>
Free to use, free to redistribute, and since you'll never want to
combine Mauve with anything else, I can't see why the GPL is considered
a showstopper.

>My understanding is that a license change could be difficult to effect
>at this point because I don't think a copyright assignment has been
>required for Mauve contributions and therefore there are probably a
>lot of copyright holders, some of whom may be difficult to track down.
>But if it *could* be managed (and if the Harmony hackers could be
>persuaded to put their tests there), I think it would be a major win
>for everybody.
>  
>
I think a more significant "problem" is practical:  Mauve, which
predates JUnit, uses its own test harness and Harmony is using JUnit.  
Integrating the two is a pile of work that you're not going to find
anyone willing to spend time on.  I think we should just accept that
there are going to be two separate test suites, that will overlap in
some places.  It's not that big a deal in the scheme of things.

>Mauve gets a bunch of new contributors (Harmony certainly seems to
>have a fair bit of momentum at this point) and code (I believe some of
>Harmony's big contributions came with test suites that could be
>integrated).
>
>Classpath and Harmony both get a bunch of new tests.
>  
>
We have those tests now, just in separate places.

Regards,

Dave
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Re: Mauve license

Andrew Haley-2
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard writes:
 > (including the Classpath list as well as Mauve list here as I don't
 > know how many people actually read the mauve list)
 >
 > Recently on the Harmony list there's been some discussion of how tests
 > should be written and where they should be put. I chimed in pointing
 > out what I thought would be a no-brainer - tests for public APIs
 > should be in Mauve of course.
 >
 > I only just made that post and I haven't seen the responses yet, but
 > it occurred to me to look and see what Mauve's license is just to make
 > sure that wouldn't be a showstopper, and, well, as I'm sure many of
 > you know, it's GPL.
 >
 > This is slightly strange to me. We (the Free Software community) are
 > forced to make our own test suite because Sun won't release theirs
 > under terms we can use, but when we do write our own, we put it under
 > a license that prevents even other Free Software projects from working
 > with it. Our test suite is under a stronger copyleft than Classpath
 > itself is!

Err, we created Mauve with a GNU licence because we're GNU
maintainers.  Hard as it may seem to believe, some of us *like* the
GPL.

 > I understand why we want Classpath itself to be copyleft. But what on
 > earth benefit are we getting from preventing people from
 > "proprietarizing" our testsuite?
 >
 > My understanding is that a license change could be difficult to effect
 > at this point because I don't think a copyright assignment has been
 > required for Mauve contributions and therefore there are probably a
 > lot of copyright holders, some of whom may be difficult to track down.
 > But if it *could* be managed (and if the Harmony hackers could be
 > persuaded to put their tests there), I think it would be a major win
 > for everybody.
 >
 > Mauve gets a bunch of new contributors (Harmony certainly seems to
 > have a fair bit of momentum at this point) and code (I believe some of
 > Harmony's big contributions came with test suites that could be
 > integrated).
 >
 > Classpath and Harmony both get a bunch of new tests.
 >
 > Harmony hackers get to see that Classpath hackers aren't inflexible
 > GPL-zealots, and both groups of hackers get used to working together
 > on a project that benefits both.
 >
 > I don't think it's a coincidence that all the projects that originally
 > collaborated on Mauve ended up combining their class libraries,
 > either. Once people get used to working together, the level of
 > collaboration can only go up from there...

Sure.  But in the case of a test suite, none of us could think of a
reason not to use GPL.

Andrew.

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Re: Mauve license

Archie Cobbs
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard wrote:
> Harmony hackers get to see that Classpath hackers aren't inflexible
> GPL-zealots, and both groups of hackers get used to working together
> on a project that benefits both.

This Apache/Harmony thing vs. Claspath/GPL debate is just so tempting.. :-)

But let's talk practicalities.. here's a simple thing I don't understand.

What exactly prevents Harmony from using Mauve as a test suite?

Would Apache want to create it's own copy of Mauve and check that
into SVN? That seems like a bad idea -- i.e, creating a "code fork".

So then if Apache only wants to run Mauve tests, what impact does Mauve
being GPL have? Why can Apache folks just download Mauve and run it,
the same way Classpath hackers do? Mauve is its own self-contained project.

As to the issue of converting Mauve to JUnit, that's surely a lot of work
any way you slice it, and in any case that seems like an orthogonal issue.

-Archie

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Re: Mauve license

Stuart Ballard
On 2/16/06, Archie Cobbs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This Apache/Harmony thing vs. Claspath/GPL debate is just so tempting.. :-)

Heh.

> But let's talk practicalities.. here's a simple thing I don't understand.
>
> What exactly prevents Harmony from using Mauve as a test suite?

Nothing, and in fact I think they plan to do just that.

But as I understand it their current plan is to use Mauve *in addition
to* (and secondary to) their own test suite and only develop their own
tests in their own repository.

So we end up with two test suites being developed by two disjoint
groups, both of whom are free to (and likely to) *run* the other
group's suite against their own implementation, but still no actual
cooperation.

> So then if Apache only wants to run Mauve tests, what impact does Mauve
> being GPL have? Why can Apache folks just download Mauve and run it,
> the same way Classpath hackers do? Mauve is its own self-contained project.

They can, but the Classpath hackers don't just run it, they write it too.

Basically, I just don't see why Mauve *should* be GPL. There's
absolutely no benefit in claiming copyleft on it and a considerable
benefit from not doing so. Other than the issue of finding copyright
holders, why *shouldn't* it be X11 or modified-BSD licensed so that
anyone can use it as they see fit?

I'm a GPL supporter in general but using it on a testsuite seems
really wrong to me.

> As to the issue of converting Mauve to JUnit, that's surely a lot of work
> any way you slice it, and in any case that seems like an orthogonal issue.

Yes, at this moment I'm only concerned with political issues.
Technical issues are so much easier that they can be deferred for now
;)

Stuart.

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Re: Mauve license

Stuart Ballard
In reply to this post by Dave Gilbert-4
On 2/16/06, David Gilbert <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Free to use, free to redistribute, and since you'll never want to
> combine Mauve with anything else, I can't see why the GPL is considered
> a showstopper.

Politics don't have to make sense ;)

The logical conclusion of your statements, though, is that the GPL
isn't actually making any practical difference. And if that's the
case, what's the point of using it?

> I think a more significant "problem" is practical:  Mauve, which
> predates JUnit, uses its own test harness and Harmony is using JUnit.
> Integrating the two is a pile of work that you're not going to find
> anyone willing to spend time on.  I think we should just accept that
> there are going to be two separate test suites, that will overlap in
> some places.  It's not that big a deal in the scheme of things.

AIUI currently you couldn't integrate the two if you wanted to because
JUnit is under a non-GPL-compatible license. Another reason why a
Mauve license change would be a benefit.

From a practical point of view, if the license issues disappeared, it
would presumably be easy enough to create a "junit" directory in
mauve, have the mauve launcher scripts run both junit *and* the
existing harness, pull the harmony tests into the new folder,
everybody write new tests as junit tests, and gradually convert the
old tests one-at-a-time over time. It wouldn't have to be a once-off
"convert the world" operation.

> We have those tests now, just in separate places.

True. The current situation isn't a disaster. It would just be nice to
get some cooperation in a place where, IMO, it clearly *does* make
sense and the showstoppers seem to be entirely unnecessary.

Stuart.

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Re: Mauve license

Andrew Haley
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
I don't really understand your reasoning here.  You haven't explained
why all the usual reasons in favour of GPL don't apply to testsuites.

Andrew.

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Re: Mauve license

Archie Cobbs
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard wrote:
> But as I understand it their current plan is to use Mauve *in addition
> to* (and secondary to) their own test suite and only develop their own
> tests in their own repository.
>
> So we end up with two test suites being developed by two disjoint
> groups, both of whom are free to (and likely to) *run* the other
> group's suite against their own implementation, but still no actual
> cooperation.

This can make sense if the Harmony tests are Harmony-specific.
Otherwise I don't see what the point is.

> Basically, I just don't see why Mauve *should* be GPL. There's
> absolutely no benefit in claiming copyleft on it and a considerable
> benefit from not doing so. Other than the issue of finding copyright
> holders, why *shouldn't* it be X11 or modified-BSD licensed so that
> anyone can use it as they see fit?

There may be no real reason it should be GPL, but in any case it is...
so.. what's the problem with that? I mean, from a practical standpoint.

But you seem also to be asking the religious question "why GPL"?
Like most religious questions that one has no objective "answer"..

If you really want to hear an "answer" then you can read the "official"
one in the GPL FAQ...

-Archie

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Re: Mauve license

Stuart Ballard
On 2/16/06, Archie Cobbs <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This can make sense if the Harmony tests are Harmony-specific.

Some are, some aren't. They plan to have a separation between the two
though. So Classpath will be able to use the non-specific part of
Harmony's testsuite.

> Otherwise I don't see what the point is.

The point is that, for whatever reasons (rational or irrational), some
people simply won't contribute to a GPL-licensed project. Some of
those people are Harmony contributors. If those people want to
contribute to a Java testsuite, which they do, it won't be Mauve as
long as Mauve is GPL.

> There may be no real reason it should be GPL, but in any case it is...
> so.. what's the problem with that? I mean, from a practical standpoint.

From a practical standpoint it's deterring a fairly large body of
potential contributors...

> But you seem also to be asking the religious question "why GPL"?

Not at all. I like the GPL. I think the GPL-with-exception license of
Classpath is the perfect license for what Classpath does. I use the
GPL on almost all my own code (although I prefer the LGPL for things
that are designed to be used as libraries).

Even RMS points out that using non-copyleft licenses can be beneficial
when it's a net gain for Free Software as a whole (eg Ogg).

And in this case I think there is such a gain, because the GPL is
buying us nothing (since there's no practical reason why anyone would
*want* to take Mauve proprietary) but costing us contributors.

I seem to be in a minority though, so I'll drop the issue I guess.

Stuart.

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Re: Mauve license

Robert Schuster-5
In reply to this post by Archie Cobbs
Hi.

> But you seem also to be asking the religious question "why GPL"?
> Like most religious questions that one has no objective "answer"..
I dont think that "why GPL" is a religious question. The one who asks deserves
an answer and here is mine:

> If you really want to hear an "answer" then you can read the "official"
> one in the GPL FAQ...
Not in the FAQ but clearly in this essay:
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/freedom-or-power.html

How is that related to our testsuite?

Users of Sun's TCK have to abide to certain rules: Eg. they are not allowed to
talk about the results in detail and such things. I think Dalibor can explain
this better as he seems to have a natural interest in Licensing Circuses. ;)

Giving a testsuite away under a non-copylefted license allows others to
implement such powers over their users.

At least for me I am against giving someone this kind of freedom. Sorry.

cya
Robert

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Re: Mauve license

Andrew Haley
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard writes:
 >
 > Even RMS points out that using non-copyleft licenses can be beneficial
 > when it's a net gain for Free Software as a whole (eg Ogg).
 >
 > And in this case I think there is such a gain, because the GPL is
 > buying us nothing (since there's no practical reason why anyone would
 > *want* to take Mauve proprietary)

Oh, I see your meaning.

 > but costing us contributors.

This part is the mystery.  If, as you say, there's no practical reason
why anyone would *want* to take Mauve proprietary, why does it matter
that Mauve is GPL?

 > I seem to be in a minority though, so I'll drop the issue I guess.

It's not that.  I just don't understand.

Andrew.
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Re: Mauve license

Archie Cobbs
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
Stuart Ballard wrote:
> The point is that, for whatever reasons (rational or irrational), some
> people simply won't contribute to a GPL-licensed project. Some of
> those people are Harmony contributors. If those people want to
> contribute to a Java testsuite, which they do, it won't be Mauve as
> long as Mauve is GPL.

Well then IMHO those people are the ones who are being "difficult"
and putting politics over progress.

Saying you won't contribute to a GPL project is more a political statement
than the result of some reasonable decision-making process, because
even if you do contribute to GPL software, you still own the copyright
so you can also release your code under any other license you choose.

Personally I don't love the GPL because it imposes more restrictions
than a BSD style license (making, in my opinion, GPL software less free).
But I respect others' religious beliefs. So if the GPL is not otherwise
in the way, I have no problem working with it, etc.

"Can't we all just get along?" :-)

-Archie

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Re: Mauve license

Stuart Ballard
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
(this is going to show up in the wrong place in the thread - for some
reason I can see mails showing up in the archives but I'm not
receiving them myself till much later, so I don't have this one myself
to respond to yet)

Andrew Haley wrote:
>  > but costing us contributors.
>
> This part is the mystery.  If, as you say, there's no practical reason
> why anyone would *want* to take Mauve proprietary, why does it matter
> that Mauve is GPL?

There are quite a few reasons, some logical, some not, why people
won't contribute to GPL projects.

Some corporations have policies prohibiting employees from looking at
GPL code. I don't believe there's any *good* reason for an
organization to have such a policy, but some do. It appears there's at
least one contributor on the Harmony list who is unable to look at
Classpath code for this reason. Some corporations may have weaker
policies that would still prohibit employees from actually writing GPL
code on company time.

Some people see the GPL as an endorsement of a political position they
don't agree with and won't work on software licensed under it for that
reason.

Some people philosophically oppose the idea of copyleft and don't want
their work under such a license.

The Apache organization has policies against distributing GPL code and
I believe also against requiring it as a dependency. (Even if everyone
at Apache could be persuaded that changing this was a good idea, their
procedures for doing so seem to take a while). A test suite isn't
strictly a dependency but I think they'd at least have strong
reservations against making it official policy that if you're writing
tests for Harmony that test public APIs they should go in this GPL
project.

Another reason I feel test suites shouldn't be copyleft is similar to
RMS's reasoning about Ogg: the greatest benefit to Free Software is
obtained by having all implementations be compatible and compatible
with the existing proprietary solution to help people escape the trap.
The best way to achieve that is by getting good tests as widely
disseminated and used as possible (analagous to getting Ogg support as
widely used as possible to help people escape the mp3 trap).

(another email I'm seeing in the archives but haven't received myself
- Andrius's point about the OMG tests. I believe it should be possible
to convert the license back to LGPL if we have permission from the
copyright holders of all the code that was changed since, which would
then mean that as long as the OMG tests are self-contained, they could
be linked happily with a non-copyleft Mauve even if they themselves
are still copyleft).

Stuart.

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Re: Mauve license

Tom Tromey
In reply to this post by Stuart Ballard
>>>>> "Stuart" == Stuart Ballard <[hidden email]> writes:

Stuart> This is slightly strange to me. We (the Free Software community) are
Stuart> forced to make our own test suite because Sun won't release theirs
Stuart> under terms we can use, but when we do write our own, we put it under
Stuart> a license that prevents even other Free Software projects from working
Stuart> with it. Our test suite is under a stronger copyleft than Classpath
Stuart> itself is!

My recollection of our thinking, back when we started Mauve, was that
surely the GPL would be fine, since nobody would be creating derived
works and since we wanted the result to be free software.  And, since
we were heavily in the GNU world in those days, the default license
was the GPL, and we saw no reason to change it.

Of course we didn't anticipate today's weird world where people are
working on free software but have an allergic reaction to the GPL,
even for a package which has never had a release, and likely never
will.

Stuart> I understand why we want Classpath itself to be copyleft. But what on
Stuart> earth benefit are we getting from preventing people from
Stuart> "proprietarizing" our testsuite?

I've actually had a query from a group that wanted to make a
proprietary fork of mauve (after translating it to C++).  Their plans
didn't do much to induce me to want to change.

Stuart> My understanding is that a license change could be difficult to effect
Stuart> at this point because I don't think a copyright assignment has been
Stuart> required for Mauve contributions and therefore there are probably a
Stuart> lot of copyright holders, some of whom may be difficult to track down.

Yes, I put the chances of this happening quite low.
We've certainly had difficulty doing this with libffi, which is a much
smaller project.

Tom