Oracle Finally Killed Sun

With the Solaris team gutted, it looks like the Sun skeleton has finally been picked clean.

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The news from the ex-Sun community jungle drums is that the January rumours were true and Oracle laid off the core talent of the Solaris and SPARC teams on Friday (perhaps hoping to get the news lost in the Labor Day weekend). With 90% gone according to Bryan Cantrill that surely has to mean either a skeleton-staffed maintenance-only future for the product range, especially with Solaris 12 cancelled, or an attempt to force Solaris workloads onto Oracle’s SPARC Cloud offering. A classic Oracle “silent EOL”, no matter what they claim as they satisfy their contractual commitments to Fujitsu and others.  Continue reading

Copyright Needs Radical Reform

Use of copyright today far exceeds the ways its framers imagined. We need reform, not just adjustments.

Cow Pulling Lawn Mower In Delhi

Copyright is back in the news in Europe. In the UK, the Digital Economy Bill proposes to increase the maximum prison sentence for online copyright infringement to ten years. Meanwhile, an extensive modernisation of copyright for the EU is also in progress, with a goal of making the treatment of copyright the same across Europe, especially in relation to digital media. Continue reading

5 Reasons Facebook’s React License Was A Mistake

Facebook’s BSD+Patent license combo fails not because of the license itself but because it ignores the deeper nature of open source.

Beware Falling Rocks

In July 2017, the Apache Software Foundation effectively banned the license combination Facebook has been applying to all the projects it has been releasing as open source. They are using the 3-clause BSD license (BSD-3), a widely-used OSI-approved non-reciprocal license, combined with a broad, non-reciprocal patent grant but with equally broad termination rules to frustrate aggressors.
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FLOSS Weekly 442: Hyperledger

Simon co-hosted FLOSS Weekly 442, where Brian Behlendorf explained the Hyperledger Project of which he is Executive Director. An excellent show, with many interesting branching-off points.

Hyperledger is a project to maintain a platform for distributed ledger projects and the toolkits and apps that support and use them. It’s intended for building private systems where everyone participating can be identified, so does not have an associated proof-of-work token or the “cryptocurrency” aura that goes with it.

It may be the tool that finally re-decentralises the Internet. By taking away the shiny gold, people can finally see the power of a distributed ledger whose authority is established by consensus  rather than heirarchy. The book Simon mentions, “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando de Soto, is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Apache Bans Facebook’s License Combo

The Apache Software Foundation has moved the “Facebook BSD+Patent grant” license combination (FB+PL) to its “Category X” licensing list, effectively banning inclusion of any software under FB+PL from Apache projects. That included RocksDB, which has consequently just dropped FB+PL and added the Apache License v2 on Github, and React.JS which does not look like it will resolve the issue so fast.

Update, 22 September: Facebook has announced it will switch React to the MIT license.
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Here’s what we know so far (subject to updates, last day’s in green, latest marked 🆕): Continue reading

Why OSI License Approval Matters

Individual judgement about the presence of software freedom in a license is not the same as community consensus expressed through OSI approval.

Three Legged Buddah

Does it really matter if a copyright license is OSI Approved or not? Surely if it looks like it meets the benchmark that’s all that matters? I think that’s the wrong answer, and that OSI license approval is the crucial innovation that’s driven the open source revolution. Continue reading