Re: berlin hosting .. ?

From: "J(dot)H(dot)M(dot) Dassen \(Ray\)" <jdassen(at)wi(dot)LeidenUniv(dot)nl>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: berlin hosting .. ?
Date: 1999-10-13 15:44:04
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On Wed, Oct 13, 1999 at 11:22:30 -0400, Graydon Hoare wrote:
> On Wed, 13 Oct 1999, J.H.M. Dassen (Ray) wrote:
> > Berlin is an SPI project.
> I'm curious, actually, what is meant by this, as it is also stated on the
> SPI pages; it's an ambiguous phrase.

I'll leave it to people more familiar with SPI to correct my mistakes.

> If SPI says we should code left, can we code right, or are we under a
> mandate to act a particular way as an SPI project?

I don't think so. I would expect SPI to stop supporting a supported project
like Berlin if it were to knowingly and willingly switch to a non-free
license, but I don't think SPI has much active power over its projects. It
was founded to have a legal entity to support Debian (e.g. to accept
donations), not to steer it, and has since broadened its scope.
seems to be the most relevant resolution in this regard.

> I don't mean to imply that I disagree with SPI's mandate, but I'd hate to
> find out someday that, for instance, I had been implicitly assigning
> copyrights on everything I write to some other organization or something.

You can rest assued that's not going to happen. SPI doesn't even encourage
copyright assignment to it; see .

> > I'm fairly sure this means that Berlin's "contrib" status will be
> > temporary.
> we were unaware of omni's "semi-free" status when we began working with
> it. when we were informed, we considered dropping omni and porting to TAO

TAO is non-free as well. I'm not familiar with its license, but you may want
to discuss it on debian-legal.

> (you can check the mailing list archives) but were dissuaded by remarks to
> the effect that having sun's IDL parser in omniidl2 was a horrible mistake
> anyway, and none of the omni programmers liked it, so they were going to
> evict it shortly.

That sounds like good news; do you know of a timeframe for this change?

> furthermore, omniidl2 is _not_ required to develop berlin (only to rebuild
> its interface marshalling code from IDL), nor is omniidl2's output covered
> by the sun license. free code goes in, free code comes out.

True, but software in Debian "main" can only go in there if it can be built
with tools that are in "main" themselves.

UNFAIR Term applied to advantages enjoyed by other people which we tried
to cheat them out of and didn't manage. See also DISHONESTY, SNEAKY,
- The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan

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