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[school-discuss] RE: OpenSIF

On Tue, 2003-10-07 at 17:55, Steve Curtis wrote:
> Hi Matt,
> I saw the activity at SchoolForge and have been trying to figure out the
> best approach here.  Edustructures seems to be taking somewhat of a bad rap
> on this given that we kept OpenSIF available as an open source project for
> the last couple of years.  Our firm commitment to SIF remains unequaled in
> the industry.  We have pumped over a million dollars of software development
> into SIF in the last year alone.  

While this is great that you have put a lot of money into SIF it does
not address my issue that I see. It seems like fluff. This does not help
the open source community in building SIF aware applications. Most open
source developers are not going to sink $2,500 USD into a ADK so they
can distribute agents.

> We have indeed terminated the OpenSIF project after having almost no
> activity on the project this past year; not a single contribution was made
> by the community.  The codebase is grossly out of step with the current SIF
> spec and a recent user of OpenSIF complained about this to us.  He had
> invested a fair amount of time developing an agent, only to learn that it
> was quite outdated and that we had a real ADK he could have been using all
> the time.  Once we handed him a copy of our ADK he quickly re-developed his
> agent and was happy to know that current, supported tools were available.  

Not a single contribution. This does not suprise me. The way opensif was
run was not really in the open source way. Lets look at the facts. To
contribute to the project you had to email info@opensif.org to let you
all know what the developer was interested in pursuing. After that there
was no cvs that a developer could get write access too which means they
had to do the change they needed then email you all or the owner of the
file/function/class a patch and then wait for the work to be merged into
the tree. With no guarantee that it would get merged. While you say it
is because of QA or what ever that does not seem valid either. Linus and
team has hand reviewed every patch for the Linux kernel even though it
was directly submited to CVS. It just does not appear to be an open
source project. Also many open source developers a leary of developing
an application for a company who has a competing commercial product.

This is one person who did not have the desire to get it into the
current specification they only had interest in the Agent classes. Did
he end up buying a ADK License I am sure he did as you said you have to
buy it in order to distribute his agent.

Also in looking at the EduStructures open source license I would be
leary of contributing as well. All because of one paragraph.

"By accepting the Licensed Product under the provisions of this License,
you agree to make the Licensed Product as you received it available to
your licensees under the provisions of this License. You also agree to
incorporate Error Corrections you create into the Licensed Product you
make available to your licensees under the provisions of this license.
However, Modifications other than Error Corrections that you make to the
Licensed Product and then distribute are not governed by the provisions
of this License unless you specifically state that they are so governed.
In particular, you are under no obligation to make the Source Code of
such Modifications available to others. "

This means that I can make modifications and not license them under any
open source license and keep them closed source. This makes developers
very leary. But it also does not make sense that does not make it open
source in my eyes. 

> We felt that it was detrimental to the evolution of SIF to continue to make
> the download available without any community support for the project.
> Originally, we acquired Sun's work and created OpenSIF to support agent
> development efforts.  Our Java ZIS (SIFWorks) does not share any of the
> codebase with OpenSIF, so once we released our commercial products our
> efforts naturally moved to the commercial realm.

I do not agree that it would be detrimental to the evolution of SIF. In
fact it would help in the evolution if it was a truly open source
project. The great thing about Open Source is that if its truly open
source someone will step up and get it into the current state it needs
to be in.

You mean to tell me every after you had OpenSIF you used no code not
even one line in the commercial project. This is very hard to believe
that you would write the same type program with the same functionality
and not use one line of the other codebase.
> We acquired all of the intellectual property from Sun including the
> copyrights and are therefore under no obligation to continue to support
> OpenSIF in any way, shape, or form.  That said, if you have the desire and
> resources to manage an open source ZIS under a GPL license, I have no
> objection to sending you a copy of the code.  I need to talk it over with a
> couple folks here to see if they'd rather just create a project for it on
> SourceForge and give you commit privs but I'll get back to you on that.
> I'll probably also want to discuss this with our buddies at Sun to make sure
> they are on board with the idea but I don't expect they will have any
> objections.  Would you agree to manage the project on SourceForge?  We have
> no interest in being further associated with it at this point. 

I do the have the desire and resources to manage an open source Zone
Integration Server and Agent libraries under a GPL License, and I would
love a copy of the code. I have people who are ready to develop on it as
well and get it into the current specs in quick fashion.

I do not agree for you to create a project on sourceforge and giving me
commit privledges. That to me is like saying here is the code we will
keep it you work on it as a developer. This seems shady and kind of like
it makes your other argument unstable. You say right after it that you
have no interest in being further associated with it at this point. If
this is the case that you are no longer interested in the project or
being associated with it then why not give me all rights with the
OpenSIF code, documentation, etc and dont worry any more with it.
Including indemnification from any JaZ J/SAL code that is currently
included in opensif if you truly own the trademarks,patents, IP. 

> You should realize that the code was not developed for commercial use but as
> a reference implementation for agent developer testbeds. I see that you have
> downloaded a copy of the Edustructures ADK.  I'm sure once you compare that
> to the agent libraries of OpenSIF you will understand what I'm saying here.
> One is a commercial quality toolkit, the other is a minimal reference
> implementation. We make the ADK available free for trial and development.
> You need purchase it only if you wish to distribute agents.  I know this
> isn't the open source model you may favor but it's the only one we could
> make work.

I understand the code was not developed for commercial use, also
understand that I intend to make it available for open source developers
to be able to develop sif aware applications with ease with the current
specs. I pledge that the codebase will be within the current working of
the SIF specification within 3 months of any new release of the SIF
specification. Also realize that I intend to make the codebase
stable,strong, secure and able to be used in a production enviornment.


Matt R. Jezorek
Executive Director
Linux for Education
> |-----Original Message-----
> |From: Matt R. Jezorek [mailto:matt@bluelinux.org]
> |Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 11:24 AM
> |To: scurtis@edustructures.com
> |Subject: OpenSIF
> |
> |
> |Steve Curtis:
> |
> |I am writing you on behalf of the open source educational
> |sector. I understand you all closed down the OpenSIF project 
> |and as I understand it you where under agreement with Sun 
> |Microsystems to keep the code they provided as open source. 
> |
> |I am requesting the OpenSIF codebase as it was left off in the
> |last release. I am willing to take over development of OpenSIF 
> |and not worried about lack of the development community. 
> |Please get back to me on this reguard.
> |
> |All I ask is that the codebase be sent to me as well as any
> |other documents that where under the OpenSIF project.
> |
> |Regards
> |
> |Matt R. Jezorek
> |Executive Director
> |Linux for Education
> |matt@bluelinux.org
> |
> |

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