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Re: Compiere now #1 on sourceforge

From: Christopher Browne
Subject: Re: Compiere now #1 on sourceforge
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 00:42:53 -0400

> Hi all.
> Below I will just advocate more interoperability, and explain exactly why.
>  > > Somewhere there is a model that results in high quality,
>  > > highly usable business software getting built, that is
>  > > sufficiently timely and contemporary to keep up with,
>  > > and interoperate with, the commercial software juggernaut.
>  >
>  > Can you prove to me that Free Software is somehow not commercial?  If you
>  > intend to have these arguments you must do so with common terminology.
>  > Free Software is every bit as commercial as "proprietary" software.
>  >
>  > I assume you mean ...the 'propreitary' software juggernaut...
> That last message contributes to my fear that GNUE, from viewpoint of a
> non-developer is effectively, not different than a commercial and
> proprietary product.
> People who work everyday in businesses have good reason, historically,
> to view software developers as an interest group who build software for
> the purpose of ensuring revenue, and permanent roles for themselves.
> One of the litmus tests for judging the intent of software developers is
> whether they seek more to vanquish other software than interoperate with
> it. I'm repeating this fact, for the good of all--not my benefit.  The
> greatest need today, is communicating transactions among small businesses
> and individuals.  This is where the greatest economic benefit remains
> to be reaped.  Everybody already has a large choice of standalone and
> vertical and workgroup software that stubbornly doesn't connect with
> other vendors' or platforms' software.
> It would be incumbent on GNUE developers to demonstrate the opposite --
> a culture of respect for the other software in the world, especially
> something like Java that is NOT a commercial monopoly.  The way you
> respect the interests of the user and developer community are to
> understand these interfaces and business logic, when there is such a
> large new movement to a new platform like this outside Windows domination.

... And in the final paragraph, you demonstrate that you don't understand the 
licensing of Java.  Java licensing _is_ a commercial monopoly in much the same 
way that Windows licensing is a commercial monopoly.

If you want a J2EE environment, you have to license it from Sun.  

According to Sun's own web pages:

"The companies listed below have licensed JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise 
Edition (J2EETM) and the associated Compatibility Test Suite (CTS). Only J2EE 
licensees can ship products that are J2EE compatible and bear the Java 2 
Platform, Enterprise Edition brand which delivers Write Once, Run AnywhereTM 
(WORA) capability. Only J2EE licensees have the complete Compatibility Test 
Suite and only J2EE licensees can ship J2EE branded products."

There are around 25 licensees in all.  You can get J2EE software from 
licensees, but all of them are going through the One And Only Original Vendor 
Of J2EE, Sun Microsystems.

There may be multiple salescritters, and they may even be at multiple 
companies, but if you want the J2EE that is _required_ in order to run 
Compiere, then you have to go through the Sun monopoly on J2EE.

There's no "disrespect" involved; it's simple fact that using J2EE requires 
paying for acquiring licenses from Sun, perhaps through an intermediary.

To ignore that commercial monopoly would require jumping into a "culture of 
disrespect" with choices involving what is often termed "software piracy," 
despite the usual lack of murder, rape, and looting properly associated with 
with the crime of "piracy."

>  > If you read my emails, I stated WE TRIED TO DOWNLOAD and
>  > evaluate, and found we could not with out spending oodles of cash
>  > on non-free software!
> Well you're probably right there are not probably 250000 licensed Oracle
> sites in the universe let alone the open source community!  I asked the
> guy whose Compiere I tested, and he said it was running on a freely
> downloadable Oracle database, with limitations against commercial use.
> Is that what you're talking about or the J2EE libraries?  I'm going to
> guess the main problem is you don't know the Oracle RDBMS or Java well
> enough to eval. the software (and if not, I certainly wouldn't blame you
> for that.)

The answer to the question is All Of The Above.

Oracle is needed to play with Compiere, and that is only available from 
Oracle; J2EE is needed to play with Compiere, and that is only available from 

Both Oracle and J2EE are stunningly complex pieces of software to install, 
with quite exacting requirements on what you must have installed on your 
computer when you begin the installation process.

GNUe is pretty bad in the same respect; it's quite daunting to get it up and 
running; it offers the small mercy that you don't have to sign your life away 
on the off-chance that you actually want to use it in "production."

As GNUe hopefully improves, it should become less daunting to install; the 
lack of licensing complexity ["can we install that without negotiating a 
contract with Sun/Oracle?"] is always an advantage.

You're under the incorrect impression that there is any intent in the GNUe 
project to try to enact/maintain some sort of incompatibility.  That's simply 
NOT the case.

A sort of contrary thing is true: The developers refuse to leap into 
contractual obligations for the sake of being compatible with things that 
aren't standards.

The developers _aren't_ interested in dropping everything and drawing in 
Compiere code simply because it's there.  Making GNUe dependent on Compiere 
would establish dependancies on J2EE and Oracle, and would mean throwing away 
whatever stuff in GNUe works now.  It _wouldn't_ buy them any "functional" 
standards; Compiere doesn't appear to conform to any de jure or de facto 
standards, aside from "being written using Java," which is hardly a useful 
form of "standard."

Why would it be considered _useful_ to add in contractual obligations that 
make the GNUe developers and users dependent on software licenses from Oracle 
and Sun?  That's only useful if it provides something not available without 
the obligations.  And I can't see what that "something" would be.

Those that want the functionality of Compiere, and who are OK with buying 
licenses for J2EE and Oracle are already free to get Compiere and buy the 
relevant licenses.  GNUe doesn't have to do _anything_ for that to be the case.
(concatenate 'string "cbbrowne" "")
"It's the  sort  of  mail you should    wear a  welding  helmet  while
reading...."  -- Dave Moon

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