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Re: Berkeley DB license (was Re: Points of order on this WG)

From: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:06:28 -0700
Cc: "Nikunj R. Mehta" <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow@chromium.org>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-id: <C804090E-A634-4856-8DCA-CC68596AA9BA@apple.com>
To: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>

On Jun 26, 2009, at 3:40 PM, L. David Baron wrote:

> On Friday 2009-06-26 15:27 -0700, Nikunj R. Mehta wrote:
>> I understand the interest in using Berkeley DB in browsers provided
>> appropriate licensing freedom were available. I am beginning to
>> understand your concerns vis--vis Berkeley DB's license.
>
> To be clear, I wasn't expressing any interest (or disinterest); I
> was just commenting on the licensing issues.  I don't have any
> opinion on whether we'd want to use it if there weren't licensing
> issues (nor would I be the right person to do so).
>
> (I'm just sending this clarification to avoid anyone being under the
> incorrect impression that if the license were changed the software
> would promptly be incorporated into browsers.  There's still the
> issue of convincing browser makers that doing so is important enough
> that they'd be willing to support it.)

That's roughly our position for WebKit as well. I did not mean to  
raise the license issue as a showstopper, merely to point out the  
following:

- If we propose an API modeled on Berkeley DB, it likely could not be  
implemented by the popular open source browser engines using Berkeley  
DB itself.

- If we propose an API modeled on Berkeley DB, it likely could not be  
implemented by proprietary browser engines using Berkeley DB itself,  
unless the developers paid licensing fees to oracle.

- Therefore, if we design such an API, we need to be clear and  
detailed enough that it can be implemented interoperably from scratch.

- We also need to be clear that the implementation cost for any  
browser will likely involve implementation from scratch, not just  
plugging in an existing library.

(If Oracle changed the license terms, things would be different, but  
I'm not asking for that and I don't think it's appropriate to ask at  
this early stage.)

Regards,
Maciej
Received on Friday, 26 June 2009 23:07:09 GMT

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