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Re: DOM DOM binding considered harmful, discriminates against open source

From: John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 17:48:09 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <3828A477.63E4925D@reutershealth.com>
To: www-dom@w3.org
David Brownell wrote:

> > Whether Java run-time binding is "linking" within the meaning of the GPL is
> > a question.  I incline to think it is; if so, no GPLed program can use an
> > implementation of the DOM through the standard interfaces (which is tantamount
> > to not being able to use it at all).
> 
> Where perhaps not all readers are aware that OSD is distinct
> from GPL, and GPL has a slightly ... "stronger" stance on some
> issues than the OSD, although GPL does conform to OSD.

Certainly.  But this is core: a program which cannot be modified in every part is
not an open-source program.


> > There is no need to yield control over the binding of a particular
> > version to the W3C Level 1 DOM, while still allowing modification of the
> > Java code itself.  It simply isn't a DOM interface any more, then.
> 
> I'm not following you at all when you write that.  The interface
> is what the DOM standardizes, and one form of it is expressed as
> Java code.

Let me be more explicit:

1) The W3C publishes some Java code under a license that forbids modification.

2) The W3C declares that this version of the code, and no other, is the
Java binding of the DOM.

3) I now wish to reuse the Java code in my application in modified form,
because I export (or import) an interface which resembles the DOM but is
not conformant to it.

4) W3C should allow me to do so, provided I do not misrepresent the modified
code as being the Java binding of the DOM, and provided (for Java-specific
reasons) that I change the package names.  But it currently will not.

5) Programs are open-source only if the license(s) covering every part of the
source code are OSD-compliant.

6) My program is not open-source.

> There _is_ a need to yield some control over that; minimally, to let
> the source be patched.  Possibly with a mandated name change, with
> the "W3C" and/or "DOM" names removed, which clearly forgoes all
> binary compatibility with the W3C APIs.  Clause 4.

Exactly so. 

> Both protect interfaces ... SCSL also protects implementation.
> 
> Similar in that the control over evolution is a closed process,
> not that they're identical.

I have no problem with that, as long as the code itself (as opposed to
the claim that it is a binding of the DOM) may be used in modified forms.

-- 

John Cowan	http://www.reutershealth.com		jcowan@reutershealth.com
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! / Schliess eurer Aug vor heiliger Schau
Den er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.
		-- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

-- 

John Cowan	http://www.reutershealth.com		jcowan@reutershealth.com
Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! / Schliess eurer Aug vor heiliger Schau
Den er genoss vom Honig-Tau / Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.
		-- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)
Received on Tuesday, 9 November 1999 17:55:33 GMT

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