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

From: Nikunj R. Mehta <nikunj.mehta@oracle.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:19:54 -0700
Cc: "L. David Baron" <dbaron@dbaron.org>, Jeremy Orlow <jorlow@chromium.org>, public-webapps WG <public-webapps@w3.org>
Message-Id: <3F68E141-41AA-49C2-B681-6090D2C4D430@oracle.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
On Jun 26, 2009, at 4:06 PM, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> 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:

I agree with Maciej - we have gotten far ahead of ourselves here on  
licensing terms.

> - 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.

I don't buy this but...

> - 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.

there is no free lunch for commercial browsers, at least not one  
that's catered by Oracle,

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

and, regardless of Berkeley DB, this should be the design goal. We  
have all been burned by SQLite and SQL storage, and I am not going to  
lead another train down the same path. I was quite clear in my very  
first message on this topic that we are talking about a B-tree based  
database and not a W3C stamp of approval for Berkeley DB to be  
embedded in browsers.

> - 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.

This is not correct. You and I can disagree, but really we should let  
our lawyers examine the matter.

> (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 23:22:14 UTC

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