[NETBEANS] [EVALUATION] - E12 - The NetBeans Open Source Lie

Discussion in 'Java' started by Ilias Lazaridis, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. [Followup-To: comp.lang.java.softwaretools]

    to the community:

    this *crosspost* will happen only *once* as an introduction, thus this
    critical topic gets the necessary visibility [after the censorship on
    the NetBeans forum].
    I will use c.l.j.sotwaretools for further posts regarding NetBeans.
    Please answer within c.l.j.sotwaretools, as this will be the only group
    that I will monitor.


    The NetBeans Open Source Lie

    The Product "NetBeans IDE" is *not* Open Source, as by the
    de-facto-standard definition of the open-source-initiative.

    Several _integral_ modules of the "NetBeans IDE" are not covered by the
    [OSI compliant, open-source] SPL but by the [non OSI compliant,
    non-open-source, proprietary, binary] BCL (Binary Code License).

    Thus NetBeans/Sun Microsystems lie publically about the NetBeans IDE
    licensing status.


    I've evaluated NetBeans for around 6 weeks.

    [EVALUATION] - E10 - Summary: NetBeans is NOT open source, Sun is...


    As an last try, I've notified Sun's Microsystems Board of Directors
    about the many problems of the NetBeans System, which are seemingly
    ignored by leaders and executives.

    [EVALUATION] - E11 - Sun Microsystems Board of Directors


    nntp newsgroup access:


    Within the above thread, an intresting discussion about "The NetBeans
    Open Source Lie" has started.

    My main suggestion to Sun Microsystems was:

    Suggestion 2:

    Responsible Sun Microsystems Executives:

    * Please respect the user-base, your share-holders and yourself.
    * Please stop cheating people.
    * Please Open-Source the modules in question.

    After that, you can start saying

    "The Full-Featured NetBeans Open Source IDE"

    _without_ feeling ashamed.


    Find below my answer to Tim Boudreau (Sun Microsystems) who is a
    NetBeans Board Member (appointed by Sun Microsystems).

    Tim Boudreau has *personally* *censored* my answer [on the public
    NetBeans nbuser forum] which I publicize for further discussion here.

    [note: please focus on the Open Source Lie. The weak liberal qualities
    of the NetBeans project are another topic.]


    Tim Boudreau wrote:
    [moved into context]

    > Kirill K. wrote:
    >> On Wed, 2004-12-08 at 15:04 +0200, Ilias Lazaridis wrote:
    >>> ok, I'll try to elaborate.
    >>>> JRE, including rt.jar, is obviously not open source, and
    >>>> still NB relies on it hardly. Is it also a reason not to call NB
    >>>> open source? I guess your answer is negative.

    [...] - {The Open-Source Language-Runtime Question}.

    >>>> But how do the above mentioned
    >>>> libraries differ from rt.jar except in that they are bundled with
    >>>> IDE itself?
    >>> As you've said, they are "bundled with IDE itself".
    >>> They are _integral_ part of the Product (and its main functionality)
    >>> [NetBeans IDE] which is declared as Open Source.
    >>> But you cannot alter e.g. the "XML" or the "J2EE Editor" behaviour
    >>> in the Open Source way.

    >> Well, there definitely is something in what you're saying. And this
    >> is an interesting discussion.
    >> Let's start with XML. As far as I know, JAXP is an integral part of
    >> J2SE 1.4 and higher, so there shouldn't be any need to include it in
    >> NB, since these are the only platforms supported by NB. Regarding the
    >> parser implementation... Please someone correct me if I'm wrong, but
    >> I think NB only uses Apache Xerces parser?.. (which is distributed
    >> under the Apache open-source license) At least, I can see it packaged
    >> in netbeans/ide4/modules/autoload/ext/xerces-2.6.2.jar. And the
    >> interesting thing is that I can also see it under the
    >> com.sun.org.apache.xerces.internal package inside of rt.jar that
    >> comes with JDK 1.5! And (correct me if I'm wrong) it seems to me that
    >> J2SE 1.4 includes a XML parser implementation, too.
    >> Please someone explain the whole thing: why do legal documents state
    >> that NB includes BCL'ed XML parser, if in reality it doesn't. Or,
    >> alternatively, why does it include both Xerces and that mistorical
    >> BCL'ed parser? And why does it include these parsers at all, if the
    >> functionality is already present in JDK? The same questions apply to
    >> JAXP.
    >> -------
    >> So. We probably shouldn't complain about JAXP, as it's part of the
    >> J2SE platform. We shouldn't complain about the XML parser, if in
    >> reality NB only uses Xerces.

    > Re the JAXP license, I suspect it's just there because at some point
    > (circa JDK 1.3) we were shipping it, and at the time it was covered by
    > the BCL; perhaps some module from that period has not been updated or
    > something such - anyway, there are no nefarious plots here :)

    possibly "no nefarious plots" [here, XML], but for sure some sloppiness.

    > I'll look into it and find out why that's there and let the list know.

    You should hurry, thus the 4.0 final release gets the correction.

    >> But what about the J2EE Editor module? I have given this thing a
    >> thought and I can't but agree with Ilias: if everything is the way it
    >> sounds, J2EE Editor module is a functional part of the IDE. And if it
    >> is really distributed under the BCL, I agree that the fact it is
    >> included with the open source IDE doesn't look right. As well as the
    >> fact that in order to use free open-source IDE, one must sign under
    >> terms and conditions of some proprietary thing which can't even be
    >> replaced by an open-source alternative.
    >> Again, I am asking for explanations/clarifications on this issue.

    > Re the J2EE editor stuff, which specific piece/license are you
    > looking at?

    The context is _very_ clear:

    _Every_ J2EE "editor stuff" which is contained in NetBeans IDE and is
    licenced under the (non-open-source) BCL - thus making the NetBeans IDE
    a _non_-open-source product.

    I'm intrested in those clarifications, too.

    > Note that we have been known to make binaries for NetBeans available
    > *before* something's been open sourced - there's a major legal process
    > a Sun developer has to go through to open source something, to satisfy
    > the lawyers that Sun isn't violating anybody's copyright and giving
    > away something it does not actually own - proving that they indeed
    > wrote all the code that's being open sourced, etc. The easiest
    > workaround is, of course, to develop all the code in NetBeans CVS in
    > the first place, but it can't always be done that way.

    I doubt the validity of the statements [or more precise:
    justifications], but I'll not go into this, to simplify things.

    => {Sun has a slow closed-to-open-source-transformation processes}
    => {Sun can't always develope in an Open Source CVS}

    > Sun of course can also make binary-only stuff available for NetBeans,
    > either for free or for sale - as can any company that wants to. In
    > the long run, a model we're considering is to sell "module kits" for
    > specific technologies - after all, all of the IDEs Sun ships are
    > NetBeans anyway - having one technology and three names for it doesn't
    > make a huge amount of sense.

    => {Sun can make binary-only stuff available (free or for sale)}
    => {Sun considers to sell "module kits" for specific technologies}


    You have just given some justifications and some off-context comments.

    Basically you confirm, that the Product "NetBeans IDE 4.0" (which
    includes the J2EE Editor "Stuff") is not Open Source.

    Thus my title "The NetBeans Open Source Lie" is perfectly valid.

    Isn't it?

    > -Tim

    [note to readers:
    NbUsers is now apparently on "silent censorship mode":

    NbUsers is now on full moderation

    I don't think that this is true, as I don't think that a Sun
    Microsystems employee would violate the most essential rules of the
    open-source netbeans system in a manner which comes close to an insult.



    Ilias Lazaridis, Dec 12, 2004
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