Subject: Re: Change ot topic, back to OVPL
From: David Barrett <>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 09:37:48 -0700

A process question (to whoever is authorized to answer): has Russell 
been assigned to be the "case worker" for OVPL?  In other words, is 
Russell's approval any more influential than the other board's members, 
or is he just expressing his decision early?  Either way I'm thankful 
for his involvement, even if personally I disagree with his 

Furthermore, am I correct in understanding there are three (or possibly 
four) actions required for Russell to recommend OVPL approval:

1) The definitions section's alphabetical order be broken (new 
definitions added to the end) in order to preserve maximum similarity 
with the CDDL, with the intent to maximize understandability.

2) Section 3 should be appended to the end of the license, thereby 
preserving the numbering of all same sections to the CDDL, again with 
the intent to maximize understandability.

3) Any changes that might be back-ported to the CDDL must be presented 
to the CDDL owner, and some response (yes, no, indifferent) obtained for 
all to see.

4) Though not stated, does Russell require that if the CDDL owner 
decides to back-port some subset of OVPL changes, the OVPL's approval 
will be delayed until the CDDL is updated and re-approved as well?

Is there anything else?

If so, I'm estatic because it means that Russell accepts and endorses 
the core value of the OVPL and merely has logistical concerns.  Thus, 
the hard fight has already been won.

But on the other hand I'm a bit saddened because, personally, I believe 
the first two requests are counterproductive (reduce 
understandability).  The third and fourth I can somewhat understand, but 
they seem to set a stiff new precedent that at the very least should be 
stated in the approval process.


On Wed, 24 Aug 2005 8:11 am, Russell Nelson wrote:
> Alex Bligh writes:
>  > Russ,
>  >
>  > >  > So, can we return to the discussion of the OVPL and what it 
> would
>  > >  > take to make it acceptable as an OSI-approved license? It has
>  > >  > relevance, especially to the charter of this list....
>  > >
>  > > I want to see the CDDL improvements currently in the OVPL (and I 
> think
>  > > they are genuine improvements) taken out and applied to the CDDL 
> where
>  > > they belong.  It may be that the CDDL folks don't think they're
>  > > improvements, but the OVPL folks should make the effort and report
>  > > back on their success or failure.
>  >
>  > You didn't reply to my email which
>  > a) listed the "non-functionality" changes made which could be 
> backported
>  >    to the OVPL, and showed that they were completely minimal.
>  > b) queried why it should be the OVPL team's responsibility to get 
> the
>  >    CDDL folks to "fix" [1] their license, when they might be of the 
> opinion
>  >    that it isn't broken, or doesn't need fixing.
>  > c) questioned why "fixing" [1] the CDDL should be a criteria for 
> approval
>  >    by the OSI, given the published criterion for approval with the 
>  >    is that it meets the OSD, and the OSD currently has no provision 
> that
>  >    says "any license from which a new license is derived should also
>  >    be fixed up". Sun were not asked to fix the MPL.
>  >
>  > [1] quotes because I am not convinced that was is for us a necessary
>  > improvement that makes it multijurisdictional necessarily means the 
>  > which as far as I know has only been used for US origin code, is 
> broken.
>  >
>  > > I also want to see the numbering of the CDDL preserved.  This 
> makes
>  > > for fewer changebars and easier study and analysis.  I think I'm 
> on
>  > > pretty safe ground to insist upon this particular change.
>  >
>  > I am taking it that you read the license before making that comment,
>  > and looked at how you might renumber it.
>  >
>  > The numbering HAS been preserved in its entirety, apart from the
>  > section 1, and the addition of 3.3.
> In other words, it HAS NOT been preserved in its entirety.  Sheesh,
> you're like one of my students saying "Well, I got it almost perfectly
> right; can't I get a perfect 100?"
>  > Section 1 has the majority of renumbering, and is the definitions
>  > section. As you are probably aware, it is normal for definitions to
>  > be in alphabetical order and consecutively numbered. Not doing so
>  > would make the OVPL much harder to read. In any case, anyone
>  > reading either license references the definitions by the defined
>  > term, and not by number. I hope you are not seriously suggesting we
>  > change this.
> I am dead serious, and I expect that most members of license-discuss
> will back me up.  We have gotten LOTS and LOTS of feedback both
> recently and over the years that, well, licenses are hard to read.  I
> don't think it is in the best interests of the open source world
> (whose interests we exist to pursue) to allow you to make a derivative
> work of an existing license and make small changes to that license
> which are not necessary to maintain the legal understanding of your
> license.
> Like I said earlier, I can be persuaded that I am wrong if you can
> supply a lawyer's perspective that there is a legal need to make these
> small changes.  I can also be persuaded if you CONTACT the CDDL folks,
> and they REFUSE the improvements.  You've resisted doing this so
> strongly that if you assert that you have contacted them and they have
> refused, I'll feel it necessary to get the CDDL folks' side.
> The principle I am pursuing here is that a section of a license which
> is intended to be taken the same should be EXACTLY the same.  Word for
> word, number for number.  Whitespace I'll give you for free.
>  > In any case, as above, there is no OSD requirement that the 
> numbering
>  > of one license should match the numbering of a predecessor, so no,
>  > you are not on safe ground to insist on this particular change. The
>  > criterion for approval is whether it meets the OSD.
> No, we've always felt free to reject licenses which are not in the
> best interest of the open source community.
> Unfortunately, I'm headed off to the NY state fair for five days, so I
> cannot give your email the proper respect it deserves.  I'm sending
> this off as-is to give you a chance to start revising the OVPL as I
> recommend.  If you choose not to revise it, and insist that I put it
> before the board, I will do so with a "Recommend: rejection" header.
> If the board sends it back to you for revision, and you decline to
> revise it, you can re-submit it on an as-is basis and I will submit it
> to the board again with a Recommend: approval header.  It will take
> months and months for this process and in the end, you will be hurting
> the open source community.
> Do any license-discuss readers disagree with me?
> I could do a better job with this email, but .... I must run in sixty
> seconds.  Wish our county good luck in the competitions!
> --
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