Celebspotting at Narita

I had just retrieved my suitcase from the baggage carousel at Narita, when I saw a familiar face. I just had to wander up and ask “Excuse me, are you Richard Stallman?” – and it was! He was kind enough to pose for a very inexpertly taken picture (note – the iPhone isn’t very good for self-portraits!) and mentioned that he is speaking in Tokyo this week – The Free Software Movement and Its Future on Wednesday October 24th in Akihabara. I may just wander along…

Sun Folks – Sign up to Dopplr!

UPDATE – it’s a challenge – IBM vs Sun. Let’s beat them down!!!

James Governor writes today, encouraging IBM’ers to sign up to Dopplr. Chatting with James, the sentiment is by no means exclusive to IBM – Sun is also a member of the ‘Dopplr 100‘ – any Sun employee can sign up to Dopplr with their Sun email address, no invite needed. Here is a tweaked version of James’ call to action, explaining why you need Dopplr…

Dopplr is a really cool application that makes it easier for distributed teams to get together. Its essentially a trip planning application but with a strong social element. Do you ever go to a city and then a week later find out that someone on your team was there too and you didn’t know it? Sun today is a truly globalised company, and I know this happens a lot. Many is the time I have seen a Sun person really happy to finally meet someone they have worked closely together for years. So why not accelerate your serendipity with Dopplr.

Dopplr is currently still in limited beta (isn’t everything cool) and normally people can’t register unless they are invited. But
but the firm is savvy enough to have introduce what it calls the Dopplr 100 – that is 100 firms that can self-register. That is Dopplr is saying Sun is one of the cool kids. Sign up here.

disclosure: I share an office with Matt, but I loved the app before I did.
Further disclosure: Matt will think I am super lame if none of you sign up. So get to it.

Go sign up – if you know me, you can share your trips with me here.

Open Provisioning Toolkit Launched – OpenPTK

I’m supposed to be packing for a trip right now, rather than blogging, so I can’t write much, but Terry, Scott (dude – you need to put your blogging hat back on) and Derrick would never forgive me if I missed this. Suffice to say – OpenPTK is very cool, and you can find out much more about it in the following blog posts:

links for 2007-10-09

CDDL as a middle way

In a recent blog post, James McGovern reckoned that my “perspective on CDDL is somewhat insular and indoctrinated“. As I was wondering how to reply to this, there was some discussion on the OAuth mailing list on the merits of different licenses. I posted this to the list this morning:

As you survey the landscape of open source licenses (http://opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical), you should also consider whether CDDL (http://opensource.org/licenses/cddl1.php) gives you what you’re looking for.

Disclaimer – I work for Sun Microsystems, on OpenSSO (http://opensso.dev.java.net), a CDDL-licensed project. However, in this instance, I’m not shilling for Sun, just giving my personal opinion.

Based on the Mozilla Public License, CDDL attempts to balance the interests of different sides of the developer community – on a file-by-file basis, any modifications you make to CDDL-licensed source code must be made available under the CDDL, however, if you build CDDL into a ‘larger work’ you choose how to license your ‘new’ files.

This is essentially a middle course between GPL and Apache/BSD/MIT (they’re not the same, but they do lie on the same side of the license spectrum). If I license my code to you under CDDL, you are free to use it as a component in a ‘larger work’, but you must make available any changes/fixes to my code.

Anyway – the main thing is to read the licenses, decide which one best fits your intentions, adopt it, and get back to the code. One thing some people overlook is that, as the actual copyright-holder, you are not bound perpetually by your initial license choice. Although the genie is out of the bottle regarding already licensed code, you can decide to stop licensing future versions under an open source license, switch licenses, add new licenses or whatever. Of course, you would consider the needs and preferences of the community that you have (hopefully) built around your code before taking any of these courses of action!

I truly believe that CDDL offers a useful middle path between the ‘viral’ (all your code are belong to us) GPL and the ‘permissive’ (take what you like, just don’t sue us if it doesn’t work out) Apache/BSD/MIT, and this provides specific benefits for business.

James goes on to extrapolate somewhat from his lawyer friend’s opinion:

She mentioned that corporate friendly licenses permit redistribution without restrictions on commercial use and don’t have broad retaliation clauses. In reading into her position, I would guess that she doesn’t like Sun, IBM or Mozilla but would like likes such as GPL 2.0, Apache and MIT though.

Nice guess, James, but I’d like her unfiltered opinion after reading the licenses (you are correct in your suspicion that I’ve never had a conversation with any corporate lawyers whose primary business isn’t technology). The Apache 2.0 license has a patent retaliation clause (my emphasis:

3. Grant of Patent License.

Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, each Contributor hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer the Work, where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was submitted. If You institute patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the Work or a Contribution incorporated within the Work constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses granted to You under this License for that Work shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

I AM NOT A LAWYER, but this does not seem substantially different from the equivalent section of CDDL:


If You assert a patent infringement claim (excluding declaratory judgment actions) against Initial Developer or a Contributor (the Initial Developer or Contributor against whom You assert such claim is referred to as Participant) alleging that the Participant Software (meaning the Contributor Version where the Participant is a Contributor or the Original Software where the Participant is the Initial Developer) directly or indirectly infringes any patent, then any and all rights granted directly or indirectly to You by such Participant, the Initial Developer (if the Initial Developer is not the Participant) and all Contributors under Sections 2.1 and/or 2.2 of this License shall, upon 60 days notice from Participant terminate prospectively and automatically at the expiration of such 60 day notice period, unless if within such 60 day period You withdraw Your claim with respect to the Participant Software against such Participant either unilaterally or pursuant to a written agreement with Participant.

Understand, I’m not saying that CDDL is the license-to-end-all-licenses, but it is definitely worth considering as an option if you want a middle way.

Ardbeg – 1975 Limited Edition – Bottled 1999

It’s been far too long since my last whisky posting, but here we are, relaxing on a Sunday evening with Karen’s parents visiting, sampling a rather nice bottle of Ardbegdistilled in 1975, bottled in 1999 and bought about 5 years ago, I guess. Certainly before we moved to the US.

This is a peaty, peaty malt from Islay. It starts off very smooth (not surprisingly, as it spent 24 years mellowing in the cask), then the peat hits you. It’s by no means overpowering, but it’s certainly all there. The finish is heather and smoke. A very fine dram indeed – highly recommended. If you can find a bottle of the 1975, you are lucky indeed, if not, then all of the Ardbeg is good.

(On a whim, I just searched Google Products for Ardbeg 1975 and it found a bottle on eBay. You can ‘buy it now’ for a nickel under $530. Hoo-wah!)

Tracking Keywords on Twitter

I had to piece this together from several sources (including some great hints from Mark Atwood), so I consider it blogworthy…

A few days ago I tweeted (posted an update on Twitter) that I was looking at OAuth. A few seconds later, Mark Atwood IM’d me: “Any questions about OAuth? I’m one of the spec authors”. Wow. How did that happen?

It turns out that you can now track keywords on Twitter. For some reason I thought you could only get this working via SMS, you can also do it on IM. Here’s how…

New Sun Developer Network Goodies

The Sun Developer Network elves have been hard at work at the cobbler’s bench, publishing new articles in the identity section and creating a whole new resource center for scripty folk.

First up, Installing, Configuring, and Deploying Sun Java System Access Manager the Simple Way, by Sun engineer (and techno buff!) Anant Kadam and regular SDN tech author Marina Sum, shows how Access Manager‘s WAR deployment mechanism allows you to install the product on any of a variety of containers in just a few minutes. <whisper>It works on Tomcat and Glassfish as well as the officially supported containers – just don’t tell anyone </whisper>.

Also, the very first article on OpenDS just hit SDN, Trey Drake and the ubiquitous Marina present an introduction to OpenDS. In case you hadn’t heard, OpenDS is Sun’s open source directory server project, written in Java and fully compliant with LDAP v3. Check out the article and OpenDS itself!

Finally, we have the new Scripting Resource Center – all sorts of goodies here – JavaScript, Ajax, Ruby, JavaFX, jMaki, PHP, Python, C, DTrace, and more. Set aside a couple of hours before following this link