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JBoss Queries Apache Geronimo Code Similarity

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the tomahawks-at-dawn dept.

Java 293

Kanagawa writes "This morning, Jim Jagielski, Exec. V.P. and Secretary of the Apache Software Foundation, announced on the geronimo-dev mailing list that 'the ASF received a letter from JBoss's lawyers regarding... the similarity of code between [J2EE implementation] Geronimo and JBoss.' The letter is available in PDF. According to the letter, similarities were noticed back in July, and haven't been fixed."

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butt fucking monkies (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438448)

pist fisting

In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438449)

JBoss CEO rumored to be dating Darl McBride...

Re:In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438742)

Just goes to show that songs and movies aren't the only thing you dirty hippies steal.

Re:In other news... (-1, Flamebait)

rco3 (198978) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438825)

Ha. Ha Ha. Ha Ha HA!
HooHooHOOHOOOHOO!HAAH!!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

That.. You... The...HA! HAAHHAHA!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
HEHEHEHEHEHEEEEHEH EHEHEHEHE!

HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAA!

HM! HM! HAhAHAHAHAHAahahahahahHAHAHAHA!

Damn, man, you funny!

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438853)

-1 Flamebait? C'mon, that was pretty amusing for the 2nd post on the board, to immediately have made a connection between the apache/jboss case and the sco/linux case like that. You mods are somethin' else. That should be rated +2 funny, if not higher.

For a rebuttal of the claimed similarities... (4, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438453)

...see this post to TheServerSide [theserverside.com] . A lot of these look like common design patterns and standard Java/J2EE naming conventions.

You can also see Jim Jagielski's response to some questions here [apache.org] about this issue. Sounds pretty reasonable.

Re:For a rebuttal of the claimed similarities... (1)

Clinoti (696723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438519)

But once again: if Geronimo has any GPL code in it, whether from JBoss or not, then it will be expunged. We've always said that. What we are doing now is looking at "cases" where such claims are being made and whether or not they have any merit, while at the same time reviewing what's in CVS.

Got it?

Love it. This is one of the things I like best about open source software: We can re-write it on the fly, or just do better than you...thanks for keeping us clean.

That doesn't sound as poetic as I mentally think it but that's my 2k.

Re:For a rebuttal of the claimed similarities... (1)

yanestra (526590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438565)

...see this post to TheServerSide. A lot of these look like common design patterns and standard Java/J2EE naming conventions.

You can also see Jim Jagielski's response to some questions here about this issue. Sounds pretty reasonable.
Your examples make it really look like just another SCO case. Not much similarity, except for some formalities.

The code parts mentioned in the JBoss' advocate's letter look a little related. I guess it can't prove that one is derived from the other, but the is some degree of similarity that possibly shouldn't be there. ...

For the sake of Free Software and the karma of some programmers who were fighting on the same side, but under a slightly different flag. ... <sigh>

Re:For a rebuttal of the claimed similarities... (2, Informative)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438566)

Another rebuttal of the claims is here [apache.org] . Looks like any similarities are either chance, or from the two implementations being derived from a common ancestor.

Re:For a rebuttal of the claimed similarities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438798)

That common ancestor (Log4J [apache.org] ) happens to be owned and licensed [apache.org] by the Apache Software Foundation [apache.org] .

Even the variable names are the same (1, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438579)

The similarities are too high to be considered a design pattern. The variable names and even choices for captialization are the same. for example, "ThreadNDCConverter" So are optional argument strings. like "CELLPADDING" which if two different people did might have come out as "CELL_PADDING" or "CELLPAD" or "PADCELL" etc...

The best they can hope for is it was copied from a common source or contributed by the same copyright holder.

Re:Even the variable names are the same (2, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438664)

I've had programming classes where the teacher would specifically spell out EXACTLY how your code should look, such as full nouns for variable names (no abbreviations), and very specific capitalization schemes. Documentation was specified as well.

If you look at most of the code excerpts, they're for basic things like string and integer conversions. Given a classroom full of people, and very specific instructions on what code should look like, you're not going to get much variation.

One would need to look at the rest of the code as well to see if the excerpts from each side are consistent with the rest of the codebase. Does one use "CELL_PADDING" everywhere, but in this snippet they use "CELLPAD"?

Re:Even the variable names are the same (2, Insightful)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438895)

"CELLPADDING" is a term in HTML, for example:
<TD CELLPADDING='3'>data</TD>
So any two people both familiar with this could very easily pick that same variable name, just as any two unix C programmers could both use "grep" for a searching function, or decide to name something that destroys threads based on a name "killall". It was already a convention before they used it.

Re:Even the variable names are the same (4, Insightful)

Merk (25521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438686)

C'mon! CamelCase names in Java follow a some simple rules, there's even a documented way of how you're supposed to do it. As for CELLPADDING, since that's how it's named in HTML, it wouldn't surprise me to see it done identically in another place. Better go sue Netscape too.

To see if the code is actually similar you'd have to look at algorithms and innovations. Looking at interfaces and their names isn't going to tell you anything at all.

Who is going to sue me? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438932)

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main()
{
cout << "Hello world, sombebody sue me for stealing code!" << "\n";
return 0;
};

Re:Even the variable names are the same (3, Interesting)

Delirium Tremens (214596) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438715)

Good try, but no, really. First of all, CELLPADDING only appears in the jBoss part of the diff, not in Geronimo. Secondly, that's how you are supposed to specify the padding for cells in an HTML table. So, if Geronimo had decided to use an HTML table in their javadoc with cell padding, they would have had to use CELLPADDING. But all that is irrelevant since they didn't.

Re:Even the variable names are the same (5, Informative)

brett_sinclair (673309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438730)

even choices for captialization are the same. for example, "ThreadNDCConverter"

No mystery there. ThreadNDCConverter is capitalized *exactly* according to very established java code conventions. See for example http://java.sun.com/docs/codeconv/html/CodeConvent ions.doc8.html

Re:Even the variable names are the same (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438749)

It's part of coding in a given environment. I've been coding MFC programs for almost 3 years now, and I've completely picked up the MFC naming conventions, despite the fact that I always have (and still do) despise them. Most of the stuff in my company's libraries fits in so well with the MFC conventions that I rarely know offhand whether it's in our toolbox or in MFC itself.

If you were going to come up with a more generic, cross-format version of MFC's CBitmap, how much do you want to bet it's going to be called CImage? There are many such classes out there. Yes, it could've been called CGraphic or CGenericBitmap or CPixelArray. But it isn't. It's called CImage, because that fits in with MFC's set of objects nicely. (Of course, MFC is likely going to include that name eventually and it'll bite all of us in the ass, but that's not the point).

MFC often uses lpszMessage as the variable name for a string. Ugly and nonsensical you say? I agree! Does it stop everyone from using that for their string variables? Not a chance!

Just because There Is More Than One Way To Do It, does not mean that more than one way will be used. It's part of fitting in with the language you're writing in. Java does not use underscore characters often, for example, although they are common in C/C++. Shortened names are also uncommon in Java, in my experience. CELLPADDING sounds like a perfectly reasonable name to me. Because that's what it is. It's not Pad Cell, or Cell Pad. It's Cell Padding, and that's what the majority of Java programmers would call it.

Re:Even the variable names are the same (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438844)

I respectfull disagree.

a) I don't think anyone would mix up CELLPADDING with PADCELL. What should PADCELL be or mean?

b) Its standard java coding style rules NOT TO USE a "_" in a constant.

Everybody using "cell padding" as a name for a constat wich is used like a enum would write CELLPADDING. Everybody.

The capitalization rules are also well defined. So if you consider to have a class "ThreadNDCConverter" a companay sticking to the original coding style rules will name that class or interface: ThreadNdcConverter. While my company OTOH will name it ThreadNDCConverter, as our rule is to capitalize all abreviations, like FTP, RMI and such.

angel'o'sphere

Ouch! (-1, Flamebait)

SirChris (676927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438456)

Don't you hate getting caught?

Re:Ouch! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438513)

Ummm...no.

Apache is Open Source. That means it's free for all to examine. It's one thing to be caught with your hand in the cookie jar, but it's quite another to slowly open the jar and reach inside while in direct eye contact with your mother. I'm quite sure this is unintentional. See the previous comment for a rebuttal.

Re:Ouch! (1)

SirChris (676927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438567)

Hmm.. I'm pretty sure I was joking. Maybe I should add a da dum tsch. thing to the end.

Re:Ouch! (2, Informative)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438669)

See, to do a joke, you do not just need to think about it. People do not read your thoughts. So you have to give a clue away. Like if I say: "Today the weather is nice", no one will have a clue I'm joking and it is raining outside, because they don't even know where I am. So it is not funny.
However, if I say "Today the weather is nice, looks like I could go windsurfing on the highway", then they know I am joking. Even if the joke is awful.

Re:Ouch! (0)

SirChris (676927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438725)

Hmm.. I don't get it.

Re:Ouch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438794)

I don't get it

Then please, for the sake of everyone, don't try any jokes anymore on slashdot.

Re:Ouch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438758)

Or you could say something like "Today the weather is nice LOLOLOL ;-)"

Re:Ouch! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438831)

Or you could say something like "Today the weather is nice LOLOLOL ;-)"

Yes, that would work too, even though it doesn't give a clue as why this is funny. Of course, with the weather example, it is pretty obvious, but in a more general case, you might ensure first that your audience has a clue about the context that makes the joke actually funny.

This is a serious matter, not something you should take lightly.

Re:Ouch! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438576)

Apparently, someone has not considered the differences between the various forms of open source.

Using the J2EE RI? (1)

ajiva (156759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438459)

If they both used the J2EE Reference Implementation wouldn't the code be similar? I fail to see how this is an issue.

Re:Using the J2EE RI? (2, Informative)

heathm (174421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438516)

Neither Geronimo or JBoss are based on the J2EE RI.

Re:Using the J2EE RI? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439069)

..but both probably use the same spesifications as basis.

which really wouldn't surprise me too much when it lead to similarities in namings.

same goes for a lot of other projects as well(hey,your irc program uses 'nickname' for storing the nickname! you stole it from us!!).

So this means... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438460)

Microsoft, I mean SCO, is behind this, right?

Re:So this means... (1)

Fembot (442827) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439078)

No, I think they're just taking a leaf out of SCO's (patented) book

w00t (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438462)

w00

ha (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438464)

my lawyer can beat up your lawyer!

YOU'RE STILL A FLAMING HOMOSEXUAL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438506)

No matter what your lawyer is.

SORRY, BUT IT'S QUITE CLEAR WHO THE FAGGOT IS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438641)

GAY

HOMOSEXUAL

FAGGOT

Remember the old saying (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438477)

"Good programmer's copy, great programmer's steal!!"

meh.. I got nothing.

Re:Remember the old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438856)

But no programmers can spell.

http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/grammar/archive/a po strophes01.html

Well... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438482)

Jboss better change their damn code pretty quick! That is unless they want Apache to sue their asses. It is uncontionable for Jboss to steal Apache's code.

Yea, I know. The question is, do you?

OT: Re:Well... (1)

sonicattack (554038) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438577)

Actually, you are, in a way, bringing up an interesting point - the number of Slashdot readers commenting on articles before taking their precious time to read enough of it to make their postings meaningful.

Of course, there are always things that can be said without actually understanding exactly what the article is about, but it is always a good idea to read up, and get a good impression from which to base your comments on, before ... ah, this is Slashdot. Nevermind.

:)

SEE?!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438486)

I told you those dirty no-good GNU hippies were THIEVES!

-- Crazy Unca Daryl

Any point? (4, Interesting)

henc (671554) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438493)

I'm not into this case, but at a first glance it seem to me that Geronimo really is just what JBoss is, right ? - So what's the point in remaking it? JBoss is already free? (LGPL!)

henc

Re:Any point? (1, Funny)

cscx (541332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438540)

On the same note, I guess it would be appropriate to ask the Gnome developers why Gnome needs five clocks... [gnome.org]

Just 5!!! (2, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438590)

Damn, must make more GTK/Gnome clocks.

Bye!!!!

Re:Just 5!!! (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438644)

I'm writing one in Ruby, and a BINARY clock in shell, awk and dd!

Re:Just 5!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438845)

j00 == teh hax0r!!!111

Re:Just 5!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7439178)

What! another clock for wimps. I wrote a real clock, one that displays the number of seconds since Jan 1st 1970.

Re:Just 5!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7439218)

*I* use the number of seconds since Nov 17, 1858. (I can't help it, I was raised on VMS and UN*X time doesn't come naturally to me.)

Re:Any point? (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438698)

On the same note, I guess it would be appropriate to ask the Gnome developers why Gnome needs five clocks...

To tell the time, silly.

Re:Any point? (5, Informative)

heathm (174421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438546)

That's exactly the problem. Geronimo is a project of the Apache Software Foundation and as such must be licensed under the ASF license. LGPL code cannont arbitrarily be relicensed.

Re:Any point? (1)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438568)

Different people choose different licenses for different reason under different circumstances for similar projects.

Re:Any point? (1)

primus_sucks (565583) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438977)

Maybe people want an alternative to something run by litigious jack-asses!

MOD PARENT DOWN -1 TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7439090)

Sheesh. Nobody's filed a lawsuit. Relax.

Marc Fleury's cash cow is in danger. (2, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438505)

Call out the lawyers!

I mean, who couldn't see this coming, after the issues this summer?

At least SCO had some verbatim (albeit legitimate) copying that they could show. This stuff isn't even exact, and in most cases it appears methods of operation have changed, variable names and defines have changed.

I call bullshit.

Re:Marc Fleury's cash cow is in danger. (1)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438529)

OTOH, at least in this case, specific instances of code that has allegedly been copied from one to the other are provided.

Re:Marc Fleury's cash cow is in danger. (2, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438539)

They don't look like copies to me. Close relatives, yes. Accomplish the same task, yes. Comments identical? No. This is bogus bullshit.

Re:Marc Fleury's cash cow is in danger. (1)

lspd (566786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439039)

They don't look like copies to me. Close relatives, yes. Accomplish the same task, yes. Comments identical? No.

Although I tend to agree that the similarities are not interesting enough to get in a huff, I'd be interested in hearing whether or not Scott Deboy [mail-archive.com] wrote the comment "Convert an integer passed as argument to a level. If the conversion fails, then this method returns the specified default."

If he didn't write it, where did he get it? Perhaps both groups were borrowing from another source.

Re:Marc Fleury's cash cow is in danger. (2, Interesting)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438721)

At least the JBoss lawyers pointed out three files that they claim were copied from the outset, AND they're willing to let ASF just remove any copied code. SCO did neither. You could only view SCO's copied code via NDA, and removing the code wasn't an option. Only much later, they decided to show a (fairly bogus) sample at the conference. I have yet to see a dozen press releases from JBoss claiming that ASF is destroying their business, and that ASF is unamerican, and trying to subvery copyright law.

A query? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438521)

I think its mighty decent of them to 'query' the project and give them some time to get things worked out; they could have just sued. Of course, Apache has practically no money so that would be like squeezing blood out of a potato. But some other companies (cough) SCO (cough) might not take the time or the effort to avoid a chance to make some money.

Re:A query? (0, Offtopic)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438958)


Actually, suing DEBIAN would be like squeezing blood out of a potato (or a woody.. or a sarge.. or a sid..)

XLevel (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438523)

The first exhibit seems to be originally derived from:

http://cvs.apache.org/viewcvs.cgi/jakarta-log4j/ ex amples/customLevel/XLevel.java

which is apache licensed in the first place.

relicensing (2, Interesting)

morgue-ann (453365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438834)

Which brings up an important question: can code be re-licensed by people other than the authors when the original license was less restrictive?

Example: Alice in Wonderland is in the public domain. Peter Zelchenko made an ebook out of it with nice typography and claims copyright on the derived work. Can I cut the text & paste it into a document of mine?

Example: the Almquist Shell (ash) seems to have been a contribution to some form of BSD Unix. It's also in busybox with a GPL at the top and a Berkeley license at the bottom.

What if Kenneth Almquist doesn't like the GPL and wants his code to be distributed that way? The BSD license pretty much says he's already given up the right to say anything, but using ash in a closed source project now gives me a funny feeling:

1) I'm worried that someone will claim ash is GPL and I must release the source. The later license doesn't affect earlier versions.

2) I have a copy of busybox source in my account. I've only looked at the docs & looked at the sources enough to figure out where they originally came from, but if there are bug fixes in the GPL'd code, they'd better not be in my ash, at least in the same form.

One more twist: the ash I have is licensed under the "Almquist Public License" which is BSD-like. The copyright message in the busybox version suggests that K.A. contributed it to Berkeley and the license for that *is* the BSD license.

If I want a later version than my 1989 one, I run the risk of hitting the part of the timeline where GPL contributions began.

Doesn't really look that much the same (4, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438541)

I'm no expert coder, but these don't look the same to me. There are similarities, but one would presume they are doing the similar things.

One of the functions is to convert an integer to a level. How many different ways could you do actually do this? Another function converts a string.

If you assign a class to write functions that would change variable types. All 30 people will come up with different code, but the code is likely to look very similar - especially if you're encouraging them to use proper function/variable naming and comments.

Kudos to JBoss for posting the code, but I don't see much here to be suing over.

Re:Doesn't really look that much the same (2, Informative)

atomray (202327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439153)

They aren't suing anyone. This isn't even a cease and dissist letter. They're informing the ASF that they have concerns over possible LPGL license infringement and are bringing their concerns to the ASF. I think that there is a great risk of code being copied over, I think JBoss LLC has a right and obligation to defend the LGPL, and the ASF should be careful that code isn't making its way from JBoss into their implementation without the permission of the copyright holder.

Same code diff day (-1, Offtopic)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438555)

Another SCO in the making?

Sco Exec: "it's obvious by the use of main()"
OSCommunity: "what you talking about willis"

lynx -dump perfidious.org/award|sed -n '1!G;h;$p'|sed '/\n/!G;s/\(.\)\(.*\n\)/&\2\1/;//D;s/.//'

This is a test (-1, Offtopic)

Blublu (647618) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438557)

I for one welcome our new JBoss Queries Apache Geronimo Code Similarity overlords. I'm going to see if I get modded funny. Please don't hateme.

Re:This is a test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438621)

I do hate you.

From one one the linked sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438560)

"I WROTE THESE IN JBOSS, THEY ARE NON_GENERIC. THERE IS NO LOGICAL WAY SOMEONE TO COME UP WITH THE 3 SAME MAPS, AND WITH THE 3 SAME NAMES."

Damn, this guy must think he is God's gift to programming!

I can't help it that there are so many caps, that is how he typed it. Are you happy not post filter?

One questoin (5, Funny)

TLouden (677335) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438563)

Which one is SCO and which is IBM, I'm a little slow on this stuff.

Both sides seem to be handling it well (5, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438570)

JBoss has noticed similarities and has raised the issue (a second time) with Geronimo.

Geronimo has requested that all developers confirm that either a) they didn't just submit JBoss code or b) they had the right as the original creators of the JBoss code section to also submit it to Geronimo.

No FUD. No hyperbole in extremis. No crazed threats. Oh, wait: No SCO. Of course. What a breath of fresh air.

When lawyers present code in documents... (3, Interesting)

Kentamanos (320208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438600)

Check out the source code on page 8. Since when is the copyright symbol allowable in Java syntax?

Re:When lawyers present code in documents... (1)

Pakaran2 (138209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438685)

Well, I suppose it could be escaped as a java (unicode) char...

Re:When lawyers present code in documents... (1)

Kentamanos (320208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438712)

I putting my money on the fact that MS Word AutoCorrect reared its ugly head ;).

Re:When lawyers present code in documents... (2, Funny)

Pakaran2 (138209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438739)

I can picture that, not having seen the code.

for(int c; c max; c++) if checkSomething(c) ... ;

and then your lawyers have claimed copyright on the entire function call - how lovely :)

Re:When lawyers present code in documents... (1)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438823)

It looks like the code was printed out and then scanned in. The code in question is a call to a function with an argument of 'c': super.finalizeComponent(c). The OCR probably saw that and converted it to the copyright symbol.

Or, option 2, the code was opened in a word processor (damn lawyers) and the word processor decided to be idiotic.

Re:When lawyers present code in documents... (1)

Kentamanos (320208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438849)

I hadn't thought of the OCR possibility. I'm guessing it's Word AutoCorrect though.

Proof at last! (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439235)

The lawyers probably saw the copyright symbol on both sides of the code, and decided that it was obviously a violation of copyright!

Both Apache and JBoss have gone too far... (3, Funny)

ikkyikkyikkypikang (214791) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438606)

In the example on page 8 of the letter you can see they are BOTH attempting to copyright the freaking SWITCH construct!

--
This post (c) 2003, Knights who say Ni, LTD.

SCO (3, Insightful)

Dark Fire (14267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438608)

A letter like that is really all everyone has been asking for from SCO. JBoss is doing this to protect their code. It makes you wonder why SCO hasn't done the same already. Unless of course their actions are not at all about protecting their source code and patents. Reminds of that bible story where King Solomon must decide a dispute over a newborn child. JBoss reacted in the interests of protecting their code, SCO has not. From this simple story, we see whose intentions are what they claim to be, and whose are not.

On a side note, SCO's recent behavior has made it clear as to who the puppetmaster of this debacle really is:

Here are two quotes from the Computer Business Review:

"SCO would probably provide customers with financial incentives and discounts to migrate to SCO Unix, other vendors' Unix, and what he referred to as 'other proprietary operating systems' but probably Windows."

"'We are offering a migration path to other operating systems that have a stronger IP basis than Linux,' the spokesperson said. Incentives will be offered 'in the coming months.'"

If that move doesn't reveal the puppetmaster, nothing will.

I sincerely doubted Microsoft's involvement for a while, this time though, the paranoid /.ers were on the money.

There's an easy way out... (1, Funny)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438622)

For the next two months, JBoss will license portions of its code to Geronimo's developers and users for half off, only $699!

-Adam

This, of course... (1)

wildwood (153376) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438623)

is exactly what SCO should be doing...

Copy of the letter in case of slashdotting (1, Redundant)

Pakaran2 (138209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438642)

Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=Apple-Mail-1--27472110
Subject: A Letter from JBoss's lawyers
From: Jim Jagielski
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 09:20:41 -0500

The ASF rec'd a letter from JBoss's lawyers regarding Geronimo
and the similarity of code between Geronimo and JBoss. They
cite a few "examples" but mention that:

1. That it strongly appears that code was
simply copied over
2. That we are violating (L)GPL.

I would like to place a copy of the letter on the Geronimo
site, but need some direction on doing that... Except
for HTTP releases and some minor things, I don't touch the
website build system.

In any case, this a CALL for ALL Geronimo developers
to ensure that any code is not copied from JBoss.
Recall, also, that if someone is the original
author of the code and donated that code to JBoss,
they can *still* donate the original code to the
ASF (unless they signed some sort of exclusivity
agreement). Original authors maintain ownership, and other project maintainers are free to have one-night-stands with hemos.

I'm attaching the PDF. When people reply, PLEASE
be sure to strip out the pics of RMS and taco!

Re:Copy of the letter in case of slashdotting (1)

Pakaran2 (138209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439065)

LOL.

Mods didn't notice my "changes" I guess...

Okay... (4, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438652)

I'm not clear about whether you really violated somebody's copyright if you looked at an LGPLed work and followed the same basic design structure to write your own work. I mean, the many instances of things like bean accessors/mutators having the same names and basic implementations are endemic to Java. Then there's stuff like logging based on other Apache licensed work.


It does sound like there were a few particular instances where a class' design and the set of methods in the class were directly patterned on the JBoss design - not necessarily copied line-by-line, but the solution to a fundamental part of the J2EE specification "problem" was ripped from JBoss and modified to suit the code needs of Geronimo. Whether this is violation of copyright or not is a tough question. Copyright doesn't protect a design pattern, a solution to a problem, the logical organization of a set of objects, or an algorithm. Proving that somebody actually violated copyright in this case seems rather hard to me - though perhaps a bit of credit to the JBoss folks for their thoughts and design work is in order.

Re:Okay... (1)

Delirium Tremens (214596) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439061)

Every developer will decide for themselves but it is pretty clear to me that a number of Geronimo parts were indeeed inspired by some JBoss code. I completely understand Marc Fleury's attitude. If Geronimo was borrowing code from my projects without proper authorization, I know I would be pissed off. Heck, if Geronimo was borrowing code from any project non-compatible with the ASF license, I would be pissed of (as a potential user who believes in and respects the various Open Source licenses). If that was the case, I would seriously doubt the integrity of Geronimo.

Actually, as it stands, I now slightly distrusts Geronimo. At least until they fix this code inspiration problem with either a rewrite or some note crediting the JBoss guys for some of their design ideas.

In soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438676)

Apache Geronimo steals from You!

Common origin? (5, Informative)

shamir_k (222154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438688)

The first example in the letter is
org.jboss.logging.XLevel vs. org.apache.geronimo.core.log.XLevel
Both seem to be copied from log4j's examples.customLevel.XLevel
However, there are much more substantial allegations made here [theserverside.com]

Sketchy at best... (3, Insightful)

VirtualUK (121855) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438691)

At what level though do you say that source was copied? Obviously the code isn't a 100% match, and for each problem a coder faces there is a shortest distance/most efficient solution, what's not to say that two developers wouldn't reach similar conclusions? Seeing as some of the exhibits were based around logging which is a very common task which I'd figure that a large portion of projects tackle the problem in the same fashion, I fail to see you could point out that someone had copied the solution if it was the best answer and other people could arrive at the same conclusion.

If it was a line for line copy then I can see it being different, but IMHO I think there are sufficient difference between the two portions of code. Personally I think if JBoss doesn't have better things to do with it's time and money it should slash the cost of its ridiculously expensive (and pathetic) documentation and spend some time improving it instead!

HMM, let me see (2, Insightful)

butane_bob2003 (632007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438701)

How could this be avoided? Both are implemented against the same guidelines, using the same suggested/implied patterns. I guess it's just a matter of who did it first a this point. Java's syntax does not allow for (thankfully) a million different ways of expressing the same idea (at the lanuage level anyway). Given the pervasiveness of design patterns, it's not unlikely that large pieces of architecture will be functionally and syntactically similar. And given that both are open source software, what are the chances that one developer happened to peek at the other's code for a little insight? Chances are pretty good. Once you see a solution or pattern/class design that works nicely, it's hard not to follow the idea.

author's name adjusted? (2, Interesting)

rkww (675767) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438733)

Maybe this is just an artefact of the way these program samples were generated, but it's pretty obvious that the author's name in the 'author' comment at the foot of the left-hand column on page seven (of the pdf of the original complaint letter) is in a completely different font to that of the rest of the code on that page: check out for instance the 'g' character.

Bad Move! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438751)

Umm... aren't you supposed to sue for gobs of money before you show the infringements? Don't they know how our legal system works?!

JBoss is pretty generous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438778)

It was mangnanimous of JBoss to point out the copying issue and gave Apache a chance to fix the problem.

I suggest Apache not complain and accept this goodwill gesture on the part of JBoss.

Come back after the slash effect (2, Funny)

Tuross (18533) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438787)

I had never heard of Geronimo before, so I did the lemming thing and clicked on the link in the article and got the message in the subject. Now I'm not sure about you, but is it telling me that I should revisit their website after I feel relieved by urinating?

They should retract that statement (5, Informative)

butane_bob2003 (632007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438805)

The JBoss code and the Apache code both appear to be copied from an example that was originally created by Apache. Exibit A and B are both logging classes, both use Log4J (Apache's logging utility) and can be expected to be similar. Exibit C looks Almost identical, but not entirely. The similarities are so trivial, Apache is bound to make a few quick changes and be done with this thing before it starts. What sillyness.

Well DUH!!! (4, Interesting)

ChaseTec (447725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438824)

Did anyone not see this coming? And if you didn't here's why you should have:

Mark Fleury's original response to Apache Geronimo
As our customers know, we are a business, a serious one and we seriously believe in and defend "professional open source". That includes legal protection of IP. Make no mistakes, JBoss will AGGRESIVELY defend its copyright and LGPL license.

And from the Elba [sourceforge.net] website
Think of Elba as a latticework for Geronimo--and as a shield to buffer the Geronimo codebase and CVS repository from any LGPL code. As Geronimo is built, its code will replace the code from Elba, bit by bit until there's nothing left in Elba at all. At that time, Elba will cease to exist and only Geronimo will remain; we'll have a big party and you're all invited.

So if Geronimo is being developed as outlined at the Elba website then they'd have to have the exact same method signatures....

Not copied? (5, Interesting)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438891)

Looking at the code as a programmer, some things stand out:

  1. The "copying" JBoss claims doesn't fit. There's differences in braces, keywords and other things that wouldn't be accounted for by automatic reformatting of code. I can't see a programm who's copying code directly going back in and doing that kind of editing. I'd expect braces to be maintained, for example, yet in several places they aren't.
  2. The similar names are obvious names for types, variables and functions. Given the same spec to start from, without having seen the JBoss code at all, I'd pick the same names.
  3. The places they cite as having code-structure similarity are very simple. Frankly, it looks to me like there's only one sane way to write that code.
It can't hurt to do a check, but I suspect JBoss is seeing copying where there's just only one obvious way to do something and most programmers, working independently, will make basically the same set of choices for that code.

So how do you prove who's the offender? (0)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7438943)

Okay, so let's say there's a hypothetical situation where two products have a suspicious amount of similar code, such that it's extremely likely that one was copied from the other. The question I have, is how do you prove which was the copier and which was the original?

Who's to say Jboss didn't copy Geronimo, (or SCO didn't copy Linux, if they ever get around to producing any actual examples of similar code.)

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7438992)

A copyright claim against open sores software? Wow!

It's a shame (2, Interesting)

macrealist (673411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7439201)

Two open source projects quibiling over licences instead of producing software, and the project with the less restrictive licence needing to "re-invent the wheel."

What is the reason in "redesigning" an open source project under a different license? Is JBoss so poorly written that it can't be the base of another LGPL project? Is the Apache license so much better for open source projects that it needs to be done?

In the immortal words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" There sould be no issue here.
(except maybe that "Free, as in freedom" doesn't mean what it should)
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