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SpringSource listens: no restrictions on Spring current releases

10.08.2008
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A few weeks ago, it looked like SpringSource were moving to a situation where Spring release tags over 3 months old (and builds) would only be available to those with commercial support agreements:

SpringSource and the Lost Tag
Q&A with Rod Johnson over Spring's maintenance policy change

Well, it looks like Rod Johnson (J-Rod?) and SpringSource have been monitoring the community reaction quite closely. On his blog, Rod has announce that based on the feedback (some pretty harsh), that they are amending the policy. From Rod's recent blog at:

A Question of Balance: Tuning the Maintenance Policy

are some reassuring statements such as:

We are amending our maintenance policy in the light of community feedback. We will make regular binary releases from the Spring trunk available to the community, with no 3 month window. For each version of Spring, releases will be available while it remains the trunk.

and also a statement regarding the open source licensing:

Let me take this opportunity once again to guarantee that Spring will remain open source for the community, under the current (Apache) license. Period.

(To be fair to Rod, though, SpringSource never wavered from the Apache license. I really don't know where that "meme" came from. I guess that's what the "once again" means)

So, my interpretation of the announcement is that SpringSource heard the reaction from the community, and decided to take their concerns into account. I know from e-mails I've had with Rod that he has been following the various reactions to the original announcement carefully, and that he passionately cares about what the community thinks. I say good on Rod and SpringSource for listening.

Spring is very high quality and Rod is trying to find a balance between running a company and producing high quality open source software. I guess initially, they got the balance wrong, but I feel quite happy that they have been listening and have moved to re-address this.

What do people think?

Andrew

p.s. I have no affiliation with SpringSource in any way. Use Spring.Net at work in an investment bank, and I know Rod from his pre-Spring days when we worked together on a commercial project.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Andrew McVeigh.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Markus Härnvi replied on Wed, 2008/10/08 - 7:36am

Technically they didn't change the license of the trunk, but they would only release bug fixes under a proprietary license. To me as a Spring user that is a license change. No sane developer would like to depend on Spring without stable bug fix releases. When SpringSource tried to spin this as "nothing is changing", that was a lie, and bloggers did the right thing exposing it.

SpringSource are free to do what they want. I haven't contributed more than peer marketing and the occasional forum post to the Spring project. I have no right to demand anything. My blog posts were just saying "this policy will stop me from using Spring - is that the idea?".

I am glad they are changing their mind. Only releasing updates for the current main version is what I expect from an open source project. The OSS community has never been that interested in supporting old stuff. I can see the logic in asking people to pay for that. 

 

Andrew McVeigh replied on Wed, 2008/10/08 - 7:42am in response to: Markus Härnvi

Technically they didn't change the license of the trunk, but they would only release bug fixes under a proprietary license.

My understanding was that they were proposing to keep all the code in the repository under ASL, but remove (or not create) any tags for maintenance releases more than 3mths old. (An interesting side question: do tags in a repository constitute part of a codebase?). You wouldn't have been able to build off the repository reliably for these releases.

So, code was always ASL but not enough info to reconstruct some releases.

Thankfully they've changed their minds about the tags.

Andrew

Otengi Miloskov replied on Wed, 2008/10/08 - 7:44am

I maybe put in a no comfortable situation with my comments in all the forums and blogs to some people about the move SS did with the policy and I apologize about it but I did it so SS could listen my opinion.

With the new move Spring and SS are heading in the right direction and I congratulate Rod Johnson and the Spring Source Team, It is awesome!.

Regards.

 

Andrew McVeigh replied on Wed, 2008/10/08 - 8:01am in response to: Otengi Miloskov

I maybe put in a no comfortable situation with my comments in all the forums and blogs to some people about the move SS did with the policy and I apologize about it but I did it so SS could listen my opinion.

To be honest, it's kind of cool to shout about things in the first place when you think they are wrong.  It shows passion.  Anyway, I think they heard ;-)

Andrew 

David Gilbert replied on Wed, 2008/10/08 - 8:26am in response to: Otengi Miloskov

[quote=OtengiM]I maybe put in a no comfortable situation with my comments in all the forums and blogs to some people about the move SS did with the policy and I apologize about it but I did it so SS could listen my opinion.[/quote]

Not entirely.  If you only wanted SS to hear your opinion you could easily have contacted them directly / privately.  I think you also wanted lots of OTHER people to hear your opinion too.

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