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From David Fisher <dfis...@jmlafferty.com>
Subject Re: must list for 3.5-final
Date Wed, 10 Dec 2008 02:52:03 GMT
> In the light of recent concerns raised by Andrew Oliver, I would  
> like to start a discussion on when to plan to release 3.5-FINAL and  
> what issues must be resolved before it.  It would be helpful to  
> develop a plan so that all of us can control the state of things.
> Below is what comes to my mind in priority order:
> (1) Legal issues. Somehow this discussion goes in detour of poi-dev@  
> or poi-private@.
> If any of POI committers is discussing it with Microsoft of whoever,  
> please report the status. What particular issues must be resolved  
> before 3.5-FINAL?
> As a release manager, I would like to know an approximate date when  
> this stuff will be resolved.

Our NOTICE has:

> Office Open XML (OOXML) xsds:
> -----------------------------
> These were downloaded as part of the Office Open XML ECMA  
> Specification
> from <http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-376.htm 
> >
> These are included within the Apache POI distribution, and are  
> available
> under compatible licensing terms.
> Copyright - ECMA International, "made available without restriction"
>     http://www.ecma-international.org/memento/Ecmabylaws.htm -  
> section 9.4
> Patent License - Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP)
>     http://www.microsoft.com/interop/osp/

Have a look at http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html - it now  

(a) OOXML XSD ECMA License is clearly on the acceptable list.

(b) In the spring we did get clearance from legal that the OSP was  

Should we ask legal to make that clear somehow on legal/resolved?

(c) Andy was working on additional protections, he recently described  
these as:

> 1. An deliberate extension of patent protections to any/all work
> funded by microsoft via third parties donated to the project
> 2. Extension of the OSP to "compatibility" vs just "implementation  
> of the spec"

These two protections for POI licensees would be excellent to have. It  
would certainly be good to carry forward these negotiations.

We should see what the people think about these issues now, both legal  
and whether the POI developer community has additional concerns.

As I recall:

1. Was to address the concern that sponsored work could in fact be  
considered "work for hire" and subject to patent concerns through that  
means. It then infringes on Microsoft's patents. I find this somewhat  
strange as do other developers. Contributions are covered by ccla,  
icla, and software grants. Andrew Oliver was adamant that this was  

2. Was a related concern of Andy's about the difference between  
"compatibility" and "implementing the spec". I think that the point  
was that the compatible implementation of a feature might infringe on  
a patent when someone reuses that implementation in a compatible way  
in an unrelated project that uses POI in other ways.

Andy said he was going to have an attorney review an agreement. I'm  
not sure whether he ever did.

I hope my recollection is correct. If I am wrong then please let me  

The open question is if we need to confirm our understanding with  
legal-discuss and see if they know anything about Andy's discussions  
with MSFT.

> (2) GPLv3 in HDGF. I hope it will be fixed soon with a help of legal- 
> discuss@.  I grepped the project for GPL, it was the only issue of  
> such kind.

http://www.apache.org/legal/resolved.html now makes it clear that the  
only way to keep this in the project is to get the author to  
contribute it under an acceptable license. Nick is contacting Valek.  
We should know in a week.

> (3) Adoption of OpenXML4j.
> The OpenXML4J software grant was approved (See bug #46242) and I'm  
> going to include this codebase in 3.5-FINAL.


> (4) Quality of poi-ooxml code and its readiness for FINAL
> There was a criticism by Andrew that poi-ooxml does not have  
> adequate unit tests. Please be constructive.
> The unit test coverage has significantly improved since 3.5-beta3.  
> In my opinion the quality of poi-ooxml code is OK to be used in  
> production.

Do we want to follow some minimums based on the jdepend statistics?

> (5) Bugzilla cleanup.
> The state of bug database is a good indicator of the project health.  
> We have 100+ open bugs and many of them were reported on POI 2.5 and  
> earlier. I would target getting the number of open bugs below 50.

I think that the To Do list in the site is out of date and is  
certainly related to the bugzilla list.

> I would like to resolve most of it by the end of January and release  
> 3.5-FINAL in February. Does it sound realistic?

I think if we wait that long we'll need a Beta 5 after resolving (2)  
and (3) hopefully by the beginning of January. We cannot wait until  
February to resolve (2).

I would add the following work in parallel.

(6) Site cleanup.
(a) Remove or adjust the mirrors page. All of the links are 404.
(b) Branching page. There are no descriptions about any of the  
branches. Either remove or update.
(c) Documentation building instructions are hidden on the translation  
guidelines page. The page should be split.
(d) Make the link structure on the left nav more consistent.
(e) Collect more examples from the mailing lists.

(7) Project Vision Page
I think we need to update the Project Vision pages, but I don't want  
to just start doing it without a discussion because then it would be  
my individualistic ideas and not the project's.


> Regards,
> Yegor
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