Acquisition concerns: response from Karl Haberl

In the comments from our previous blog entry, Morris Ford raised the question of whether Wonderland would be "closed up and made proprietary."  In response to those concerns and others we have heard in both the Wonderland and Darkstar communities, Karl Haberl wrote the following guest blog.


Hi folks,

Karl Haberl here. For those that don’t know me, I’m the Director at Sun who looks after the business and management needs of Project Wonderland and Project Darkstar. I thought I would add a few comments.

As Nicole indicates, we are in a period when Sun is still operating as an independent company while all of the acquisition-related activities proceed. So for us it is (and must be) business as usual. The Wonderland development team is working on 0.5 with as much enthusiasm and excitement as ever! And we have no intentions of stopping there when it is released.

Nicole provided some links to publicly available information regarding the proposed acquisition. In the FAQ it says "Oracle’s acquisition of Sun is consistent with our strategy to provide complete, open and integrated systems."  Also: "Java is one of the computer industry’s best known brands and most widely deployed technologies. Oracle Fusion Middleware is built on top of Sun’s Java language and software. Oracle can now ensure continued innovation and investment in Java technology for the benefit of customers and the Java community."

When I look at the work we are doing I am encouraged. We are building a scalable enterprise-grade virtual world platform. It’s an integrated stack – all open source, all written entirely in Java, and backed by a persistent data store (in Darkstar) that uses Oracle’s Berkeley DB database. Wonderland-based implementations in the enterprise will require integrations with systems for authentication, identity management, directories, documents, and so on. Feels like a good fit to me!  But that’s just my personal opinion, not Sun’s or Oracle’s.  You should read the publicly available materials and draw your own conclusions. Who knows?

I would like to point out one last thing. To date, all of the code for Wonderland and Darkstar has been released under the GPL license. Check out these references:
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/info/GPLv2.html
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-faq.html#CanDeveloperThirdParty

My personal interpretation (realize that I am not a lawyer and I am not officially speaking for Sun or Oracle) is that, regardless of any decisions that Sun or Oracle might take with respect to development and licensing of future versions, the greater community – meaning all of you, not just the Sun team – would have the right to continue to develop and use the technology that has been released to date in compliance with the applicable license terms. I encourage you to read the references above and draw your own conclusions.

In time, things will become more clear for all of us. For now, we continue as we were. Cool technologies and a great community of talented people. My thanks to all of you for your passion, energy, and dedication!

Regards,
Karl Haberl

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2 Responses to Acquisition concerns: response from Karl Haberl

  1. Green Phosphor will continue to support Wonderland as a platform regardless of what happens; and were Oracle not to continue work on it, which I find highly unlikely, WE would. This is too good a platform to lose.
    Ben
    Ben Lindquist
    CEO, Green Phosphor LLC

  2. IMHO,
    FOSS has given a lot to community. Today, more than ever, is time to community give it back and keep it always alive! And, more than everthing, believe FOSS philosophy an work for it.
    I do believe it. I look forward to see more initiatives like the one from Ben, and I do expect such initiatives to be just for proving community’s strength, since FOSS has proven its social, technical and economic value and my hopings are that everyone is going to keep it ‘libre’!

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