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March 18, 2005

ActiveCluster and the problem with open source

First, check out the thread on TSS http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=32659. This effort looks like the beginning another overlapping OSS project. And it appears solely due to the fact that JavaGroups uses an LGPL license. IMHO, the Apache license is much more friendly and I'd like to see Bela drop LGPL and switch to an Apache 2.0 license for JavaGroups.

Don't get me wrong, ActiveCluster is a good idea. We have the same thing but more developed inside WebSphere XD and WebSphere 6.0. But, the implementation of this is going to be complicated and take a lot of time because it isn't using the already existing group services provided by JavaGroups. The codehaus posters on the thread say that it works with JavaGroups but only by using JavaGroups as a simple reliable pub/sub transport, not using it's group services which is the real work in making the APIs work.

ActiveCluster will probably eventually implement most of the group services within the JavaGroups protocols with a great deal of pain and debugging. It appears that codehaus will reinvent the wheel because of two different licenses. Rather than making a very thin veneer on top of JavaGroups for a simplified cluster API, codehaus will likely try to implement their own group services layer simply because JavaGroups uses an LGPL license rather than Apache 2.0 and I don't think OSS is any better for it. But, although there are a lot of overlapping OSS projects, it's probably a good thing as there is nothing like competition to find whats best.

March 18, 2005 in J2SE | Permalink

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