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Old   January 8, 2010, 14:53
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I found six days ago that project. I am sad that commercial interest threat users/community freedom.
It is quite clear that somebody in OpenCFD ltd has idea to make money with GPL code or/and support services. They attacted against documentation project that they blindly see threat their current/future(?) income.
Now they be silent - best tactick to minimize penault. Wait until people forgot - during that time collect code commits - until have good enough pack to relicence commercial. Stripping authors name away from commits make code effectively OpenCFD copyright. That helps lot when relicense - commercial binary pack, minor GPL violations are easy to hide. There are GPL programs with dual licenses - after developed good enough changed commercial and GPL branch stall and commercial branch develop. Like QCad.

There is good question will community close eyes what happes behind curtains? Or make fork and collect community updates to forked sources.

Fork don't hurt OpenCFD ltd. They can pick up commits if they want.

Only thing that hurt OpenCFD ltd commercial plans is customers.
If major of customers want payed features to be coded forked sources and want GPL code copyrights to be their own.
That will slow down OpenCFD commercial plans maybe enough that they realize it is bad idea.

Paying customers are key to solve current situation. Companies do income things.

I can't see why fork will hurt things. If things keep similiar eneough - modular modules can maybe use in both enviroment? Like linux vanilla and linux-ac.


And I am total new in CFD. But happend that I got river and two Francis turbines mfg 1913. Commercial turbines are too expensive for me. I have only posibility to improve current turbines and I want understand them. So free CFD
code capable to simulate turbines is thing I looking for. Some cad system to make suitable models to CFD code, beter if CFD code is embedded to cad directly so learning curve is reduced. Good if things don't cost. If something is missing I can code little or pay someone to make GPL code.
I trust GPL. I don't pay commercial codes - I am not typical people, I trust that information come beter when share it maximal.

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Old   January 13, 2010, 20:49
Default How about this solution? Maybe everyone can be happy :-)
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Hi everybody,

I have read most of the posts of this topic and I think that there might be still a compromise between the OpenSource community and the developers of our....still favorite CFD code. First of all let's the the desire of each side:

1) Commercial Side:
- They did quite some effort to develop the code and distribute it for free. That is definitely good.
- They probably need to employ full time some people in order to continue the development, therefore they need a budget. This is also understandable.
- They offer payed training and support courses in order to get money for the development. Many other opensource projects do the same (e.g. Ubuntu, Mozilla e.t.c)

2) User's Side:
- Students, PhD researchers and other professionals use this OpenSource code in order to perform scientific or even commercial projects.
- They support the OpenSource movement and are willing to contribute.
- They require good documentation and are willing to provide further support and at the same time "infect" more users with the OpenSource CFD "virus".

What could be the solution?
Let's propose to the Commercial Side to host the Documentation Text(s) in their website. As far as I understand the info of Holger can easily be bundled in the form of an e-Book. So, in order to obtain this e-book the user would have to create an account and pay (let's say with PayPal) and reasonable amount of money (I would propose 100€...which is a standard price for a good scientific/engineering book).

Now some of you will say..."what happens when this text is updated with the newest info/cases/tutorials". Then, you will be able to log-in and get the latest version with something like 10€ fee (or 100€ if you are a new member).

I bet that more than 150 people including myself would pay that 100€ for a nice documentation eBook. This means 15.000€ of profit from the commercial side. Not bad for something that costs NOTHING for them.

The only cheat in this scheme is the case of 1 download and 149 "illegal copies"...but this has to be done in private and in any case it might be even happening right now with the existing documentation.

This is just a proposal....what do you think about that?
If the people with the most amount of documentation (e.g. Holger) agree maybe it could be communicated to the Commercial Side and see their reaction.

cheers
George
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Old   January 14, 2010, 10:02
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I understand your 1st point well. Can you answer how Ubuntu etc you mention budget their GPL development?
Is it posible that OpenCFD(r) use same methods and don't attack against user/community projects?

As far I understand documentation project had planned to be free.

What you think if you use, say one year your time and write book. After that some commercial company take you work and say that oh you have write some words that belongs to us. You can't publish it. One year waste of time..

And that situation you give idea ok, give book to company and let it do money with it? Is it right?

My philosophy is that if somebody do work (book writer) he/she have right to get some payment it. It is not right if some company "steal" he/she/community work with commercial legislation. If he/she don't want money and think: "if I give my work for free to maximize software usage, new people come and some amount maybe add more code and program develop better and I get my payment in future programs."
That philosophy have produced linux and tons of software in wery short time. And it will do more in future. It can happen that commercial programs disapper and all programs people needs are GPl. In that time incomes come from consulting, training, system buildups ets. But no license fees.
What you think about company that deny others to do same business as they do? Monopoly?

If you want help, contact book writer and give 100euros. I bet that he give private copy to you (with GPL license, so you are free to redistribute it for free, free to modify it (like substitute some "illegal" words)).

It is not broblem how to distribute documents. Broblem is how protect that kind of attacks. And attack give information that company have some commercial plans - there is no other realistic explanations. Code relicense is posible, if they own copyright - community authors strip off from codes tell that they want keep copyrigt in own hands. Why? explanation is quite clear. Commercial codes are expensive and company wants do money. Money don't smell and everything what isn't illegal is ok for them.
Paying customers are key component to solve situation. Future is not locked.

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Old   January 14, 2010, 23:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgepehli View Post
What could be the solution?
Let's propose to the Commercial Side to host the Documentation Text(s) in their website. As far as I understand the info of Holger can easily be bundled in the form of an e-Book.
From what I know, this was proposed in the form: "The doc project collects the documentation from contributors, OpenCFD makes an approved/offical version, and they can sell it". No agreement was found.

Quote:
So, in order to obtain this e-book the user would have to create an account and pay (let's say with PayPal) and reasonable amount of money (I would propose 100€...which is a standard price for a good scientific/engineering book).
My only question is: who would contibute for free to a project whose product will only be commercially available?

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Old   January 15, 2010, 09:24
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I saw the old posts about the book but I understood that it involved a printed book (it was mentioned that the Commercial Side did not have the budget for such a publication)...that is why I proposed the eBook as a low cost (no cost) solution.

I agree with the main concern of the people who will contribute free material for a commercial purpose, but I generally see it as a "donation". It is definitely not in the OpenSource spirit...but I just thought that it could be a nice move from the community towards the original developers and the commercial side which could improve the software use, increase the number of users and at the same time bring some profit to the commercial side...hopefully in order to improve and develop the code.

cheers
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Old   January 15, 2010, 10:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alberto View Post
From what I know, this was proposed in the form: "The doc project collects the documentation from contributors, OpenCFD makes an approved/offical version, and they can sell it". No agreement was found.
Hi,

not exactly. The proposal was that the doc project collects the documentation from contributors, OpenCFD makes an approved/offical version (by order of a third party, i.e. their clients who need an approved documentation and pay for that) and it is redistributed along with the label "approved by OpenCFD® Limited" using the infrastructure of the documetation project! This way all parties would have benefited from it. But unfortunately this proposal was kindly rejected.

Generally I would say, the pivotal point is that in the spirit of Open Source Software Development all documentation on the underlying software needs to be available and redistributable freely (in the sense of freedom!). This does not exclude commercial (re)use of documentation, as was stated by the GNU FDL used for the doc project! Furthermore every contributor (author and reviewer) should be acknowledged for his/her work appropriately without assigning rights to any third party -- as this was ensured within the doc project as well. All other points concern the requirements needed to really provide the infrastructure for collaborative peer-reviewed documentation on OpenFOAM® that is both stimulative and functional.

best,
Holger
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Old   January 15, 2010, 11:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holger_marschall View Post
Hi,

not exactly. The proposal was that the doc project collects the documentation from contributors, OpenCFD makes an approved/offical version (by order of a third party, i.e. their clients who need an approved documentation and pay for that) and it is redistributed along with the label "approved by OpenCFD® Limited" using the infrastructure of the documetation project! This way all parties would have benefited from it. But unfortunately this proposal was kindly rejected.
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old   January 15, 2010, 12:08
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Originally Posted by georgepehli View Post
I agree with the main concern of the people who will contribute free material for a commercial purpose, but I generally see it as a "donation". It is definitely not in the OpenSource spirit...but I just thought that it could be a nice move from the community towards the original developers and the commercial side which could improve the software use, increase the number of users and at the same time bring some profit to the commercial side...hopefully in order to improve and develop the code.
Well, it might be in the FOSS spirit if there is such an exchange. If you think to all the community contributions to open source softwares that then are taken as starting point for a commercial product, you are in a similar situation. In all those situations you have, however, an explicit recognition of your work, the copyright on it, and you also can choose to redistribute it publicly. Of course all of this was true in the doc. project Holger wanted to create

Best,
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Old   January 20, 2010, 17:22
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Hi all,

maybe its not the finest solution, but i would like what u think about.


i think its very stupid from the openfoam creators to force the shut down of the homepage, because nothing hates the industry more than a bad documentation,and thats exactly what openFOAM offers right now on their homepage. i think they wont make the big money with printing the books .. because who will buy a book about a software the most ppl dont know about. not many companies i guess. the big money they would make in special support for companys in special problems.

so,still,i really would like to get warm with openFOAM. So,maybe its not the finest solution,but what would u think about to completely remove the name openFOAM in the documentation, and just replace it with a synonym like "openXXX" oder opxxxxAM something like that . I know,its strange.. but ppl who are really interested in openFOAM and want to find out the strenghts of the package,they will know what the documentation is about and they will know thats it is about openFOAM.

maybe also remove the name, and just put the file also on torrent or on some public hosters. a document about an opensource application with no mention of the trademark , by an anonymous hoster... everyone who had downloaded the document last years could have done this, and i think it will be a save way,cause as far as i understood they just said they dont want to see openFOAM inside the document cause of their trademark.

what do u think about that ??

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Old   January 21, 2010, 07:29
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Greetings Daniel and welcome to the OpenFOAM forum.

Quote:
so,still,i really would like to get warm with openFOAM. So,maybe its not the finest solution,but what would u think about to completely remove the name openFOAM in the documentation, and just replace it with a synonym like "openXXX" oder opxxxxAM something like that . I know,its strange.. but ppl who are really interested in openFOAM and want to find out the strenghts of the package,they will know what the documentation is about and they will know thats it is about openFOAM.
Might I interest you in some reading material? Check post #10 and a couple of posts onwards.
This thread has been running very long, and there have been some repeat cycles. I'm also involved in one of the repeat loops as well

To really summarize, here is how it goes:
  • Possible solution 1: fork the project just to document it, thus changing the name.
    Response: another fork? There are already at the very least 3 active forks: FreeFOAM, OpenFOAM-dev+OpenFOAM-extend. The latter two are involved in joint development.
  • Possible solution 2: document one of the existing forks.
    Problem: all of these are dangling the holy trademarked name, so it could fall into legal despair in the future too.
    Nonetheless, both are stationed at sourceforge.net and are using subversion (svn) for code management, which can handle binary files well. Either the wiki at the project's page or openfoamwiki.net could serve as interface to the submitted documents. If I'm not mistaken, FreeFOAM is still a bit fresh, while OF-extend is more ripe for such a project.
  • Possible solution 3: get some deep pocket sponsors to OpenCFD to setup an approved documentation project - Response: where are such sponsors? (actually, I'm not so sure that my memory is correct about this point...)

Best regards,
Bruno
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Old   January 23, 2010, 06:04
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Hi... it has been a while! Happy 2010.

Well, probably the discussion has been too long, and it clearly did not lead to any actual solution to have some formal documentation. But I would like to invite not to keep repeating it. With the elements we have now, I do not think there are the conditions to do a truly cooperative work at a community level.

Too many of the involved parties have evident conflict of interests, and the community users are working on their own, generally without sharing information (there are a few exceptions, clearly). This limited and will limit the adoption of the code and the number of contributions, but after months of discussions, the desire of changing this situation did not emerge in the community of users, and a transparent communication among its members at various levels was not present when trying to deal with the problems of the documentation project.

The accident happened to the documentation project showed that the community is weak and divided. There are observers that do not comment, members that attack other members personally, users that simply don't have the time of reading the whole thread before writing what has been written many times. Not surely a positive picture.

In this situation, cooperative work is clearly possible at personal level, among users, in private. It is positive, constructive, it brings to results, and it is surely a first step. However it does not help at all in the direction of making the community develop, as it happens in many other open source projects, and, on the long run, it is not sustainable, since the information remains closed to a limited number of users.
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Old   March 17, 2010, 02:23
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Can you instead change the name to opensource CFD documentation project or something? This would make the documentation more general like the linux documentation project.
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Old   March 17, 2010, 11:56
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Hi, I'm new to OpenFOAM and this thread just came to my attention. These are my comments/questions/votes:

1) I feel as if extra documentation is absolutely necessary for new OpenFOAM users. The danger of using OpenFOAM right now is that although OpenFOAM is "free" to use, the learning curve actually makes it more expensive than some commerical codes and I'm sure many new users have taken this into consideration. I am hoping that my current investment (in terms of time trying to learn OpenFOAM) will pay off, but it's still not clear that it will. Extra documentation can only be a good thing for people like me.

2) How extensive is the documentation that was previously "The FOAM documentation project"? In its current form, does it add to the User Guide/Programmer's Guide?

3) If much effort has already been put into this extra documentation, which I'm sure can only benefit the community, surely it's better to have it out there so why not just release it on the Wiki or on Google Docs? (or else for the time being make it available on a request basis by private email?).

4) If people are still talking about creating a fork, I would think the best thing would be to try and negociate with admins of current forks first. I don't fully understand what the advantage of a new fork would be over the existing ones.

And as a side note, although I'm not a laywer, I understand that OpenCFD must (as a requirement to keep their trademark) actively protect their trademark and show that they can defend it otherwise they will lose it. So I don't blame them for their actions, it's just something they have to do. I am surprised that the forks haven't had any trouble with this trademark though.
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Old   March 17, 2010, 13:43
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Quote:
2) How extensive is the documentation that was previously "The FOAM documentation project"? In its current form, does it add to the User Guide/Programmer's Guide?
Not extensive. The documentation project was providing an infrastructure to contribute documentation, recognizing the authorship and managing its review, hosting and such.
To my knowledge there were guides in the pipe for some of the top solvers, and a documentation marathon was planned but it never happened because the project was shut down before.

Quote:
3) If much effort has already been put into this extra documentation, which I'm sure can only benefit the community, surely it's better to have it out there so why not just release it on the Wiki or on Google Docs? (or else for the time being make it available on a request basis by private email?).
I can only talk for my contributions in this point. Part of them are on the wiki, and more will come. I won't spread PDF's with formal, updated documentation without an infrastructure that allows my work to be recognized, and forces who uses it to cite it. That would be making a gift to someone that will profit from my work without giving anything back, since keeping those PDF's up to date and synchronized with the code requires time.

Quote:
4) If people are still talking about creating a fork, I would think the best thing would be to try and negociate with admins of current forks first. I don't fully understand what the advantage of a new fork would be over the existing ones.
None of those forks allows the only goal (if considered as such) that would require a fork to be reached: becoming independent from the OpenFOAM(r) trademark policy and being able to refer to the code without worrying about it, and contributing without being a second-class citizen that, formally, cannot say he developed that part of OpenFOAM.

I understand there is an interest in keeping "FOAM" in the name, since it is how the code is known to many. However that's exactly the reason why a trademark policy exists: avoiding ambiguity on who does what.
This ambiguity is detrimental to the project, because, in spite of the many questions on the topic, new users will always be confused about who develops OpenFOAM(r), who OpenFOAM-dev, who FreeFOAM and so on. It is kind of an unfair game for all I think, and the ambiguity should be removed, which is, in the end, what OpenCFD(r) asks with the enforcement of their policy.

Best,
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Old   March 17, 2010, 16:44
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Quote:
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I won't spread PDF's with formal, updated documentation without an infrastructure that allows my work to be recognized, and forces who uses it to cite it. That would be making a gift to someone that will profit from my work without giving anything back, since keeping those PDF's up to date and synchronized with the code requires time.
I see. The requirement of having people cite your documentation is the ultimate problem then since nothing official can be published with the OpenFOAM name in it and we can't cite non-official documents.

If it counts for anything, this would be my vote:
1) Try and organize a better documentation effort through the existing wiki. This documentation shouldn't have to be officially cited but credit should be given to the author (in the form of a name stamp) of any contributed documentation. You should cite the code contributors (as in the deal.II project).

2) If 1) isn't suitable, write the documentation for an existing fork, any citations/references should be made to the fork name/code contributors and if OpenCFD complains about trademark issues, just change the entire name of the fork (which would have to be done anyway).
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Old   March 17, 2010, 18:30
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I see. The requirement of having people cite your documentation is the ultimate problem then since nothing official can be published with the OpenFOAM name in it and we can't cite non-official documents.
Exactly. I think it is the requirement to have contributions. You have to be able to reference those documents in your work and the author must be recognized. To do this you have to be able to reference to the actual code name.

Quote:
1) Try and organize a better documentation effort through the existing wiki. This documentation shouldn't have to be officially cited but credit should be given to the author (in the form of a name stamp) of any contributed documentation. You should cite the code contributors (as in the deal.II project).
The wiki cannot be referenced in many types of document and papers, while formal documentation can. Who decides to contribute to a wiki knows this, and can decide to select what content he wants to put there.

The wiki is also a way to share documentation in the community that seems to be acceptable for OpenCFD, so it should avoids conflicts.

If you want to help in cleaning the wiki up, that would be good. We could have a relatively small group of people that check it from time to time and keep it consistent. This work is done by Bernhard alone right now (to my incomplete knowledge, sorry if I forget someone), with independent contributors. Having a sort of wiki team could be useful.

Best,
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Old   November 23, 2010, 15:02
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Hi guys,

Just received an "official" explanation on this account, see
http://www.openfoam.com/legal/trademark-guidelines.php

Might be it is hard, but let's think in different way.
Why do we need to stick to OpenCFD, if OpenCFD does not like this?
Why, if we recognize themself as community, would not create our own "trademark"
(as an agreement on the "derivative" activity names, for example)?

Just for fun, as Linux - Not Unix, SOAP not FOAM; let's be creative.
If we have something to say or invent that really matters, let's not hurt OpenCFD feelings.
It is their right to distance from community (might be they already had some bad experience).

Sincerely yours,
Alexey
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Old   November 24, 2010, 00:11
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I think the trademark guidelines are more than an explanation, since they provide also acceptable examples, and these examples leave plenty of room to community contributions.

OpenCFD clarified a lot of points with these guidelines, and we should look at them as a very positive and helpful step.
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Old   November 24, 2010, 10:42
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Hi Alexey, Hi Alberto,

I absolutely agree! This is very clear and unambiguous - and for this reason a positive development! IMO, it is no matter if we like these guidelines / policy, or if they are compatible to the Open Source Spirit: we have to respect their request. And, as we all are no lawyers, the guidelines help to do so by providing some examples and explanation.

At the end, they are asking to clarify the relation to OpenCFD Limited and their products or to ultimately consider a name change ('Eureka').

best regards,
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Old   November 25, 2010, 11:20
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Hi all the community, I think OpenFOAM(R) Trademark Guidelines are a great clarification on the issue of this thread, nevertheless there are some points that are controversional, at least for me. For example:

Quote:
The ability to customise OpenFOAM to meet a specific need is one of its great strengths and of free software in general. While OpenCFD encourages customisation of OpenFOAM, we must balance that freedom with the integrity of the trade mark and the quality which it represents.
and from the license:

Quote:
OpenFOAM is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
I think there is not any difference between original OpenCFD code and derivatives since they are covered by the same license, in both cases the user cannot complain about the code itself. The only assurance of results and quality is the expertise of professionals that use the code and gave its civil responsibility.

I think the only effect of the trademark policy as is actually presented is to take advantage in contracts, etc. and it don'n have anything to do with with quality and any other stuff. OpenCFD guys could be more explicit with this and say it without second interpretations due it is completely normal, like Nike, Adidas, Ferrari, etc.

Just my 2 cents.

Regards.
__________________
Santiago MÁRQUEZ DAMIÁN, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
Research Center for Computational Mechanics (CIMEC) - CONICET/FICH-UNL
T.E.: 54-342-4511594 Ext. 1005
Güemes 3450 - (3000) Santa Fe
Santa Fe - Argentina
http://www.cimec.org.ar
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