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Old   October 24, 2009, 20:37
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Alberto Passalacqua
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Sorry for the delay in the replies. I had some computer problem these days, so I could not freely connect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pauls View Post
Alberto, I don't understand the line of your argumentation. Above I was questioning whether the distribution of the software under the GPL on the one side and enforcement of the strange trademark policies on the other side can go together. You said no lawyer is needed to answer this question, because the FSF guys replied that GPL and policies are compatible.
Yes, exactly. The trademark policy has nothing to do with the GPL. They are perfectly compatible. As long as the code is open, you have, according to the FSF, the freedoms ensured by the GPL.

Quote:
Now you talk about renaming certain parts of the code, apparently in order to avoid violation of trademark policies. Does GPL not encourage users of this software to modify and redistribute the source code without bundling any additional restrictions on top of the GPL? Why exactly would you think that the rights from the GPL can be withdrawn by adding a trademark policy?
You can redistribute the code, what you cannot do is to use their trademark. So yes, I see a contraddiction myself, but it cannot be opposed by the licence according to the FSF. They simply suggested to rename the project, and document and develop against the renamed version.

Quote:
Concerning what you call a possible fork of the project: my understanding of a fork is a split development line that matures independently from the original project. Already the 1.4.1-dev and 1.5-dev versions do not fall into this category, because their maintainers always seem to struggle to bring the -dev version up to date after each new release of the 'official' version.
Right. The current -dev tree is not an official fork.

Quote:
The suggestion by some people to refactor the source code to get rid of certain character sequences qualifies even less to be called a fork. If you wish, call the refactored code a fork or whatever you like, but please don't argue that the code should not be refactored, because a fork is a bad thing.
I disagree. A fork is not necessarily bad. If OpenCFD do not change the policy and do not open the the discussion, and up to now they are not doing anything in this direction, a fork is the only hope for the code to stay really open and grow according to the needs of the community of its users and not only according to the needs and choices made by the company behind it.

Quote:
I repeat my call. If 50 people in this forum sponsor 50$ each, this should pay a lawyer to clarify essential questions instead of relying on the humble opinion of the FSF guys. If it turns out true that the trademark policy can circumvent the GPL, I don't want to imagine the consequences for open source in general, but then let's refactor the code and don't discuss whether it is a good thing. If it turns out wrong, I am more than willing to spend 50$ to get a valid decision on this topic.
I frankly do not think there is much doubt on the validity of the trademark policy, since Holger consulted a lawyer already, and OpenCFD(r) did too most probably.
However, I have no problem to understand the problem better and pay 50$, but I have a problem in litigating with someone that is not showing any interest in replying to our doubts directly, forcing us to use the legal ways if we want to have replies for them, since it does not seem possible to have a public statement on the topic from them.
I disagree with the idea of litigating using legal ways, simply because it is going to be much more expensive than a few hundred dollars, and much longer than consulting a lawyer once, since OpenCFD(r) could always bring the discussion to court, even if we are reassured by a lawyer they have no element for that. I would rather invest that money in something more productive, like developing infrastructures to allow the needs of the community to be satisfied and to develop the code further.

I am not a supporter of forks in general, I repeated that many times, but in this case, it simply the easieast and safest way on the long run. Important fork signed the life of other projects (X.org for example), and were a good decision. In the case of OpenFOAM(r) refactoring the code might be necessary, if nothing will change, as it seems.

About the FSF, you can like or dislike them, but their understanding of what the GPL licence affects or not, and of its compatibility with the trademark policies seems out of question.

Best,
Alberto
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Old   October 24, 2009, 20:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flavio_galeazzo View Post
Hi,

I coming a bit late to the discussion, but I have read all the topics and something is not very clear to me. The OpenCFD guys are against using the name OpenFOAM (or its variations) for the documentation project or are against the documentation project itself?

If they are against the project from Holger (that I find a very good idea, actually), why they don’t propose something else? We have a topic in forum with 80 posts and more than 4000 views, which demonstrates the interest of the users in this subject.
Ciao Flavio
yes, OpenCFD(r) is opposing to Holger documentation project because it was first called "The OpenFOAM(r) documentation project", and then, after their complaints, it was renamed to "The FOAM documentation project". Also this second name is not acceptable for OpenCFD(r), because the new name is an abbreviation of the trademark.

I have no idea of why they do not propose anything else, and on why they do not at least give an official explanation. But sometime silence talks too.

Best,
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Old   October 24, 2009, 20:51
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A good example of how GPL software and trademark policies are managed fairly can be found at OpenSourceMatters and openSUSE. Both the policies have standard usecases explicitly clarified which do not require permission to use trademark and logo, and in the other case a simple procedure is clearly provided.

If interested you can read these pages:

http://www.opensourcematters.org/lic...copyright.html
http://www.opensourcematters.org/ind...=article&id=86
http://www.opensourcematters.org/log...-name-use.html

http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Trademark_Guidelines_v2

Best,
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Old   October 25, 2009, 06:30
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Old   October 25, 2009, 06:31
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Do not be to sure!

Icon has good links to Mr. Weller and the OF lawers forced them to change the name of their conference from http://www.openfoam-conference.com to http://www.opensourcecfd.com/conference2009/
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Old   October 25, 2009, 06:34
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Opensuse's policy sounds much better. (Get it, discover it, and build it!)
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Old   October 25, 2009, 12:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvis View Post
Do not be to sure!

Icon has good links to Mr. Weller and the OF lawers forced them to change the name of their conference from http://www.openfoam-conference.com to http://www.opensourcecfd.com/conference2009/
Hi. Thanks for the reminder!
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Old   October 26, 2009, 06:02
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All my support to those who want to solve these problems.
This code would become truly impressive when specialists of every domain would add their small contributions. Now to my mind research is at a point when a single person or a single group has not the time to be on top on physics, mathematics, informatics, especially in a complicated domain like fluid dynamics ... So more and more people are intrested to profit other people work and propose their own, it's becoming natural now.To this end, it's clearly necessary to follow one direction only.
Small things like changing gamma in alpha makes me think about the volonty to widespread the code.
I understand that people want to make money, but clearly as user I want to follow the way where I can contribute and get a good documentation.
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Old   October 26, 2009, 09:21
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Quote:
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I understand that people want to make money, but clearly as user I want to follow the way where I can contribute and get a good documentation.
Thanks for your support. I would like to say that, in my opinion, spreading the code and documenting it for free will actually help to make more money from it, and, in this way it could help also upstream developers at OpenCFD(r).
It might reduce the income based on writing documentation, or the idea of a sponsored documentation project (I think it is a very remote hypothesis anyway), but it can potentially increase the number of people, especially in companies, that start to use it because the standard features are documented and then ask for consultancy for specific development.
Developers can always make money providing advanced services, selling an interface that would make many users, especially in companies, happy, and so on.
So, to conclude, in my opinion, the idea of the documentation project is not going to damage anyone from that point of view. The fork is another story, and, if it will take place, might lead to different scenarios, with a community split in two, two software that start to be different and compete after a while. But I think this is quite clear. Unfortunately it does not seem possible to proceed otherwise, if the goal is to create public initiatives around the code without funny workarounds to refer to the code itself and without thinking everytime to how to call the initiative respecting the trademark policy.

Best,
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Old   October 26, 2009, 14:40
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I have found it rather curious that no one from OpenCFD has replied. Does OpenCFD even know this thread exists? Has anyone emailed OpenCFD directly and asked them to read and reply to this thread?
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Old   October 26, 2009, 14:54
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I have found it rather curious that no one from OpenCFD has replied. Does OpenCFD even know this thread exists? Has anyone emailed OpenCFD directly and asked them to read and reply to this thread?
I don't know if they are following the thread. Given its popularity, I would say so. They surely are aware of the problems that led to write it. About a direct contact, the interested people had many direct contact with them before opening the thread.
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Old   October 27, 2009, 13:13
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What about just replacing any mention of FOAM or OpenFOAM (or any other trademark) with OpenSourceCFD in the documentation and re-releasing it? Maybe even trademark OpenSourceCFD? Some form of search and replace should be able to do it fairly quickly, then there really isn't any need for a completely new fork. If the same code is visible, it shouldn't be an issue since it is released under GPL. Any users should just be aware of the name replacement carried out and most users of Foam tend to have enough initiative to be able to work with it.
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Old   October 27, 2009, 15:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titio View Post
Maybe the decision was made by some MBA Management Geniuses, like George W. Bush, that failed to see the true spirit of OpenSource code.

Regards,

António Martins
Dumbest post of the year. Why bring politics into this? Why be divisive? Seriously, America has gotten over George Bush. Whereever you are you need to also.
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Old   October 27, 2009, 19:22
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Quote:
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Dumbest post of the year. Why bring politics into this? Why be divisive? Seriously, America has gotten over George Bush. Whereever you are you need to also.
And why feed this kind of discussion?!
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Old   October 27, 2009, 20:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madad2005 View Post
What about just replacing any mention of FOAM or OpenFOAM (or any other trademark) with OpenSourceCFD in the documentation and re-releasing it? Maybe even trademark OpenSourceCFD? Some form of search and replace should be able to do it fairly quickly, then there really isn't any need for a completely new fork. If the same code is visible, it shouldn't be an issue since it is released under GPL. Any users should just be aware of the name replacement carried out and most users of Foam tend to have enough initiative to be able to work with it.
Yes, that's possible, and it could work for the documentation project. It still would not fix the problem of referring to the code, but it is surely a possibility for documentation.

On a side note, I know discussions are going on behind the scenes on what is the best possible decision to take. I think these discussions should be open, shared and not limited to a group. That's the way how decisions are taken all successful open source projects, whatever the problem is. Discussing in the dark is, in my opinion, not really different from the problems these discussions are supposed to fix. As a consequence, it would be much more productive, efficient and even time saving for everyone, to discuss in public, in a thread on this discussion board.

Best,
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Old   October 28, 2009, 01:46
Default A concrete and practical proposal to avoid a fork
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I thought for a while to a possible solution to at least some of the difficulties that emerged in creating a documentation project, and I tried to put together some points to avoid a divisive move, that has been discussed. I (and not only I) considered, and still consider, a fork of OpenFOAM(r) a possibility, but I would like to avoid that due to the consequence it will most probably have for all the involved parts.

Since we assist to public silence from two of these parts (OpenCFD(r) and -dev), I thought to come out with a proposal that involves all the three parts, in an equal manner, and considering I think any further decision has to be taken in the open, I will present it here for discussion, and submit it via email to both OpenCFD(r) and the people involved in -dev (only those whose email is known to me, since I could not find all of them easily), so to be sure they both know of it.

Here I sum up the problems we faced, the solutions we discussed, and then I will present a possible alternative solution that I hope will be acceptable by all the involved parts.

Problems encountered by the community
  • The trademark policy of OpenCFD(r) has been an obstacle to the creation of a community-driven documentation project, and is perceived as a limitation by the community to the use and further development of the code.
  • There is no official way to contribute code and documentation to the official release of OpenFOAM(r). This point is perceived as delicate by OpenCFD(r), since to maintain control on the code they need to be able to manage it without limitations, and currently they ask for copyright transfer and remove the authorship from the code. These conditions are perceived as too restrictive by community contributors, and are not required to ensure OpenCFD can control the code, at least if the intention is not to re-license it.
Discussed solutions
  • Forking the code, renaming it.
  • Documenting the code replacing the trademark with another name.
An alternative solution

Here I propose a possible, alternative solution to what discussed in this thread. It is a compromise solution, and it can work only if all the three parts involved will accept to work together, which is the whole point of all this in my view.
  • OpenCFD(r), together with the community, creates a repository, which I will call "factory" here for convenience. The repository contains the latest stable code release (essentially a copy of the git repository), a tree for code contributions, built against the official release, and a tree for contributed documentation.
  • Users (all, without possibility of selecting them if the quality of the code is adequate) can submit working good quality code, reviewed by other community members (which means no additional work for OpenCFD(r), to clarify) with experience in the field. Code has to respect basic quality requirements, style, formatting. In the case of solvers, a tutorial case has to be provided.
  • Users can submit documentation to the repository, following the same selection process Holger suggested for the documentation project (PDF creation with LaTeX format -> revision -> approval and submission to the repository). This means that the documentation project infrastructure (website) is sacrificed, but the documents can be accessed easily by downloading the "factory" distribution.
  • Users accept a non-exclusive, perpetual, non-revocable license, according to which OpenCFD(r) can use, modify, redistribute and include the code inside the official release without any further request to the original developer, who remains the author and retains the copyright on the code, as done in open source foundations (CodePlex is an example: http://www.codeplex.org/participate.aspx )
  • OpenCFD(r) can take the code it considers worth to include in the main official release from the repository according to their needs, and without any obligation to do so, or to maintain the code available in the repository. Maintaining each part of code is responsibility of the author of the code. If a code is not ported to the new release, if necessary, it will be removed from the repository for the new release, but it will remain available for the older release.
  • A group of community volunteers reviews the code and the documents submitted to the repository, verifies their quality, their conformance to the style guide (both for coding and documents).
I think this proposal is feasible, and has advantages for all the involved parts:
  • The community will be able to contribute code and make it accessible to all the users, in a transparent manner. I know this is possible with the -dev version. The point of all this is also to fix the informal split that currently exists between the official release, and the current -dev release. Ideally the contributions made to -dev could become part of the factory repository, when possible, or a branch of it, if they require deep changes to the main code. Even with an independent branch, this would provide the community a unique repository where to take and submit the code
  • OpenCFD(r) will have a pool from which it will be able to select what it considers valuable contributions that can be included in the official release, at their discretion.
  • It will be possible to submit documentation on the code without workarounds on the trademark policy, since OpenCFD(r) will be part of the initiative and there will be no official documentation website/project. In addition OpenCFD(r) will be able to select the documents they will consider adequate and include them in the official release.
Of course the proposal is incomplete, and is open to further discussion, which hopefully will start and lead to something constructive.

Best,
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Old   October 28, 2009, 14:52
Default Good compromise
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I really like this idea.

It merges the community back together, focused around one goal. It gives OpenCFD a huge pool of resources to draw from. Certainly, they want to keep improving the code and documentation, but need sponsorship to deadicate the necessary time. This option should allow them to reduce a lot of their production efforts. I admit that there are a few concerns for OpenCFD. How do they accept improvements when those improvements may eliminate their main source of income? But I also think there are ways to work around this.

Definitely a good idea. Compromise is the best way to go forward. People won't get everything they want, but in the end we all will get more than we expected.

Hopefully all involved are receptive to discussion.
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Old   October 29, 2009, 05:55
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Very nice idea, Alberto. Thanks for spending the time to make so a structured proposal, and put it to public discussion.
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Old   October 29, 2009, 10:23
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Hello.

I also think that the Alternative solution can bring benefits for all. But will the Alternative solution work without changes in the trademark policy?

Frantisek
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Old   October 29, 2009, 10:27
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Hello.

I also think that the Alternative solution can bring benefits for all. But will the Alternative solution work without changes in the trademark policy?

Frantisek
Alberto's proposal sounds good for me.
For what concern the trademark policy I guess the only limitation is for the OpenFOAM<TM> name, because the code is released under GPL licence, so there is no limitation in re-using. The only limitation is to release under GPL the new code derived from it.
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