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Re: Towards a Graph API was Re: [ba-ohs-talk] New backlink metadata;mhpurple v0.2 released

On Mon, 4 Mar 2002, Johannes Ernst wrote:    (01)

> That's appealing but don't underestimate the amount of work that is.
> We (R-Objects and its predecessors) started implementing a p2p
> distributed, object-oriented (as in class-association-attribute),
> replicated, schema-driven, repository almost four years ago, and now
> it is basically there and working. But it took four years and several
> million in funding went into it. And we had related experience before.    (02)

Funny you should mention this. :-)  I finally got around to getting
Webstart installed, so I could play with Pepper.  It's an intriguing tool
that looks quite sophisticated, with one small catch....    (03)

> <self-advertisement> BTW, our technology is not quite open source,
> but close: free for non-commercial use, source code available,
> changes allowed and do not have to be put back. www.r-objects.org
> </self-advertisement>    (04)

Never got a chance to respond to your original question about open source
(even though I dialog mapped the conversation), so I'll try to do so here.    (05)

You originally asked, why do we believe that the OHS should fall under an
open source license?    (06)

  http://www.eekim.com/ohs/dialogmaps/ohsopensource.html#nid1357    (07)

The underlying question that never got asked was, what is the OHS?  Lee
answered this implicitly in his responses to your question.  I'll try to
answer it explicitly.  The OHS consists of the universe of "knowledge
applications" that implement a common feature set in an interoperable
manner.  Those features are well-documented in Doug's papers -- granular
addressability, view control, backlinks, etc.  This feature set is also
usually what's emphasized when describing the OHS.  I find this
unfortunate, because what Doug emphasized in his papers is the really
important stuff -- namely interoperability:    (08)

  http://www.bootstrap.org/augdocs/augment-132082.htm#9A    (09)

QuestMap has node-based addressability, typed links, view control, and
transclusions.  Wiki has node-based addressability and backlinks.  Heck,
e-mail has backlinks.  All of these are collaborative knowledge
applications, and all of them already implement at least a subset of the
OHS's features.  However, none of them implement them interoperably.    (010)

So, the key enabling feature of the OHS are the standard APIs that allow
these applications to implement these features in an interoperable way.    (011)

What does it mean, then, for the OHS to be open source?  It doesn't mean
that all OHS applications need to be open source.  Quite the contrary, it
would be unrealistic to expect this.  It doesn't even mean that all of the
underlying infrastructure need be open source.  What it means is that the
OHS is about standards, and standards are irrelevant without reference
implementations.  And if those standards are to be accepted, then those
reference implementations damn well better be open source.    (012)

Back to Pepper.  I think it's great that you're experimenting with
different licensing models, and I would love to hear more about the
R-Objects business model.  And just because Pepper is not open source does
not mean that we don't want you in our world.  Rather, we want to embrace
you and make sure that your tool interoperates with everyone else's tool,
open source or not.    (013)

I think R-Objects could do the OHS a great service by making its
repository -- either a subset or the entire thing -- open source under
the Apache license, and proposing its API as an OHS standard.  Pepper
itself could fall under any license you wished.  This would be valuable to
the collaborative apps that require such a repository.  In turn, having
those apps use your repository and interoperate with Pepper would be a
tremendous market boost for Pepper-like apps, not to mention the branding
boost you would get for being one of the authors of the OHS's standard
APIs.    (014)

-Eugene    (015)

+=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== eekim@eekim.com ===== http://www.eekim.com/ ===+
|       "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they        |
+=====  can have an excuse to drink alcohol."  --Steve Martin  ===========+    (016)