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On Oracle proposal about Hudson

January 24th, 2011

Oracle posted their proposal on the future of the Hudson project here (the cached version is here and here in case it changes.)

In this proposal, Oracle has not shifted at all from their original position that resulted in the community posting the proposal to rename. It’ll keep all the rights on the trademark Hudson, and it will continue to collect CLA from the core contributors. The proposal includes a clarified fair use policy to derivative work, but it doesn’t include any provisions about how the project can continue to use its name in the future, which was the central issue.

I think the message is quite clear, that Oracle intends to change the way the project is run, and that they are driving the effort unilaterally. You can see it in the proposal itself:

As many of you have pointed out, there can be a fork at any time. If Oracle ever did anything that the community disagreed with, whether it was enforcing new rights on the Hudson name, or trying to muscle the community, the community could always fork at that point in time. That is one of the assurances against a corporation doing things like that. … There are many ways to run an open source project. I think in order for Hudson to grow and reach more people the core community needs to grow and become more open and equal.

Notice that in their eyes, what happened in the past two months is not something “that the community disagreed with”, and putting a stop to a well agreed GitHub migration is not “trying to muscle the community.”

In my opinion, their proposal reinforced that our concerns were legitimate and what we feared is already happening. If the outcry from the community didn’t win any compromise from Oracle, I honestly don’t know what will. This is precisely why we need to rename now, and not later. If this isn’t enough for us to be resolute, then we’ll be divided and conquered through a series of highly technical confrontations that cannot rally a larger community, the community gets gradually boiled to death like a frog.

This “our way or highway” theme can be seen in many places throughout our conversation. They are going to dictate their will on us, when they contribute less than 1% of commits since I left Oracle. They think they have a proven record of leading open-source projects, when the record shows otherwise.

Since their position hasn’t changed, I continue to stand behind our earlier proposal to rename. That is,

  1. We rename the project to Jenkins. We’ll trademark the name, and transfer that to the umbrella of the Software Freedom Conservancy, to ensure that the owner of the key assets cannot use that to unfairly influence the project.
  2. For core, we’ll also start collecting CLA assignable to SFC for the same reason, when we are admitted to SFC.
  3. Grant the trademark usage in the same way the Linux trademark is handled.
  4. We’ll foster the same open atmosphere that we always had, where everyone is a committer just by asking (plus CLA for core), proposals are discussed on their technical merits and not by the title of the proposer, inputs from plugin contributors are valued, and the consensus of the community trumps any single entity.
  5. We’ll put an interim governance board in place, until the governance structure is secured and hold an election of the board members. I suggest myself, Andrew and, if Oracle elects to remain involved, Winston Prakash, the Oracle engineer working on Hudson, be the interim board members.
  6. We’ll move our infrastructure off from Oracle-owned servers and for other infra resources that are hosted elsewhere, such as GitHub and Google Groups, we’ll rename them for Jenkins.

Now that we know all the options on the table, I believe Andrew will get a vote going soon. Please help us with your support. To borrow a line from a movie I recently watched, “when bullies rise up, the rest of us have to beat them back down.”

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  1. Alan
    January 24th, 2011 at 21:23 | #1

    Hudson is Dead. Long live Jenkins!!!!!

    And to paraphrase/borrow another quote
    “But what is a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

    The community needs nothing from Oracle. Let Oracle keep the name.

  2. Mina R Waheeb
    January 24th, 2011 at 23:51 | #2

    Hello Jenkins and welcome oracle to the java community :)

  3. January 25th, 2011 at 00:24 | #3

    Couldn’t agree more – it’s interesting that Oracle says “If Oracle ever did anything that the community disagreed with, whether it was enforcing new rights on the Hudson name, or trying to muscle the community, the community could always fork at that point in time.” seemingly oblivious to the fact that’s what they’re doing right now – and their own conclusion is playing out in front of them. Very odd.

  4. January 25th, 2011 at 00:36 | #4

    I don’t get all that much negativity from the Oracle message. Actually, it seems very well balanced.

    One thing I agree entirely: there is no such thing as a project “renaming”. We are talking about a fork. Even if the Jenkins fork becomes the one with the biggest market share, it’s still a fork.

    This reminds me of the EGCS fork of the GCC which became so good it actually became the next ‘official’ GCC release (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection#EGCS_fork ). There is still a chance this might happen for Hudson/Jenkins so I don’t see why you seem so eager to burn all the bridges with Oracle.

    BTW, I am also part of the “community”, using Hudson since before it was so fashionable, and I don’t see why should I be so enraged about all this? I guess I am too cynical not to notice that there are two companies involved: CloudBees and Oracle and only one of these two makes money almost exclusively from Hudson-based services. I think there’s a natural conflict when for-profit companies make money from open-source software — they’ll always want to keep some proprietary “added value”.

    What I did understand is that Oracle has some fear of using non-Oracle infrastructure (github, etc) which seems to annoy some of the developers. But, other than that, I don’t understand the need to fork the project.

  5. Mike
    January 25th, 2011 at 02:04 | #5

    I think most people are aware of Hudson/Jenkinds rename. Please go ahead, and we shall retweet the news than.

  6. January 25th, 2011 at 05:15 | #6

    Hudson community and leadership has been very patient with Oracle, but Oracle has not addressed the valid concerns. Now it’s time to move on. +1 Jenkins, +1 GitHub, and +1 Google Groups.

  7. Aleks
    January 25th, 2011 at 06:59 | #7

    Way to go! Oracle just doesn’t get how oss works…

  8. Neil
    January 25th, 2011 at 08:25 | #8

    I’m with the community! I’ve never been happy with the idea of Oracle being anywhere near the project. Its our build server!!

  9. January 25th, 2011 at 08:52 | #9

    @Emilian Bold

    I don’t think our intention is to “burn all the bridges”, as can be seen by the fact that we are offering the interim board seat to an engineer from Oracle. And in the project’s entire history, no one was refused a contribution because of his affiliation with any organization.

    I also don’t see how this is about a conflict between two companies. CloudBees isn’t going to own the domain name, the trademark, nor the aggregated copyright on Jenkins, unlike Oracle does.

    I made my case about why we need to rename in this post. I see that you are not convinced, but I’m not sure what more to add.

  10. Sacha Labourey
    January 25th, 2011 at 11:05 | #10

    @Emilian Bold
    Emilian,

    CloudBees is not going to own the Jenkins assets, so I am not sure what you are aiming at. Also, there are multiple ways to “make money”. ORCL is selling support for Hudson and will most probably integrated it to their development’ product suite. That they have a discrete line-item for Hudson on their bills or not makes no difference – that’s up to their business plan. And observe that the other community members who stepped up are not employed by CloudBees FYI.

    Today, this community is un-balanced with one member owning lots of the assets, pretty much not contributing anything, and making claims that i) the community is not well ran and ii) the product architecture is bad. The consequence of this is that some contributors are just not motivated anymore to keep investing their energy into something that further feed ORCL’s IP. They just want the community to be balanced again – I can tell you they are certainly not looking for a new master.

    As a Hudson user, nobody is asking you to be enraged about this. Just pick the software you want to use, that’s it, nobody will force you to do anything. As much as the contributors can decide to which codebase they want to contribute their time and energy, under which terms and under what governance structure.

    As for forking vs. non-forking, I guess it depends what you consider as defining a project: its brand? its contributors?

    Cheers,

    sacha

  11. January 25th, 2011 at 14:30 | #11

    @Richard Nichols
    Sorry, I don’t understand that point. What is Oracle doing right now? The are not enforcing *new* rights – the rights were there from the beginning…

  12. January 25th, 2011 at 14:41 | #12

    > 6. We’ll move our infrastructure off from Oracle-owned servers

    Why is that so important? The project would effectively use someone else’s hardware anyway (thereby giving up a certain degree of control). Are Oracle’s servers so much worse than Google’s or GitHub’s? I’m quite happy with the Kenai-based infrastructure (particularly JIRA is a must).

    In general, a fork, IMO you really should stop using the term ‘rename’ as it distorts nature of the action quite a bit, may be the right move but I agree with Emilian Bold that Oracle’s messages don’t seem to be all that negative. Reading their proposals and lots of Ted’s posts here-and-there I was quite surprised how balanced and considerate Oracle’s voice came across. However, I suspect there’s a huge hidden agenda otherwise they could simply play along and *fully* support Hudson in the OSS world.

  13. January 25th, 2011 at 17:57 | #13

    @Marcel Stör
    The trademark is newly filed, and the attempt to use that to control the community is new, so I think the point is clear enough.

    The reason we need to move our infrastructure off from Oracle-owned servers is based on the assumption that they will not support Jenkins. I don’t think there’s any choice on this matter to our side. But if that is not the case, then we won’t have to do it.

    And as you say, if there’s no hidden agenda, what’s the problem with letting a neutral 3rd party maintain a custody of the trademark?

  14. Dave
    January 25th, 2011 at 18:05 | #14

    Just think of OpenSolaris (RIP), and fork. Please.

  15. Sacha Labourey
    January 25th, 2011 at 22:25 | #15

    @Marcel Stör

    Marcel, what might not have been apparent to you and many is that ORCL made clear criticisms to the way the project was managed i.e. they essentially think KK is not doing a fine job. Under those circumstances, I can understand why KK has not intent to be at the mercy of having ORCL impose its views.

  16. January 26th, 2011 at 09:30 | #16

    Sacha Labourey :
    @Marcel Stör
    Marcel, what might not have been apparent to you and many is that ORCL made clear criticisms to the way the project was managed

    That’s new to me, indeed. Until I read KK’s reply to my comment above it never became apparent that this was the case. Personally I don’t think the project is badly managed – it’s just a little different than other OSS projects.
    The only criticism I have is that it feels that the number of bugs reported as critical or blocker is growing steadily (can’t prove). I just think that there are too many such issues. If this happened in my project I’d ship a few bug-fixing releases before adding new features. Other than that I love Hudson/Jenkins.

  17. Yuval Roth
    January 26th, 2011 at 11:14 | #17

    +1 for Jenkins – and the sooner the better

  18. Communibus Locis
    February 10th, 2011 at 09:57 | #18

    Since I haven’t seen it mentioned or covered in the press, I have to ask:

    Leeroy wasn’t available??

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