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March 30, 2009


dave shields

There is a hilarious article about ASF and IBM in a 1998 issue of Forbes Magazine, in which an IBM attorney asks, "You want us to do a deal with a web site?" That directly led to the formation of ASF, so IBM would have someplace to send its code.

I am the co-author of Jikes, IBM's first open source project, and so am responsibile for IBM's first open source, the Jikes License, which was the first license from IBM to be approved by the OSI. Ken Coar was my sysadmin during the Jikes days.

My instructions to the attorneys were to "take Apache as a base and add whatever language is necessary to satisfy our patent attorneys." The Jikes license led to the IPL, the CPL, and then the EPL. Thus ASF played a key role in shaping the EPL, which to date has been used to license well over a billion dollars worth of software.

I always tell people that if they have *any* question about an open-source license, how to ran an OSS community, or how to build a web site for OSS, they should see how Apache does it, as ASF is the gold standard in this area.



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