[Board] Java, FOSS and OSGeo Live

Brian M Hamlin maplabs at light42.com
Thu May 5 08:53:26 PDT 2016

OSGeo Board Members, stakeholders, list-members -
  below is the text of an email sent to the OSGeo-Live mail list today. I forward it to the Board of OSGeo
because I believe that OSGeo-Live is one of the great assets of OSGeo.org today, and that the 
relationship of Java tech to the OSGeo mission is murky and presents unsolved challenges. 

----- Forwarded message from Brian M Hamlin  -----

Subject: [Live-demo] Java, FOSS and OSGeo Live
To: live-demo at lists.osgeo.org

Hi All -

today in planet.debian.net, the Debian Java Packaging Team posted an interesting status update for all things Java [0]

Java brings an opportunity and a challenge for OSGeo-Live, at least.  The relationship of Java [1], a "write-once, 
run anywhere" development environment, with its libraries, toolchains and licensing, to the Debian Project
ecosystem [2] , and then to OSGeo-Live, is not entirely straightforward. Yet, some of the biggest tech on the net
is implemented in Java, and increasingly so.. 

An opportuntiy for OSGeo-Live Java is be a reference install, a widely-accessible showcase and constructively 
curated repetoire of current, relevent geospatial tech.   How can that evolve ?

A challenge for OSGeo-Live, at least, is to bridge the legal and organizational gap between the Debian / Apache
roots of OSGeo.org, and the reality of burgeoning industry, licensing and community relationships within
the active Java world. Companies and people have put their efforts into the Java platform, and that effort is
non-trivial and often commercially protected. How can the OSGeo-Live, a reference install of FOSS software,
respectfully and meaningfully showcase commercially protected software alongside Libre libraries and apps,
given fundmental conflicts behind-the-scenes on a number of levels ?

It is the promise of any vital platform to find answers in vigorous conversation, and in delivery of excellent tech. 
There is no one answer, and it is up to the communities in question to take an active role in determing the 

The next release of OSGeo-Live is months away, so there is time to work out the details. However, the time is now
to understand and engage the large and perhaps growing distance between the FOSS Libre software world, and
the commercial directions of the Java platform in all of its manifestations. Several individual contributors have done
a lot to make Java on the OSGeo-Live what it is now, and I predict it will take more insight, implementation and
ingenuity to make the next release not medicore, but great. 

  best regards from Berkeley, California

[0]  http://java.debian.net/blog/2016/05/whats-new-since-jessie.html
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Java_(programming_language)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian

Brian M Hamlin
OSGeo California Chapter

Live-demo mailing list
Live-demo at lists.osgeo.org

----- End forwarded message -----

Brian M Hamlin
OSGeo California Chapter

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