back to article Oracle scans BEA code for GPL and LGPL

Oracle is sifting through millions of lines of code in BEA Systems WebLogic and AquaLogic, to check that products are, as claimed free of unwanted open source licenses. The database giant is making sure here's no code licensed under GPL and LGPL that can be downloaded with BEA's middleware. GPL and LGPL are viewed by the …


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  1. Mark
    Gates Horns

    How hard can it be?

    If you're afraid of the Big Bad (L)GPL, then treat it as if you don't have the source code. Treat it exactly as if you had MS's Shared Source (tm) code.

    You're even safer with GPL products you treat as CSS than you are with CSS treated as CSS: there IS no license to use as an end user.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do Oracle Pies contain dead Oracles?

    Wait, so you're telling me that BEA don't know whether they grabbed a chunk of GPL code from the web and stuck it in? It's like they're not sure they wrote the whole code and didn't steal bits from the public domain?

    If they made Steak Pies, and they handed the pie over to analysts to determine what meat was in it, would they be good pies?

    Shouldn't they know already what's in their 'pie', where it came from, when it was written under what revision by whom, when the bug fixes were put in, against what bug number by whom, under what contract.

    I'd have to say BEA and Oracle shouldn't have to 'check' to see if they used code from the public domain, and because they are checking it casts a shadow of incompetence over their development processes.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re:Do Oracle Pies contain dead Oracles?


    "Wait, so you're telling me that BEA don't know whether they grabbed a chunk of GPL code from the web and stuck it in? It's like they're not sure they wrote the whole code and didn't steal bits from the public domain?"

    Erm... no.

    Have you ever bought a house? Did you get a surveyor in? Was that because the seller said "I don't know if there's anything wrong with it", or was it because you felt that given the cost of the house, you had to make sure?

    The term is "due diligence", and it's part of any sale.

  4. Snot Nice


    Due diligence. Numpties.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:Do Oracle Pies contain dead Oracles?

    "Have you ever bought a house? Did you get a surveyor in?"

    If I buy a steak pie factory I want to know the origin of the meat filling, I don't ask them to check it's not Donkey meat because I want to know what it *is* not that it *isn't* a particular meat.

    So "Due Diligence" isn't diligent if I'm only looking for lack of Donkey meat in the steak pie production line.

    So are Oracle steak pies made from dead Oracles? Maybe, only Oracle can say is that they're definitely not made from Donkey!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Oracle don't allow GPL?

    "BEA, like Oracle, already has a policy of not allowing GPL or LGPL software to be downloaded with its products."

    Funny thing that. When I downloaded Oracle VM it was full of GPL and LGPL stuff.

    Shurely shome mishtake.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steak pies

    bloody expensive steak pie at $8.5bn .... bloody expensive house too, but I'd be more inclined to check the house contents than the pie.

  8. preppy

    GPL - Remember Unbreakable Linux?

    ORACLE....isn't that the company which used the GPL to redistribute Red Hat Linux? Is this hypocrisy...or what?

  9. Daniel B.

    GPL's "infectious" nature

    I think it can be traced all the way back to Richard Stallman's concept. The GPL was deliberately worded so that *any* code that uses it would "become" GPL itself. Of course, it would also mean that the mere act of compiling with gcc would make your code GPL, as you're linking GPL'd libraries. Thats what LGPL solved: you may link LGPL libs and are only required to give source code for those libs.

    Now mix in this GPL behaviour with the common misunderstanding on what "free" means in "free software". Software companies usually don't give their software for free, you know. That is why the term "open source" came to be, as well as "software libre", which gives me some chuckles as it uses a Spanish loanword. (Actually, the GPL uses two loanwords, I've seen "gratis" somewhere in the GPLv2.)

  10. Mark
    Thumb Down

    @Daniel B.


    The GPL was produced because, unlike the previous decades, manufacturers were keeping code secret that had been previously opened up.

    For example, how many printers now come with a manual that tells you how to talk to the printer? In 1992 the epson colour printers did. No more.

    The nugget that brought it about was the finding of a bug on a printer RMS bought and the refusal of the manufacturer (who sold it) to either fix the bug or make the code available for the driver to make the bug fix. For no other reason than they didn't have to.

    Bugger all about viral (except in as far as copyright is viral: if I took some of Microsoft's code, would that not be virally infected by the EULA MS would apply to their code? YES).

  11. Charles Manning

    Steak pies

    You don't really want to know what is in them or you'd be retospectively trying to puke out pies you ate five years ago.

    Ignorance is bliss....

  12. Larry Cumber


    If oracle has decided to look at those codes, then this is in order to make assurance double sure that what it gets is what it is. Buying a Volkswagen with a Peugoet engine clearly defines how ignorant the buyer might have been. It just wouldn't work. So sometimes its nice to peep.

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