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From Ate Douma <>
Subject Re: What's up with WSRP4J?
Date Thu, 23 Oct 2008 21:53:45 GMT
David Sean Taylor wrote:
> On Oct 23, 2008, at 6:54 AM, Ralph Goers wrote:
>> That is a very good question. I do know that we did a portal 
>> evaluation earlier this year and every vendor was planning on having 
>> WSRP 2.0 support during this year. The spec was finally approved this 
>> year.
>> I seem to recall the OASIS site had links to the encumbrances. I can't 
>> find them now.
> My observation is there hasn't been much interest in the project or the 
> standard.There are so many issues related to the project that, unless 
> someone steps up and starts working on this project, Im afraid its going 
> to continue down the same path.
> I would hate to see that happen. If this standard is relevant, then we 
> really should  support this standard here at Apache Portals.

I want lto second this, and add some additional information and opinion.

In my view WSRP(4J) might very well become much more important in the near future, definitely
with the improvements and alignment with the 
Portlet 2.0 (JSR-286) specification of the latest WSRP 2.0.

In the last year I have had concrete requests from several (extremely) large organizations,
both governmental and commercial, for support 
and  general information about the status of WSRP4J. And I've been involved in an actual test/evaluation
project for the Dutch government to 
validate the feasibility to use WSRP to integrate and *standardize* application integration
across organizations.
That test project, while still limited in scope, was quite successful and very well might
lead to follow up activities.

The definite increase in adoption of portal and portlet technology we are experiencing, especially
in the area of 
cross-application/organization integration, in my view shows that the market is finally recognizing
the real benefits of these solutions 
based on open standards.

The problem of course is that WSRP4J still is in incubation and to be honest hasn't seem much
activities for some years now.
Part of the reason in my view (and possibly a big one) is the *still* fuzzy state of potential
patent claims on WSRP 1.0.
David Taylor and myself have been pursuing this over the last year to get resolved, but we're
kind of stuck with that right now.
Lack of time is large part of the reason, but also lack of insight and experience how to proceed
(note: we have been in contact with 
legal-internal@ too).

Anyway, I think WSRP4J *can* have a great usage and interest *if* we can get it stabilized,
spec compliant, ASF license compliant (like 
currently there is some Hibernate usage still in the code base), *and* out of the incubator.

To be clear on this: WSRP4J already *is* used quite a lot, even while its not formally endorsed
by the ASF yet.
Several other open-source portals are using it: at least Liferay, uPortal, and even Cocoon
Portal (not sure if that's still true though).
Furthermore, I've knowledge it has been forked and adapted by and for several closed source
solutions as well.
And not to forget: IBM donated the initial code-base for WSRP4J so they might very well be
using it themselves too.

We are in a kind of limbo here though: without proper developer and community support how
can it ever get out of incubator?
But, because its not formally endorsed, those big clients like I mentioned above won't/can't
touch it and thus are likely going looking 
somewhere else.
I for one, and I know a few other (also committers) would definitely like to breath new life
into the WSRP4J project and for instance get it 
integrated and provided out-of-the-box with Jetspeed.

If we can get a resolution on these legal issues soon, the state of the project could be improved
a lot in a short time (its not *that* big 
a project to be honest), which I think then definitely will result in a much more interested
and growing community (there is a large group 
of silent subscribers to the wsrp4j lists).
Without such a resolution on the legal status though, I'm afraid I can't nor want to invest
valuable time in something which we then might 
never be able to use...



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