WebProtege without MongoDB

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WebProtege without MongoDB

Laura Morales
I'm reading through the installation page of WebProtege [1] and it says WebProtege uses MongoDB. Unfortunately it looks like MongoDB is trying to move to a new license which is not clear whether it's a open source license or not. I'm only interested in using/contributing to open source software so I would like to know if WebProtege can work without MongoDB or with another database.

Thanks.


[1] https://protegewiki.stanford.edu/wiki/WebProtegeAdminGuide#Install_mongoDB

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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Matthew Horridge-2
Administrator
Hi Laura,

MongoDB is required by WebProtege – it won’t work without it.  I’m not yet familiar with the changes to the MongoDB license… I need to read up on that.

Cheers,

Matthew


> On Apr 29, 2019, at 09:39, Laura Morales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I'm reading through the installation page of WebProtege [1] and it says WebProtege uses MongoDB. Unfortunately it looks like MongoDB is trying to move to a new license which is not clear whether it's a open source license or not. I'm only interested in using/contributing to open source software so I would like to know if WebProtege can work without MongoDB or with another database.
>
> Thanks.
>
>
> [1] https://protegewiki.stanford.edu/wiki/WebProtegeAdminGuide#Install_mongoDB
>
> _______________________________________________
> protege-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/protege-user

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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Michael DeBellis-2
In reply to this post by Laura Morales
Below is a  recent article on Mongo's change of policy. My understanding of this is that what they are doing is trying to prevent cloud vendors from offering Mongo as a service you have to pay for. That violates the spirit but not the specific legal requirements of the open source license that Mongo was using. If anything (at least this is my reading of it) Mongo is trying to be more true to the spirit of open source not less. I wouldn't let this be an obstacle to using them. I think the changes will only effect big cloud vendors like Amazon. 

From the article:

"For virtually all regular users who are currently using the community server, nothing changes because the changes to the license don’t apply to them. Instead, this is about what MongoDB sees as the misuse of the AGPLv3 license. “MongoDB was previously licensed under the GNU AGPLv3, which meant companies who wanted to run MongoDB as a publicly available service had to open source their software or obtain a commercial license from MongoDB,” the company explains. “However, MongoDB’s popularity has led some organizations to test the boundaries of the GNU AGPLv3.”

So while the SSPL isn’t all that different from the GNU GPLv3, with all the usual freedoms to use, modify and redistribute the code (and virtually the same language), the SSPL explicitly states that anybody who wants to offer MongoDB as a service — or really any other software that uses this license — needs to either get a commercial license or open source the service to give back the community."


On Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 9:40 AM Laura Morales <[hidden email]> wrote:
I'm reading through the installation page of WebProtege [1] and it says WebProtege uses MongoDB. Unfortunately it looks like MongoDB is trying to move to a new license which is not clear whether it's a open source license or not. I'm only interested in using/contributing to open source software so I would like to know if WebProtege can work without MongoDB or with another database.

Thanks.


[1] https://protegewiki.stanford.edu/wiki/WebProtegeAdminGuide#Install_mongoDB

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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Laura Morales
They are not "trying to be more true to the spirit of open source". The software was AGPL, and they are only reacting for monetary reasons. The problem is that their license is pretty confusing and as far as I know nobody really knows if it's "open source" or not. The general sentiment seems to be to assume that it's not, because it probably isn't. Mongo was even removed by (at least) Fedora and Debian distributions because the new license is discriminatory against a specific category of users. GNU Health is an example of project that ditched it in favor of Postgres. The people that are making Mongo seem to complain that companies using it "as a service" are making all the money but give little back to them, so their solution was to change the license to a new one that requires either buying a proprietary commercial license, or open sourcing all the services that interact with Mongo. This seems very confusing because where is the boundary? Since WebProtege interacts with Mongo, does it mean that also WebProtege must use their SSPL license? If I have a monitoring application that interacts with Mongo to check uptime, or a backup system, do they have to be SSPL too? What about the operating system? That one too is essential to run "the service". If GPL requires all modifications to be distributed under the same license, and AGPL extends this for modifications done to software that is used "as a service", this new license seems to extend even further to every other software that merely interacts with theirs. So their concern is not really with any abuse of the AGPL, because those companies are not selling proprietary versions of Mongo. Their concern is about how Mongo is used. I don't see much difference with those "this software can only be used for good purposes" kind of licenses.

Maybe it is a free license? I'm not sure. The whole situation is very confusing. I think WebProtege is very nice and even simpler to use than Protege but unless MongoDB is clearly recognized as free software, I'll pass. I will probably learn to use Protege.
By the way I don't run any "cloud" business, so I don't have any direct interest with their new terms. It's just that I prefer to help projects that are entirely free. Even if my help is minimal, because I'm only a user and not a developer, I think another free database will be glad to have one more user.




Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 1:26 AM
From: "Michael DeBellis" <[hidden email]>
To: "User support for WebProtege and Protege Desktop" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [protege-user] WebProtege without MongoDB

Below is a  recent article on Mongo's change of policy. My understanding of this is that what they are doing is trying to prevent cloud vendors from offering Mongo as a service you have to pay for. That violates the spirit but not the specific legal requirements of the open source license that Mongo was using. If anything (at least this is my reading of it) Mongo is trying to be more true to the spirit of open source not less. I wouldn't let this be an obstacle to using them. I think the changes will only effect big cloud vendors like Amazon. 
 
From the article:
 
"For virtually all regular users who are currently using the community server, nothing changes because the changes to the license don’t apply to them. Instead, this is about what MongoDB sees as the misuse of the AGPLv3 license. “MongoDB was previously licensed under the GNU AGPLv3, which meant companies who wanted to run MongoDB as a publicly available service had to open source their software or obtain a commercial license from MongoDB,” the company explains. “However, MongoDB’s popularity has led some organizations to test the boundaries of the GNU AGPLv3.”
 
So while the SSPL isn’t all that different from the GNU GPLv3, with all the usual freedoms to use, modify and redistribute the code (and virtually the same language), the SSPL explicitly states that anybody who wants to offer MongoDB as a service — or really any other software that uses this license — needs to either get a commercial license or open source the service to give back the community."
 
https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/16/mongodb-switches-up-its-open-source-license/

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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Michael DeBellis-2
I'm no expert on Open Source so I was just going by what was in the article as I understood it. It's quite possible I was wrong.

However, you do realize that you can just use Web Protege as hosted by Stanford and not worry about Mongo at all right? You only need to care about Mongo if you want to install your own Web Protege server at your company because you want more control or security but you still get pretty decent control and security just by using Web Protege on the Stanford host and having your colleagues do the same. You can set up projects so only your colleagues get access to them. 

But in any case if you are learning Protege I would recommend using the Desktop version anyway. The Web Protege version currently doesn't have a reasoner which is a big part of what makes OWL and Protege such a useful tool. Without the reasoner you can't define SWRL rules, none of the powerful ways of defining properties (inverses, transitive, symmetric, etc.) get enforced, you can't have defined classes, and you don't get the validation that your ontology is consistent.  The way I use Web Protege (and I think this is fairly common) is to first develop on the desktop version then when I want to share an ontology upload it (with all the asserted axioms from the reasoner) on Web Protege. 

Michael

On Wed, May 1, 2019 at 9:39 AM Laura Morales <[hidden email]> wrote:
They are not "trying to be more true to the spirit of open source". The software was AGPL, and they are only reacting for monetary reasons. The problem is that their license is pretty confusing and as far as I know nobody really knows if it's "open source" or not. The general sentiment seems to be to assume that it's not, because it probably isn't. Mongo was even removed by (at least) Fedora and Debian distributions because the new license is discriminatory against a specific category of users. GNU Health is an example of project that ditched it in favor of Postgres. The people that are making Mongo seem to complain that companies using it "as a service" are making all the money but give little back to them, so their solution was to change the license to a new one that requires either buying a proprietary commercial license, or open sourcing all the services that interact with Mongo. This seems very confusing because where is the boundary? Since WebProtege interacts with Mongo, does it mean that also WebProtege must use their SSPL license? If I have a monitoring application that interacts with Mongo to check uptime, or a backup system, do they have to be SSPL too? What about the operating system? That one too is essential to run "the service". If GPL requires all modifications to be distributed under the same license, and AGPL extends this for modifications done to software that is used "as a service", this new license seems to extend even further to every other software that merely interacts with theirs. So their concern is not really with any abuse of the AGPL, because those companies are not selling proprietary versions of Mongo. Their concern is about how Mongo is used. I don't see much difference with those "this software can only be used for good purposes" kind of licenses.

Maybe it is a free license? I'm not sure. The whole situation is very confusing. I think WebProtege is very nice and even simpler to use than Protege but unless MongoDB is clearly recognized as free software, I'll pass. I will probably learn to use Protege.
By the way I don't run any "cloud" business, so I don't have any direct interest with their new terms. It's just that I prefer to help projects that are entirely free. Even if my help is minimal, because I'm only a user and not a developer, I think another free database will be glad to have one more user.




Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 1:26 AM
From: "Michael DeBellis" <[hidden email]>
To: "User support for WebProtege and Protege Desktop" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [protege-user] WebProtege without MongoDB

Below is a  recent article on Mongo's change of policy. My understanding of this is that what they are doing is trying to prevent cloud vendors from offering Mongo as a service you have to pay for. That violates the spirit but not the specific legal requirements of the open source license that Mongo was using. If anything (at least this is my reading of it) Mongo is trying to be more true to the spirit of open source not less. I wouldn't let this be an obstacle to using them. I think the changes will only effect big cloud vendors like Amazon. 
 
From the article:
 
"For virtually all regular users who are currently using the community server, nothing changes because the changes to the license don’t apply to them. Instead, this is about what MongoDB sees as the misuse of the AGPLv3 license. “MongoDB was previously licensed under the GNU AGPLv3, which meant companies who wanted to run MongoDB as a publicly available service had to open source their software or obtain a commercial license from MongoDB,” the company explains. “However, MongoDB’s popularity has led some organizations to test the boundaries of the GNU AGPLv3.”
 
So while the SSPL isn’t all that different from the GNU GPLv3, with all the usual freedoms to use, modify and redistribute the code (and virtually the same language), the SSPL explicitly states that anybody who wants to offer MongoDB as a service — or really any other software that uses this license — needs to either get a commercial license or open source the service to give back the community."
 
https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/16/mongodb-switches-up-its-open-source-license/

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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Laura Morales
I wish to contribute to this thread with one last comment by pointing out that there are open source alternatives for a document store, such as CouchDB by the Apache Foundation which is released under the Apache License. Postgres could be another option as well since it's added support for storing documents.
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Re: WebProtege without MongoDB

Matthew Horridge-2
Administrator
Hi Laura,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions.  Postgres seems quite appealing, actually.  At the moment, I don’t see any replacement happening in the short/medium term due to other priorities, but thanks for putting this on my radar.

Cheers,

Matthew


> On May 29, 2019, at 00:04, Laura Morales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I wish to contribute to this thread with one last comment by pointing out that there are open source alternatives for a document store, such as CouchDB by the Apache Foundation which is released under the Apache License. Postgres could be another option as well since it's added support for storing documents.
> _______________________________________________
> protege-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/protege-user

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