Open-source Apache project solidifies status

The popular open-source Web server project incorporates to more formally develop its software and ease collaborations with established companies.

Apache, the popular open-source Web server project, has incorporated to more formally develop its software and ease collaborations with established companies.

The Apache Software Foundation now will handle legal, financial, and organizational support for the software, the organization said.

In open-source programming, anyone may use, see, modify, and distribute the underlying software code. Taking the step of incorporating the open-source Apache effort formalizes its legal existence, endowing the loosely organized group with trappings such as a street address and a charter.

The Apache Software Foundation will be a not-for-profit group, the organization said.

The incorporation "enables the contribution of intellectual property," the organization said. That's a timely move, given Sun's statement two weeks ago that it would provide JavaServer Pages software to the Apache effort. That technology will be incorporated into the Apache project's Jakarta technology.

IBM, the first company to formally embrace Apache, endorsed the incorporation. It will contribute its own software and use Jakarta in commercial products, the company said.

In addition, the incorporation ensures that Apache will live on regardless of who actually is in charge of various efforts, opens the door to financial contributions, and makes it easier to minimize "legal exposure while participating in open source projects," the group said in a statement.

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