From reading the information on the Apache site it looks as if the early releases will actually use JBoss for the J2EE side of things so that they can get something working fairly quickly that people can migrate to if they wish.
The initial releases will obviously retain the JBoss LGPL license.
They will then rewrite everything so that JBoss can gradually be removed and it will then be licenced using the normal licenses used for Apache products.
From the project website
There won't be any JBoss 'code' in there (they can't have anything with L/GPL in their projects). But it seems there are going to be JBoss (ex?) people working on it, and hence I can see possible problems with respect to ideas and the way things are done.
Anyway I think it's a bigger problem for the websphere et al as they will have to compete with another offering which judging by the people involved has a lot of potential. I would suggest it will make JBoss look even better because it is now the 'mature' open source alternative ;)
From the project website
Q: What is Elba?
A: Elba is basically an LGPLed snapshot of JBoss (but not called JBoss to avoid lawsuits). Its not really intended to be developed or enhanced - its a temporary code repository of increasingly shrinking code.
The idea being for the next (say 1 year) Geronimo by itself isn't gonna be a full J2EE stack. So rather than suffering a Mozilla-style period of lack of use - Elba is a temporary LGPL add-on to Geronimo that links ex-Jboss code with Geronimo to provide a full J2EE stack. So from day 1 Geronimo can be used (if so desired) as a full J2EE stack by using the Elba code.
Of course users are totally welcome to just use whats in Geronimo and nothing else. Or they can drop in other existing services if they wish too. So Geronimo is a clean normal Apache project. If need be you can drop the Elba stuff into Geronimo and get a full J2EE stack.
So the Elba drop of code is totally optional for those who want to migrate from JBoss to Geronimo from day 1 and keep a full J2EE stack. Though as soon as possible all the Elba stuff can be scrapped as Geronimo by itself becomes the complete J2EE stack (along with the stuff it reuses like Tomcat / Axis / mx4j etc).
e.g. we replace the JMS from JBoss with OpenJMS. We replace the transaction manager with Tyrex etc. Rewrite the connectors to Tomcat / Jetty / Axis and so forth. As time goes on Elba shrinks away to nothing.
So in summary Elba is a Geronimo distribution which includes dead LGPL code that can be useful to bootstrap Geronimo. I hope it doesn't exist this time next year and its use is totally optional.
What do you are thinging about all it?