[unrev-II] Slashdot thread; License type

From: John \ (johnwerneken@netzero.net)
Date: Fri May 05 2000 - 15:21:55 PDT

  • Next message: Eugene Eric Kim: "Re: [unrev-II] Slashdot thread; License type"

    Thanks for all your thoughtful, hard work on Doug's dream.

    Not being a free software or open source developer I have no hands-on
    software license experience. As a user I find convenience and innovation
    pull me both ways. Many things are quite neat as de facto monopolies - BIND
    I think few would criticize; everybody but me seems to hate Microsoft, for
    less-than-best-of-breed products if for no other reason, but I must restate
    what I have said before, there are some values to commonality: third party
    development has a bigger market to write to, user learning is in some ways
    easier, some of the operating system hooks / user space application
    coordination happens well, and de facto monopolist imposed standards are
    still standards.

    On the other hand, who can deny that free is a very good price, and that a
    lot of M$ appeal has always been lower prices than competing commercial
    applications of similar utility, so on the ability to grow due to cheapness
    front, open source and free software win hands down. Although I never get
    farther in to the guts myself than a small ways in to VBA, it is INFURIATING
    not to be able to modify canned software (even that built in one's own
    shop), because it is not open source or free and because it need not adhere
    to any standard at all. And an army of volunteer developers provides the
    open & free movements with the equivalent of the monopolists' paid and
    third-party platform developers.

    For our project, with no obvious grounds to believe that it could ever get
    done under the corporate model, some license broadly acceptable to the
    open/free software community IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL. Without this, the
    project should in blunt truth be abandoned as unachievable.

    The original "advertisement" BSD is a pain in the ass; these things compound
    and soon a "box" of shrink-wrap software is not big enough to contain all
    the required advertisements. The "modified" BSD license has no such defect
    and as far as I know is unobjectionable as an open source license (though I
    doubt it meets free software standards).

    ONE QUESTION: under modified BSD, can derivative work be made proprietary?
    If so, some companies would be more likely to support us (so long as it did
    not turn in to something that would 'poison the well' as far as attracting
    open source community support). Perhaps Jon Winters could speak to this, or
    ask ESR ?


    Jack, that Slashdot thread is one of Jon Katz's asinine productions! He is
    "the most hatred author on Slashdot" for plenty good reason. I imagine he
    sees his work as a bridge between the geek / open source worlds and the rest
    of us; I suspect he mainly alienates both cultures. He sure alienates me!
    Talk about unexamined assumptions!

    Now I admit I have not read this Katz thread, but I am not sufficiently
    filled with self-hate today to bring myself to do so. :)

    My experience with Katz and with the threads spun off his submissions is
    that while slashdotters generally educate me, and perhaps each other, when
    discussing technology, that community is unwilling or unable to discussion
    socio-political topics with much of a hint that any of the participants have
    much knowledge or experience with the subject matter, nor any evidence of
    any openness of mind. I admit I've come to desire ignorance of Mr. Katz's
    thoughts and have no open mind about him at this time, so I am following
    suit, but IMHO his past antics have given me more than sufficient reason for
    feeling as I do.

    There are plenty of other threads that would be IMHO far better examples of
    slashdot's strengths. Even the licenses and encryption debates, which wade
    into politics and social philosophy, do so in a manner that I find far more
    useful and educational.

    <end of rant>

    And again, keep up the good work!

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