Subject: Re: Why EROS is Open Source
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 11:16:10 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Ben" == Ben Laurie <ben@algroup.co.uk> writes:

    Ben> shapj@us.ibm.com wrote:

    >> While Ben's point is well taken, I have encountered too many
    >> people eager to proprietize software to be willing to go the
    >> BSD route for EROS.  Some people give back no matter what, and
    >> others don't give back at all.  Neither Ben nor I is able to
    >> collect data, so this is one of those things that needs to be
    >> decided based on a judgement call.

I think it matters more what your goals are.  If you, for some reason, 
want the current version or something not too much more advanced, on
as many hosts as possible, then non-copyleft is the way to go.  If you 
want to establish a standard that will remain open throughout future
development, and avoid splintering the standard, copyleft probably
accomplishes that better.

One could always take a leaf out of the "freeware" book and distribute 
crippleware that attracts attention under BSD and the more advanced
version under GPL ;-)  Or you could distribute the browser under BSD
and the server under GPL to try to establish the protocol.  Etc, etc.

    >> Taken overall, my opinion is that GPL'd software has done
    >> better than BSD software. In the Linux/BSD case a direct
    >> comparison is possible, and the outcome to date is pretty

In the X11/nothing-comparable case, a (degenerate) direct comparison
is possible, and that outcome is also pretty clear.  :-)

Actually, far clearer than Linux/BSD.  If you include all of the
proprietary Unices with BSD code in their modules, is the outcome so
obvious?

    >> clear.  Could it change? Time will tell.  I made a call with
    >> EROS that was the best call I felt I could make at the time.

    Ben> That's a really dumb comparison to make, for the obvious
    Ben> reason that the inevitable conclusion we must reach, if we
    Ben> believe the comparison has any use, is that we should all go
    Ben> and work for Microsoft.

I can't make head nor tail of this.  Help!

    Ben> I do sometimes wonder what this tells us about Linux as
    Ben> compared to BSD.  For some reason, that old saw about bad and
    Ben> good money keeps popping into my head.

Why?

It strikes me that one of BSD's problems may be that Linux distributions
can, and do, include lots and lots of BSD/MIT X/etc-licensed code.  As
I understand it, the BSD distributions do not include much GPLed code.
Is that true?  If so, Linux has a clear advantage because of the lack
of "Not Licensed Like Me" syndrome, and probably on average has better
code and certainly more of it.


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