Subject: Re: EROS license
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 27 Jun 1999 12:14:59 -0400

   From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
   Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 11:38:56 -0400 (EDT)

   Ian Lance Taylor writes:
    >    From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
    >    Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 00:21:03 -0400 (EDT)
    > 
    >     > When I explicitly reserve the right to gather up everybody's
    >     > contributions and use them in ways that nobody else can, it's pretty
    >     > clear that some of us are more equal than others.
    > 
    >    Well, given the circumstances (a major contribution of code by a
    >    single party), there's no escaping that fact.  Even if the original
    >    creator puts the code in the public domain, they still know more about
    >    the code than anyone else.  And since they wrote the majority of the
    >    code, their name is on the majority of it.
    > 
    > Of course; I assume that you are just commenting, and that you do
    > understand my point.

   I understand and disagree with it.  It sounds to me like your
   objection is based on the injustice of inequality.  In this instance,
   by definition inequality exists.

I meant that paragraph to be read in the context of my original
message.  I was discussing building a team, which is a matter of
perception.  Certain kinds of inequality are acceptable and expected,
others are not.  It's OK to have a superstar on a team.  The
owner--the person with the power to hire and fire team members--is not
part of the team.

   But as a counter-counter example, I presume that Larry wouldn't have
   written BitKeeper for free.  He had the opportunity to do so and
   didn't take it.

I predict that since Linus needed a source code control system, and
didn't like CVS, somebody would have eventually written a free source
code control system which he found acceptable, or would simply have
improved CVS or one of the other free systems until it satisifed
Linus's needs.  Of course this is untestable, since Larry wrote an
almost-but-not-quite-free one.

Other than Linus, I don't think the world was crying out for yet
another source control system.

I also don't think Larry sees the power in free software.  I believe
that if he did, he would not require the program to pass the
testsuite.

Ian