Subject: Re: Why EROS is Open Source
From: Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 1999 12:08:54 +0100

On Thu, Dec 09, 1999 at 07:26:51PM +0000, Ben Laurie wrote:
> shapj@us.ibm.com wrote:
> > 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 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.
> 
> That's a really dumb comparison to make, for the obvious reason that the
> inevitable conclusion we must reach, if we believe the comparison has
> any use, is that we should all go and work for Microsoft.
> 
> I do sometimes wonder what this tells us about Linux as compared to BSD.
> For some reason, that old saw about bad and good money keeps popping
> into my head.

I tend to agree with Ben, or at least, we do not know what was the
major factor of success.
  In my opinion, Linux had better marketing. To begin with, the name
is nicer ... and I sometimes muse about the time when Linus' parents
were expecting this baby and decided to call the boy Linus ... could
they have realized that this innocent decision would have a major
(marketing) impact on the world.
   It is also true that the personnality of RMS gave a lot of strength
to the GPL side of things. But I think it was the right way to go,
even though I refuse to use the name GNU/Linux, for marketing reasons
only.
   Another point in favor of GPL is that many people are willing to
contribute, only if they do not get cheated. See the number of people
who say in their homemade licence: this is free, open, etc... but not
for commercial advantage. Much more restrictive than BSD or GPL. The
GPL is probably the freeest licence that give contributora a sense of
protection and compulsory fairness.
   And there seems to be some reluctance with more recent licences,
like the MPL. Maybe for the same reason. And also because MPL is GPL
incompatible (which is one major problem with hereditary licencing).

Bernard

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