Subject: Re: Caldera will publish DR DOS source code
From: "L. Peter Deutsch" <ghost@aladdin.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 96 13:11 PDT

> Linux/ELF certainly does support DLLs.  Shared libraries (.so's) are
> essentially equivalent.

I don't think so.  DLLs come with a documented, supported API that allows
dynamic linking at run time, where both the DLL name and the entry point
name can be computed strings.  (See my prior point about failure to
establish stable higher-level APIs.)  DLLs also have explicit control over
which names from the link get exported -- they don't automatically export
all extern names.  This makes DLLs much more suitable as a way to package
reusable functionality.

> The GPL model may not be the best model in all or even most cases, but
> what other way is there to distribute the ownership of (ie. the money)
> from a program that has (like many programs) many authors.

The GPL model has no direct relationship with the ownership of the code:
ownership of the code copyright resides with anyone who has contributed to
it (unless they signed away their authorship rights as a condition of
employment) regardless of how the code is licensed.  The GPL does, of
course, encourage multi-author software -- perhaps this was your point.

The GPL model for distributing the money also bears no relation to either
the authorship or the ownership of the code.  The only people who can make
money from GPL'ed code are distributors and service providers.  Authors /
copyright holders have no special advantages.  Indeed, authors are at a
special DISadvantage, because the money they can make from distribution and
services per unit total effort is much lower (they have to create the
software AND distribute or support it, rather than leveraging others' unpaid
creative effort and just doing distribution or support).

The GPL is a fine way to distribute the *benefits* of multi-author software,
but, in my opinion, not a good way to distribute the *rewards* of creating
it.

-- 

L. Peter Deutsch         |       Aladdin Enterprises :::: ghost@aladdin.com
203 Santa Margarita Ave. | tel. +1-415-322-0103 (AM only); fax +1-415-322-1734
Menlo Park, CA 94025     |        http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/index.html
          "Implementation is the sincerest form of flattery."