Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Feb 2007 14:41 UTC, submitted by Oliver
FreeBSD "Linux has a large amount of device drivers for hardware not supported on FreeBSD, especially USB devices. Not rarely, such drivers have been written based on information derived by protocol sniffing, reverse engineering and the like. This makes the code highly undocumented, and renders the porting effort extremely error prone. To help with this task, I decided to start working on an emulation layer that would let us recompile the linux source code on FreeBSD, and provide a sufficiently complete emulation of the kernel APIs so that device drivers (or at least certain classes) could be used without modifications to their source code."
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RE[2]: Miss-information
by molnarcs on Thu 1st Feb 2007 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Miss-information"
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

(Incidentally, this touches on one of the points that I don't really understand about the BSD community -- the idea that Linux "steals" their code. If you release something under the BSD licence, then you're saying anybody can use it for any purpose they like. It's a bit rich to then turn round and complain when a Linux developer does exactly that.)

Don't confuse some misguided fanboys with the bsd community at large. In my experience, the bsd folks are proud rather than annoyed when someone else uses their code, even if they don't contribute back. Just think about it: whom do you hear bitching about Apple using parts of FreeBSD? It's almost never bsd folks, but GPL zealots like Moulinneuf, who cannot respect other people's choices.

I too consider GPL a better choice btw - in fact, I think that's the single most important (and brilliant) invention of the Free Software Movement. But still, being a part of the BSD community I can see their points - or lack thereof: most of the developers I know (not personally, but from reading the bsd mailing lists) simply don't care about ideological issues. They don't want to care about these issues (for better or worse) - they just want to write code, and get it out there. BSD license is something that is simple and straightforward, and serves that purpose (well, mostly, PHK uses the beerware license, because he considers - tongue in cheek - the BSD license too complicated ;) )

There are also cases when the BSD license makes more sense: if you want something to become an industry standard, and it is a core technology, than BSD like licenses are a better choice. That's why XFree choose the similar MIT license (there were other competing proprietary alternatives at that time) - and that is why companies developing proprietary unices could easily adopt it (and hence, turning it into an industry standard) without having to consider the implications discussed here. Similarly, a BSD/MIT license makes sense for other core technologies like BIND for instance.

The purpose of Free Software is to guarantee certain rights to end users - and both the GPL and the BSD license does that, however, it is only the former that perpetuates these rights down the line of adopters (and I think that is an important goal). We are speaking of two free software projects here, and sharing code between them - and I just can't understand those people who make such a fuss about it. Its not like the BSD folks try to change the licensing of code originating from linux. GPL code will stay GPL, and according to the FSF, these are compatible licenses. QED

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