Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 31st Aug 2006 01:29 UTC, submitted by sequethin
NetBSD Charles Hannum, co-founder of NetBSD posted to 3 major BSD lists saying that "The NetBSD Project has stagnated to the point of irrelevance. It has gotten to the point that being associated with the project is often more of a liability than an asset. I will attempt to explain how this happened, what the current state of affairs is, and what needs to be done to attempt to fix the situation."
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RE: Linux
by Mark Williamson on Thu 31st Aug 2006 14:37 UTC in reply to "Linux"
Mark Williamson
Member since:

> And GPL. I have a feeling that people and companies
> are
> more inclined to want to contribute to a GPL
> project
> than a BSD one (although there are obviously
> counter
> examples in each direction).

Interesting that you say that - I don't often hear that line of reasoning but it's one I agree with.

Personally, I'm inclined to GPL my own work so that people will be required to make source of modifications available - makes it harder to create a closed fork. However, I'd have no problem BSD-licensing code if contributing to a BSD licensed project - it's a fine license.

People often say the BSD license is company-friendly because it allows source to be imported without having to release modifications. I think there are two kinds of company friendliness at work:
1) BSD license: the ability to import code without worrying about needing to release changes, getting sued for not doing so, having to contribute code which may benefit other companies
2) GPL: the guarantee nobody *else* will be able to benefit from any changes you contribute without also letting you benefit from their changes. Other companies can build on your work, but you get to do the same.

Although most companies would obviously like high quality open sourced code that they can incorporate into closed projects, I personally believe the latter protection is where the GPL appeals to many companies: it enforces co-operative development by forcing changes to be released. Nobody else can build on stuff you paid for, without doing you the same favour - so you've always got code thats at least as good as competitors using the same base.

This in turn has the nice effect of allowing smaller companies to punch above their weight: leveraging existing open codebases has allowed companies like RedHat and Novell to share changes even though their competing, which makes the system better and enables them to compete more effectively with larger companies with a closed model.

Not to say the open source model is always right, but it does seem to encourage co-operation that benefits the consumer.

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