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 sean on Thu 1st Feb 2007 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Miss-information"
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(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.)

Here are my thoughts of why it possibly bothers people. People may disagree with them, but it does not stop how others may feel. There are probably other reasons this bothers other BSD-licensed project developers that I do not recall nor am aware.

The BSD license allows sharing to everyone regardless of what they do with it. If a branch of the source is closed, then that is in essence a dead branch to the original project. If the source is wrapped within the GPL, then it becomes a competitor to the original project based on the license instead of the direction.

Unless explicitly performed, the GPL-licensed project does not share back with the BSD-licensed project. It is all one-way. The reason this does not feel good to the people in the BSD-licensed project is that it feels like the GPL-licensed project is only there to replace them. Since both are open-source and need developers, they compete for developers from the same pool.

As for the closed-source project, it will either diverge away silently (at least to the open-source community), die or share source back with the original project just to make it easier to merge changes later back into their branch. Regardless of the direction, it will not be competing for open-source developers.

If the GPL-license branch had stayed BSD-licensed, then the only competition would have been on the features and/or lack of bugs between the two projects. It does not feel like you are competing against yourself plus others when you are able to incorporate source from the other project into yours. The reason this is not a bother with closed-source projects is that they rarely (if ever) kill off the open-source project even with an MIT, BSD or Apache license. OpenSSH and Apache are good examples. mod_ssl actually killed off the closed-source competitor of it.

The time--it really has been that long ago?--I recall about the BSD community complaining about the Linux community "stealing" was actually due to a copyright violation by a developer who ripped the copyrights of some header files in the FreeBSD source. Here is mention of it.

I ramble a lot. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 4

v RE[3]: Miss-information
by Moulinneuf on Thu 1st Feb 2007 23:44 in reply to "RE[2]: Miss-information"