Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 12:41 UTC, submitted by nitsudima
GNU, GPL, Open Source David Chisnall casts a critical eye over the GNU General Public License and asks whether it's done more harm than good for the Free Software movement. "Looking back, has the GPL been a help, or a hindrance? And will it continue to be a help or hindrance in the future?"
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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 17:03 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand what the author was trying to get at, however, I've always found that with a BSD project there is a feeling of a group of people working hard whilst the vultures are swooping down to take pieces off the carcass.

Personally I've found that the GPL is far too restrictive but at the same time, BSD far too lose to the point that self interest ends up killing the project as fewer contribute in favour of becoming leeches. Thus I prefer LGPL which provides a balanced approach.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by nt_jerkface on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 18:46 in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I understand what the author was trying to get at, however, I've always found that with a BSD project there is a feeling of a group of people working hard whilst the vultures are swooping down to take pieces off the carcass.

Which projects?

I think the two big ones, openBSD and freeBSD have done amazingly well considering how little corporate funding they have received compared to Linux. I'd trust a BSD server to a Linux for reliability anyday, and Datapipe, the ultra high-end of web hosting agrees.
http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2009/07/01/datapipe_had_the_most_...

Anyways the BSD license is more akin to an open party than a group of vultures eating a dead carcass. You're free to contribute to the party in any way but you're also free to just hang out and have some drinks. Just because most people don't contribute doesn't make the party any less fun to the people who are hosting it. They didn't start the party in the first place to make a profit, so no one is disappointed with the results.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 20:48 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand what the author was trying to get at, however, I've always found that with a BSD project there is a feeling of a group of people working hard whilst the vultures are swooping down to take pieces off the carcass.

Which projects?


Projects that use the BSD Licence.

I think the two big ones, openBSD and freeBSD have done amazingly well considering how little corporate funding they have received compared to Linux. I'd trust a BSD server to a Linux for reliability anyday, and Datapipe, the ultra high-end of web hosting agrees.
http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2009/07/01/datapipe_had_the_most_...


Which is irrelevant to the discussion.

Anyways the BSD license is more akin to an open party than a group of vultures eating a dead carcass. You're free to contribute to the party in any way but you're also free to just hang out and have some drinks. Just because most people don't contribute doesn't make the party any less fun to the people who are hosting it. They didn't start the party in the first place to make a profit, so no one is disappointed with the results.


No, its more like having a party, inviting some friends over in the expectation that everyone will bring something; beer, food, music - some sort of contribution they can bring to make the party even better. What the BSD party reminds me of are some very well meaning people providing a large amount of beer and food only to find that the people they invite come in, drink all the beer, eat all the food, provide nothing themselves, and on the way out they stuff their pockets with food and beer to then sell on the street corner.

There is a fine line between being open to the neighbourhood and another thing entirely where certain people take advantage of a persons good nature by free loading. Sure, he didn't explicitly state that you have to 'provide food' but anyone with some good courtesy would have. To ensure that he isn't taken advantage of, the GPL is akin to standing at the door making sure all those who enter came with something they can share.

Edited 2009-09-02 20:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by _txf_ on Wed 2nd Sep 2009 23:21 in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

There are the ongoing rumors that the windows networking stack is spattered with bits of bsd code. They are clearly allowed to do it, but it seems somewhat miserly that one of the most open source unfriendly company's (not to mention biggest) does not contribute back, that is, if they do use the code.

On a technical level I approve. If it is good code then they should use it; NIH is patently silly. On a community level it is clearly exploitative even if bsd developers allow this.

Edited 2009-09-02 23:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2