"So what should we have done?"
Posted Sep 26, 2004 15:55 UTC (Sun) by kevinbsmith
In reply to: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
Parent article: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
Speaking only for myself, and with the benefit of hindsight, I would suggest two actions that may or may not be applicable to the past, present, or future, in this universe or any other:
1. Don't keep changing the license. An unstable (and especially a revokeable) gratis license is scary. The fact that the non-gratis license also seems to be unstable and revokeable (at least in how it is enforced) is really scary. If people find a loophole that you find catastrophic, try to close all similar loopholes once and for all, rather than tightening your grip in a series of small steps. If they find another loophole, it might be better to just leave it open (possibly with a plea based on ethical/moral grounds for people not to use it). Also, realize that your goal of strict control may be incompatible with your desire to have the gratis version used on the Linux kernel.
2. Don't try quite so hard to ride the FLOSS (free/libre open source software) coattails. You have released a gratis product that helps certain open source developers. Big deal--so has Microsoft. That does not make you a patron of FLOSS, so don't expect FLOSS advocates to heap praise upon you. You continue to fight hard against certain other FLOSS projects (arch being an example). Expect to be criticized for that. You are not part of the FLOSS community, so don't expect to be treated as if you were.
It's a very emotional topic, and I appreciate that you are doing your best to run a business. Your abrasive public persona ceratinly doesn't help your cause. Hopefully you already realize that.
I also acknowlege that the kernel has benefitted greatly (at least in the short run) by using BK. I'm still concerned about the long run, however.
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