Following up after a day in the shop
Posted Sep 27, 2004 2:21 UTC (Mon) by lm
In reply to: So, as an outcome of the above arguments
Parent article: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
First of all, I have to say that metal shavings are way more fun than arguing with you about our business model. I had a blast in the shop, my new (very old, from the 1950's) mill works great after I cleaned it up. I have new pictures up at http://bitmover.com/lm/mill/ and before you start blasting me that that isn't great, try and remember that what I've done is sort of the "hello world" of metal working. I know it sucks but it's damn cool anyway.
OK, moving on...
To Felix.Braun, thanks very much for the acknowledgement that the goal was to help Linux and that we have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. When we started I was scared stiff that we would lose Linus to burnout and he is still here, kicking butt, he's great. We helped make that happen, he has no problem admitting that, we're very proud of that. Yeah, yeah, wouldn't it be great if we did it with the GPL...
To kevinbsmith, we _don't_ change the license that much. That's just FUD that the GPL fanatics spread. The last change was more than a year ago and the last change before that was more than a year before that. So we are averaging a change a year. Not exactly frequent.
And the bit about me not being part of the open source community warrants comment. That hurts. I've been a long term member of this community, I've done a ton of work for this community, the founders of redhat acknowledge my work, my copyright is in several GNU utilities, and I created benchmarking tools that Linus and others use to this day to make sure they are doing the right thing (it's worth noting that I have suppressed every port of LMbench to windows for more than 10 years simply because if the data is out there then they will fix it).
But the real bummer is that BK exists to help the FLOSS community. It's the way that I could help the most. I've walked away from so much money, you can't even imagine (4th guy at Google? You think I'd be talking to you if I had stayed?) because I wanted to help Linus. It's pretty depressing that you don't realize that the choices I've made have been to help you. If your definition of "help" is "GPLed" then you need to broaden your horizons. There are a lot of ways to help and some pretty famous people have pointed out that what we have done has helped more than most.
To hppnq, sure we have considered the GPL. Of course we have considered that. I used to think that if we GPLed BK you'd all be happy but I think some of you are so fanatic that we could GPL BK and you'd still be pissed at us. Sigh. Anyway, we are in negotiations with a company who is 100% committed to the GPL. We discussed with them the idea of GPLing BK and they looked at us and said "are you nuts? You'd go out of business in a week!" And they are correct. We spend more in a week on payroll than any company has ever made on an open source SCM system in a year. That's a 50x problem. We need to pay our people and because all of you are so sure that you could reimplement BK in a week with some shell scripts there is zero, repeat, zero, nada, no friggin way, that we could survive with a GPLed product.
I encourage you to keep on thinking about this, it's way cool to have you thinking about ways to make it work. Many of you don't believe this but my goal is to help you. It's a huge bummer for me that in order to do that we have to be a typical corporate company, I would have loved to have done this with an open source product. Perhaps this is a good time to remind you that once upon a time BK was open source with a license that said "you can't remove the openlogging part" and you guys promptly removed that part of the code. The reason BK isn't open source is because your friends cheated. Let's keep that in perspective, OK?
to post comments)