Following up after a day in the shop
Posted Sep 27, 2004 10:06 UTC (Mon) by hppnq
In reply to: Following up after a day in the shop
Parent article: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
Larry, I'm with you on this one, setting aside some of the practical stuff (how you run your business is entirely up to you).
I think that it is a shame that releasing BitKeeper under the GPL does not work, and I think that members of the Open Source community should be able to discuss this problem from a pragmatic point of view. We're trying to solve a real problem here, and solving real problems usually calls for compromises. Stuffing Open Source down people's throats as an attempt to rid the world of non-free software (or at least the problems associated with it) is just not going to work. Nor is saying: forget the GPL because there are some people out there trying to rip me off. (They will rip you off anyway.)
I didn't mean you should just GPL BitKeeper, I was saying that there are already several hybrid solutions that might also work for you. Think Red Hat or MySQL. Companies are not waiting for a hairy hacker who might help solve a problem, they want the full blown support, added value and services. (Mind you: this is *not* my point of view, I think the hairy hacker solution is brilliant. ;-) It's not a question of giving everything away and hoping that some lunatic will still pay you for it -- it is a question of deciding exactly what it is you're selling. Given the fact that you want people to be able to use BitKeeper, and still make money off it, the hybrid model just seems to be the most appropriate.
Use the strength of the GPL. Your customers might be interested to know that, if you are gone or they want to switch to another system, they do not run the risk of losing their software, data, or investments therein. Like someone else said here, who needs another superior SCM system anyway, if we can have a GPL'ed BitKeeper? The risk that you lose against a competitor seems to be much higher if you don't GPL BitKeeper, because people will start scratching their itches.
(Not every avid Open Source supporter is a fanatic, by the way, though I imagine your path has crossed some real nutcases over the years. I would advise you to ignore them so we can have a normal discussion. There is no reason to throw at me what someone else might say or do. ;-)
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