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Long discussions about long names

Long discussions about long names

Posted May 5, 2009 2:17 UTC (Tue) by qg6te2 (guest, #52587)
Parent article: Long discussions about long names

So the kernel developers are left wondering what is really going on

The intent of the patch and what it works around is as clear as a summer's day. I seriously doubt the kernel developers are living under a rock. Any whining along the lines of "patents are evil and hence we're not going to capitulate" is missing a big dose of (current) reality. Sure it would be nice to invalidate the VFAT patents, but until this is done the further adoption of Linux (by device makers such as TomTom) is in jeopardy.


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Long discussions about long names

Posted May 5, 2009 5:27 UTC (Tue) by kripkenstein (guest, #43281) [Link]

I agree that it should be obvious that the issue at hand is patents. But that is just part of the relevant information.

One question is, does this legally solve the problem? If it is on very shaky ground, maybe it isn't worth adding the code.

Anther question is, what downsides are there? IANAL, but perhaps including this patch - which has no purpose but one related to patents - signifies implied agreement that the VFAT patents are valid (or at least such an argument can be made by the other side). Which might make any infringement 'willful', with significantly higher penalties.

All of this information is unavailable to the kernel developers.

Long discussions about long names

Posted May 5, 2009 17:38 UTC (Tue) by clugstj (subscriber, #4020) [Link]

The point isn't that we don't know why the patch was created, the point is that the creators won't explain themselves. This, to me, should make the patch unacceptable. Full disclosure is essential for "Open Source" (or any collaborative endeavor) to be successful. Accepting this patch would be like having a loaded gun pointing at yourself and then fiddling with the trigger.

Long discussions about long names

Posted May 5, 2009 22:59 UTC (Tue) by qg6te2 (guest, #52587) [Link]

[T]he point is that the creators won't explain themselves. This, to me, should make the patch unacceptable.

The above is grandstanding. Does it really need to be spelled out why the patch was created?

Accepting this patch would be like having a loaded gun pointing at yourself and then fiddling with the trigger.

I'm not sure I follow. Is there an implication that by accepting the above patch we're implicitly accepting there is a patent problem? I seriously doubt this falls into the arena of a lawyer -- does every patch that goes into the Linux kernel go through a lawyer first?

We're free to modify the kernel however we see fit, and some people would like functionality where long filenames are not created. The reasoning as to why they need it is an orthogonal matter -- the fact that there is a need is sufficient in itself. (It could be argued that things like TOMOYO are a waste of time, yet some people still want it in the kernel.)


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