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The best part, IMHO...

The best part, IMHO...

Posted Mar 28, 2014 13:16 UTC (Fri) by kena (subscriber, #2735)
Parent article: What's new in OpenSSH 6.5 (and 6.6)

Is that DJB, who no longer supports the software he wrote (he seems to have washed his hands of it after placing it in the public domain) seems to be rather rational and nice when he isn't all spun up about who's allowed to compile his blessed code.

He was kinda annoying for a decade or so there.


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The best part, IMHO...

Posted Mar 28, 2014 18:21 UTC (Fri) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

You seem to be operating under the mistaken impression that when you are given a car for your birthday present, the person who gave you the car is under the obligation to fill the petrol tank and to calibrate the tires for you every week. ;)

Your glib response...

Posted Mar 28, 2014 19:51 UTC (Fri) by kena (subscriber, #2735) [Link]

Makes me think you've never actually used any of DJB's stuff. And had to deal with (for example) the fact that he wouldn't allow distributions to ship his code in binary form, or patches to be added. Indeed, your use of the word "given" is not really what I would have thought DBJ's attitude toward his code would be -- it was his own very special license, with all sorts of restrictions, causing all sorts of grief. I mean, heaven forfend he accept patches for extra features! Or, for that matter, even allow *anyone else* to do so! Instead, you'd download the DJB code, then go and find the other patches, and then merge, compile and install.

To say that this was a bit of a barrier for the newbie Linux user is a pretty big understatement.

So, to answer you implicit question, no, I do not expect him to come and fill my petrol tank or calibrate my tires. But it would have been awful handy if he hadn't gotten in the way of other people doing it. Indeed, if he'd been willing to play ball, I have to imagine that djbdns and qmail might well be standards today, instead of relegated to the land of relatively forgotten OSS software.

Your glib response...

Posted Mar 28, 2014 20:19 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

I think DJB has provided some great service to software development in general, not because his implementations became the dominant standard, they did not for reasons you mention, but because the approach to solving problems clearly demonstrated by his working software teaches and inspires others in their software projects. And in the interim people who want to do the work to use the software can effectively live in the future. I'm sure that a lot of people learned how to effectively privilege separate services and scale workloads because of qmail, or manage daemons because of daemontools. Now we have postfix or systemd or sshd or or dbus or many other things which incorporate these techniques in software which is more widely deployed.

Completely agree.

Posted Mar 28, 2014 20:38 UTC (Fri) by kena (subscriber, #2735) [Link]

DJB may have been anal, and probably anti-social, but dear Lord, he wrote secure, tight code. (Better than anything I could, to be sure.) In a very real sense, his code stood as an awesome proof-of-concept of how to do things the right way. And there's a very real debt we owe him, too; some of his ideas (such as maildir) were *HUGE* wins, and live on today, even if his code doesn't really.

I mean the man no ill will. I just wanted to -- half jokingly -- call out that when you see DJB's name in print these days, it's usually because of something *good*, and not because of Yet Another Gripe About Licensing (or somesuch).


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