Re: Questions

cc'ing the foundation-list

On Wed, Nov 27, 2002 at 02:06:36PM -0800, Brian Behlendorf was heard to remark:
> On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Linas Vepstas wrote:
> > Right after I hit the send key I said *shit*, apache!  Although I guess
> > its in a twilight zone, having inherited a U Illinois license.
> You're aware that the web server is a very small %age of the total
> software base the ASF manages, right?


> Our choice to use and continue to use a truly free license was neither

Yikes, I did not mean to slander ASF.  I guess I was thinking "small
projects" rather than big ones.   Certainly, the big projects each have
a different "taste" to them; its hard to distinguish the end-user from 
the license.  Gnome "tastes" like lots of small projects with
predominantly individual users.  ASF "tastes" like a few mega-projects,
whose users are corporations running server farms.  Are these differences
due to the type of the project, or the type of the license?  ASF 
developers "taste" older, more experienced, more imbued with corporate
culture w/standards-body interaction.  Whereas a gnome developer 
wouldn't recognize a standards body even after sitting through 
a 3-day long meeting, (assuming incorrectly that they could sit that long).

> can incorporate their code into a commercial product as "stealing" any

I run a small, public-domain 3D tube-drawing library.  In ten years, it 
has had zero major contributors (aside myself).  I beleive its in a
number of commercial products, including not a few games; I beleive
its also inside of MS WinNT.  It has (I beleive) zero acknowledgements
in the commerical products (as there is no license to even demand
such acknowledgment), and at best a smattering of thank-yous.

I've never felt angry about this, so "rip-off" may be too strong a word.
But it is a bit disappointing, as I crave recognition.  Is it the
license/lack thereof that give GLE its flavour? Or is it the user

By contrast, in all of my GPL'ed projects, I sense that zero of them
have been incorporated into a commercial product (aside from linux
distro's).   But the user community seems to be more active, more 
appreciative, and send in more patches.   Is it the license, or 
the types of users? 

This is what I mean by the "gut feel" of the application of a particular
license to a particular project:  what reward does the developer 
/contributor expect to get?  Recognition? a salary?  What are the 
developers future plans for the code?  Not uncommon seems to be the
syndrome: "People are going to contribute to my BSD-licensed project,
and I'm going to be CEO of my own company that sells the proprietary 
version.  Gosh I'm so smart I'm gonna be rich."  And even more common
seems to be the syndrome: "I am the smartest coder alive.  People
will bow in awe before my great code.  Its GPL'ed for all the world
to see, and even great corporatinos will be humbled."  (these are
extreme examples; but they do shade the picture).

In reality, few get rich, and the license doesn't seem to be a
correlator.  The sleepycat & reiserfs & kompany license arguments 
are more subtle, and are driven strongly by thier expected end-user/
customer expectations.

In reality, the I beleive the decisions that developers make about 
licenses are very subconscious, subliminal.  I don't think they
really think it through; I beleive that most users of the GPL
could not withstand cross-examination about why they picked that 
license, other than  a vague pledge of allegience to gnu principles.


pub  1024D/01045933 2001-02-01 Linas Vepstas (Labas!) <linas linas org>
PGP Key fingerprint = 8305 2521 6000 0B5E 8984  3F54 64A9 9A82 0104 5933

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