so, maybe the BDS-license isn't that good after all

Story: Who Pays for Open Source?Total Replies: 4
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Mar 25, 2006
1:04 PM EDT
Well I would be sorry, very sorry, if the good work of the OpenBSD folks would get into serious trouble due to financial problems. And I agree with Theo de Raadt that the vendors _should_ provide support - financially and maybe even by providing people. Well, IBM's behaviour - that is so arrogant, so unbelievably arrogant. Shame on you, IBM.

Nevertheless I think this issue highlights the general problem of the BSD license. If they are so proud that their license is so free, that it even allows companies to create rip offs and sell them for big money, well, then they shouldn't be too surprised if companies do just that. After all companies only care about the quick buck. This is definitely foolish - but it looks like companies do not value long term strategies any more. And therefore they do not care about the progress of OpenSSH or any other tools and code of the BSD crowd. With the GPL at least they are enforced to return code, if they release modified and improved versions.

BTW: I think we Linux-people should care more about the BSDs. For example: We should not so much urge vendors to release linux drivers, but more importantly to release the specs so that any open source OS can provide drivers. Of course implementations would also always be welcomed, but we should care about the others as well. And of course we rely on OpenSSH as well. So no reason to ignore the situation or even worse to feel smug about it.

Mar 25, 2006
2:26 PM EDT
>"With the GPL at least they are enforced to return code, if they release modified and improved versions."

A bit of a nit-pick: the GPL requires making the source available if 'they' distribute. No distribution == no source requirement.

Your meaning is clear, under the exact conditions you describe; just wanted to head off some semantics griping about "release".

Mar 25, 2006
4:36 PM EDT
I would like to meet and have a conversation with Theo the Rat just to attempt to understand what he's about. I don't get it very clearly from his rants.

Mar 26, 2006
5:44 AM EDT
tadelste: please ask for an interview, I would enjoy reading it. I guess that with the fund drive in progress Theo would be even more willing than usual to give us a piece of his mind.

rittmey: in my opinion, the question is not so much a matter of licensing. Just look at FreeBSD, it has a significant corporate backing. Even NetBSD has managed to attract some funding, even if according to some stats it is a distant third in terms of usage after Free and Open.

It is a matter of personal and diplomatic skills. The Darpa affair demonstrated it.

Theo is a coder second to none and a committed advocate, no doubt about it. But he can come across as a bit of a jerk as far as suits are concerned.

When you deal with large companies or public entities, you have to project an image of dependability and corporate-friendliness, to do a lot of canvassing and marketing, and of course to swallow a lot of shit.

Having a large project is a little like having children: you have to make sacrifices for them, accept compromises, change your priorities.

I think the best solution for everybody would be to appoint a sort of public and corporate relations person in OpenBSD, leaving to Theo all the technical matters.

Mar 26, 2006
7:59 AM EDT
> But he can come across as a bit of a jerk as far as suits are concerned.

Theo can come across a more than a bit of a jerk, and not just to suits. That said, I doubt he really is as much of a jerk as he sometimes seems to be.

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