Open and closed source...

Nitebirdz nitebirdz at
Wed Jan 17 19:02:19 PST 2001

On Wed, 17 Jan 2001, Jon Eisenstein wrote:

> So? What's your point? That's the whole idea of the BSD license. Anybody
> is allowed to use it, as long as they acknowledge the originator. I don't
> care if it's Microsoft using it, or someone else. In fact, I'm glad
> Microsoft is using it. That means they have _something_ that's somewhat
> stable in their installation.
> Personally, I favor the GPL over BSD, but understand the reasoning behind
> the latter. If Microsoft wants to use BSD, let 'em. That's the whole
> point. To distribute high-quality software for anyone to use.

I know this issue has been beaten to death multiple times in lists like
this but... I just cannot stay quiet!  Yes, the BSD license allows Microsoft
to use those apps without any problem and we can all feel really happy that
it improves the stability and overall quality of _their_ product.  The only
problem is that this particular little application is surrounder by many
others that are commercial, proprietary, closed source and all of them
together form what is perhaps the most important product of a company that
is out there incurring in monopolistic practices.

Your attitude sort of reminds me of those scientists who only care about
the wonderful quality of their research without paying attention to the
fact that is being used by an authoritarian regime for the wrong purposes.
Should they sit down, relax and feel happy because someone is using a
better quality product or theory even though it is being used for the
wrong goal?

Like someone within the FreeBSD community once said (I think it was none
other than Greg Lehey actually), the main difference between the BSD
community and the Linux community is that the BSD people seem to care
mainly about designing what they believe is good software while the Linux
people want to change the world.  In other words, the BSD people care
about software engineering while the Linux people want to redeem the
world from closed, proprietary source. Different objectives.

"We all know Linux is great... it does infinite
loops in 5 seconds." (Linus Torvalds)

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