Originaly I was going to flame some of the more kneejerk reactions to the article but thinking about it I've decided that continuing the rational discussion and just ignore the more inflammatory comments and reply to the people who have valid points. (Anything meant in humour I will reply too later individualy assuming I have time ;) )
It's an interesting question, but it seems as if the poster has already made up
Well yes and no. I am basicaly making guesses given the evidence I have as to why open/free/netBSD are still coherant and developing and most importantly free projects that's why I called them theories think of it as a starting point for a discussion.
Disclaimer: I have run Linux (2.0.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x), Win2k, WinNT, Win9x, and
OS/2, but I haven't run FreeBSD (although I've played with OpenBSD locally).
I must say, I don't know where you get "FreeBSD is stabler" from. On a
workstation level, even Win2k is stable enough (although once you "pollute" it
by installing Non-MS sw, the stability bleeds away like helium from a balloon).
On a server level, I've never had a problem with Linux.
5:13pm up 66 days, 15:29, 8 users, load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.00
It works for me :-)
Would it make you feel better if I said that VMS is stabler than the *BSDs? ;)
On a more serious note there's nothing wrong with using linux it just sacrifices a bit of functionality that it's users generaly don't need (extreme stability) for a functionality they do need (better support for a variety of hardware and ease of use)
And as a side issue I don't see why so many people took this article as a linux vs BSD article It's a total side issue. I will admit to having some personal bias in thinking that the design philosophy of the *BSDs tends to be better than the "It works for me" ;) attitude of linux. But except as a comparison of a copyleft project that is most similar to the *BSDs linux was largely irrelevant to the main thrust of my article which was that the *BSDs remain free despite not using GPL... why? and if copyleft in general was found to have no legal grounding at all then what kind of copyleft projects would be able to remain free and how?
AFAIK, there are several, but other people seem to have addressed that
already. I would also warn you not to assume that the only way to use BSD
code and not contribute changes back is to fork the operating system; I believe
Windows9x networking owes a debt to BSD, for instance...
I do believe I implied why the release of this kind of source is unneccesary for *BSDs to remain free (as opposed to the free software community in general
If it helps you get your head around it do you realy think that the BSD developers would want to use the microsoft tcp/ip stack? ;)
Complete poppycock. If the GPL is ever found to be not legally binding (and
while I hear this a lot, I have yet to hear anyone give a good reason why it
would happen), then it reverts to standard copyright and it will be illegal for
anyone but the author to distribute GPL licensed code. Since just about every
piece of GPL software I've ever seen states that it may also be distributed
under any later version of the license, the FSF would only have to make the
modifications needed to make it valid to take care of the problem.
I'm more worried about the entire concept of copyleft to be found to not be legaly binding under contract law... I can just imagine Bush giving this a helping hand if he is elected president... More nonsensical law have been enacted and precedents been set for me to not at least think about this is a possibility.
"it will be illegal for anyone but the author to distribute GPL licensed code" But then it wouldn't be free even tho since the author released it under the GPL in the first place it would probably remain free. (This is an important distinction)
For those who haven't figured it out yet, let me help you with a few concepts.
The GPL is a good license; it's targeted at a specific process, and it does its job
well. The BSD license is a good license; it's targeted at a specific process, and
it does its job well. Linux is a good operating system kernel; the utilities used to
flesh it out are also good. Ditto BSD. I use both daily, and I see no significant
differences between them in my usage (ymmv). There may be instances where
one is a better choice than the other; there are probably far more instances
where either choice is just as good as the other, and it comes down to personal
You're preaching to the choir here. ;) I'm more interested in why *BSD remains free when according to the rationale behind the GPL it shouldn't.
Are you trying to compare the BSD licence vs the GPL, or are you comparing
the Linux kernel vs the BSD kernel?
Neither. The comparisons were only in support of the main thrust of my article
Anyway, these kind of stories always annoy me. I use to use NetBSD on some
sun3/50s, so I aren't an anti-BSD bigot or anything, but I think the title of this
article was misleading. I was hoping to read some informed discussion about
why commercial comapnies do return forked code but it seemed to be more of
a BSD vs Linux thing.
Read the actual article not the people doing the "clearly sir" flames there's 4 main points I make in why the *BSDs remain free only one makes a comparison to linux one other mentions linux in passing... If you think those points are incorrect have a go at writing your own :P
Practically EVERY commercial Unix started out as a BSD fork. Then we have
netBSD, freeBSD, BSD this, BSD that! Granted many of them are quite similar and
they seem to trade code often, but since it is open source code that isn't all
that surprising... In fact if you look closely at the Linux kernel you will see
a few bits of BSD in there too.
Sorry my bad. I was using *BSD, BSD as shorthand for open/free/netBSD not the more ancient versions I apologise for the confusion caused.
See how annoying it is to use brackets instead of footnotes? now which do you prefer? :P
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...