"I think the guy has a point that OpenSSH would be considered by someone who wasn't paying attention to be a kind of SSH, just as OpenBSD is a kind of BSD."
I think that someone who was paying attention would come to the same correct conclusion. OpenSSH _is_ a kind of SSH. It uses the SSH protocol, and is derived from the original SSH code. Not calling it SSH would have been misleading.
"[...] if you designed a car for driving around town, Lincoln would suggest that you called it something other than a Town Car"
Your analogy would be more apt if Lincoln had attached the following sign to the inside of every Town Car(tm):
"As far as I am concerned, the design of this car
can be used freely for any purpose. Any derived versions of this
car must be clearly marked as such, and if the derived work is
incompatible with the driving experience in the owner's manual, it must be
called by a name other than 'Town Car'"
OpenSSH is a derived version of Tatu Ylonen's SSH 1.2, which was released under a very liberal license. It allowed the code to be "used freely for any purpose", and specified that "if the derived work is incompatable with the protocol description in the RFC file, it must be called by a name other than 'ssh' or 'Secure Shell'"
I don't pretend to be a lawyer, but it sounds to me like that license not only allows allows me to create derived versions of ssh, but also implies that I can call it 'ssh' or 'Secure Shell' provided that it is compatable with the ssh protocol described in the appropriate RFC and clearly described as a derived version. This is exactly what the OpenSSH team has done -- They took software with an open license, played fair by doing exactly what the author told them they could do, clearly describing in the documentation how their program was derived from the original, and giving their derived work a name based on the protocol which they were implementing. I can't see how they have done anything wrong here.
Still, I am of two minds on this issue.
One the one hand, I feel that the OpenSSH developers have acted in good faith and done nothing wrong in writing, releasing and naming OpenSSH. It is an open (as in OpenBSD) implementation of the SSH protocol, based on the SSH program, so it is called OpenSSH.
On the other hand, Ylonen has been quite polite about this issue, and he does make a valid sounding argument regarding confusion between the two names. It would be impolite not to address his concerns in some way. Perhaps the name "OpenSSH" could be changed to "OpenSSHWhichIsDerivedFromSSHButIsntTheSameThingAnyMore".
On the third hand, anyone who confuses "OpenSSH", "F-Secure-SSH", "OSSH", "TTSSH" or "SSH Secure Shell" with one another is probably also going to think that guinnesssucks.com is the home page for Guinness or that "Barq's Light" and "Coors Light" are the same thing just because they have a few letters in common. These people should all receive a lifetime supply of ice cream. (What flavour? Boot to the head, of course.) But that's just me.
If you were my .sig, you would be home by now.
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