Get ready....

Mark Rafn dagon at
Wed Apr 14 19:38:17 UTC 1999

> At 06:41 PM 4/14/99 +0000, Russell Nelson wrote:
> >As is right, fitting and proper, they are going to anonymize the
> >license.  I've requested that it be rendered in postscript form (as
> >opposed to some grotty proprietary word processing format), so if you
> >can't render postscript (using ghostview or gv), work on it.

On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, Derek J. Balling wrote:
> Not to pick nits, but why not request it in HTML format? Something every
> platform out there can use with minimal effort.

May I recommend ASCII text (in addition to whatever other formats you
like)?  It's almost certainly going to end up as a textfile called LICENSE
in the distribution anyway.  More importatly, it allows easy listing of
changes between various versions of the license.

On an unrelated note, I assume their lawyers generated this license from
scratch.  Why not use the open-source model for licenses as well?  Take a
well-liked license (I'd recommend Perl's Artistic License, but there are
many others) and change what you must in order to fit your specific

Publishing diffs off of an already-reviewed license would make it much
easier to give feedback, and would allow people to concentrate on
intentional changes in the contract rather than having to nitpick every
single paragraph.  Also, it would encourage others to use this approach
when _they_ want to give something to the community, and we can eventually
spend less time bickering about license-of-the-week and more time creating
and using the software.

I'm of the opinion that license interoperability among different packages
is nearly as important as technical interoperabity.  One way to achieve
this is to standardize licenses like we [try to] standardize protocols.
Mark Rafn    dagon at    <>   !G

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