approved licenses web page not being updated

SamBC sambc at
Fri Aug 3 22:40:46 UTC 2001

Allow me to apologise partly for a brash comment, and part for failing to
express my views of the matter in their entirety. I do not expect anyone to
be psychic, even when I'm being something of a momentary idiot...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rick Moen [mailto:rick at]
> begin SamBC quotation:
> > I think this would be a bad thing, but I agree that the OSI needs to
> > either get their act together *or* stand down and dissolve or find a
> > new mission.
> I cannot help noticing that you, unlike Matthew Weigel, have not
> volunteered to assist OSI -- which redeemed partially his outburst, and
> not yours.

My response was also partly a criticism of his 'outburst'. Allow me also to
say publicly that if there is anything I can do for the OSI - given moderate
abilities at perl/php coding (for evidence of perl, I am currently coding
for the UK Mirror service,, on indexing for their
new search engine - for php I can only claim work for a student radio
station internal systems) - I would be glad to. Specifically, I would be
happy to look at streamlining website maintenance through server-side apps,
if no-one has done so already. I can't prove this, but I ask you to believe
my claim that had Matthew not agreed to help with web maintenance I would've
offered services. However, in some instances, too many cooks spoil the

> OSI's main and most-valuable role, plainly, is as a public-information /
> marketing service, making the case for open-source software and its
> definition via the OSD.  That role has been _enormously_ helpful, over
> the last few years.  Suggesting that it should dissolve because some
> volunteer failed to update a Web page is utter idiocy.

I merely suggested clarification and direction (and some more positive
action) - with the (intended to be partially facetious) suggestion that
failing to do so it possibly worse than dissolution.

> On the matter under recent discussion, here's a clue:  The OSI
> inadvertantly opened up what an enormous number of dim-witted corporate
> executives saw as an _invitation_ to create new, one-off, gratuitously
> incompatible licences for their individual companies, and submit them to
> the OSI Board for certificaton.

I quite agree. The proliferation of incompatible yet superfluous licenses
does inhibit the creation & approval of genuinely innovative and/or useful
licenses. I am not the first to complain about the OSI's efforts, and I am
not the first the congratulate their areas of success. I would like to do
both. The OSI has made mistakes, and I am sure they will continue to do so -
everyone does. I was merely suggesting the potential remedying of one. I
apologise for any insult I may have inadvertently caused.

> That tendency is, of course, a stupid thing to do, and unclear on the
> nature of the open-source development model & licence-compatibility
> issues -- but Papa Darwin has a backlog of boardrooms to visit.  (I'm
> not referring to obviously needed adjustments like IBM's Common Public
> License, but rather pointless corporate-counsel spew like the Vovida
> Software License and the Intel Open Source License.)


> So, that is the context of OSI being mobbed by idiots waving their
> corporate lawyers' weekend scribblings -- and, for all I know, of the
> Web site's maintainers getting tired of being lackeys for the shallow
> end of the corporate gene pool.  If OSI is a little slow helping such
> companies add their poorly-conceived creations to the list -- or even a
> _lot_ slow -- as far as I'm concerned, good.

And I agree. My bugbear is that they have been more helpful to these
corporate groups with derivative license than they have to potentially
useful contributions from individuals and small projects. I, for instance,
(taking myself as an example purely for convenience, not importance,) saw a
lack of a decent, properly stated documentation-specific license (on reading
the GNU FDL I found it an overblown behemoth of little value - my view only)
and required one for a documentation-centered project I was attempting to
initiate. I created a license myself (following some research & such advice
available to my limited means), and submitted it to the OSI. Over a year
ago. There has been *no* response apart from the suggestion of looking for
an appropriate license elsewhere - with no suggestion that people had read
my license. Oh, with the exception of one or two useful bits of feedback
from this list - thanks to anyone who did that.

> > My two penn'orth.
> Refund duly tendered.

and refused :o)

I have a vested interest in the open source philosophy, not because I have
any financial commitments in the sector, but because I have emotional ones.
I have already maid the decision to develop my skills, both as programmer
and person, and contribute to the bazaar as much as my life will allow. I
would hope that both as a relatively young person, and as a limited actual
contributor, my views would not necessarily be dismissed. I accept that my
previous statement was unnecessarily succinct and unintentionally cutting &
negative. I apologise. I hope that having stated my views more fully, they
can be appreciated, and insult not taken, as none is intended.


Sam Barnett-Cormack
19-year old Physics & Maths MSci Student, UK
Perl Coder: UK Mirror Service
Record Librarian & Web Team Member/Developer: Bailrigg FM
( - Lancaster's Student Radio Station

(information included to give a fuller picture of my status in life :o)

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