The Toll Roads of Open Source

Rick Moen rick at
Tue Jan 23 16:00:56 UTC 2001

begin Angelo Schneider quotation:

> The term O-P-E-N S-O-U-R-C-E was long n use before the OSI made a
> public, and now widly accepted definition of it.

In the spy-community sense ("open sources"), yes, but not in the
software sense.  (You _may_ be able to dredge up a handfull of isolated 
citations that you can claim predate OSI, but please spare us, as that 
would be beside the point.)

And you will find that a large body of people insist on using the OSD 
as the yardstick for that term, as being both a reasonable abstraction
of its principles and the only functional measure we have.

I'm sorry, but I have no time for ideological debate.  We've seen quite
enough of that, recently.  I just wished to warn Interdat that it faces
the same options it had -- and declined to acknowledge -- when it
started this discussion.  Either pursue OSD compliance seriously and
quit hurling all that ridiculous and interminable rhetoric, or eschew
the "open source" label for its software.  

That is sincere advice, aimed at helping the firm's representatives
understand their available options and avoid a serious mistake they 
might yet make.

Cheers,                                      "Reality is not optional."
Rick Moen                                             -- Thomas Sowell
rick at

More information about the License-discuss mailing list