YAPL is bad (was: Re: Backlog assistance?)

Karsten M. Self kmself at ix.netcom.com
Sun Sep 23 08:33:29 UTC 2001

on Sun, Sep 23, 2001 at 09:54:13AM +0200, Steve Lhomme (steve.lhomme at free.fr) wrote:
> >Yet Another Public License (YAPL) is a bad trend.
> >
> >Ceterus paribus, more licenses are bad.  As the number of licenses
> >increases, the disruption caused by an additional license increases.
> Why do we need processors when we already have the transistor ? Why
> create C++ when we already have C ? Why create Java when we already
> have C++ ?

You're engaged in a bit of specious analogy stretching.

Licenses aren't compiler-mediated instruction codes.  They are both
legal and social documents.  There's significant overhead involved in
both understanding, and integrating, licenses.  Software and licenses
perform significantly distinct tasks that don't readily map.

> That's what I called the evolution. People working with the
> already-established-and-certified licenses may face some drawbacks or
> express some needs that are not met by these licenses. 

I'd venture to suggest that what you've stated is the precise reason
diverse licenses are proposed.  However, as I said, each additional
license carries a significant cost.  Both to the project it's applied
to, and the remaining free software license space.  In very few cases do
the benefits outweigh the costs.  To draw on your evolution analogy, I
believe the conventional wisdom is that most mutations are fatal.

In the evolutionary context, bad mutations can die out.  In the context
of OSI, it's not clear that approvals can be reversed, and current
understanding indicates it cannot be.

> So people should come with newer licenses based on years of
> experience. That's why it would be VERY bad if the OSI never certified
> a new license anymore.

I'm not suggesting that, and I hope you're not insinuating that I am.

However, the OSI should approve new licenses only with extreme prejudice
and deliberation.  A slow, cumbersome, inefficient, deliberative process
that drives most comers to abandon their attempts at novel license
authoring is fine by me.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?              Home of the brave
  http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/                    Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!  http://www.freesklyarov.org
Geek for Hire                      http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 232 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20010923/5f2f7eb1/attachment.sig>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list