click, click, boom

Matthew C. Weigel weigel+ at
Wed Sep 26 08:42:09 UTC 2001

On Tue, 25 Sep 2001, Rick Moen wrote:

> The DFSG (and thus the OSD) were indeed abstracted out from several
> popular licences (if I remember accounts by Bruce P.).  As adopted by

I'd like to restate this.  Prior to the formation of the OSI, the free
software community was an open, friendly place oriented towards sharing
and being friendly.  The founders of the OSI were from that community,
and were trying to foster that community in new ways.

While nitpicking the particulars of the OSD and the OSI is a reasonable
pastime amongst perfectionists, it must also be kept in mind that the
OSD is an attempt to encapsulate an idea, that sharing is good, in a
friendly and open manner.

The intent was never, as far as I can reckon, to create an ironclad
definition that could be upheld in courts without the participation of
the community; I think the intent was always to make it clear to the
reader what the idea behind open source was.

Simply, the BSD/MIT license is approved because it adequately
encapsulates the idea behind open source.  Given that, there can be no
argument whether the BSD/MIT license belongs - if the OSD suggests that
it doesn't (and this is Greg's interpretation but quite a few people
disagree with him), then throw the OSD out, because the license, better
than the definition, encapsulates the ideas behind open source.
 Matthew Weigel
 Research Systems Programmer
 mcweigel at ne weigel at

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