Definition of open source

Brian Behlendorf brian at
Mon Nov 8 01:49:46 UTC 2004

On Sun, 7 Nov 2004, James Harrell wrote:
> Alan's needs and implementation seem a *lot* closer to Open Source
> than MS-Proprietary in the spectrum of software licensing. Why not
> embrace similar ideas that can actually be used to further your
> own- rather than push them away as if they were The Evil Bill? A
> good relationship could be fostered that provides benefits to both
> Open Source and Commercial Open Source.

There are many of us here, James, with businesses that sell software or 
services based on software under other-than-Open-Source terms, often in 
ways that still reveal the source code to the customer, but who are /very/ 
careful to avoid confusion and conflagation between that approach and Open 
Source or even little-o open little-s source.  The cost of confusion would 
be pissed-off customers or even worse, claims of fraud.  For your sake and 
the sake of your customers, I recommend using one of the other commonly 
accepted terms, like "shared source", "source-revealed", etc.  Even - 
perhaps even especially - when used in conjunction with or proximity to 
actual Open Source software.


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