compatibility and the OSD

Rick Moen rick at
Tue Sep 28 17:41:03 UTC 2004

Quoting Marius Amado Alves (amado.alves at

> It is not an error. It is an issue.

Despite your saying so, I remain inclined to assume it's an error,
because the alternative would be to assume it a deliberate misstatement
of fact, which would be avoidably unpleasant.

But I will gladly stipulate that your site front page's error _is_ an
issue.  ;->

> The license is not "proprietary" either.

As Niven and Pournelle's Captain Blaine observed, "That turns out not to
be the case."  Your licence is proprietary by definition, because it
(plainly) does not qualify as open source.

Please note that the term "proprietary" is not intended, in this
context, to be pejorative:  There are extremely wide variations within
the spectrum covered by that term.  For example, John Bradley's "xv"
graphics program, Prof. Bernstein's network daemons, and University of
Washington's pine/pico programs are all under quite liberal licensing 
regimes -- but are all proprietary (albeit towards the liberal end of

The term is, instead, a descriptive label for a readily identifiable
spectrum of licensing, and is applied here accurately.

> The world is not in black and white.

And yet the world does have nights and days.  Just as it has open source
and proprietary licensing (with, in fact, slightly sharper distinctions 
than the ontology of illumination affords).

> "Open source" only appears in the mottos.

Yes.  Please fix that error, there on the front page of your Web site, of
implying that your proprietary licensing is "open source".  This error
has been brought to your attention previously.  Thank you.

> The current term for the SDC philosophy is "fair source". Eventually I 
> will try to rephrase the SDC mottos accordingly.

Your doing so at your earliest convenience would be appreciated.

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