compatibility and the OSD

Chuck Swiger chuck at
Tue Sep 28 23:40:27 UTC 2004

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Chuck Swiger (cswiger at
[ ... ]
>> You don't think telling someone "your humble opinion has been duly 
>> noted and discarded" is insulting?
> Not particularly.  I didn't care for that opinion; Alex will have to
> find another place for it to spend the winter.  (For bonus points,
> endeavour to distinguish between the merits of speakers and those of
> things spoken.)
>> Let's try the Mom test:  [...]
> Sorry, Chuck, your attack-the-critic allowance is gone for today.  Try
> tomorrow.

Wait a second-- this couldn't possibly be an attack because you don't feel 
that what you said to Alex is insulting, right?

You've just managed to contradict yourself, or prove my point...or quite 
possibly both at once.  Well done!

[ ... ]
> I would be much more impressed by your example if it actually _used_ the
> term "open source" in the software context, which it does not.

Do your own searches, then, you'll find people referring to BSD-licensed and 
GPL-licensed software as "open source" software back in 1990-- which may 
reflect the limits of Google's Usenet archive, more than anything else.

I admire the OSI and hope that the OSD will result in people having better 
software.  I see value to the list of OSI-board approved licenses as a 
black-or-white test for people like SourceForge, the Linux consortium du jour, 
or other groups can use to help manage software licensing issues.

I also see the existence of shades of grey in terms of "open source", such as 
Sun making Java "mostly open but require a compatibility suite", or licenses 
like NetHack and Moria/Angband, which have (or at one time had) a "no 
commercial use/resale" term.  Calling Java proprietary is closer to wrong than 
calling Java open.  NetHack, Moria, and Angband are "open source software", 
regardless of whether they are OSD-compliant Open Source(tm).  Python is "open 
source software", even if the older version of it's license has an "ACCEPT" 
button in contradiction of OSD #10.


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