Should the three new criteria be in the OSD?

Eric S. Raymond esr at
Fri Mar 4 14:42:04 UTC 2005

I wrote the three proposed new criteria under discussion here.
It was not my intention that they would become part of the OSD itself.
That was Russ's interpretation, and I've been curious to see whether
it would be received well.  I see that Russ has now withdrawn that 
intention and approve.

In case it is still not clear, we are *not* consideing decertifying any
presently approved licenses for failing to meet these criteria.  It is
messay that some bad licenses are, in effect, grandfathered in, but
decertification is just too big a can of worms to open, at least in
the foreseeable future.

I agree with the commenters who describe these as administrative
criteria rather than statements of principle, though the "clear, simple,
and understandable" requirement touches on the philosophy of the movement.
It is perfectly legitimate for a standards or certification organization
to have administrative criteria that bar some applications; the Wool
Mark people do it, the Underwriter's Laboratories people do it, and we
can too.

I also agree with the commenters who advocate a preferred category
of licenses that we steer people towards -- Brian Behlendorf's "gold
standard" list.  However, I do not believe that approach will makes these
three criteria unnecessary.  Rather, I see these criteria serving as a
necessary filter to weed out junk.  I think the "gold standard" should be
*far* more strict than these criteria, and include at most a half-dozen
licenses of established high quality.

Preserve the cc of replies to me, please, I'm not on this list.
		<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power.
	-- Abraham Lincoln

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