Three new proposed OSD terms

Joel West svosrp at
Fri Mar 4 22:41:24 UTC 2005

On 10:43 AM -0800 3/4/05, Ernest Prabhakar doth scribe:
> If their license really meets the OSD, I think they need and deserve certification -- even if only on some 'deprecated' list.   We need to remember that OSD certification carries a certain (justified) connotation of "reasonable member of the open source community" from a -user- perspective.  ...
>If we conflate "reasonable for consumers to use" with "reasonable for licensors to consider", we risk unfairly tarnishing some deserving projects.

Ernest (as usual) has hit the nail on the head. A good example is Perl (or Darwin). As the FSF says about the former
	We recommend you use this license for any Perl 4 or Perl
	5 package you write, to promote coherence and uniformity
	in Perl programming. Outside of Perl, we urge you not to
	use this license; it is better to use just the GNU GPL.

Again, Brian's "gold standard" sends Steve Quinn to a small number of licenses to choose from. (For that matter, buying the Rosen and St. Laurent books gives you a small number of licenses for which there is cheap legal advice already available).

On 4:25 PM -0600 3/4/05, Fink, Martin R doth scribe:
>the question is if over the
>long haul the OSI will have delivered useful value to the industry (and
>the community) when we get to license #500 and no one can figure out
>what works with what?  So, I really don't care about politics or
>philosophy, I just want to make sure that 10 years from now the OSS
>model actually still works.  That's all - plain and simple.

The combinatorial possibilities are boggling. On the other hand, if 99% of the code runs on 10 or 15 licenses, do the other 490 really matter? And if HP and IBM and OSDL (and other private developers and deployers) publish a list of licenses they will consider, perhaps OSI could link to these lists (and the FSFs) to give people more of a nudge in the right direction.

Democracy and choice and free markets are messy. But (like Eric's "bazaar" ideas) they seem to come up with the best solutions in the long run.


Joel West, Research Director
Silicon Valley Open Source Research Project

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