An explanation of the difficulty of solving license proliferation in one sentence

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Tue Mar 15 04:59:44 UTC 2005

Rick Moen wrote:

> Fortunately, notwithstanding the distressing example of a Board member
> suffering a public badmouthing campaign (largely by anonymous
> semi-literates) over one of his personal essays elsewhere, OSI is not
> yet a peeve-ocracy -- and Eric Raymond _remains_ on the Board, where he
> belongs.  Eric is, among other things, co-author with Catherine Olanich
> Raymond of the recent "Licensing HOWTO", one of the best things to come
> out of OSI in eight years.

I've written enough already, but I can't let this paragraph lie.

I have not criticized anonymously then or now, and license-discuss
is hardly considered public.  (ESR's colorful language in recent email
here tends to indicate he agrees too.)  My criticism is about the
future directions of an organization I value.  This is not a
bad-mouthing campaign.

The Halloween documents are "personal essays" but they are not "elsewhere."

The "Licensing HOWTO" is not mentioned or linked from the OSI site.
I fail to see how it is a work "coming out of the OSI."

The OSI was formed in Fall 1998, so what's the reference to 8 years?

You also asked for clarity on "unprofessional"....So go to the
"History of the OSI" page at

This is paragraph #4:

     We realized it was time to dump the confrontational attitude that has
     been associated with "free software" in the past and sell the idea
     strictly on the same pragmatic, business-case grounds that motivated Netscape....

Now, go read the Halloween documents and see if they
"dump the confrontational attitude."  Try this one:

Can someone explain what was the point in forming an organization
for replacement of the brief imagery of Saint IGNUcius at the Church of Emacs
with prominent imagery of Robin Hood opensource vs MicroSoft?

It's prominent, despite Rick Moen's hopeful "this is how a first-timer
will naturally navigate the site to avoid those things."  10 of 32 top-level
items on the site index are Halloween documents. It's the 4th
item in the left-side navbar.

Given time, I know how to explain software freedom and point them to the FSF.

Can someone give me tips on how to professionally explain the Halloween documents
title, attitude, and the importance of being anti-Microsoft (and not say,
anti-Sun, or anti-Macromedia?) when believing in the benefits of opensource,
so that I can point my CUSTOMERS to  Has anyone done this?

Since this show was started by ESR, I suppose it remains his to control,
despite what
said about him doing only "outreach and ambassadorial" work now.

I was hoping for a bit more rationality, and less cloak-and-dagger
allegations of "heavy pressure" by anonymous parties who will
get what they want "good and hard". [ESR to this list 3/4/05 10:25AM]

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