License Proliferation Dissatisfaction

Brian Behlendorf brian at
Mon Apr 23 16:59:59 UTC 2007

On Mon, 23 Apr 2007, Russ Nelson wrote:
> Forrest J. Cavalier III writes:
> > In this reply I hear "La, La, La, I'm not listening."
> >
> > What concrete method was used by the committee to determine popularity?
> No, what you're heading is "I don't care if you don't like it.  I
> expected you to not like it."  And I by "you" I don't mean that we set
> out to screw Larry Rosen.  I mean that *any* procedure, *any* number
> of groups, *any* categorization was guaranteed to produce
> dissatisfaction.

It's pretty disenheartening to hear an OSI board member claim that they 
didn't even try for objectivity in decision making, based on a premise 
that objectivity is a total myth.  I certainly think there are approaches 
that would have built more confidence in the quality of that list.  I find 
myself agreeing with Larry that the phrases "redundant" and "less popular" 
are not truthful when describing the list of disrecommended licenses.  Now 
that OSI has "solved" the license proliferation problem, are any board 
members interested in working on the credibility problem?

> I feel sorry for Larry, but I'm not going to defend the decision.  It's 
> reasonable.  It may not be perfect.  It's better than what we had 
> before.  The best is the enemy of the good.  Deal with improvement and 
> changes like a grown-up (not that many grown-ups deal with change well 
> -- but we're *supposed* to).

Isn't the position that new licenses are disrecommended (by definition, 
licenses that start out as "less popular"), also a position against 
improvement and change?


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