Introducing Open Solutions Alliance

Robin 'Roblimo' Miller robin at
Mon Feb 19 13:54:09 UTC 2007


I'd love to keep giving you point-by-point responses, but you seem to 
have much more time to ask questions than I have to answer them.

Someday, when Wachovia, which holds my mortgage, electricity provider 
Florida Power and Light, Publix supermarkets, the insurance company that 
just *tripled* the cost of my homeowners insurance,  and the rest of the 
companies that  get so much of my income all adopt "free as in beer" 
policies I will be able to be more responsive.  Or perhaps writers will 
start getting paid as much as programmers so that we, too, can work 
comparatively short hours doing paid work and spend the rest of our time 
on "labor of love" work. Meanwhile, I have a large family that relies on 
me for all or some of their income and I must keep a grueling schedule 
to meet my many obligations.

All the points you make are good ones. In an ideal world all the changes 
you suggest in OSTG's behavior would have been made long ago -- and we'd 
have an honest government and we'd all be a lot nicer to each other in 
general. Sadly, right now we (or at least I) live in a country where 
most of us can only hope to do a little good each day in between taking 
care of other responsibilities, and this limits our ability to build a 
utopian world where all digital information is free/free.

Also, please realize that many efforts on behalf of free and/or open 
source software -- including most of mine -- happen quietly, in the 
background, without publicity. I am not by nature a self-promoter, and I 
have revealed more of what I am doing in in this series of emails than I 
have revealed over the last four or five years in any medium.

I will now crawl back into my hole and leave the philosophical questions 
to people more suited to deal with them while I quietly crank the wheels 
that help keep a whole bunch of things going, most of which I believe 
will eventually lead to a world a little closer to the ideal one we both 
envision -- or that will at least hold back a little of the tide of 
greed and selfishness that threatens to destroy what I like to think of 
as "enlightened civilization."

- Robin
> Robin 'Roblimo' Miller wrote:
>> Disclosure: Chris DiBona worked for VA Software/OSTG before he decided
>> to tread the evil/not evil line at Google (which also runs on lots of
>> proprietary software).
> Thanks for being up front about everything.
>> reality = implementation is everything. The sheer amount of
>> *work* that keeps it running is not visible from the outside, nor is the
>> huge VA/OSTG financial commitment to this site even during times when
>> it's been a financial drag on the company.
> I understand it's a financial burden to provide the service, but that's
> not a reason to restrict the source.  In fact, it may be a reason why
> releasing the source won't harm you financially (few can afford to do it
> on the same scale).
>> The original reason for code going proprietary -- and the
>> creation of the "SourceForge Enterprise Edition" proprietary software
>> product -- was abuse. was always supposed to host only projects
>> that used OSI-approved licenses, but we kept finding proprietary
>> software people using the site's facilities.
> That still seems to be true, including again-ironically, at least one
> fellow member of the OSA (Openbravo, MPL+B,
>  I'm certainly just as
> against proprietary licenses using the site as your company.  This just
> seems to be an enforcement issue.
> Did you consider a "Rat this project out!" button (you might want to
> work on the wording).  They're surprisingly common in other kinds of
> communities.  This might be more effective than you'd think.
>> Now that VA is profitable instead of struggling for its (corporate)
>> life, I'm sure we'll reopen the code licensing question again.
> Again, thank you for this.  Looking forward to the big OSA press release
> that says it's going GPL again. ;)
>> Meanwhile, quietly and behind-the-scenes, we are making major
>> contributions to the Xaraya CMS project
> Looks like a nice GPL CMS package, but I can't say I've heard of it before.
>  and building whole new book
>> publishing venture whose sole purpose is to create high-quality, up to
>> date documentation for open source software.
> Surely you mean high-quality, update to date *free*
> ( documentation, right? :)
>> As far as "our" participation in OSA.... in a corporate sense we're
>> suckers for almost anything that looks like it might boost the
>> Linux/FOSS cause.  I'm not in favor of every one we sponsor (or at least
>> publicize for free) but most of them end up doing the world some good,
>> and in the end I think that's what counts.
> Hopefully these aren't all at $10,000 a pop.
> Matthew Flaschen

More information about the License-discuss mailing list