YAOSL - Yet Another Open Source License v1.02

Alex Nicolaou anicolao at cgl.uwaterloo.ca
Fri Oct 22 21:04:21 UTC 1999

Ken Arromdee wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Oct 1999, Alex Nicolaou wrote:
> > 3. You may modify your copies of the software, provided that you either
> >
> >     a) publicly distribute your changes as a source code patch against a
> >        currently available version of the software,
> > or
> >     b) return your modifications to the copyright holder for
> > incorporation
> >        into the next publicly available version of the software.

> A clause like this means that _every time someone modifies the software_, they
> have to publically distribute or return the modifications.
> If I am trying to write a patch to your software, the process of programming
> involves making a change, compiling, making a change, compiling, etc.  If
> someone does the modify/compile cycle 50 times, for instance, they will be
> obligated to distribute or return 50 different patches, one for each change.

Well, Bruce Perens also commented on this, so I guess it's sure to be a
problem. I don't read the above to mean that while developing the
changes have to be distributed. However, I could find no easy way to fix
it: after all, when is development really done? I could claim that my
own changes to the software are still (and constantly) under
development/debugging. So to explicitely allow the modify/compile/debug
cycle is basically a permanent loophole in the software's license. The
issue is made worse because the particular program I want to license is
a client-server game, and so it *cannot* be tested without distributing
the code: all the hard bugs involve network failures that require at
least two machines to simulate, and some I have never reproduced except
by using the internet between client and server.

The GPL doesn't avoid the problem since distribution is part of
development in this case.

Can anyone suggest wording that fixes the issue?


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