[License-discuss] On dual-licensing

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Jan 5 15:59:36 UTC 2020

On Sun, Jan 5, 2020 at 10:43 AM Henrik Ingo <henrik.ingo at avoinelama.fi>

Btw, one point I left out of my first email: While we all agree that
> the community-style, aka "multi-vendor" way of developing FOSS
> software is the ideal form of open source, I think it's also important
> to give these single vendor efforts their due amount of respect.

Actually, I'll make a stronger claim than that.  Depending on the nature of
the software, making a cathedral may be better than making a bazaar.  My
open-source library TagSoup <http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan/tagsoup/> is a
mini-cathedral: whenever I accepted a patch, I always ended up being
sorry.  TagSoup is a rather delicate and intricate bit of code based on an
underlying theory and some generated tables, and it doesn't lend itself to
being randomly patched, which could easily break the invariants it depends
on.  (I would say the same if I were writing a regular expression library,
for instance.)

So for a long time my policy was that if you send me a patch, I won't
implement it, but I'll attempt to implement the idea in a different way.
But if I think the proposed feature won't fit, I just reject it and reply
that this is open-source software and that you're free to do what you like
with your copy, as am I.  I haven't worked on TagSoup for a long time
because I consider it complete, and anyway there are now libraries doing
similar things that are much better than those that existed when I started
work in 2002 or so.  But that doesn't make it "dead", as people too easily

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
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