Why is Fedora not a Free GNU/Linux distributions?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Jul 17 02:24:54 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> Imagine if the reference TCP implementation had been GPL'd and no
>> commercial systems used it because of the restrictive license.  We'd
>> still be struggling to make any two different systems communicate
>> today.
> It's indeed difficult to implement code to follow specifications.  Why
> bother with Free Open Standards, let's just copy the code, right?

Yes, that's the point and value of licenses that permit it. Otherwise 
there would be no reason to even discuss it.  Everyone benefits.  And 
it's fairly clear that it happened that way - for example a few years 
back there was a security fix that was necessary at the same time in 
just about every device/OS that ran SNMP  (Linux, most unix's, windows, 
embedded systems in routers, etc.).  Was it a coincidence that everyone 
implemented the same bug?

> Nevermind that the kernel Linux wouldn't take code under the original
> BSD license, out of license incompatibility, and their TCP/IP stacks
> could (and still can) interoperate.

And it took years of pain to shake the bugs out.  Were you using Linux 
seriously in the first few years of this crazy exercise?  I had serious 
data loss to several versions of NFS alone.  How about that 'ping of 
death' with an oversized packet?

> So there...  That implementation made life easier for all those OS
> vendors who didn't want to respect their customers' freedoms, but
> didn't help much other communities who did.

The *bsd implementation made life easier for everyone who had enough 
sense to use it.  Starting from scratch was an academic exercise that 
put everyone involved through hell - and still - the best it can do is 
exhibit standard behavior.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikeseell at gmail.com

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