a long rebuttal to the Linux-is-the-engine fallacy

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Sun Jul 27 16:02:01 UTC 2008

Alexandre Oliva wrote:
>> Nobody is claiming that they do not deserve credit, but many do not
>> want the pushing on of their agenda :(
> Exactly.  And that's why they invent all these excuses.  And they even
> fail to understand that the principles that led to the creation of all
> this software is the reason why all this software is available

Well, no.  Some contributions may have been related to the principles, 
but others simply had no choice about the terms since the GPL takes that 
choice away if you want to share your work at all.  It is also clearly 
wrong to pretend that the restrictive terms are necessary or related to 
the creation of such works, because less restricted equivalents of most 
of the set except the compiler exist in the *BSD and OpenSolaris 

> and
> functional, and that the alleged pragmatism pushed in its stead is
> just a short-sighted corrupted version of the underlying principles
> and goals.

There's nothing wrong with the pragmatism that lets, for example, tcp/ip 
code help nearly everyone, while gpl-encumbered code remains the 
short-sighted counterpart whose restrictions isolate it.

>> Those same GNU packages were born of BSD/SunOS/Solaris code
> Err, no.  GNU packages didn't use any SunOS or Solaris code
> whatsoever, and BSD was still under the 4-clause license back then, so
> its use was severely limited because it couldn't be combined with
> GPLed code.

Perhaps no code is shared, but what about the design?

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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