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Date:      Sat, 19 May 2001 16:20:38 +0200
From:      Rahul Siddharthan <>
To:        Ted Mittelstaedt <>
Cc:        Greg Lehey <>, Don Wilde <>, Anders Nordby <>, freebsd-advocacy@FreeBSD.ORG,
Subject:   Re: [dn-core] Re: Perens' "Free Software Leaders Stand Together"
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <000001c0e028$20147860$>; from on Fri, May 18, 2001 at 10:54:10PM -0700
References:  <> <000001c0e028$20147860$>

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Ted Mittelstaedt said on May 18, 2001 at 22:54:10:
> Yes, there's no shortage of BSD followers bashing GPL, and
> vis-versa.  But, I guess I don't see the bashing being carried out
> by the BSD leadership, like McKusick for example.  Contrast this to
> Linus calling MacOS X "crap"

Er, he didn't do that.  He called the Mach microkernel, and the
general idea of microkernels, crap.  And there's nothing new in that:
it's been his opinion for over 10 years.

> Right, exactly, this is my central point.  When has the BSD leadership
> shafted Linux the way that Linus has shafted BSD (by extension of shafting
> Apple, since MacOS X is FreeBSD 3.2 plus Mach) 

He shafted Mach, not BSD.  

> When has the BSD leadership shafted GPL the way Bruce Perens shafted
> BSD by (in the early days) saying that developers shouldn't use BSD
> license because of the advertising clause?

All the BSD distributions make it clear that the "core" system (a
minimal binary install) shouldn't contain GPL code.  Toolchain, etc,
may be GPL.

> other from NFS installation.  I challenge you to find even ONE
> mention of the name FreeBSD in ANY Linux installation CD.

Perhaps not FreeBSD.  But "BSD" crops up all over the place.  A large
fraction of the tools in Red Hat are BSD, and rpm -qi tells you so.

> wouldn't want to put "Portions of this software copyrighted by the
> Regents of the University of California, Berkeley" in their
> acknowledgements if they use some BSD code.  And I think that people
> like Bruce that say a license that mandates that you give credit to
> the authors is a flawed license, are shameful as well.

The problem wasn't putting one acknowledgement.  It was putting
additional acknowledgements for each contributor.  See, for example,

   When people put many such programs together in an operating system,
   the result is a serious problem. Imagine if a software system required
   75 different sentences, each one naming a different author or group of
   authors. To advertise that, you would need a full-page ad. 

   This might seem like extrapolation ad absurdum, but it is actual fact.
   NetBSD comes with a long list of different sentences, required by the
   various licenses for parts of the system. In a 1997 version of NetBSD,
   I counted 75 of these sentences. I would not be surprised if the list
   has grown by now.

> Well, then what are we supposed to do?  Create our own "FREE
> SOFTWARE LEADERS STAND TOGETHER" document and get the BSD leaders to
> sign off on it, then go approach the GPL people and see if they will
> sign it too?  After Bruce has stolen all the media attention?  Sure,
> that will be real useful.

There are plenty of other issues out there.  This is my trouble with
the BSD crowd: on the one hand there are claims that "we aren't into
grabbing attention", on the other hand there are cribs when the linux
people do.  And the issues are important: the LZW patent and gifs, the
DVD/DeCSS issue (in fact Johansen used a FreeBSD machine, but it was
the linux people who jumped to his support), there's something new
along these lines almost every week now.  If it worries you that Bruce
Perens is making all the noise, why don't *you* go out and make some
noise yourself?

My present crib with Microsoft is that I find it absolutely impossible
(here in France) to buy a laptop machine that doesn't have windows
pre-installed on it.  If I want a laptop computer, I can't avoid
paying Bill Gates, whether I use his software or not.  Does that kind
of thing worry you?  It worries the linux people, and they do make a
noise about it, and I'm sure they could use some help.  Or you can
start a movement about it on your own. 

I can think of quite a few other issues which you could take up, if
these aren't important enough.

- Rahul

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