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14 May 2007


Dalibor Topic

Their code is for internal use only, according to the link you posted, so it's by no means open source software.

The term 'open source company' otoh, is rather meaningless, as it's being applied to all sorts of questionable companies either by themselves, or by friendly souls. When I see that term, I think of it as a negative indicator of something shady being involved in the way a company does open source software development if they insist on branding themselves as such.

Jeff Gordon

The problem you're having is an offshoot of the one I'm having... which is the clarification of the definition of "open source". It's great that OSI has defined it... but the truth is that per the term "open source", many folks believe that if they provide the source code with the object code, that they're riding the open source wave.

Don't change your definition... just realize that there are a lot of folks who simply don't understand that open source is really a way of life - a movement (as the FSF likes to say). So that means that there will always be companies that believe that they're offering open source software, even when they're not.

There's not a simple solution to this problem, though. In fact, quite frankly, there won't ever be any solution. Sorry.

And the more I think about it, the issue is really just going to get bigger over time. With 50+ "open source" relatively-popular licenses (and more coming out every day), open source licensing is simply custom software licensing... with any number or permutations of the OSI-defined set of rights.

Carlos Sanchez

There was a talk about open source at the RedmonkOne (CommunityOne day of JavaOne) with one of the OSI people, and basically it was clear that they don't have the bandwidth to sue all the violators and it's enforced by public shame.


This is something Richard Stallman has been rambling about for quite some time, but as usual people don't listen to him until what he predicted happens. "Open-source" is very different from "free software" (as in freedom). Stallman has been warning people that the spread of the term open-source would be very damaging to the free software ecosystem, as "open-source" can mean just about anything, as this "Centric Public License" shows. It sounds more friendly to businesses, because open-source has no moral connotations, it doesn't imply freedom, only that you can look at the source code - which by itself is not much, if you're then not allowed to do much with it... And you're right, I think people should do something about it, but short of educating my peers, I have no idea what to do.

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