Open source concept forked again

Summary:Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation told me once about his "four freedoms" of software that define open source for him.Freedom to use it.

Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation told me once about his "four freedoms" of software that define open source for him.

  1. Freedom to use it.
  2. Freedom to see it.
  3. Freedom to tinker with it.
  4. Freedom for the next guy.

Bruce Perens, in an Open Source Definition apparently met by Sun's new Solaris, approves all these freedoms but the last.

That's because, for Stallman, the last is an obligation. You are obligated to give the results of your work with free software the same freedom you were given.

Dropping this last freedom, Sun says, in its Common Development and Distribition License, is necessary in order for proprietary development and control to take place.

As a result, Solaris and GNU code bases will remain separate, although both will claim to be "open source."

Or, as Yogi Berra said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it."

The whole concept of open source has been forked.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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