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Innovation

Sun rises on GPL 3 for Linus?

The soap opera of open source has long been enlivened by the tensions between some of the leading players. Viz:RMS: "Call it GNU/Linux!
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor on

The soap opera of open source has long been enlivened by the tensions between some of the leading players. Viz:

RMS: "Call it GNU/Linux!" Linus: "No!" RMS:"You slag!" Eben:"Leave it, Richard, he's not worth it"

As with all good soaps, this basic premise is capable of infinite looping.

RMS:"Let's go to GPL 3" Linus: "No!" RMS:"You slag!" Eben:"Leave it, Richard, he's not... oh, sod this for a game of lawyers. I'm off."

However, what characterises a great soap is character development. And, rather excitingly, this seems to be happening. Take a look at this post from Linus yesterday, to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, where he says:

> I have yet to see any actual *reasons* for licensing under the GPLv3, > though.

Btw, if Sun really _is_ going to release OpenSolaris under GPLv3, that _may_ be a good reason. I don't think the GPLv3 is as good a license as v2, but on the other hand, I'm pragmatic, and if we can avoid having two kernels with two different licenses and the friction that causes, I at least see the _reason_ for GPLv3. As it is, I don't really see a reason at all.

I personally doubt it will happen, but hey, I didn't really expect them to open-source Java either(*), so it's not like I'm infallible in my predictions.

(*) And I've been pushing for that since before they even released it - I walked out on Bill Joy at a private event where they discussed their horrible previous Java license.

I wonder how this links to the current and rapidly rising interest in Sun's ZFS filing system, which is looking like a really good thing, is open source, is going to be part of Mac OS X Leopard, but is on an incompatible licence to GPL and thus can't be made part of the Linux kernel.

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NB. ZDNet UK and Rupert Goodwins wish it to be known that all events in these accounts, including this apology, are fictitious, and in no way reflect on the actual practices or behaviours of those mentioned, including ourselves. In particular, we apologise wholeheartedly and unreservedly for ever suggesting that RMS said "You slag!" to Linus Torvalds, nor that he would, nor that he is currently doing or intending to do so, and we also apologise for suggesting, via this fictitious apology, that if we were not to have apologised he would have asked us so to do, nor that because we really haven't he really will.

We hope that's cleared things up. Really.

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