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Re: beta testing version

From: Hannu Krosing <hannu(at)tm(dot)ee>
To: mlw <markw(at)mohawksoft(dot)com>
Cc: Thomas Lockhart <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu>, Don Baccus <dhogaza(at)pacifier(dot)com>, PostgreSQL Development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: beta testing version
Date: 2000-12-03 21:40:14
Message-ID: 3A2ABDBE.6B54A77F@tm.ee (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
mlw wrote:
> 
> Thomas Lockhart wrote:
> 
> > As soon as you find a business model which does not require income, let
> > me know. The .com'ers are trying it at the moment, and there seems to be
> > a few flaws... ;)
> 
> While I have not contributed anything to Postgres yet, I have
> contributed to other environments. The prospect that I could create a
> piece of code, spend weeks/years of my own time on something and some
> entity can come along, take what I've written and create a product which
> is better for it, and then not share back is offensive. Under GPL it is
> illegal. (Postgres should try to move to GPL)

I think that forbidding anyone else from profiting from your work is
also 
somewhat obscene ;)

The whole idea of open source is that in open ideas mature faster, bugs
are 

> I am working on a full-text search engine for Postgres. A really fast
> one, something better than anything else out there.

Is'nt everybody ;)

> It combines the power and scalability of a web search engine, with 
> the data-mining capabilities of SQL.

Are you doing it in a fully open-source fashion or just planning to
release 
it as OS "when it somewhat works" ?

> If I write this extension to Postgres, and release it, is it right that
> a business can come along, add a few things here and there and introduce
> a new closed source product on what I have written? That is certainly 
> not what I intend. 

If your intention is to later cash in on proprietary uses of your code 
you should of course use GPL.

> My intention was to honor the people before me for
> providing the rich environment which is Postgres. I have made real money
> using Postgres in a work environment. The time I would give back more
> than covers MSSQL/Oracle licenses.
> 
> Open source is a social agreement, not a business model.

Not one but many (and btw. incompatible) social agreements.

> If you break the social agreement for a business model, 

You are free to put your additions under GPL, it is just a tradition in
PG 
community not to contaminate the core with anything less free than BSD
(and yes, 
forcing your idea of freedom on other people qualifies as "less free" ;)

> the business model will fail
> because the society which fundamentally created the product you wish to
> sell will crumble from mistrust (or shun you). In short, it is wrong to
> sell the work of others without proper compensation and the full
> agreement of everyone that has contributed. If you don't get that, get
> out of the open source market now.

SO now a social contract is a market ? I _am_ confused.

> That said, there is a long standing business model which is 100%
> compatible with Open Source and it is of the lowly 'VAR.' You do not
> think for one minute that an Oracle VAR would dare to add features to
> Oracle and make their own SQL do you?

But if Oracle were released under BSD license, it might benefit both the 
VAR and the customer to do so under some circumstances.

> As a PostgreSQL "VAR" you are in a better position that any other VAR.
> You get to partner in the code development process. (You couldn't ask
> Oracle to add a feature and expect to keep it to yourself, could you?)

You could ask another VAR to do that if you yourself are incapable/don't 
have time, etc.

And of course I can keep it to myself even if done by Oracle. 
What I can't do is forbid others from having it too .

> I know this is a borderline rant, and I am sorry, but I think it is very
> important that the integrity of open source be preserved at 100% because
> it is a very slippery slope, and we are all surrounded by the temptation
> cheat the spirit of open source "just a little" for short term gain.

Do you mean that anyone who has contributed to an opensource project
should 
be forbidden from doing any closed-source development ?


-----------
Hannu

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