[sf-lug] Ubuntu vs. Mandriva

Ernest De Leon edeleonjr at gmail.com
Sun Apr 27 18:02:19 PDT 2008

I actually read it and wondered why they didn't just GPL the code until I
realized that there were some proprietary pieces in there that they did not
have the rights to GPL, not to mention some pieces that were in some of
their other proprietary products that they didn't want to GPL because it
would have retroactively caused them to have to GPL the source of those
proprietary products. That, in turn, caused them to release a skewed license
where they could release modifications made by the community however they
wished but did not allow the community to do the same.  Luckily, by the
'generosity' of Time Warner and the prodding of the mozilla foundation, that
was rectified.

Lastly, I would agree with you that over decades there may not have been
much in the way of a correlation between innovation and userbase, but in the
couple of years, I would say that innovation has been the main factor for
user base growth.  Many of the new tools, applications and general polish of
the current generation of linux distributions has not only garnered the
attention of more users, but has also made the process of switching over
much easier.  To me, mitigating the barriers for switching over to Linux was
the single greatest innovation of the current generation of distros.  As a
matter of fact, it is precisely because of this swell in the adoption of
FOSS that new business models have emerged to support the open-source
community.  As time goes on, these models will shift slightly, but the
premise will remain the same....you build a product and offer it as FOSS,
then sell support for it.  Because your revenue stream now depends on the
perpetuation of your product, it is in your best interest to contribute to
the project along with the other developers who volunteer their time to 'the
cause.'  Proprietary or not, because the business model has changed,
innovation and competition will now go hand in hand to keep revenue streams
alive (hopefully to the benefit of all.)  While companies like RedHat have
learned and embraced this new way of business, Microsoft is only
begrudgingly starting to see it.


On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 5:35 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Ernest De Leon (edeleonjr at gmail.com):
> > Touche the NPL did put a lot of restrictions on modifications of any
> > kind to the original code base.
> Er, no.
> Did you ever _read_ the Netscape Public Licence -- or were you just
> assuming that nobody else did and would know the difference?
> > No, slackware isn't dead, it just adds to my argument that users
> > should be spread among products to foster competition and innovation,
> > not amassed into one (or few) products, thus stifling competition and
> > innovation.
> You seem to have a lot of quaint attitudes carried forward unchanged
> from the proprietary software world.  I'd suggest you work on that.
> Innovation in the Linux distributions fields has turned out, over the
> decades, to have vanishingly little to do with size of user base.
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Ernest de Leon

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety." - A common 18th Century sentiment
voiced by Benjamin Franklin

"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his
government." - Edward Abbey

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -
Edmund Burke, English statesman and political philosopher (1729-1797)
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