BitKeeper license critic

Joerg Schilling schilling at
Thu Mar 7 15:13:35 UTC 2002

>From: MJ Ray <markj+0111 at>

>Joerg Schilling <schilling at> wrote:
>> If you like to pay, I believe you are welcome.
>> But please do not state that you _need_ to pay.

>But that is what the document says.  

>>>Digging (very) deep in that site, it appears that I may not have to pay now,
>>>but they "reserve the right to charge for HTML/PDF versions of its
>>>publications in the future".  Only a fool would agree to pay an unspecified
>>>amount at an unspecified future date.
>> Please not not start to spread your assumptions, stay with the truth.

>How can I make any other inference?  I quote the truth as it is stated on
>their pages.  If I agree to those terms, I agree to their right to charge me
>an unspecified amount at a future date.  Sorry, but no.  Either that is an
>unjust contract, or it is misworded.

Sorry, but I cannot find anything about money:

You register and get access.

>> It yould be nice if I could go to my baker and ask him for free bread just
>> bacause he could use my CD recording program for free.

>As I'm sure you're aware, we cannot reproduce bread for free.

>> It becomes more and more disappointing to see how users of free software 
>> behave. 

>I'm an author, not just a user.  Sure, nothing as widely-used as your
>program, but the users of my software seem to find it useful nonetheless.

So it seems that there are not so many people sending you mail....
I am receiving far too much mail.

>> In case of cdrecord it is really disappointing to see my workload
>> constanly increasing because dumb and lazy people send me mail and nobody
>> is willing to contribute to the project. If users continue to behave this
>> way, many real free software authors will stop working on free software.

>If "real free software authors" behave as you do, they find themselves
>forked anyway, so does it matter?  Sorry to be harsh, but we're not all
>beggars at the table of the programmer kings.  I think it's more of a

But most of the users of free software have become demanding - not begging.

If you like to know the difference, just write a program that people really are
interested in. Maintain it for 5+ years and we may again discuss the result on 
your life.

>>>> POSIX contains SCCS but does not contain VCS.
>>>Surely that is POSIX's flaw?
>> Why? SCCS uses the better file format, there is no reason to also 
>> put CVS into the standard. The CPIO archive format also has been finally 
>> removed in favor of TAR because it is not extensible.

>Sorry, I was suggesting that POSIX should contain a Version Control System
>specification rather than just the SCCS file format.

If you read the standard you would know that it specifies the user interface
to the version control system.

>1. NFS breaking because of clock desync between client and server.

>2. Linux 2.0 NFS didn't like talking to FreeBSD 3.x NFS.

>3. Solaris 7 NFS didn't like talking to 2.5.1.

>Nevertheless, if you start trying to solve the problems at the application
>level, you will have to solve them in every application.  Problem 1 is an
>order of magnitude more common than anything else.  Better to try to solve
>the other bugs in the implementation (which I tried and failed to do in case
>2 above).  We have that freedom (but I didn't in case 3).

I never had any problems between differen Solaris releas.


 EMail:joerg at (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
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