BitKeeper license critic

MJ Ray markj at
Thu Mar 7 15:28:59 UTC 2002

Joerg Schilling <schilling at> wrote:
> Sorry, but I cannot find anything about money:
> You register and get access.

OK, so click the "register..." link and then click the "Terms..." that you
have agreed to.  Clause 4 contains the text I quoted.

>>> 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.

Well, I don't get that much about my software at the moment (mainly because
I am underpromoting it now... some of it isn't even linked from obvious
places now), but I do get a lot of email.  I've recently moved a lot of
mailing lists into newsgroups, which is a great help.

>>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.

I try to pass on maintenance after less than five years, because I become
stale and the program drifts into being obsolete.  I know that may be a
serious flaw in my character.  Fortunately I've avoided that at work by
exchanging tasks often.  If you've managed to avoid those, I salute you.

>>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.

I cannot read the standard at present.  See above.

> I never had any problems between differen Solaris releas.

Congratulations on your good fortune once again!

MJR ,----------------------------------------------------
    | Q. Do you need a net-based application developing, 
    |    or advice and training about web technology?
    | A. I suggest you try

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