BitKeeper license critic

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at
Thu Mar 7 18:42:11 UTC 2002

On Thu, Mar 07, 2002 at 02:18:45PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> >I read this and I thought: How is paying US$2500 free access to the
> >standards?
> If you like to pay, I believe you are welcome.

You could better donate to the FSF Europe. :)
> >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.
> They will most likely start to charge for the PDF files but HTML will stay
> free (as the draft versions do). As soon as ECMA includes POSIX-1.2001, there 
> will be a second source for free access.

It's only free beer, no freedom. IMHO the license just sucks.

> But your behaviour looks like you did not yet understand that people sometimes
> need to earn money in order to be able to pay for their life.

It's possible to earn money without restricting other people.

> 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.

That is a bogus comparison.

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

Your workload is increasing because *you* want to answer to those dumb
and lazy people and implement features they request. You could also
say that you don't have the time and that they have to write it
themself if they want it (or pay somebody who can write it, if they
can't program themself).
> >> 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.
In my version CPIO is still included as is the ustar format. They made
a new pax format which is based on tar. IMHO it just sucks and it
would have been better if they just designed a totally new format.

> >> In former times, this caused problems with flaky HW in out time this
> >> causes problems with flaky the Linux NFS implementation....
> >Sorry, I don't buy this.  OS bugs aren't the application's concern.  I mean,
> >memory sometimes fails: should the application do its own parity checking
> >too?  I can see why distributed repositories etc are good for reliability,
> >but not trusting the platform is the road to madness.
> It seems that you never lost a file (or parts of it) because of the flaky
> Linux NFS implementation. I am not shure if this has been fixed now but
> I am still in fear to edit files on Linux if they are NFS mounted.

Still we don't have to change thing in programs because the Linux NFS
implementation doesn't work correctly.

Jeroen Dekkers
Jabber supporter - Jabber ID: jdekkers at
Debian GNU supporter -
IRC: jeroen at openprojects
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