BitKeeper licence critic

MJ Ray markj at
Sun Mar 10 16:31:21 UTC 2002

Joerg Schilling <schilling at> wrote:
> It seems that here are even people who refuse to read the POSIX
> standard because it may become non-free in the future.

I believe that you are referring to me and I refuse to read the POSIX
standard while they reserve the right to charge me in the future for having
done so.  If that is not the case, they should fix their wording.  Simple
point which I hope you can comprehend.

> When I am doing my work, I choose the best combination of programs -
> while I prefer free software if available _and_ if the free software
> is standard compliant.

If you are referring to SCCS, it appears that aegis is capable of using that
format for the changes, but you decline to comment on that point so far.

On the other hand, is a standard defined after GNU started by a group that
did not include GNU something to aim for?

> If people always use free software even if it is non-standard, then
> we end up in a wold similar to the M$ world and the only advantage
> is that we don't have to pay.

Rubbish.   There is no such thing as a closed file format with free
software, as it is always possible to adapt the reader code from the
original program.  In most cases, the file formats are clearly and
explicitly documented anyway.

> A real important issue of freedom is that yopu are not limited by
> proprietaty interfaces and file formats and may choose between available
> implementations.

Yes, general open file formats are better, but it is still possible (if
sometimes difficult) to recover the data from any Free Software program.

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