BitKeeper licence critic

Jeroen Dekkers jeroen at
Sat Mar 16 14:41:25 UTC 2002

On Sat, Mar 16, 2002 at 02:33:43PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> >From jeroen at Sat Mar 16 14:21:35 2002
> Good morning, where did you sleep the last days?
> It is not a good idea to warm up an already closed discussion!

I've got an exchange with school. That meant I was busy with other
things for the last week (in the evening beer drinking with the Danish
students and doing boring things with school in the day-time). Nobody
bother to correct what you say.

> >On Sun, Mar 10, 2002 at 05:06:14PM +0100, Joerg Schilling wrote:
> >> 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.
> >GNU/Linux isn't POSIX compliant. Do you prefer a proprietary unix
> >which is POSIX compatible instead of GNU/Linux?
> Yes, of course! It saves me a lot of time doing development on Solaris
> instead of Linux.

Nice. Do you also fix the bugs in solaris if you find them?

> >> 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.
> >And we would have the freedom to do what we want!!!
> You are kidding! If there is no standard compliance, there is no freedom!
> I don't like to be forced to port software just because some people
> don't do their job well enough. If this is what you understand by freedom
> you don't understand what freedom means. Freedom is not just freedom in
> a nutshell.

Nobody force you. You've the freedom to do what you want, you don't
*have to port*. If those people don't do the job well and those people
want to run your software, they could a) fix there own things b)
port your software so you only have to apply the patch.

I'm not saying that standard compliance is bad, given that the
standard isn't fucked up. When I'm developping I'm taking care I'm
POSIX compliant.

But yes, there are a lot of people who don't do their job well enough
and don't look if they are compliant. Just like you for example,
having a quick look at the cdrecord code it uses PATH_MAX. This isn't
POSIX compatible, PATH_MAX is marked optional. Systems don't need to
have a limit and if they don't have one they should not define
PATH_MAX. This is a common problem when porting programs to the Hurd,
we don't have a limit on the path length.

Now that cdrecord isn't standard compliance, you don't have any
freedom. I recommend that you are going to use a nice
standard-compliant proprietary cd burning program.

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