GPL not encouraging new technology

Marcus Brinkmann Marcus.Brinkmann at
Fri Nov 29 20:16:41 UTC 2002

On Fri, Nov 29, 2002 at 08:54:56PM +0100, Niall Douglas wrote:
> And its development was exclusively funded by a university (ie; a 
> government) as far as I understand it.

It makes sense that free software is written in a cooperation between
the public and private companies, just as it happens in various sciences.
> > So is the GNU Hurd, which is another
> > innovative operating system.
> You're right it is, but it was much more radical back in ~1990 when 
> it was conceived. My understanding of it is that it's quite similar 
> to the NT kernel.

Your understanding is wrong, it's very different.  Please refer to the  It's much more similar to Plan 9,
although its root reach further in the past.
> However GNU Hird proves my point exactly. Work has gone extremely 
> slowly on a badly needed kernel which would in one fell swoop address 
> many of the technical problems with GNU/Linux. Because it was and is 
> considered so radical, and mostly I suspect because the much more 
> retrograde GNU/Linux kernel felt more comfortable to more developers, 
> it has been sidelined.

That might be one reason, I have a few others in mind but I think it would
reach too far to discuss this here.  However, I fail to see how this proves
your point, as you are comparing two GPL licensed projects here.  To prove
something, I would think you need to compare GPL licensed projects with
proprietary or other licensed projects.  At the OS market, as far as I can
see, conventional, monolithical kernel designs dominate over other more
innovative designs for many years now.

> > I also think that the availability of free software among pupils and
> > students can spur some innovative new free software.  Studying real
> > programs is a very important aspect of learning to program, and the
> > GNU software base has some very good examples (I often look into the
> > GNU C library, for example).
> There's no reason why commercial software can't achieve the same 
> thing, it's just we've all grown used to not receiving the source 
> with our software.

I don't know if you are talking about commercial or proprietary software
here.  If a license does not give me the four fundamental freedoms, my
abilities to learn from the software and use the result of the learning is

`Rhubarb is no Egyptian god.' GNU    marcus at
Marcus Brinkmann              The Hurd
Marcus.Brinkmann at

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