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Re: QNX RTOS? (Apologies for off-topic!)

> From: Birger Langkjer <birger.langkjer@image.dk>
> Date: Thu, 13 May 1999 04:32:46 +0200
> Den ons, 12 maj 1999 skrev du:
> > > Matt & Kim wrote:
> > > 
> > > ...
> > > > And yes, it does everything they claim and then some. Looks very
> > > > impressive. Unfortunately,  it's also quite commercial -- meaning no pay,
> > > > no play. When I talked to them (a year ago) they weren't interested in
> > > > anything outside scientific/large-commercial operations. Rumour has it QNX
> > > Maybe what you're looking for is PicoBSD, that is, if you're looking for
> > > a free one-floppy unix-distro.
> > > 
> > 
> > There are several one floppy Linux distros who don't present the same
> > danger than BSD for being a Trojan horse to free software.  Affairs
> > like the propriatariztion of software towards the end of seventies and
> > the more recent try to proprietarize X should instruct us about the
> > dangers of having proprietary software use a BSD-like base (unpaid
> > work) and then killing it (it failed with X but it worked in many
> > occasions).  In France we say "expelling someone throuh the door and
> > having him returning through the Window".
> > 
> > Personally I think we should avois promoting BSD-licensed software
> > just for the sake of being ecumenics when there is an equivalent GPLed
> > product.
> I wasn't really trying to be ecumenical, I just heard good things about Pico.
> I respect your opinion of course but I think it's bit fanatical. I heard a very

No.  I tend to be pragmatist.  I avocated for KDE from day one because
it was a giant step for making Linux consistent and easier to use.  If
you ask me for a realational database for commercial use I would never
point you to PostGres like RMS would do (probably) because it lacks
crucial dissster revovery and high availability features needed when
you are dealing with money.  I would point you to DB2, Oracle, Adabas
and the like

But I still know how to read a license and BSD allows everything and
that means that if you contribute source to a BSD program there is a
chence you discover one day that the author or anotrher smart guy has
proprietarized the product and in fact has used you for free man
power.  They also make possible that some company after having beig
driven out of the market can recover through a proprietary product
based on a BSD-licensed one.  It happened with Mac Os X, it could
happen with an Microsoft BSD or whatever they name it.  And then we
would have a company adding every feature and bugfix of the "free"
version while the "free" developers wouldn't ahve access to the code
of the commercial version.  And then people begin considering the
"free" version as second rate, and developers become frustrated about
working on second rate software and begin leaving.  And then we return
to the well known situation of proprietary software.  It has happenned
before.  I don't want that.

I said everything is allowed in BSD.  In human societies there is a
name for situations without any law not even for forbidding slavery,
rape and murder: jungle law.  And there is no freedom where there is
jungle law.

One of the goals of GPL is ensuring people are not cheated by a smart
guy who starts a project, make people making most of the work and then
proprietarizes the thing.  It also ensures fair competition between
proprietary and free software: contrarily to RMS I acknowledge
legitimacy in proprietary software when it is done with paid labor and
quality is worth the price, only that economic theory shows this being
_very_ rare.  And I am pragmatist enough to doubt about the viability
of the free development model when the software is boring and aimed to
non-programmers like accounting software.

> inspiring lecture (on Realvideo) by Poul Henning Kamp who is a FreeBSD coreteam
> member, and I'm a bit tempted to try out FreeBSD - someday. I disagree with his

One of my deep regrets is that in 96 I was unsuccessful on convincing
Alan Cox to introduce a crucial feature in Linux Memory Mangement who
would have drastically reduced the zone of superiority of BSD (ie 2.2
would have been its death knoll).

I also was convinced that due to its head start BSD tended to be more
advanced than Linux.  To my surprise I discovered that features like
modules, SMP and Elf support were added far later than in Linux (of
course they browse this under the rug) so now it looks they tend to
lag behind despite all their hype.

> opinion of the GPL tough, it was basically: "Communism is dead, RMS is a
> communist, ergo RMS should go die". It sounded like he was a bit annoyed that
> GNU/Linux had become so successfull, although of course he gave other reasons
> for it :-)

I know rabid anticomunists who are for GPL and against BSD.  Once I
mailed to RMS a demonstration using classic (like teached in economic
courses but it is also right wing) economic theory of why proprietary
software was bad for general economy and acted like a leech on it.
And a conclusion of this was that GPL was preferrable than BSD due to
its protective value against a propietary software comeback.  That was
justifying GPL for non-communists.

> I don't think FreeBSD will ever be a Trojan horse, but when you think about it,

It is the base of the very proprietary MacOs X.  AOL seems to prefer
BSD rather than Linux for its appliance due to the fact they can
proprietarize BSD.

> FreeBSD is the Debian of BSD, but their Redhat is Solaris! 

RedHAt is GPLed.   Suse or Caldera would be more adequate.