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I2O and free operating systems

As you may or may not be aware, there are a number of free operating
systems in widespread use.  One of these, which I happen to contribute to
the development of, is the Linux operating system (www.linux.org).   The
documentation provided online at www.i2osig.org states that the new I2O
specification is intended to be an "open, standards-based approach" to
develop a "non-proprietary software interface and protocol".
Unfortunately, statements such as :  "The SIG is set up so that only
members and their licensees can design with the specification, helping to
ensure compatibility" concern me.  Am I mistaken in understanding that in
order for the free Linux operating system to support this proposed device
interface, that it will be necessary for 1) the Linux operating system
maintainers to pay $2000 per year to become a member of your organization,
and 2) that the Linux operating system must not distribute source code for
the I2O device layer, and for supported I2O devices?  Neither of these
conditions will be acceptable to the Linux community.  First, as free
software, all development is done as volunteer work.  It would be very
difficult for a volunteer to pay a $2000 annual contribution to your
organization.  Secondly, the licensing agreements associated with the
Linux operating system require that source code must be disclosed.  I am
concerned that the adoption of this "open", "non-proprietary"
specification will serve to bar the Linux kernel from incorporating
support for this specification since it appears that the kernel I2O driver
layer source code could not be disclosed.  Additionally, it appears your
specification will also block device vendors from open disclosure of their
product specifications.  As you might imagine, this situation would be a
serious impediment to the development of free operating systems. 

Anything you have that might ease my concerns, and the concerns of the
Linux community would be deeply appreciated.  If you have any questions,
please let me know.


Erik B. Andersen   Web:    http://www.inconnect.com/~andersen/ 
                   email:  andersee@debian.org
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