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Re: Debian based GNU/Solaris: pilot program

On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 17:31 +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 03, 2005 at 08:45:52AM -0800, Erast Benson wrote:
> > If Debian really wans to be "system runtime" independent, and would like
> > to have Debian GNU/Solaris port, it should release dpkg as LGPL
> > software. This should help FreeBSD and GNU/Solaris non-glibc ports to
> > suvirve.
> Being system-runtime independent is a great goal, but helping free 
> software is a better one. Releasing dpkg under the LGPL would allow 
> people to build proprietary software on top of dpkg, and we (for the 
> most part) don't see that as desirable.

Or may be make it CDDL dual licensed.

Let me enlighten you in regards of CDDL benefits. The great thing about
CDDL is that it is file based. So, all files which are licensed under
CDDL-terms works exactly as GPL does. i.e. any change made by anybody
(including propriatery distributors) *must* be contributed back to the
community. This makes CDDL much better than BSD and almost as better as
GPL for what it was invented. So, CDDL will not stop progress of dpkg.
Quite opposite in fact, it should speed up dpkg development since there
will be more *payed* forces working on it and all changes to *existing*
CDDL files will be contributed back to the community.

That is why OpenSolaris CDDL'd kernel allowes HW vendors to hide their
IP in their own proprietery files but at the same time forces HW vendors
to contribute their changes to CDDL-licensed files back to the
OpenSolaris community. This fact is a killer for Linux kernel. IMHO.
Since Linux kernel suffers big time from not having wide HW vendors

I have 10+ years of writing drivers experience for all kind of OSes, so
I know what I'm talking about. HW vendors will *never* open their IP in
drivers. Some HW vendors will never give NDAs for their user guides. So,
GPL kernels will always suffer as the result it forces Linux community
to reverse engineer binary drivers. Without user guides publicly
available, those drivers will allways miss many features which M$
Windows users (as an example) having and enjoying using every day.

The idea behind Nexenta OS is to bring GNU software to the level, when
end-user will not suffer from GPL kernel *limitations*.

> On a more practical note, the dpkg copyright file lists 24 people as 
> copyright holders. Debian itself does not hold the copyright. You'd need 
> to convince all of them to change the license.

I know that.

> (Unrelatedly: I'm still waiting for a username/password for the 
> gnusolaris.org site. How long should I be expecting it to take?)

We will send it to you shortly.

Hopefully, now you understand why our "Pilot" program was a *good
thing*. Without it, we could hit streets with unresolved legal issues.

Now, when Nexenta team fully understands the issues, we will resolve
them first and will make ISO images available for developers only by
personal request. And once ISO polished, we will open them for public.

Meanwhile I do not see any other issues why we should keep web site
closed, so, we will clean it up and open it up soon. But ISO images will
not be publicly available till all legal problems resolved one way or


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