[CrackMonkey] Free crap becomes free speech

Dylan Northrup dylan at integratus.com
Sun Jul 16 21:10:04 PDT 2000

On 17 Jul 2000, Paul J Collins wrote:

:=>>>>> "Aaron" == Aaron Lehmann <aaronl at vitelus.com> writes:
:=    Aaron> http://www.zdnet.com/sp/stories/news/0,4538,2604174,00.html
:=From the article:
:=  "Sun has argued that Java is not mature enough for a full open
:=  source license."
:=Is this quote real?  If so, does whoever uttered it realise what total
:=bollocks it is?  Truly, Sun does not yet get either free software or
:=open source, and it seems that it does not intend to.

What Bill Joy said at Usenix when asked about this was he wanted to maintain
a tight control over the implementation of Java so that every JVM on every
platform would be bug compatible (my wording, but his intent).  I don't
think Sun knows yet exactly what they want to do with Java, or where Java
development is going, but they're maintaining their original ideal of write
once, run anywhere by insuring that wherever you run your Java you'll get
the same answers.  There are good and bad points to this, so feel free to
argue whichever side you want.

However, given this intent, SCSL is an appropriate licensing system that
will allow them to maintain the control they desire over the implementations
and to prevent some rogue split of the source (or even a well intentioned
platform specific improvement) that would destroy the bug compatibility.

:=Both ZDNET and Sun are confused over the difference between "free" and
:="open"; their mention of the Solaris binaries being gratis is just
:=tinsel for the corporate magpies.

"Free" has more meanings to software people than "snow" does to eskimos.
While I don't defend ZDNet's journalistic ability, this mistake has been
made by several folks inside and outside the industry.  It's all Stallman's
fault, the fucker.  "I mean 'free' as in speech, not 'free' as in beer. . .
or 'free' as in to let people go. . . or 'free' as in emancipated . . . or
'free' as in autonomous. . . . So anyone who uses 'free' in a fashion not
consistent with my definition is wrong even if they use any of the other
commonly accepted definitions because they are WRONG!"

:=And I see that they mention that Sun has created version 4 of the
:=National Science Foundation; will the innovation ever end?

Sun innovates a hell of a lot more than some other OS vendors.  I'll gladly
diss Sun when they deserve it.  I don't think they deserve it this time.
ZDNET's technical writers, on the other hand, deserve to have some large
reference book shoved up their ass sideways for not properly copy-editing
their story.

Yeah, Sun's a big nasty corp.  However, they did bring us NFS, NIS and some
pretty cool hardware.

Dylan Northrup <*> dylan at integratus.com <*> HA and FS geek <*>
"Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what
must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness." --Shaw

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