Re: Solaris 2.6 and Linux

Edward S. Marshall (
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 21:44:16 +0000 (GMT)

On Sun, 28 Sep 1997, Darin Johnson wrote:
> Even putting it up for ftp is difficult; for my company, we have a
> huge ftp directory, but it is constantly full (we have a huge
> product).

Disk is cheap...

> And a very large number of our customers don't have ftp
> access.

Doesn't matter by GPL standards; the Internet is a medium being used for
the normal delivery of data, which qualifies. If your customers need the
source that badly, they can pay you to ship, or can get Internet access.
On the other hand, just make them get Internet access anyway. ;-)

> Shipping out a floppy takes up a significant amount of time
> during the day (how long does the GPL give me to procrastinate on a
> customer's request :-). If it takes multiple floppies, going to cdrom
> is highly impractical (we have two writers, both behind locked doors).

Floppy/cdrom isn't necessarily required by the GPL, just a medium used for
the normal interchange of binary data.

> The "just put it up for ftp" doesn't cut it (why not just say "get
> it from and don't bug us?).

Actually, it cuts it just fine. :-)

> You also have to convince the bosses to go along. That's the hardest
> challenge; they're going to worry about who's going to deal with all
> this mysterious stuff when you're gone. My boss in particular doesn't
> even like it when I use Linux for important work (I was building a cd
> from there once, and he told me flat out to put the utilities on an
> hp, so someone could deal with it if something happened to me).

This is a problem that people need to help their management understand;
free software is just as supported as any commercial software. If you
need contract support for a product, you can obtain it; Crynwr Software
for QMail, MIB Software for INN, Cygnus for almost anything GNUish, etc.

However, I can say this until I'm blue in the face, and it won't convince
anyone in management at someone else's company. If you're in a company
where these views are prevalent, and you have a problem with it, you're
the only one who can help change that. Instead of providing a worried
appearance to management about problems they might have with a particular
licensing scheme, highlight the benefits, both to the company and the
customer, of what the software and license can provide.

Re: comp.os.linux.advocacy for more details. ;-)

> And of course, the legal department is going to want to take a very
> long look at the GPL, and they won't get back to you right away.
> This is going to create big waves with the executives.

Do they take that long with the HP licenses? How about the license for
compiler products used to develop systems with? How about the license for
the desktop operating systems you run in the office?

The GPL is just another software license. Just like the LGPL is a less
restrictive version. Every software product has a license, and you should
pay the GPL no more attention than you would the license for any other
software you run.

> Yes, theoretically, this stuff is nice. But practically, it's a bit
> painful (I'd be happy to use the gnu regexp library, but the boss
> would never allow it...).

Again, you need to explain to your management that they're wrong.

In the nicest possible way, of course. :-)

  ____ ______ _____
_/ __ \  ___//     \  Edward S. Marshall <>
\  ___/___ \|  | |  \
 \____\_____>__|_|__/ Information Systems Manager, Logical Solutions

[ Are you a spammer looking for a great opportunity to be blacklisted? Then ] [ have your automatic bots email and secure a spot on my list! ]