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The GPL - not fade away

Mar 30, 2009, 15:32 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"Perhaps it is less surprising that the proponent of the argument turns out to be Eric Raymond, a consistent opponent of the GPL. Raymond is not a Linux kernel developer, although he did initiate an ultimately unsuccessful project to rewrite the kbuild system for configuring Linux kernels, and was well known in the late nineties both for his writings and his part in the creation of the Open Source initiative (OSI). The thrust of Raymond's argument is that the success of the Linux kernel project was due to the personal skills of Linus Torvalds.

"He says "I don't think the GPL is the principal reason for Linux's success. Rather, I believe it's because in 1991 Linus was the first person to find the right social architecture for distributed software development,". "The GPL helped, but I think mainly as a sort of social signal rather than as a legal document with teeth."

""There has been a fair amount of economic analysis done in the last 10 years," he says. "A significant amount of it has been done by, well, me. Which seems to demonstrate that open source is what the economist call a more efficient mode of production use, a superior mode of production. You get better investment, better return out of the resources you invest by doing open source development than closed source development." This, and the larger numbers of developers available to open source projects, will persuade companies that open source is the route to take."

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