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Yahoo!/ZDNet: Open-source brouhaha: Missing the point

Jul 25, 2001, 16:21 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Behlendorf)

Brian Behlendorf of CollabNet argues that debate between Microsoft and the open source/Free Software community has needlessly polarized to the point that a valuable middle ground has been overlooked. The item's a bit of a pitch for both CollabNet (which markets something a lot like the commentator's "middle ground") and the O'Reilly convention (where Craig Mundie will be involved in a much-hyped debate with open source figures):

"...Let's start with a few assumptions. First, all software needs a critical mass of developers to build it, maintain it, and make it usable for others. Second, developers will not always magically appear around an open-source project once it's launched; "if you build it, they will come" is not always true, and there are plenty of stillborn open-source projects that provide evidence for that.

Third, not all users of the software will want to become developers of it or to even get technical enough to know how to compile it themselves.

In this situation, though an open-source approach would work in theory, the reality is that the only software likely to get created will use a license that mandates payments back to the software's authors--in other words, a non-open-source license."

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