Upside: Open Source Ruckus

We got so many comments from people about the dialog
between Bill Joy, Eric Raymond, Richard Stallman and Richard
Gabriel that it was hard to sort through them all. Most of the
comments came from supporters of the Open Source movement, and were
anti-Sun. It is interesting to note the vehemence with which these
arguments are made.

“Bill Joy correctly pointed out that this is not an either/or
choice. Both SCSL and GPL can exist and thrive if they both prove
to be viable models. My original argument was that GPL, the open
source approach, had more potential to revolutionize the industry.
It is not necessarily true that one is right and the other is
wrong, although many people seem to hold that opinion. Time will
tell whether either or both survive.”

“Following is a selection of comments that further the debate. I
tried to fairly represent the major views. It starts with a
continuation of the debate between Bill Joy and Eric Raymond over
whether outsiders are allowed to evolve the Java standard. More
than one person wrote in to complain about Joy’s claim that it is
possible to “fork” the Java code, asserting that to “fork” the code
means to start with existing code and then add to it enough to
break compatibility, while SCSL will only allow you to do that if
you create your own clean room version of the existing code, and do
not use Sun’s original code. These comments did not arrive in time
to be included with the original posting.”