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Re: [DotGNU]Microsoft Shared Source License

From: Rhys Weatherley
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Microsoft Shared Source License
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 17:40:42 +1000

Brandon Bremen wrote:
> On Wednesday, November 13, 2002, at 10:25  PM, Brandon Bremen wrote:
> > While reading it, I noticed that "You may use any information in
> > intangible form that you remember after accessing the Software." Are
> > they trying to  say that you can look at their code and remember how
> > they implemented something and go implement it yourself?
> I took a dive into the list archives on my hard drive, and found that
> this statement has already been discussed.

Yep.  It is probably OK for us to look at it to resolve ambiguities
in the ECMA spec, but we must re-implement it "in our own words",
preferably by someone who didn't look at the code.  Other than that,
don't look at it.  Not worth the risk.

> It bugs me though, what was their
> intent? And what do they get from releasing it on OSX? Macs are used in
> hollywood and elementary schools. Are they trying to get George Lucas to
> turn Yoda into a web service? ;)

It was probably just a logical progression of them porting it to
FreeBSD.  i.e. they were already 90% of the way there, so why not?
Given that the license is still "non-commercial only", Rotor isn't
terribly useful except as a reference implementation.


Note to MS guys: your mailing lists are almost silent when it comes
to contributors.  Do you know why?  99% of your potentional users
are forbidden from using it.  No users means no bugs found, which
means no patches sent in, which means "dud project".

The license also doesn't give any reciprocal rights to contributors.
If you released the reference implementation under BSD or (gasp!) GPL,
you'll find a lot more people interested in helping you.

IBM, Sun, Oracle, etc have all released "non-commercial source"
in the past.  It went nowhere for them because the community said
"can't use this", shrugged, and then built their own.  The
non-commercial version starved for contributors and fell behind.
What makes you think that this strategy will work for you when
it didn't work for anyone else?


There, I feel better now. :-)

Seriously guys, the license is holding Rotor back.



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