Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Next survey: Are you and open source developer?

Author:Ken MacLeod
Posted:8/22/2000; 10:13:50 AM
Topic:Next survey: Are you an open source developer?
Msg #:19932 (In response to 19930)
Prev/Next:19931 / 19933

I think the key characteristic, to me, is redistribution of modified source. A license that prevents redistribution of modified or derivative source is not "open". For example, a developer who posts their code but says "you can't change it, or derive from it" is not "open", just merely "published". Cryptologists and firewall vendors often publish their code for public inspection, but do not intend for others to use or extend their code. Putting restrictions on how modifications or derivations can be made and redistributed are just shades of grey.

Sun's Java source code is another example of non-open source, since you may modify the source, and ship binaries of the modified source, but you can't ship the modified source or patches that modify an original copy of the source.

One might be interested in what the distinction would be between open source and open specifications or standards.

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