[Mono-devel-list] ByteFX development

David Waite dwaite at gmail.com
Mon Oct 4 13:57:13 EDT 2004

On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 07:04:24 -0500, Reggie Burnett <rykr at comcast.net> wrote:
> I understand completely.  This is in line with my point actually, that
> being that there is very little in terms of licensing problematic here.
> The real reason for the code replication is to provide as much surface
> area as possible free of charge to more directly encourage use of the
> toolkit and encourage development for Linux in general.
> The main idea I was expressing was more platform-neutral and had to do
> with the free software mindset I see happening more and more (it had
> very little to do with the actual replication of the driver).  More and
> more I see developers wanting software to be free unless they are
> selling it, then of course it should cost money.  And they are not
> interested in paying people licensing fees for the components they use.

I think people's real argument is that MySQL does not have anything
close to a monopoly on database providers; there are other options
(like PostgreSQL) which are now much, much more Open.

Of course this is just my opinion and criticism, but.. trying to
generate revenue for dual licensing of a database adaptor seems to me
like trying to generate power by placing a dam across 1/10th the
breadth of a river.

> I think this mindset just leads to slower development as it requires
> people who are willing to give some of their free time to develop the
> code.  Some projects (like Mono) have corporate sponsorship and that
> allows them to proceed faster.  If you look around the .NET community,
> you will see many components (net components, UI components, etc) and
> almost without fail the for-pay components offer more features more
> quickly than the free ones.  This leads to, I think, a much better open
> source interpretation.  I think the whole idea behind open source should
> not be that "all software is free" but that I have the source code to
> fix bugs or better debug if I want.  The license could really be
> anything as long as the source code is also delivered and I have the
> ability to make changes to the source code for use in my own
> enterprise.  In this situation, I have the personal benefit of open
> source while fostering a component community (with my dollars).

However, people participate as developers in these open-source and
free-software project communities because their own itch to scratch,
be it need for their own projects, research, learning, a challenge, or
whatever. As the open-source movement matures, more and more of these
developers come from environments where they are trying to get certain
functionality for their project which happens to be released

As these people see more and more things like "if you use our wire
protocol, you must release all your sourcecode for free", they will
gradually focus entirely on projects under the 'open source' umbrella,
and not the 'free software copyleft' umbrella.

Or at least, thats where I am.

> Sorry for my rant.  As you can see, it really had very little to do with
> the code.  As to your argument about an ISV just staying in Windows, I
> think this is incorrect.  If the Linux platform has enough users and the
> Mono toolkit is advanced enough (both are true), then the Linux platform
> can easily support applications and components that use a for-pay
> licensing system.  This is assuming, of course, that I expect to sell
> more than a few copies of my application or library.  If this is not the
> case, why not open source?

Or rather than open sourcing, why not use one of the other databases
which have similar levels of functionality, but no weird restrictions
on what a developer can do with their own code, which happens to have
nothing to do with database internals?

- David Waite

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