Dewain asks the right question. This is not the first time the question has
been asked. While I cannot answer for others, I offer my answer this way: I
remain completely convinced that Doug is on the path toward a completely
Open Source (by the full definition on the web) system. Were I not
convinced, I would not be here; I would be doing this myself since I have
already constructed existence proof of a solution to one aspect of the
problem space which I intend to commit to open source.
Just how the license will shape up remains to be determined, but I am sure
that it will be one that makes those efforts we all contribute completely
availabe to all who would extend and/or use the work. Properly designed,
the license must allow for others to add value that is proprietary, and to
make commercial use of the product, with or without proprietary extensions.
In my view, what we are constructing is simply an implementation of an
important API, one that must be fully open, and one that will hopefully set
or contribute toward a standard.
Doug makes it very clear that the system must, and will evolve over time.
His point is well taken. We cannot possibly know that our first version
will serve our needs fully for all time. And, this is where the limits of
Open Source must be considered carefully. We cannot have a license that
allows for others to evolve the system in such a way that evolution of the
open source version is blocked in any way. Here, I am thinking of a
scenario in which an entity adds a patented feature to the system, solving
some problem, but preventing others from evolving in that or similar
directions. I wish to cite as evidence a product called TheBrain
(www.thebrain.com) which holds a patent that covers just about everything we
are planning to do with the OHS/DKR. I personally regard this and other
similar patents as bogus; the result of a patent system in the USA that
encourages limiting patent examination to 8 hours or less. I am confident
that those patents will be thrown out on any contest; I am actually hopeful
that the folks at TheBrain will avoid such a showdown by committing their
patent to the public domain. I am not a lawyer; don't even play one on TV,
but that's how I view this issue.
The OHS/DKR team has been approached by several individuals who already have
proprietary solutions to some aspects of the problem space; I remain
convinced and confident that Doug and the team will not embrace proprietary
My 0.02 euros.
> On Tue, 09 May 2000 22:12:30 -0700 (PDT), Eugene Eric Kim
> >I think we're moving in the right direction, and I'm optimistic about the
> >amount of progress we will see in the next month. I wouldn't be
> >if, by the end of May, we had a license, an organizational model, a
> >distributed coding infrastructure (mailing lists, CVS, etc.), a specific
> >technical direction, and a small set of requirements for the first rev.
> >We may even see some progress in regards to funding.
> I hope so.
> While we are on this thread, I might as well throw in my two cents.
> I am semi-retired so I have plenty of time. I even have a small
> budget for additional hardware and software, if I need it. More
> than that, I have access to other people who are willing to assist
> when the time and set are right.
> To put it bluntly, if this effort is only for the enrichment of
> Stanford and BI, we choose not to play. I suspect that there are
> a number of people on this list who feel the same way.
> Do any of you know how we get from where we are to a full Open
> Source project?
> Are we stuck with giving over to Stanford and BI all work that we do
> on this subject? Sooner or later, that question must be answered.
> Sooner is better.
> Dewain Delp
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