[Fsf-friends] Queries about FLOSS...

Mahesh T. Pai paivakil@vsnl.net
Tue Mar 30 08:22:45 IST 2004

Frederick Noronha (FN) said on Mon, Mar 29, 2004 at 01:24:34PM +0530,:

 > On Thu, 4 Dec 2003, mayur m wrote:

 > > 1) There are so many versions of linux so how do the

Yes. If you check ftp.kernel.org, you will find several versions,
starting from pre 1.00 to 2.6.6 pre-release. 

Take your pick. :-)

 > > common people come to know what is best for them.

Does a software  student require same things a  lawyer like me needs??
Does a sysadmin require same software as a journalist??  No????

Which is why we have different distros.

And to help me and you  to choose between distros, we have friends and
gurus. If you do  not have access to a friend /  guru who will do this
free of cost (and law permits him  to do it), you certainly can hire a
consultant ( and  law permits this too).  Neither  the friend/guru nor
consultant option is available in the non-free world.
 > > 2)in linux community is there someone controls the development

His  name  is  Linus  Torvalds.  He controls  the  kernel  development

 > >  and expansion of the open source freesoftware(someone who is the
 > > pathfinder).if there isn’t  anyone don’t u think ultimately
 > > there will be fragmentation of linux like it happened in the past
 > > with Unix.

There  are several  other persons  working on  the Kernel  ...  Andrea
Arcangeli, Andrew Morton, Alan Cox, ... (that is only the `A's ...)

Where is the fragmentation???

Seriously,  we have well  defined standards  (think of  the filesystem
hierarchy standards, LSB, the zillion RFCs, etc) and if you write code
compliant  with  these  standards,  every  app.   will  be  a  drop-in
substitute for another.

 > > Secondly why is there no democratic body at the core

It *IS* democratic. See above.

If you meant the whole operating system and not the kernel, start from

Also see debian.org.
 > > A democratic  body if formed  would not only help  development of
 > > software and oversee it but at the

See above. 

 > > 3)The   companies  supporting   free  software&open   source  are
 > > supporting  with what motives  is quite  questionable. .Is  it to
 > > bring  down a  monopoly or  make their  own (this  refers  to the
 > > current battle between big  blue & Redmond giant.and the takeover
 > > of SUSE Linux by IBM and NOVELL)

It is not possible to have monopoly over code if you put it under a
strong copyleft license. Why bother with the corporates??

 > > 4)After the SCO case

Uhhh?? *after*?? Is it over??? <grin>

For best info on the SCO v. IBM, SCO v. Novell, SCO v. RH, see

 > >  I  think  developers  who   develop  open  source  software  and
 > > especially linux must come together ,

Ummm ... hang around awhile .... and you will eat these words ... <grin>
Especially after visiting gnu.org and groklaw.
 > >  sit and  decide that further  such an event does  not happen.(it
 > > may not affect linux and  open source community but it does drive
 > > out  companies  who  are  ready  to  embrace  linux  by  bringing
 > > suspicion in their minds.)

There is already one project which does this. Read more at

 > > 5) Why is everyone trying to make a new package (distribution) of
 > > linux  by adding  or  deleting some  applications  and some  core
 > > requirements .

Coz. people's requirements  vary. It is result of  what marketing MBAs
 > > then  why  develop so  many  players  instead  come togethar  and
 > > develop a music player which is absolutely mind boggling in terms
 > > of features. Wouldn’t this be more preffered?

I want a music  player which just plays music when I  am alone. I want
another  which  a  beautifully  useless interface  while  demo'ing  my
desktop. I want  one to go with X-windows. Another  to run in console.
Yet  another to  invoke from  GNU Emacs.  Obviously, one-size-fits-all
will not fit me. How will it fit everybody???
 > > (Opensourcelover@yahoo.com)


Ya know what happened to a company called DaimlerChrysler??

Long  time back, they  purchased a  (few) license(s)  to an  OS called
Unix. They (DC)  got the binaries. They got the  source.  They got the
right to  modify the  source. They got  the right to  deploy unlimited
copies,  modified  or  not.    IMHO,  this  license  qualifies  as  an
Opensource license.

Then DC  decided Unix was not  for them. They stopped  using it (Unix,
that is).

They are now  being sued by a  company called SCO -- on  basis of that
old license for Unix, which DC does  not use any more. The suit is for
not disclosing information about the software DC uses in-house.

`opensource'???  `viral??'

  Mahesh T. Pai, LL.M.,                   
  'NANDINI', S. R. M. Road,               
  Ernakulam, Cochin-682018,               
  Kerala, India.                          

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