Joining forces vs. starting from scratch (was Re: Proposal to start a new implementation...)

Gervase Markham gerv at
Thu Apr 13 12:41:13 UTC 2017

On 12/04/17 18:44, Jim Jagielski wrote:
> But certainly the selection of a license semi-defines the community that
> rallies around a s/w project... As well as how said community wishes to
> distribute the s/w project itself.

But, particularly when building on existing codebases and libraries,
licenses are not selected in a vacuum.

Here's my point in a nutshell. We could:

a) have a big argument about licenses, come to a conclusion which
results in some people going off in a huff, and then try and find code
to achieve our goal compatible with those license choices; or

b) find the codebase(s) to start from which we think will give us the
best chance of success, and then look at their licensing, and see if
they can be combined and if the result upsets anyone. If so many people
don't like the result that you think your chances of success are now
small, repeat the process with different choices.

I suggest b) is much better than a).

I am not a "don't talk about licenses" person. I spend a lot of my
professional life talking about licenses. I'm Mozilla's license guy. But
that means I know a license rathole when I see one, and I know when the
most productive time for that discussion is.


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