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SubjectRe: [RFC/PATCH 1/2] in-kernel sockets API
On Tuesday 13 June 2006 17:46, Brian F. G. Bidulock wrote:
> Daniel,
> On Tue, 13 Jun 2006, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> > You probably meant "non-GPL-compatible non-proprietary". If so, then by
> > definition there are none.
> Well, being GPL compatible is not a requirement for an open source license.
> IANAL, but last I checked, pure-BSD is not compatible with GPL (it actually
> has to be dual-licensed BSD/GPL).

It depends on what you mean by "pure-BSD". If you're talking about the
4-clause license with the advertising clause, then you are correct. Otherwise
(IANAL) but my understanding is that BSD code can even be relicensed GPL by a
third party contribution (though it is perhaps kind to ask for relicensing
permission anyway).

From your other message:

> To some it is a serious failing of Linux (particularly those involved in
> porting kernel modules from branded UNIX or embedded RTOS).  To those
> whatever stability that can be offered is a boon.  To those, even worse is
> the lack of an ABI (even for a single kernel version).

Then would offering a 'stable API in disguise' not be a disaster and an
irritation to these people? If the kernel doesn't specify that an in-kernel
interface is stable, then there is no reason to expect it to be. It might not
change, but there won't be too much sympathy for out-of-tree users if it
does. The kernel comes with big warnings about the lack of a stable API for a

> Another thing to consider is that the first step for many organizations in
> opening a driver under GPL is to release a proprietary module that at least
> first works.  

If the driver is an old-tech Linux port, then it seems there isn't too much
stopping them from doing this today (aside from the fact that some people
think proprietary modules are murky anyway). In this case, we don't want a
stable API/ABI, because then we leave them with little incentive to open the

And if the driver is new code, they're better off doing an open driver from
the start (especially since writing a driver _for_ Linux, as opposed to
porting one, might make it count as 'derived' and hence unlawful unless
released GPL).

> Sorry for the rant.

We're not as perfect as I wish we were. But the lack of stable API (dead
horse) is something that is fairly well established and understood. I think
most people feel that the cost-benefit analysis, for Linux anyway, strongly
favors no stable API.

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