What's Canonical thinking about Bazaar?
mbp at canonical.com
Thu Nov 12 06:18:59 GMT 2009
2009/11/12 Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn <zooko at zooko.com>:
> On Wednesday, 2009-11-11, at 18:04 , Martin Pool wrote:
>> I think this is true that many people feel this way, and it's factually
>> true that Launchpad existed for years before the main source release. But
>> personally I find it a bit depressing: companies that release a lot of free
>> software are judged harshly for not releasing everything immediately, while
>> most of the people making the criticisms have not themselves freely released
>> everything they ever wrote. It seems like a double standard.
> Speaking for myself, when I said this was indicative of "bad faith", I
> didn't mean that Canonical was being immoral or anything like that. I think
> it is perfectly moral for companies to provide web services based on
> closed-source software, and if they subsequently open-source that software
> then all the better. What I meant was only that the example of launchpad
> that you brought up, far from making me feel more confident that Canonical
> would effectively promote the open-source project bzr, made me feel less
Then I think "bad faith" was a pretty strange term to choose.
Canonical's history (from fairly confident memory, not officially
verified) is that
* the great majority of our software engineering effort goes into
free software, either existing projects or new ones started by
* all software we distribute is shipped under a free software licence
* we don't ship all the software we write - some of it is things we
only run ourselves
* the software we ship is really genuinely in-practice free under its
licence with no special extra conditions
* over time we've gradually released more and more of the software
we've written, of which Launchpad is only the largest recent example
* conversely we have never taken an open project proprietary
Given we have kept this up for about five years now I think the track
record is pretty good and it would be reasonable to expect it to
continue. But then I would say that. ;-)
I realize that sometimes companies do change but then sometimes
individual open source developers go crazy or non-commercial projects
go off the rails.
>> I think some of the specific actions identified in this thread, from the
>> patch pilot to improving the contribution agreement, will help with that.
> I look forward to seeing the changes to the contribution agreement. By the
> way, I assume you followed this story on LWN?
Yes, I've seen that, and it's part of the discussion. There are going
to be some aspects where people just will not agree with our position,
and there are some aspects where the agreement should just be better.
It is not trivial.
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