[OpenAFS] Fedora kernel builds

Buhrmaster, Gary gtb@slac.stanford.edu
Sat, 15 Mar 2008 12:39:00 -0700

> I certainly believe that developers are free to choose
> whatever license they wish.  Of course, we did not choose
> the IPL10 license for OpenAFS and much of the source code
> predates Linux and its interfaces by more than a decade.
> Even if we wanted to relicense we couldn't.

I agree from a "practical" standpoint, you are correct.

However, that argument is just as wrong technically for
the OpenAFS community as it is for the Linux community
saying that they cannot change a license on something
because the person that wrote it is dead (I have seen
that in emails too).

One could *always* choose to rewrite it (or, for
a more limited issue, just the openafs kernel modules)
under a different license.  That presumes (infinite)
resources of course.  But it is exactly what (for
example) the linux community committed to doing if
SCO had found some part of the source that infringed
("we would just rewrite it to be non-infringing").
And it is (about) what is happening with rewritting
existing interfaces and calling them GPL_ONLY.

Does the OpenAFS community have those resources
for a (clean room) GPL implementation of an OpenAFS
kernel module which implemented a defined API?
Of course not.  But it is not that it could not
be done.

Differentiate between practically and technically
possible, and I believe we are in agreement.

> At first GPL_ONLY was being applied only to new interfaces
> and all of the existing interfaces up to that point were
> supposed to be left alone.  Now it appears that efforts
> are being made to re-implement preexisting interfaces
> and label the new implementations GPL_ONLY without regard
> for what breaks.

Of course that is what is happening.  Because there are
agendas here.  There are always agendas.  Stallman (for
example) is quite open regarding his agenda, and many
agree with that agenda/philosophy, and they are coding
the GPL_ONLY interfaces.  Time will tell if it was good
for any/all.  There will certainly be a very rough
(and disruptive) ride along the way.

> I do not look forward to that future.

Neither do I.  Do you have any suggestions as to
how one could either change the headlong rush to
GPL_ONLY in Linux (seems unlikely to me, given
the agendas), or what a reasonable alternative
path forward for OpenAFS on Linux is?