Rchard Stallman vs Darl McBride

Stuart Jansen sjansen at buscaluz.org
Sat Jul 17 15:33:24 MDT 2010

On Fri, 2010-07-16 at 11:43 -0600, Roger Brown wrote:
> I agree, if it wasn't for the AT&T lawsuit we would probably all be
> running some BSD flavor today.

*sigh* I'm tired of this meme. It should have died years ago.

Attributing the success of the Linux kernel to lucky timing is myopic.

It ignores the importance of the GPL in encouraging contributions during
a time when many people didn't userstand F/OSS development or believe
that it was possible to write significant software under a BSD license
without it getting hijacked by powerful corporate interests.

It ignore the disadvantages to BSD's more heavy weight and bureaucratic
approach to coordination. Perhaps Linus Torvald's greatest contribution
is not Linux or git but demonstrating that large software projects can
be loosely coordinated, innovate quickly, and still maintain an
impressive quality level.

(In fact, it's starting to look like the Linux development model is the
only viable model for very large projects to achieve success. Remember
the train wreck that was Vista? Microsoft attributed much of their
failure to too much project coordination overhead. There response was
increased decentralization, producing marked improvement in Windows 7.)

Let's not forget that Linux has gone through periods of significant
growing pain. Anyone remember the shameful early days of the 2.4 kernel?
If ever there were a time for one of the BSDs to step up and replace
Linux, that was it. Lucky timing might have given Linux a boost, but it
doesn't explain why none of the BSDs could retake the lead despite
having arguably better technology at times.

Stuart Jansen <sjansen at buscaluz.org>

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