keramida at freebsd.org
Sat Aug 26 20:34:31 UTC 2006
On 2006-08-26 13:00, shankar <shankar at dhanalakshmi.org> wrote:
> I quote you from your page:
> "Commercial entities engaged in FreeBSD-related enterprises are also
> encouraged to contact us. "
> I am a software writer, my website is
> http://www.shankar-software.org I want to port my business
> software to other operating systems. Linux seemed the obvious
> first choice. After studying it for the past one month I am
> completely vexed by the gnu licenses covering their glibc
> libraries. It seems that if I want to port my software to
> linux, I have to write my own libc libraries (which is a highly
> time consuming effort) or not-object to giving my software
> under terms that almost strips me of all rights. Some of the
> frustrating aspects of the LGPL terms are:
> a) I must allow the end user to modify my work for "their own
> use" (should picasso allow the buyers of his paintings to alter
> it if it doesn't suit their taste?)
No, you are not required to do this for all programs that merely use the
services provided by the LGPL. Term (5) of the LGPL explicitly states
A program that contains no derivative of any portion of the
Library, but is designed to work with the Library by being
compiled or linked with it, is called a work that uses the
Library. Such a work, in isolation, is not a derivative work
of the Library, and therefore falls outside the scope of this
> b) I must allow reverse engineering for debugging even if
> source is not provided. (should or would an artist allow his
> artwork to be "corrected" by his customers?)
I don't agree with the parallel and comparison with "artists",
but what is the explicit part of the LGPL that makes you think
this is a requirement?
> I want to port my software to the freebsd OS.
Great :-) You are more than welcome, of course.
> Now my question to you are these.
> 1) Can I keep my software closed source, proprietary?
> 2) Do you have any C library that will ease the porting of my
> software to freebsd that I can statically link to, which is not
> covered by LGPL or any such nonsense.
The system version of libc in FreeBSD is not distributed under
the terms of the LGPL. Please see the copyright statements in
our web site:
> After the royal treatment that we commercial developers receive
> under windows, entering other oses seem prohibitively time
> consuming because:
> 1) Commercial interests are discouraged. One linux user said
> if I copy protect my system, I will have no takers under linux.
> So I said fine, linux then does not need me I will go where I
> am welcome and where I am allowed to protect my interests. The
> price of anything depends on its need. If my software is very
> much needed people will take it even if it is closed source and
> proprietary and copy protected. After all there are a lot of
> buyers for my closed source, proprietary, copy protected
> windows version of my software. If it is not needed then
> people will not take it even if it is free and open source.
> Ask business users about their ERP source code customization
> project disasters and if they still would like to have the
> source code. They will vehemently say no. They want software
> that will work, that will solve their headaches, that will
> solve their problems. All these does not necessarily come with
> free source code.
All this is irrelevant in the context of the BSD license. You
are, essentially, free to do whatever you wish, other than sell
FreeBSD itself and say that you did all the work.
> The popularity of an operating system depends on the number of
> applications (commercial or otherwise) that are available for
> it. Microsoft understands this very very well. When windows
> 3.0 was released Bill Gates rolled in a big trolley full of
> software packages that would run on windows 3.0 on to the
> stage. That led to the success of windows 3.0 where windows
> 1.0 and windows 2.0 failed due to lack of applications on it.
Most of FreeBSD users are highly uniniterested in what Windows
wants or Windows users like paying for. We like getting the job
done, and if a BSD OS can do it, that's what we use.
For example, Windows can do whatever it pleases, as far as I am
concerned. I don't really care about the reasons why other
people like paying huge amounts of money for buing something that
runs as part of Windows or on Windows itself.
> 2) Porting help like libraries, programming documentation like
> MSDN is next to non existent or are most difficult to find.
Are you sure? The BSD operating systems are famous for their
level of documentation and the support they provide to users who
are programmers themselves too.
> 3) There is no Platform SDK complete with all libraries,
> compilers, header files that encourages developers without
> stripping them naked. In fact the windows operating system is
> itself one huge library with thousands of functions that we can
> call directly. Compared to that huge library of functions,
> glibc libraries and even the entire linux system seems pitiful,
> in addition to being unusable by commercial entities.
This is a very subjective way to put it and it highly depends on
what you mean by "Platform SDK".
In commercial OSes, like Windows, people like using so called
"Software Development Kits" (SDKs), because they really are in a
desperate position when it comes to integrating their own changes
with the OS itself, unless the OS vendor provides a set of
"hooks" into the system. Thus, most commercial product vendors
have to double their effort, to produce both a software product
and an SDK for the same product.
With a *free* OS, like a BSD system, you don't need cruches like
an SDK, because you have all the source in the first place. To
make a kernel driver, you just modify the kernel source, rebuild
and off you go. To install a userland library, you just grab the
sources of an existing library, modify it, install and off you
Thus, SDKs are much less a hard-pressing need in a *free* OS.
> Please let me know if you have a c library for interacting with
> your operating system that is under the BSD license or
> something similar.
Yes, we do. It sources are available as part of a full FreeBSD
distribution CD-ROM set. Its sources are also available online,
through various channels. You can find out more information
about ways to obtain the FreeBSD sources by following the link
"Get FreeBSD" in the frontpage of our web site:
> Let me know even if it is still under development, maybe I can
> lend an helping hand with its completion.
Please take the time to read through the information about
FreeBSD in our web site. Most of the questions you have asked in
this message are already answered there.
More information about the freebsd-questions