ZFS License and Future

C. P. Ghost cpghost at cordula.ws
Fri Nov 5 23:22:23 UTC 2010

On Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 11:19 PM, Alejandro Imass <ait at p2ee.org> wrote:
> So, my inquiry to this community is: should we really be promoting the
> use of ZFS directly by putting it on the FBSD handbook? Maybe it
> should go on a different document, and make it really optional. MySQL
> is another example, and Open Office, and to top it off BDB. Yes, it's
> "Oracle Berkeley DB" - are we as a community continue to allow, and
> worse yet promote, this trend?

First of all, FreeBSD devs are putting ZFS in  the source tree, not just
in the handbook. Then, what's being put there is under the CDDL. Should
Oracle change the license for subsequent releases of ZFS in a way
unacceptable to us, FreeBSD's ZFS will either stagnate and rot, or
it will get developed independently in FreeBSD (and perhaps in IllumOS?)
along a different path, a.k.a. a fork.

This leaves us the problem of patents... and here we're always on slippery
grounds, especially in the few countries in the world where software
is patentable at all. But this is a general problem, not limited to ZFS.

> Anyway, I'm not going to use it any more. I think that we have to
> raise awareness to Companies that create Open Source not sell
> themselves out to these vicious looters. Or at least have the decency
> to release one final version under a license that will allow the
> communities to continue development and keeping the software really
> open.

Again, you're free to use UFS (or any other file system) instead. In many
cases, UFS is also a better choice. But those who opt to use ZFS should
still be able to do so. Should things go horribly wrong in the future (and
with Oracle's bad behaviour towards the OpenSolaris community, there
are reasons to be skeptical), copying data back to UFS shouldn't be such
a big problem, right?

> Best,
> Alejandro Imass


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