source code documentation
sharpe at ns.aus.com
Fri Dec 17 08:03:59 GMT 1999
I think, as I sit here in the Qantas Club lounge, once again, that this
deserves further comment. Perhaps it is the alcohol :-)
At 10:02 AM 12/18/99 +1100, crh at nts.umn.edu wrote:
>> This whole attitude bothers me.
>The conversation has gone back and forth a bit, so I'm not sure to which
>attitude you are referring.
I think that the original poster (OP) was referring to Luke's statement
that he was negative about documenting the code because people 'steal' the
info and never offer anything in return.
I think that there are organizations that do just that, and would not be
surprised if significant parts of Samba turns up in propietary products.
Good thing I put that fingerprinting code into Samba a while back, eh :-)
When we catch them, we can sue the pants off them!
>> The whole idea of GPL is to put a good implementation out in the
>> public. If someone steals ideas, the GPL version should still be
>> better and more commonly used.
>First off, someone who (like you) learns from the code, uses that
>knowledge to do a job, but who also returns the favor by sharing any
>additional insites. That's a good thing.
Damn right it is a good thing. That is why I invest effort, because (some)
others then do other interesting things, and we all win.
>Also, I'd love to see all aspects of SMB/NetBIOS/CIFS documented. The
>more people know about this the better. I'm sure that there will be
>charitable organizations set up to help them over the shock. ;)
Well, there was that crowd that Luke found who mentioned an interest in
funding this. I put my hand up as someone who has accumulated a lot of
knowledge of the SMB protocol (from Samba and from writing SMB support into
Ethereal). Unfortunately, they have gone very quiet.
>Regarding the topic of corporate 'use' of GPL software in general, there
>are two levels here:
>1) Richard's message talked about companies contacting us with the
> expectation that we would spend our time and effort helping them, with
> no compensation. I seconded Richard's observation that there are a lot
> of folks out there who are expecting (sometimes demanding) us to happily
> give them our time, effort, and knowledge with nothing offered (to us
> or the commuity) in return. This is not acceptable.
Indeed. I have offered consulting help to these organizations, but they
all seem unwilling to part with any dollars. Stinks really.
> When we give that same time, effort, and knowledge to the community we
> are adding to the general pool. Since we also derive benefit from the
> pool, it's a worth-while exchange. The key thing, though, is that
> *everybody wins*.
>2) The other level has to do with people making lots of money by
> leveraging Open Source software indirectly. I'm talking talking about
> everyone from VA & Red Hat to companies that learn from OSS code and
> then use that knowledge for their own gain. This all gets a bit more
> The argument has been made, for example, that VA and Red Hat are
> earning all that money on the value-add they provide, and not on the
> sweat of the OSS developer's brow. Also, both companies are supporting
> (financially and otherwise) further OSS development. At the same
> time, there is a feeling that the developers themselves (except for
> the high profile ones) are not getting invited to the multi-million
> dollar party.
I think that the companies like VA and RedHat are deriving more than they
are giving back, but that is a business phenomena, and at least they are
giving back, unlike the organizations that have contacted me.
> Those who use Open Source code as a learning tool don't bother me as
> much, though it is annoying when they make money off of someone else's
> work and don't even acknowledge it. The BSD license requires that
> attribution be made, and the GPL goes further by requiring that
> changes and fixes be made publicly available. Both of these, however,
> apply only to the code and not to the ideas & knowledge that went into
> writing that code.
Richard Sharpe, sharpe at ns.aus.com, Master Linux Administrator :-),
Samba (Team member, www.samba.org), Ethereal (Team member, www.zing.org)
Co-author, SAMS Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours
Author: First Australian 5-day, intensive, hands-on Linux SysAdmin course
More information about the samba-technical