application relicensing

Russell Miller rmiller at
Wed Aug 27 15:09:30 BST 2003


I've been watching the conversations going on on kde-cvs and kde-core-devel 
with a mixture of interest and revulsion.  I don't intend to start, or 
continue, a flamewar, so I will make my opinions known and not continue past 
this message.  In fact, I was just going to keep quiet, and after this 
message I will, except some stuff that has happened in the past few minutes 
has compelled me to speak out.

1.) on the issue with the web page:  I don't care what you decide, but if we 
are going to work well together we must respect the views of the majority - 
even if we don't agree with them.  If you feel that strongly once the 
majority has decided, leave.  Otherwise, shut up.  You're not helping things.  
It takes a real man/woman to be graceful in defeat, and frankly I'm not 
seeing much grace here.

2.) on the issue with Neil's commits:  I am an American citizen and I found 
them to be in atrociously bad taste.  It is showing a manifest lack of 
respect for the fact that probably the majority of contributors to this 
project are not American, and that even some who are may not agree with the 
actions that their government has taken.  In short, this action was purely 
political, it was completely out of line, and if I were in David Faure's 
place, etc., Neil would have had his CVS access suspended right there.  Neil, 
however, is lucky that I am not in David's place.

I'm not even trying to address the merits of Neil's arguments one way or 
another.  Simply stating that his actions were totally unprofessional by any 
stretch of the meaning of the word and there is absolutely no excuse for such 
behavior.  I would like to see that text removed from the app ASAP, and as 
such, for what it's worth (as I'm not much of a core developer yet), I 
support him one hundred percent in that.

3.)  On the issue with relicensing - this is the issue that forced me to break 
my silence on this matter.  I don't know how many people have contributed to 
these apps, but I am betting quite a few have, and as such, it is no longer 
Neil's place to decide what the licensing of an app is - unless he can get 
everyone who has contributed to the app to agree to the change, or remove the 
contributed code.  Either one will probably be very difficult, but the third 
option, a unilateral relicensing, is totally inappropriate and I would hope 
that sanctions would be immediately imposed were it attempted.

I'm sorry if I am fanning the flames with this email.  By and large I've 
enjoyed getting more involved with the KDE community, and I really hope that 
these issues can be resolved.


Randomly generated fortune cookie:
Anarchy may not be a better form of government, but it's better than no 
government at all.

Russell Miller - rmiller at - Somewhere near Sioux City, IA.
Youth cannot know age, but age is guilty if it forgets youth
    - Professor Dumbledore

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