Cygwin participation threshold

Bernard Dautrevaux
Sun Feb 28 23:02:00 GMT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: DJ Delorie [ ]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 1999 10:50 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Cygwin participation threshold
> > If it doesn't then I don't know how to overcome this obstacle.  I
> > could give personal assurances that Cygwin will always be free but
> > since Cygnus is a business, DJ and I could be booted out tomorrow
> > and replaced by some evil software hoarders.
> Even if that happens, you could always take the most recent net
> release of cygwin and move forward with it.  It is, after all, GPL.

I wonder if that was not precisely the reason of the lack of
contributors to cygwin. Let make a supposition: suppose Linus had put on
the Linux kernel (the equivalent to cygwin.dll) a copyright saying that
*any* program run under Linux *must* be distributed in source form under
the GPL... I'm quite sure Linux would *not* have been as successful as
it is, would had *a lot* less contributors, and would certainly *not* be
promoted now by little guys like Compaq and HP...

I would like to use cygwin, and I would certainly contribute to cygwin
(helping to solve the problems that bother me in it), but I'm not *able*
to use it (I *have* to restrain to mingw32) because I have to live from
my work and thus I have to sell my software.

How I understand free software is that I'm ready to help build powerful
free tools like cygwin, if I can use this work to earn my life. However
my boss would not allow me to spend my time on cygwin, as he cannot sold
proprietary code built with it. So I *can't* contribute, not because
cygwin is complicated (I'm myself building real-time executives and I
know what complexity is), not because someone may send my patches back
because they are not good enough (I'm sure the first one would be, or
cygwin will be a lot worse than it is), not because cygnus is a company
earning money with free software (I'd like to also). 

The whole point here is these three letters: GPL; let add a 4th one (an
initial L) and it could be a lot more successful, and people that do not
think at contributing would do (at least I would probably do because, at
least for now, I will probably need to if I use it seriously).

Hope this will not start a new GPL/nonGPL flame war; GPL is fine but I
think LGPL would be a lot more appropriate for cygwin.dll.

Best regards, 


Bernard Dautrevaux
Microprocess Ingéniérie
97 bis, rue de Colombes
Tel:	+33 (0) 1 47 68 80 80
Fax:	+33 (0) 1 47 88 97 85

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