Re: bettering open source involvement

Dave Taht <> Tue, 02 August 2016 07:51 UTC

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From: Dave Taht <>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2016 09:51:18 +0200
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Subject: Re: bettering open source involvement
To: "Eggert, Lars" <>
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On Tue, Aug 2, 2016 at 9:10 AM, Dave Taht <> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 4:36 PM, Eggert, Lars <> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On 2016-08-01, at 15:44, Livingood, Jason <> wrote:
>>> What if, in some future state, a given working group had a code repository and the working group was chartered not just with developing the standards but maintaining implementations of the code?
>> as an addition to developing specs, that might be useful, if the spec remains the canonical standards output.
>> "Go read the code" is not a useful answer if the code comes under a license (such as GPL) that taints the developer. (This is a major reason what we are doing IETF specs for DCTCP and CUBIC - so that they can be implemented without needing to read Linux kernel code.)
> Only 10 (?) years after full support for cubic entered the linux
> kernel, and 3 after dctcp.
> If you define the efforts of this standards body as one to produce BSD
> licensed code (which is basically the case), it will continue to lag
> behind the bleeding edge and continue to become more and more
> irrelevant.
> It's not just the deployed code in kernels that is a problem, it is
> also that the best of the tools available to prototype new network
> code are GPL'd. NS3, for example, is gpl.  The routing protocols
> incorporated in bird and quagga are GPL. Bind is BSD, but nominum is
> proprietary and dnsmasq, GPLd.

RIOT-OS, which is a leading contender for IoT stuff, is LGPL v2.1.

> There is increasingly no place to design, develop, and test new stuff
> without starting from a gpl base.
> Worse, what happens here at ietf without use of these tools, is that
> we end up with non-open-source code's experiments and results being
> presented, without any means for an independent experimenter to
> verify, reproduce, or extend.
> I think it would do a lot of semantic good if the ietf would stop
> referring to "open source"[1] and always refer directly to the
> licenses under which the code it works on that are allowed. There are
> certainly new areas of interest like npv, etc, that are proceeding
> with more vendor-friendly code licensing schemes, although I am
> dubious about the performance benefits of moving all this stuff into
> userspace, particularly when a seeming, primary, goal is to avoid
> making free software, rather than engineering a good, clean, correct
> engineering solution.
> It has been my hope that since the alice decision re patents (80% of
> disputed software patents being invalidated), the rise of
> organizations offering patent pool protections like the open
> inventions network, and I think (IANAL), that apis cannot be
> copyrighted in google vs oracle - ends up meaning that a developer can
> not longer be polluted merely by looking at GPL'd code once in a
> while. Because we do.
> The actual implementations of anything for anything else will tend to
> vary so much due to API differences, and the expressible logic in the
> algorithms themselves generally simple, that, particularly when the
> authors of the code have presented it for standardization, under any
> license, that the exposure to further risk is minimized.
> There are powerful advantages to the GPL (and LGPL[2]) over
> "standardization". Notably there is an implicit patent grant, and
> ongoing maintenance is enforced by an equal spirit of co-operation.
> It's a better starting point than to hang with a sword of Damocles
> over your head wondering if someone will patent something out from
> under you.
> I wish we could just get on with making the internet a better place.
>> Lars
> [1] The GPL is a considered an acceptable license under the terms of
> the open source inititatives:
> [2] Of all the open source licenses out there, I happen to like the
> LGPLv2 the best. It is only viral if you make changes to the library.
> --
> Dave Täht
> Let's go make home routers and wifi faster! With better software!

Dave Täht
Let's go make home routers and wifi faster! With better software!