Haiku should use the Unlicense or WTFPL license


This drives my point home. The choice of MIT license bypasses this misconception entirely. Belief in this misconception was even more drastic 15-20 years ago, when the decision was made. Choosing a license should not be based on how many successful projects are built on it, but rather on whether it is the right license for the project. It was never about the project misconceiving the GPL. It was the project looking outward and wishing to avoid the misconception of the GPL by others. I believe this was discussed at the time. It has turned out to be the right license, as the project has advanced tremendously since it began, is still rather active, and the license is still doing it’s job just fine.


Joe, you seem like an eager young pup. I love your style. You set your sights high and initiate yourself on the road to achieve lofty goals.

Have you read this article? ESR’s Hacker How-To? I think you’d find it an extraordinary read. Barret might be interested as well, as it touches upon why I brought up Mr. Torvalds’ reservations about the GPL. The Hacker How-To outlines a broad history of free software, and what it really takes to succeed at it. And by hacker, ESR refers to the legacy term for computer science engineers. This is not to be confused with crackers, the security exploiting dark web types.

In my opinion, I see no reason why Haiku shouldn’t link to it. The philosophy that ESR lays out in it is quite compatible with our own. It is very well written, and has been updated in relatively recent history.


Thank you :slight_smile: and I shall take a look at this article.


Also take a look at PDOS, the Public domain operating system. :wink:


Is it dead the project?


I think you are overlooking a lot of things. The license has been chosen by the early people involved with various debates. As said the major reason was that people hoped they could have picked the project and create a commercial incarnation. Different people advertised GPL as being something bad and this trend continues today. I don’t know if it is really important for the project to continue, this is probably just a merit of developers regardless of the license. We will never know what would have happened if GPL was chosen, but I can say over the years a lot of people were unhappy of it. The contrary happened too, a lot of people is happy of the license or doesn’t care at all. In any case it’s unlikely it will change now, but over the time the project could have taken various GPL components to speed up the development.


I’m not sure what it’s status is; I haven’t really researched what’s happening with PDOS. However, from a quick glance, according to SourceForge, the last update was 2018-02-11, so I would say it’s not ‘dead’. Dormant, maybe. But even if PDOS was ‘dead’, my idea was to show public domain software projects are out there and exist, if a no-attribution/public domain model is what you desire over the open source model, including the (in my humble opinion, liberal) MIT or BSD licenses. I respect this.

That said, from everything I’ve read (and understood) thus far, your beliefs are that the open source model places too many restrictions on the end user (and developer), and want operating systems to be completely free in every regard, (which at least to me, would describe public domain or something very close to it). PDOS and smallOS are the few I know of that are public domain, and I may be wrong, but I think TempleOS might be public domain as well. Another is (open)XOS, but it has a special license of sorts and appears to have last been released in 2011. I’m not sure what’s going on with the other projects; DuckDuckGo (or another search engine) can help in that regard. But if you’re dedicated to writing a GUI that could reach the level of Visopsys, Syllable, or even Haiku on any of the above, it would definitely be quite a feat. However, I would also want to note that by 2020, Intel will make EFI a requirement from what I’ve read, so your system will definitely need to have an EFI loader. That’s 2 years in the future, though, so there’s plenty of time to put a fresh graphical shell on things first. I have not played with EFI yet, but I believe its programs to be written in C, which should make working on this accessible. At any rate, I hope the links and advice I’ve shared help you in your quest for finding and/or building public domain operating systems and that you find what you’re searching for. Good luck. :slight_smile:


As was a common issue for my namesake, you don’t seem to understand a single word I say. Were you one of the early people? I was. I’m pretty certain Haiku has used and benefitted greatly from GPL software. Our build and source control system wouldn’t exist without GPL’d code. This has sped up development dramatically. If we had needed to write the build tools from scratch, imagine where we would be now.

The zealotry of Haiku devs over the correctness of their operating system has a parallel match in the zealotry of GNU guys over the GPL. Haiku is already full of zeal. It really didn’t need more. :innocent::smiling_imp::innocent:


I’m loathe to send this young pup off. He’s learned quite a bit from being here in the Haiku community. We sure could use more folks with his energy.


Well, actually, I’m a somewhat young dude as well. :wink: And I don’t want to discourage anyone, etc.; I’m just trying to be helpful.


Like it was an argument? However, the discussions are available on the web and anyone can check the thing. Also, I don’t see how buildtools matters in the discussion.

Anyway, I’m going to stop this discussion here :slight_smile:


Yes there can be a distro which is focused on GPL, but until more development happens and people begin to add GPL code it remains a MIT de facto.


I sincerely don’t think that anarchy is necessarily a freedom synonim.

The fact that licenses have some restrictions, may make way for a real freedom.

Let’s make an example in real world: suppose there’s no law and no restriction in what people can do. You could say that everyone is free because anyone can do literally anything. But this means that for example your children can’t circulate freely in the city roads because anyone could hit them without any punishment. Is it really freedom?

So, it may be a though example, but serve as metaphor for software world. Free Software licenses ensure that anyone receiving a copy have the same rights to distribute as anyone. This is the real essence of Free Software like Stallman conceived it: it’s free because it ensure equal freedom, just like in a democratic country laws should ensure the same rights to any person.


I think that license by itself for license is wrong priority. I think main priority must be working system.

By me priority chain must be like this:

  1. working solution (proprietary or open source, no matter what at first point)
  2. open source software (no matter wich license it uses)
  3. more free open source license, let say this the MIT is our standard (if there is a choice, we can adapt or rewrite something in more free source license)

In that we can make three separate types of Haiku, which will be used must be decision of a user:

  1. best working Haiku
  2. open source Haiku
  3. pure MIT open source Haiku, which is like a core of the project, which is at the same time not antagonistic to 1. and 2. variants of itself.


You are right with the sense that GPL and MIT are completely 100% free and I might have not completely understood what freedom meant under than GNU’s terminology. I guess I thought freedom also meant owning the software but that is NOT GNU’s term. But yeah I see your point.


Thanks mate :slight_smile:


I am pretty sure everyone perfers softwares to be open source, so why not make the best working Haiku pure MIT open source?


It will likely turn out that way, but there are always those who resent the fact that their preferred license wasn’t used and that there are folks who can successfully debate why that is so. This means it is only a matter of time before someone forks off into GPL land. Perhaps someday that, or another GPL fork of Haiku will totally rock. Only time will tell.


Oh ok thanks man :slight_smile: Are you personally against GPL?


Not everyone prefers open source software, and you cannot make best working Haiku pure MIT open source nor in theory nor in practice, because MIT is not worlds monopolic standard. If you stick to pure MIT your products ecosystem allways be underdeveloped.
Even best working Linux is not entirely open source. Nor Windows world entirely proprietary software.