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[Fsfe-uk] Academia

From: Simon Waters
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] Academia
Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 11:43:15 +0100

Story on releasing free software at US Universities.

Anyone any experiences in the UK to share?


Interestingly the story regards the Internet as a free software
success, and asks if it would happen again, the implication
being it would not.

However I think it is clearly a case where not being free would
probably have prevented what eventually happened.

I wonder how many people knew when they bought their first
TCP/IP stack (Goodness that makes me feel old - how many of you
have ever knowingly used a computer where you had to pay extra
for TCP/IP?) that it was based on free code from the UCB? Okay
we all saw the copyright notices but I assumed most of it was
licenced at the time.

I wonder how different thing might have been had the TCP/IP
stack been under the GNU LGPL.

Personally I think the Internet protocol choice worked as being
free software allowed easy porting, and good interoperability,
where as early implementations of DECNET on non-Digital
platforms were more interesting than useful. I wasn't aware of
other competing cross platform protocols, but I'm sure there
were plenty.

Does anyone have the inside track on how similar the code basis
of the major TCP/IP stacks are/were ?

So do we claim the Internet as a free software success story, or
leave it to Al Gore <sic>?

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