Re: What is "free software"?

From: Eric S. Raymond <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 22:28:17 -0400 (EDT)

> Eric, is this a commitment? Do you assign copyright to Peter? When?
> What's about the other volunteers for a primary maintainer (Florian LaRoche
> and Jason Evans)?

I realized last night that if Zeyd and I assign copyright to a new
primary maintainer, *that* person will get to set the license terms
and there will be nothing we can really say about it.

Keith Bostic has been trying to hammer out a deal that would hand everybody's
copyright claims to a new primary maintainer. We've discussed a short list
of people for the position. It didn't include you because you never
responded to my posting saying that I thought you a very suitable person.

It included Peter Seebach, Florian LaRoche, and Jason Evans. Our thinking
so far is that Jason hasn't been around long enough to qualify. Out of
Peter and Florian, we think Florian probably has better knowledge of
the ncurses code, but Peter has better people and communications skills
and more of a rep in several relevant communities.

Given the kind of mess we're in and what it will take to manage the
project, we think that makes Peter the first person to offer the baton to.
It is also in his favor that he hasn't been involved in any of the
recent scrapping here. That should make it easier for him to work with
all parties.

Nothing is final yet. There are some concerns about whether Peter can
allocate enough time; this will depend partly on whether he gets a job
offer he's expecting from BSDI.

Keith and I are doing our damnedest to see that the free-software
community's interests are served. So don't go starting any projects
yet. This one isn't dead or irretrievably lost. And I'm certain that
Keith, myself, and the new primary maintainer will all want you on the

If you want the primary maintainer job yourself, speak up now. You've
earned a shot at it if you want -- and Keith Bostic will confirm that
I said that to him six months ago. Now, I must say honestly that I
think the factors that make Peter a better choice than Florian even
put him a cat's whisker ahead of you.

		Eric S. Raymond
Received on Wed Jun 04 1997 - 22:35:04 EDT

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