Lack of Cygwin contributors? Was: How is textmode/binmode determined ...

Kendall Bennett
Sun Apr 30 13:03:00 GMT 2000

Chris Faylor <> wrote:

I just had to say something here...

> I don't mean to be picking on you since you seem to "get it" and
> are willing to dig to figure out a problem.  It just seems that
> the cygwin project suffers from the lack of a component that is
> more prevalent in other open source projects. 
> ...
> ... The perceived lack doesn't seem to cause anyone to want to
> roll up their shirt sleeves and dive in.  I think that there is
> somehow a different mindset at work here than in many other open
> source projects.  Or, maybe we just don't have the critical mass. 

I personally feel there is something else entirely going on here, and 
this is *definately* the case for me. I simply will *not* contribute 
to Cygwin because I am not interested in contributing to a project 
that forces a particular license on developers, and more importantly 
that gives one company the right to make money from Cygwin through 
non-GPL licensing. I won't have any part of an Open Source project 
that attempts to force the GPL (or an Open Source license in the 
updated licensing) on *other* projects, which is exactly what Cygwin 
does, unless you purchase a commercial license.

I am sorry, but do you really expect developers to contribute to a 
project with such draconian licensing? I am not going to spend my 
free time making Cygwin better so that Cygus/Red Hat can sell 
commercial licenses of it and make money from *my* fixes and/or 

If you *really* want more contributions to Cygwin, then open it up. 
Fully. Go ahead and *level* the playing field. Put the Cygwin 
components under the LGPL license so that it can be used with any 
project, and does not try to force the GPL license on another project 
(or force that the project be Open Source). Sure by opening thing up 
in this way you would open up the project to competition. Some other 
company and/or individual could take the sources, build a 'Cygwin' 
compatible distribution and distribute/sell/support it. But if they 
did, you would also benefit as everything they did with it would have 
to be Open Source also.

The whole point of the Open Source development model is supposed to 
be that the entire source code is open and available for use by 
everyone, and that no particular company and/or invididual has any 
special rights over anyone else. If you want to make money from the 
Open Source project, you sell support, branding and distribution 

Red Hat gets this and that is how the entire Red Hat Linux 
distribution works. Red Hat has made a lot of money this way also. 
Red Hat has also been re-branded and distributed by other companies 
like Mandrake, but this hasn't been a problem for Red Hat. Now that 
Cygnus is a part of Red Hat, perhaps it is time for Cygnus to get it 
also. I don't believe for a minute that DJGPP or EMX would have ever 
become as popular as they have if it was not possible to build 
*anything* with them.

If you want to be Open Source, don't sit on the damn fence. Go fully 
Open Source. If you want to sell proprietry products, then close it 
up. But most of all don't try to disguise a proprietry product and 
hope that Open Source developers will be duped into helping with it.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but this is exactly how I feel. And BTW I 
also won't touch Qt for exactly the same reasons.


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