Sympathy for Darl


I've gotten some email from people and some comments on the Darl McBride story I wrote who obviously misunderstood my position. They mistook my sympathy for Darl as a person for sympathy for SCO's claims and asked me to somehow back them up.

Let me be clear. I am not sympathetic to SCO'S claims. I find them terribly inconvenient for a number of things I'm trying to do and feel that the SCO suit doing a real disservice to open source software (OSS). Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I'm a big supporter of OSS.

When I say this is a real issue, its not because I think that SCO's claims have merit. I says its a real issue because I think sooner or later, some company was bound to make an infringement claim against an open source product that challenges the very notion of OSS. When that happens, there's two ways to solve the problem: legislation or court. In short, I think this kind of show down was inevitable. Its going to be painful, but if OSS is to really take off in the enterprise, these questions will have to be answered in a clear way.

It would be a worse outcome, in my opinion, if SCO were to go away, leaving this whole thing unsettled. Some other company would inherit SCO's licenses and claims and the battle would need to be joined again at a later date, leaving uncertainty and doubt in the void.

I say I have some sympathy for Darl because I've been the officer of a corporation and would hate to be a in a position where I feel like my duty is to do something that will make thousands of people hate me. I don't actually know Darl and I've got no sympathy for the SCO claims, but listening to him, I did get the feeling that he believes what he's saying. That doesn't make him right, but it makes him less evil. If you have to believe he's evil to fight your fight, then I can understand it. Personally, I don't have to hate the man to disagree with him.