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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 22:30:10 +0200
From: Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>
Subject: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-To: Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>
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[ speaking for myself in this whole email, and CC'ed l-k ]

On Fri, May 24, 2002 at 11:03:25AM -0700, Dan Kegel wrote:
> software patent on Tux... http://lwn.net/daily/

I'm more lucky than most of you because the original article is in
Italian so I can understand all the details. btw, I noticed the italian
linux community is very aware and responsive (we even had a law proposal
to help the free software IIRC).

Just for reference I attached the 13 line long patch in -aa that is
being requested to be put under this patent:

http://l2.espacenet.com/espacenet/viewer?PN=WO0217597&CY=ep&LG=en&DB=EPD

the code is available also from here:

ftp://ftp.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/
v2.4/2.4.19pre8aa4/60_atomic-lookup-5

and in the tux patches at www.redhat.com/~mingo/ that I merged in my
tree and that are shipped with various vendor kernels.

Now dropping this feature from tux is a matter of a few hours and it
cannot make difference if your vfs working set fits in dcache, but
that's not the problem. I wonder what's next, should I apply for a
patent for the classzone algorithm in the memory balancing or is Ingo
going to patent the O1 scheduler too? Ingo, Alan, Arjan, DaveM are so much
worried about binary only modules, Alan even speaks about the DMCA all
over the place, this is an order of magnitude worse, this even forbids
you to use this tequnique despite you may invented it too from scratch
and it's your own idea too. To make the opposite example despite IBM is
a big patent producer IBM even allowed the usage of their RCU patents in
the linux kernel (I've the paperwork under my desk and Linus should have
received too), and other stuff donated to gcc and probably much more
that I don't know about, IMHO exactly to avoid linux to be castrated by
patents. So this news is totally stunning from my part.

I think it is in the interest of the US gov to do something to avoid
these three patents to pass and hurt the linux developement. I think
this is a breakpoint and they cannot ignore those issues at this point.
If they act now, they will stop the problem at its root and we don't
risk a fragmentation. Until it was only rtlinux to be patented that is
never been a showstopper because real time apps are a niche market and
they're not mainstream but the O_ATOMICLOOKUP API is even exported to
userspace! (for all the wrong reasons btw, because that's not yet part
of mainline for some unknown reason but if mainline collides on some
number I will notice in a jiffy and the collision could be resolved so
it's a minor problem compared to the patent) Even Ingo said once a few
years back to l-k that somebody should do something to at least avoid
the application of patentes to linux (I can search and forward you the
email if you're curious) and I certainly agreed with that opinion.

I can probably do nothing more than to write this email just to give
more awareness about the technical parts of the problem, so not really
much, but at least if the thing passes I felt I did all I could to try
to avoid it.

I would also suggest to apply the below patch to mainline (if something
to avoid collisions on the O_ flag #defines that as said is a minor
problem after all).


Patch

Andrea
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Message-ID: <3CEEAE3D.EB64A3AA@opersys.com>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 23:40:12 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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Just wanting to put the record straight here about the rtlinux patent.

Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> risk a fragmentation. Until it was only rtlinux to be patented that is
> never been a showstopper because real time apps are a niche market and
> they're not mainstream

I've been involved in fighting this patent for the last 2 years. During
this time, I have met and talked with many people about this issue. Today,
I can assure you that the rtlinux patent is definitely a show-stopper for
Linux.

As it stands now, Linux will never be a viable embedded OS until someone
gets rid of the rtlinux patent. As a matter of fact, many people in the
industry decide to go with WinCE precisely because of the rtlinux patent.

Many in the real-time Linux community are very worried by the fact that
the kernel developers do indeed see real-time as a niche market because
the members of the real-time Linux community see the damage being done to
Linux's penetration in the embedded field because of the patent.

As the latest VDC report indicates
(http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT6328992055.html), the no. 1
factor inhibiting Linux's adoption as an embedded OS is indeed real-time.

It is no wonder that the established embedded vendors (WindRiver, QNX,
etc.) feel no threat from Linux. They know that every time Linux will
be evaluated, it will be put aside because of the patent.

Given that the embedded field is poised to overtake the desktop and the
server in terms of number of devices deployed, it would seem to me
that this is much more than just a niche market.

Until the rtlinux patent is dismissed, Linux will remain on the fringes
of the real-time and embedded application field. Unfortunately.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 23:50:10 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-Cc: Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
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On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
>
> I've been involved in fighting this patent for the last 2 years. During
> this time, I have met and talked with many people about this issue. Today,
> I can assure you that the rtlinux patent is definitely a show-stopper for
> Linux.

_Why_?

That patent is expressly licensed for GPL'd kernels, ie Linux.

It might be an issue with some other OS, but not Linux.

See "http://www.fsmlabs.com/about/patent/openpatentlicense.htm".

I've heard a lot of discussions about ho this kind of "license to Open
Source software" kinds of patents have long been discussed as ways to
subvert the patent system the same way that the copyleft itself subverts
the copyrights.

Even the FSF supports this particular patent (they used to have some
issues about the patent license being revocable, but now you have the
patent license "as long as the licensee compiles with this license and the
terms of the GPL".

[ Actually, the FSF is slightly unhappy about the fact that that patent
  license expressly picks out GPL v2, the same way the _kernel_ explicitly
  mentions that only v2 of the GPL is the default. Victor, like me, does
  not trust the FSF to remain faithful to its original licenses. ]

In short, it you start playing fast and lose with the GPL, you lose the
patent rights too. Too bad. But if you stay true, that license is yours,
for free. Exactly like the GPL requires.

			Linus

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From: Andreas Dilger <adil...@clusterfs.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 00:10:06 +0200
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020524215730.GF9997@turbolinux.com>
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On May 24, 2002  17:18 -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> Just wanting to put the record straight here about the rtlinux patent.

IANAL or an embedded software expert, but...

> I've been involved in fighting this patent for the last 2 years. During
> this time, I have met and talked with many people about this issue. Today,
> I can assure you that the rtlinux patent is definitely a show-stopper for
> Linux.
> 
> It is no wonder that the established embedded vendors (WindRiver, QNX,
> etc.) feel no threat from Linux. They know that every time Linux will
> be evaluated, it will be put aside because of the patent.

What, so there are _no_ patents or other restrictions on any of the
commercial embedded OS vendor products?  I would imagine that you need
to pay some sort of license fee to those vendors in order to use their
code for products you sell.

I imagine that the rtlinux patent is also available for license, and
will only have a small per-usage fee <= other commercial license fees.
If not then the patent holder is foolish and there is no point in having
the patent in the first place.

Cheers, Andreas

PS - I'm not in favour of patents for Linux at all, but saying "you
     can't use rtlinux because of the patent" doesn't make sense.

PPS- I also think "defensive patents" on Linux are also a bad idea,
     because (a) the Linux source code is surely "published" and any
     ideas therein already constitute prior art for the sake of
     defending a patent infringement suit, and (b) since patents can
     be bought and sold any "defensive patents" might fall into the
     wrong hands if the patent holder goes bankrupt and the assets are
     sold off to the highest bidder - bad news for the entire Linux
     community.
--
Andreas Dilger
http://www-mddsp.enel.ucalgary.ca/People/adilger/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2resize/

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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 00:30:17 +0200
In-Reply-To: <20020524215730.GF9997@turbolinux.com> 
from "Andreas Dilger" at May 24, 2002 03:57:30 PM
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	a...@zip.com.au (Andrew Morton), h...@veritas.com (Hugh Dickins),
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> What, so there are _no_ patents or other restrictions on any of then
> commercial embedded OS vendor products?  I would imagine that you need
> to pay some sort of license fee to those vendors in order to use their
> code for products you sell.

Thousands of them. Some of them like the Siemens power management patent
really hurt Linux too.

> PPS- I also think "defensive patents" on Linux are also a bad idea,
>      because (a) the Linux source code is surely "published" and any
>      ideas therein already constitute prior art for the sake of
>      defending a patent infringement suit, and (b) since patents can
>      be bought and sold any "defensive patents" might fall into the
>      wrong hands if the patent holder goes bankrupt and the assets are
>      sold off to the highest bidder - bad news for the entire Linux
>      community.

It means you have to file the patent first, which is a pain. The whole 
Software patent thing is a huge disaster and one they are lobbying very
hard to push into europe and via the backdoors of unaccountable
undemocratic bodies like the WTO. They have to, otherwise the demise of
the USA as a viable economy rapidly accelerates because its only the US
afflicted by this mess.

Those defensive patents also provide scope for trading stuff with other
companies, and finally never forget that if you own patents and say its
a stupid idea you carry a *lot* more weight.

I'd suggest Andrea does something else. Ask the Red Hat people for a formal
confirmation he can use it, just like IBM with RCU. I have this funny feeling
that he'll get an extremely positive response.

Alan
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 00:30:21 +0200
In-Reply-To: <20020524202658.GI15703@dualathlon.random> 
from "Andrea Arcangeli" at May 24, 2002 10:26:58 PM
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> Just for reference I attached the 13 line long patch in -aa that is
> being requested to be put under this patent:

In the USA it probably is covered by that patent yes

> Now dropping this feature from tux is a matter of a few hours and it
> cannot make difference if your vfs working set fits in dcache, but
> that's not the problem. I wonder what's next, should I apply for a
> patent for the classzone algorithm in the memory balancing or is Ingo
> going to patent the O1 scheduler too? Ingo, Alan, Arjan, DaveM are so much
> worried about binary only modules, Alan even speaks about the DMCA all
> over the place, this is an order of magnitude worse, this even forbids
> you to use this tequnique despite you may invented it too from scratch
> and it's your own idea too. To make the opposite example despite IBM is

The DMCA also forbids you from using both content and ideas of your own.
If you had a clever idea about disabled access to an ebook its jail. Patents
are bad but don't trivialise the other stuff.

> a big patent producer IBM even allowed the usage of their RCU patents in
> the linux kernel (I've the paperwork under my desk and Linus should have
> received too), and other stuff donated to gcc and probably much more
> that I don't know about, IMHO exactly to avoid linux to be castrated by
> patents. So this news is totally stunning from my part.

So mail the Red Hat legal people and ask them to land similar paperwork 
under your desk if you feel you need it (remember the GPL on 'no additional
restrictions' . Lots of people are following this kind of path - RTLinux may
have been first but lots of stuff like QV30 have followed similar "GPL ok" 
type paths. 

Like it or not patents owned and controlled by the free software community
are a neccessary thing in the short term. Yes software patents need reform,
and their addition to patent law avoiding in most of the world. Code is 
speech, imagine being able to patent a book plot, or suing George Bush
because you had a patent on pro war rhetoric ?

Alan
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Message-ID: <3CEEC729.74625C2B@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 01:10:07 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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Thanks for taking the time to look at this Linus. I understand what
you are saying, but I think that there is a large part of the history
of the rtlinux patent that has not been properly communicated to the
kernel developers. I will try my best to explain this in the following,
but feel free to ask questions if things need clarifications. There is
only so much I can put in one mail.

When the patent was first noticed by Jerry Epplin in early 2000, he
posted a question about it on the rtlinux mailing list. Here is
Victor's reply at the time: http://lwn.net/2000/0210/a/vy-patent.html
The message clearly says: "The main purpose of the patent was defensive ..."

So the real-time Linux community waited for what was to follow.

Next came the first version of the patent license. That version
violated the GPL itself, requiring you to register all the users
of the software with FSMLabs. Plus, it had the following "APPROVED
USE" section:
	In addition to the other terms and conditions of this License, use
	of the Patented Process is permitted, without fee or royalty, when used:

		A.	By software licensed under the GPL; or 

		B.	By software that executes within an Open RTLinux Execution
			Environment - whether that software is licensed under the 
			GPL or not. 

Basically, Victor was saying that anyone wanting to write a real-time
application must either license it under GPL or use FSMLabs'
Open RTLinux Execution Environment, a version of RTLinux distributed
by FSMLabs.

Many in the real-time Linux community were, evidently, displeased
with this turn of events and tried to obtain clarifications from
Victor. To this day, however, the real-time Linux community is
still waiting for the answers to very basic questions such as:
"Does anyone developping a non-GPL application for RTAI (the other
real-time Linux extension) have to pay licensing fees to FSMLabs?"

This matter remained unchanged until the FSF came out later and
declared publicly that the patent was violating the GPL. At that
time, Eben Moglen came out and publicly explained the implications
of the patent and the "corrected" patent license. Here is Eben's
explanation:
http://www.aero.polimi.it/~rtai/documentation/articles/moglen.html

Basically, this calmed things down and the RTAI development team,
including myself, tried to comply with Eben's recommendations.

All would have been fine if things had ended there, but Victor then
came out and threw more uncertainty about the matter:
http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT6164867514.html

Just when Eben Moglen was saying that real-time applications were
not subject to the patent, Victor Yodaiken came out and said:
"If you want to make, use, sell, distribute, import,
etc. non-GPL software -- regardless of whether such software is labeled as
an "application," "module," or anything else -- please make sure you have
obtained competent legal advice regarding whether your software and its use
is an approved use under the Open RTLinux Patent License or whether a
license under the RTLinux patent must be secured to authorize your software
and its use."

This was certainly not helpful. When I asked Victor why he did this,
he said 
> I can't offer legal advice. My understanding is that these things can be
> quite complex.

I could have understood that this was indeed genuine, but here we
have Eben Moglen, a respected lawyer, publicly clarfying a situation
and instead of backing his position or keeping simply silent, Victor
comes out and casts a doubt on the very clarifications made by Eben.

The story goes on and the real-time Linux community is still in limbo.
At this stage, my understanding is that the FSF is very upset with
Victor's latest comments. But the FSF's point of view or its dealings
with Victor's patent are only a partial picture of this story.

In reality, the patent is but the tip of the iceberg.

To get the real picture, you must understand what has happened to
the various real-time projects in existence: RTAI and RTLinux. Today,
RTAI has clearly taken the lead as the primary real-time addition to
Linux. But it only got there because all the developers who work on
it today were, at one point or another, very interested in making
contributions to RTLinux. In every instance, they were turned down
or dismissed by Victor. And in most instances, those who were
turned down went to work on RTAI.

And there is a very logical reason for this. FSMLabs dual-licenses
RTLinux in closed-source form to many of its clients. This involves
that it be the owner of all the code within RTLinux. And indeed,
if you take a look at the core files making up RTLinux, they all
belong to FSMLabs and FSMLabs alone. There is nothing wrong with this
per se. But it does affect the development policy of RTLinux since
no outside contributions are ever included in RTLinux's codebase.

At most, there is "contributors" file with some names, but no
copyrights in the files. Which begs for a very fundamental question:
Has no one ever made a contribution to RTLinux? If someone has, then
why are there no names in those file headers except FSMLabs'?

At this point in time, all the bleeding-edge development being
done in RTLinux is not available in GPL and must be purchased for
a fee.

This isn't really a problem, since RTAI has now surpassed RTLinux
in terms of capabilities, ports and support. The problem, however,
is that the rtlinux patent is being used to wage an FUD campaign
against RTAI.

Hence, someone who currently wants to do real-time in Linux digs
a little and finds RTLinux and RTAI. He then tries to get the
latest and greatest in RTLinux and realizes that the GPL RTLinux
is actually a bait-and-switch. So he takes a closer look at
RTAI, but as soon as he does this he sees all these warnings
given out by Victor about RTAI and decides to drop Linux altogether
and use another OS.

This isn't an imaginary scenario. This has happened time and again
with many very big name users. I can provide you with email
addresses of people you ask about this.

To sum up, anyone today wanting to do real-time development with
Linux faces a barrage of uncertainty. Even if he uses the now
GPL RTAI, he doesn't know whether he needs to purchase licenses
for his non-GPL applications.

Notice that the argument that the rt tasks running on RTAI must
also be GPL because RTAI is GPL doesn't hold because RTAI allows
normal Linux processes to become full hard-real-time tasks. This
is done through a single call to the RTAI layer rt_make_hard_real_time().
When this function is called, RTAI steals the task from the Linux
scheduler and schedules it himself. Hence, the entire task is
in user-space.

And as the copyright notice in the kernel sources says, user
applications are not subject to the GPL. You added this yourself
because you felt that application developers should not be subject
to the GPL. The real-time Linux community only expects the same.
We don't want a non-GPL real-time executive or a non-GPL OS. All
we want is the right to develop applications using our licenses as
others are for Linux. We have tried to obtain this through discussion
and through enforcement of the GPL. Every time, we faced FUD and
unanswered questions. The only venue left today is a total dismissal
of the patent.

One last thing: Clearly, if non-GPL applications were not allowed
with Linux, we wouldn't be talking today. The same holds for non-GPL
RT apps.

I hope this has provided some insight regarding the current
situation. As I said before, feel free to ask for more clarifications
if need be.

Best regards,

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 01:30:08 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020524162228.D28795@work.bitmover.com>
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On Fri, May 24, 2002 at 07:05:13PM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> This matter remained unchanged until the FSF came out later and
> declared publicly that the patent was violating the GPL. At that
> time, Eben Moglen came out and publicly explained the implications
> of the patent and the "corrected" patent license. Here is Eben's
> explanation:
> http://www.aero.polimi.it/~rtai/documentation/articles/moglen.html

Eben Moglen is the lawyer for the FSF, right?  So he's hardly objective
about this topic, right?  Isn't his point to try and get everything to
be GPLed?

> All would have been fine if things had ended there, but Victor then
> came out and threw more uncertainty about the matter:
> http://linuxdevices.com/articles/AT6164867514.html
> 
> Just when Eben Moglen was saying that real-time applications were
> not subject to the patent, Victor Yodaiken came out and said:
> "If you want to make, use, sell, distribute, import,
> etc. non-GPL software -- regardless of whether such software is labeled as
> an "application," "module," or anything else -- please make sure you have
> obtained competent legal advice regarding whether your software and its use
> is an approved use under the Open RTLinux Patent License or whether a
> license under the RTLinux patent must be secured to authorize your software
> and its use."

So?  Eben is not objective on the topic, FSMlabs holds the patents, if you
listen to what Eben says, that's meaningless.  He is not a judge, he is not
objective, he's got a particular ax to grind.  That's fine, except for one
thing: he doesn't hold the patent.  So if you are going to listen to anyone,
I'd be listening to FSMlabs.

> At this point in time, all the bleeding-edge development being
> done in RTLinux is not available in GPL and must be purchased for
> a fee.
> 
> This isn't really a problem, since RTAI has now surpassed RTLinux
> in terms of capabilities, ports and support. The problem, however,
> is that the rtlinux patent is being used to wage an FUD campaign
> against RTAI.

Doesn't the RTAI 
    a) make use of the patent and
    b) allow for parts that aren't GPLed?

> One last thing: Clearly, if non-GPL applications were not allowed
> with Linux, we wouldn't be talking today. The same holds for non-GPL
> RT apps.

Ahh, I get it.  I think I see the problem.  You are applying GPL rules
to the RTLinux patent.  You're saying that the boundary where the patent
applies stops at the same place as the boundary where the GPL stops.
I'll bet that is the cause of all the confusion.  The patent and the 
GPL have no correlation.  It's completely up to FSMlabs to define what
is an application and what is not.  And it's a very reasonable thing
for them to consider everything which runs on top of the RTLinux substrate
to be required to be covered by the GPL.  That's certainly within their
rights.  You can't take the GPL rules and impose that on his patent
license, the two have nothing to do with each other.  He who holds
the patent makes the rules.

I think the bottom line is that the RT idea that Victor came up with is
pretty cool, it is obviously something that you want, and so you get to
live with those rules.  Listening to a lawyer's opinion, when that 
lawyer works for the FSF and is charged with furthering the cause of
the FSF, that's just asking for trouble.  He isn't going to give you
an unbiased view.  I think Victor's suggestion is good - if you want to
know what the rules are, consult your own lawyer.

As someone who's been down this path pretty extensively, I do not think
that you are seeing it clearly, you are mixing the patent and the GPL
and you are not entitled to do that.  FSMlabs has to play by the GPL
rules for any modifications they make to the kernel, but you have to 
play by their rules if you use their patent.  You can't apply the GPL
rules and expect those to override the patent rules, it doesn't work
like that.
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 01:30:10 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
>
> This matter remained unchanged until the FSF came out later and
> declared publicly that the patent was violating the GPL.

Side note: they did this, apparently while Caldera was in the process of
suing FSMlabs over the fact that they didn't want to pay for their
OpenUnix usage... Hmm..

> I could have understood that this was indeed genuine, but here we
> have Eben Moglen, a respected lawyer,

I would be a _lot_ happier with Moglen if he didn't have so many ties to
the FSF, and being biased. These days you can apparently buy a "gpl
compliance certification" from the FSF for $20k. Those kinds of ties do
_not_ make me any happier about the FSF's status as an independent entity.

The RT part of an app under RTLinux has to be a kernel module anyway, and
as I personally consider the GPL to be the only kind of module I care
about, I think that is good.

Whatever non-RT tools used to visualize the RT data equally clearly aren't
covered by _that_ particular patent, so I think the whole thing is a
complete and utter red herring.

		Linus


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Message-ID: <3CEF0157.ACF6518E@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 05:20:07 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> >
> > This matter remained unchanged until the FSF came out later and
> > declared publicly that the patent was violating the GPL.
> 
> Side note: they did this, apparently while Caldera was in the process of
> suing FSMlabs over the fact that they didn't want to pay for their
> OpenUnix usage... Hmm..

Speaking of suing, did you know that FSMLabs filed suit against Lineo
in the federal court of Delaware last June. Lineo's licensing of FSMLabs
"technology" only came after that.

> > I could have understood that this was indeed genuine, but here we
> > have Eben Moglen, a respected lawyer,
> 
> I would be a _lot_ happier with Moglen if he didn't have so many ties to
> the FSF, and being biased. These days you can apparently buy a "gpl
> compliance certification" from the FSF for $20k. Those kinds of ties do
> _not_ make me any happier about the FSF's status as an independent entity.

Aside from your personal opinion about the FSF and Moglen, I find it
unfortunate that you don't take the time to investigate this a little
bit further on your own before dismissing it altogether.

> The RT part of an app under RTLinux has to be a kernel module anyway,

This is incorrect, see below.

> and as I personally consider the GPL to be the only kind of module I care
> about, I think that is good.

First:
There's another real-time extension for Linux called RTAI that is unrelated
to RTLinux.

Second:
I said in my previous email that RTAI provides a facility to enable user-space
processes to become hard-real-time tasks using a single system call. There
are no modules involved in this. You start the RT process exactly as you
would start another process on the command line and it enters hard-real-time
mode using the call I mentionned earlier.

Here's an example:

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{

...
        mlockall(MCL_CURRENT | MCL_FUTURE);

 	if (!(hrttsk = rt_task_init(hrttsk_name, 1, 0, 0))) {
		printf("CANNOT INIT MASTER TASK\n");
		exit(3);
	}

	if (oneshot) rt_set_oneshot_mode();
	else rt_set_periodic_mode();
	period = (int) nano2count((RTIME)periodns);
	start_rt_timer(period);

        if (uspsh) rt_usp_signal_handler(handler);

        if (softhard) {
                rt_make_hard_real_time();
        }

	rt_task_make_periodic(hrttsk, rt_get_time() + period, period);

...
}

Starting from the call to rt_mak_hard_real_time() this Linux _process_
has now become a hard-real-time task scheduled by RTAI.

Mind you, all of this is in __USER-SPACE__. There are no modules involved.

Yet, even though this is entirely done in user-space, this isn't allowed
by the patent.

> Whatever non-RT tools used to visualize the RT data equally clearly aren't
> covered by _that_ particular patent, so I think the whole thing is a
> complete and utter red herring.

I'm sorry, but I'm missing the point here about visualization tools.
Such tools are not part of any of the real-time Linux community's
concerns.

That said, if you feel better seing this as a red herring, then feel
free to do so. Real-time developers who actually have to choose a real
OS for their application, however, are seing Linux as the red herring.
And as long as you continue to ignore this problem, they will continue
to choose other OSes over Linux.

I don't like to be saying any of this, but this is exactly what is
happening every day in the field.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 05:30:12 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
>
> > The RT part of an app under RTLinux has to be a kernel module anyway,
>
> This is incorrect, see below.

This is _correct_.

The fact that under RTAI it isn't the case does not change the fact that
under RTLinux it _is_.

> I'm sorry, but I'm missing the point here about visualization tools.
> Such tools are not part of any of the real-time Linux community's
> concerns.

With RTLinux, you have to split the app up into the "hard realtime" part
(which ends up being in kernel space) and the "rest".

Which is, in my opinion, the only sane way to handle hard realtime. No
confusion about priority inversions, no crap. Clear borders between what
is "has to happen _now_" and "this can do with the regular soft realtime".

Your claim was that RTLinux made realtime hard to do with licensing
concerns. MY claim is that if you actually were to use RTLinux, you
wouldn't _have_ any licensing concerns: the kernel module would have to be
GPL (both because the kernel wants it that way _and_ because you get the
liences to the patent that way), and the user-level code that uses
whatever data the RT module produces is no longer hard realtime at all.

Clean separation, both from a license standpoint _and_ from a purely
technical standpoint.

		Linus


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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 05:50:06 +0200
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Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> > This is incorrect, see below.
> 
> This is _correct_.
> 
> The fact that under RTAI it isn't the case does not change the fact that
> under RTLinux it _is_.

Fine, but aren't you the least bit interested in seing how it is done in 
the other real-time Linux implementation?

> > I'm sorry, but I'm missing the point here about visualization tools.
> > Such tools are not part of any of the real-time Linux community's
> > concerns.
> 
> With RTLinux, you have to split the app up into the "hard realtime" part
> (which ends up being in kernel space) and the "rest".
> 
> Which is, in my opinion, the only sane way to handle hard realtime. No
> confusion about priority inversions, no crap. Clear borders between what
> is "has to happen _now_" and "this can do with the regular soft realtime".

There are no priority inversions in the case of RTAI hard-real-time processes
either. They get scheduled exactly as other real-time processes and they
can have priority even over real-time tasks within modules.

Moreover, I would like to point out that many real-time developers like
to have memory protection for their tasks. Hard-real-time in the kernel
with RTLinux isn't possible. Hard-real-time in user-space with RTAI
is.

There is no reason that what happens _now_ shouldn't have memory protection
and what happens later should.

> Your claim was that RTLinux made realtime hard to do with licensing
> concerns. MY claim is that if you actually were to use RTLinux, you
> wouldn't _have_ any licensing concerns: the kernel module would have to be
> GPL (both because the kernel wants it that way _and_ because you get the
> liences to the patent that way), and the user-level code that uses
> whatever data the RT module produces is no longer hard realtime at all.

Sure. I'm not contesting the merits of using GPL modules. True, this
is the best way to go. However, not everyone has this option and my
claim is that this is one of the facts that is putting Linux out in the
cold in front of the competition in regards to rt.

That said, I wouldn't be using RTLinux, I'd be using RTAI to implement
both the collection and visualization tasks in user-space. The separation
between what's hard-rt and what's soft-rt could then be done either on
a process basis or even separate C files within the same program.

Again, why should hard-rt tasks not use memory protection when they can?

> Clean separation, both from a license standpoint _and_ from a purely
> technical standpoint.

Again, from a purely technical standpoint, there are many advantages in
having the hard-rt tasks in user-space. As for the licensing standpoint,
the issues "should" also be very clear: since the hard-rt tasks are in
user-space, then they are covered by the GPL-exclusion put in place in
the Linux kernel.

I say "should" because nothing is clear in the current situation and
this is pivotal in developers' decision to use or not to use Linux.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 06:20:08 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Fri, 24 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
>
> There is no reason that what happens _now_ shouldn't have memory protection
> and what happens later should.

Sure there is.

What happens _now_ happens in an interrupt, which means that it had better
be in a kernel module. And yes, you can (and apparently do) add low-level
task switching etc, at the expense of a slower interrupt response time.

Most people don't need that. In fact, most people could probably do
perfectly well with just soft realtime, and to a lot of those people "hard
realtime" is just a marketing term.

It all tends to boil down to a device driver in the end, and the amount of
support you're willing to give it. Soft realtime can handle the rest.

Personally, I'm _not_ interested in making device drivers look like
user-level. They aren't, they shouldn't be, and microkernels are just
stupid.

> Sure. I'm not contesting the merits of using GPL modules. True, this
> is the best way to go. However, not everyone has this option and my
> claim is that this is one of the facts that is putting Linux out in the
> cold in front of the competition in regards to rt.

You know what? I don't care. If the RTAI people are trying to make it easy
for non-GPL module people, I have absolutely zero interest.

In contrast, I _am_ interested if the kernel module is required to be (a)
small, (b) clear (c) GPL. You seem to not care about any of the three
things _I_ care about.

That's ok. The GPL means that you don't have to agree with me.

> Again, from a purely technical standpoint, there are many advantages in
> having the hard-rt tasks in user-space.

That's simply not true.

In user space, you'll never get the kinds of low overheads for the _true_
hard realtime, and to me that just says that what you're talking about is
really mostly just a slightly hardened soft-realtime.

			Linus

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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 06:30:11 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Fri, 24 May 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
> You know what? I don't care. If the RTAI people are trying to make it easy
> for non-GPL module people, I have absolutely zero interest.

[ Clarification: here "module" is not just "the thing you insert with
  insmod". In RTAI it's a mlock'ed user-level thing that has higher
  priority than the kernel, and can thus trivially crash the system.
  Whether it runs in CPL0 or CPL3 is immaterial at that point - a crash is
  a crash, and I'm not interested in systems where I cannot debug the
  thing that caused it ]

		Linus

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Message-ID: <3CEF139A.1572367C@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 06:40:08 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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Larry McVoy wrote:
> Eben Moglen is the lawyer for the FSF, right?  So he's hardly objective
> about this topic, right?  Isn't his point to try and get everything to
> be GPLed?

As I said, the FSF and Eben's public message are not the entire story,
but only part of it.

> So?  Eben is not objective on the topic, FSMlabs holds the patents, if you
> listen to what Eben says, that's meaningless.  He is not a judge, he is not
> objective, he's got a particular ax to grind.  That's fine, except for one
> thing: he doesn't hold the patent.  So if you are going to listen to anyone,
> I'd be listening to FSMlabs.

Exactly, so would I. Except that they haven't been very verbose. All we
ever got from them  was "speak to your lawyer". Sure that's fair enough,
but my entire point is: This uncertainty and lack of clarity is hurting
Linux very badly.

> > One last thing: Clearly, if non-GPL applications were not allowed
> > with Linux, we wouldn't be talking today. The same holds for non-GPL
> > RT apps.
> 
> Ahh, I get it.  I think I see the problem.  You are applying GPL rules
> to the RTLinux patent.  You're saying that the boundary where the patent
> applies stops at the same place as the boundary where the GPL stops.

Not really. I'm saying that Linux is in deep-s*** (sorry for the wording)
because of this patent and until someone gets rid of it, other OSes will
be chosen instead of it.

It matters little whether I look at this from the copyright perspective
or from the patent perspective. What I'm trying to highlight is that the
current real-time Linux patent/copyright situation is killing Linux in
an entire application field.

It doesn't matter if we agree/disagree with any of the players involved,
whether it be me, Victor, the FSF, Moglen, Linus, or God konws who. What
I'm pointing out is that the current situation is killing Linux in an
entire application field and that it needs to be sorted out.

> I'll bet that is the cause of all the confusion.  The patent and the
> GPL have no correlation.  It's completely up to FSMlabs to define what
> is an application and what is not.  And it's a very reasonable thing
> for them to consider everything which runs on top of the RTLinux substrate
> to be required to be covered by the GPL.  That's certainly within their
> rights.

It most certainly is. I have no disagreement with you there.

>  You can't take the GPL rules and impose that on his patent
> license, the two have nothing to do with each other.  He who holds
> the patent makes the rules.

Again, I agree. I don't question any of this and I perfectly understand
the copyright/patent laws involved.

> I think the bottom line is that the RT idea that Victor came up with is
> pretty cool,

Well, here I disagree. "came up with" is very strong wording. Care to
look at a paper by Stodolsky, Chen, and Bershad entitled "Fast Interrupt
Priority Management in Operating System Kernels" published in 1993 as
part of the Usenix Microkernels and Other Kernel Architectures Symposium.
That is one paper that describes the software emulation of interrupts.

In fact, this paper is so crucial to RTLinux that Barbanov writes the
following about it in his masters thesis:
"It turns out that using software interrupts [23], together with several
other techniques, it is nevertheless possible to modify Linux so as to
overcome these problems. The idea to use software interrupts so that a
general-purpose operating system could coexist with a hard real-time
system is due to Victor Yodaiken (personal communications)."

Curiously, though, this paper is recognized by Barbanov as a pilar of
the RTLinux technique, it is never mentionned in the literature reference
to the patent.

> it is obviously something that you want, and so you get to
> live with those rules.  Listening to a lawyer's opinion, when that
> lawyer works for the FSF and is charged with furthering the cause of
> the FSF, that's just asking for trouble.  He isn't going to give you
> an unbiased view.  I think Victor's suggestion is good - if you want to
> know what the rules are, consult your own lawyer.

I have no problem consulting the lawyer. What I am saying is that
developers who have to fear being sued over their use of an OS
because of loose patents will simply avoid using the OS altogether
and stick with the established OSes who never got anyone in trouble
(or, at least, the majority of people).

> As someone who's been down this path pretty extensively, I do not think
> that you are seeing it clearly, you are mixing the patent and the GPL
> and you are not entitled to do that.  FSMlabs has to play by the GPL
> rules for any modifications they make to the kernel, but you have to
> play by their rules if you use their patent.  You can't apply the GPL
> rules and expect those to override the patent rules, it doesn't work
> like that.

Thanks for taking the time to explain, but I think the issues go
far beyond copyright and patent applicability. The issues goes to
the heart of developers' perception of a technology. Today, most
developers who take a deep look at using Linux for real-time apps
simply avoid it. We can choose to look at this from whichever
perspective we want. The bottom line is that Linux is just no being
used in those apps. And the one main reason we got to this is the
existence of the patent. As simplistic as it may sound, take the
patent away and the entire problem disappears. No more fuss about
GLP/non-GPL and no more fuss about which abstraction is allowed,
processes, kernels, modules etc.

Cheers,

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 06:50:08 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 12:31:22AM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> Exactly, so would I. Except that they haven't been very verbose. All we
> ever got from them  was "speak to your lawyer". Sure that's fair enough,
> but my entire point is: This uncertainty and lack of clarity is hurting
> Linux very badly.

Err, I'm willing to believe that this is all hurting you badly, from what
I can gather, you make your money off of RTAI.  That means you have a
beef with FSMlabs because they hold the patent on technology you need
for your revenue stream.  That's a problem for you, butI fail to see
who that turns into a problem for Linux.

> Not really. I'm saying that Linux is in deep-s*** (sorry for the wording)
> because of this patent and until someone gets rid of it, other OSes will
> be chosen instead of it.

Actually, the RT that FSMlabs does works under BSD as well.  So I suspect
that part of the reason people choose other OSes is because of licensing,
not because of any fear of the patent.

> It matters little whether I look at this from the copyright perspective
> or from the patent perspective. What I'm trying to highlight is that the
> current real-time Linux patent/copyright situation is killing Linux in
> an entire application field.

Oh, come on.  Yeah, there have been lots of visible failures but my
opinion is that it is exaclty because of a lack of anything like this
patent.  You need a business model.  If you have no IP then it's 
awfully hard to sell what you don't own for more than the next guy.
The free market will drive the price down to the absolute minimum
possible, which will amount to consulting fees for enhancements and
bug fixes and that's it.  Life is hard.

> >  You can't take the GPL rules and impose that on his patent
> > license, the two have nothing to do with each other.  He who holds
> > the patent makes the rules.
> 
> Again, I agree. I don't question any of this and I perfectly understand
> the copyright/patent laws involved.

OK, that's great, then deal with the reality as it stands.  If you think
the patent is invalid, you are welcome to challenge it in court.  If you
aren't going to do that, then I fail to see how raising a stink here is
going to help you.  If anything, it's going to make more clear that you
don't own the technology on which you depend for your revenue.  Not a
good business position...
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 07:00:10 +0200
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Linus Torvalds wrote:
> Most people don't need that. In fact, most people could probably do
> perfectly well with just soft realtime, and to a lot of those people "hard
> realtime" is just a marketing term.

Actually, most people I know think that it's the other way around:
real-time==hard-real-time and soft-real-time==marketing buzzword.

> > Sure. I'm not contesting the merits of using GPL modules. True, this
> > is the best way to go. However, not everyone has this option and my
> > claim is that this is one of the facts that is putting Linux out in the
> > cold in front of the competition in regards to rt.
> 
> You know what? I don't care.

Fine by me, it's your kernel.

> If the RTAI people are trying to make it easy
> for non-GPL module people, I have absolutely zero interest.

Ok, so you think that having hard-rt in user-space was all done for evading
the patent?

FYI, this was designed and implemented in late 1999, early 2000. At the time,
all this patent crap hadn't surfaced yet!

So please, before declaring "zero interest" for our work, at least check it
out first.

> In contrast, I _am_ interested if the kernel module is required to be (a)
> small, (b) clear (c) GPL. You seem to not care about any of the three
> things _I_ care about.

I don't see where I said this. I do care about all of those things. Heck,
the entirety of the tools I developped are GPL. I sell 0$ of closed-source
software. >>>0$<<<

In addition to those a,b,c, I actually care about the proliferation of
the Linux kernel into a field which seriously needs it. What I have
witnessed in the field is that Linux is simply not used because of the
reasons I mentionned earlier.

It evades me, why you shouldn't care about Linux's proliferation in that
field and that you so easily dismiss the real-time Linux community's
worries which I am relaying to you.

> > Again, from a purely technical standpoint, there are many advantages in
> > having the hard-rt tasks in user-space.
> 
> That's simply not true.
> 
> In user space, you'll never get the kinds of low overheads for the _true_
> hard realtime, and to me that just says that what you're talking about is
> really mostly just a slightly hardened soft-realtime.

No. This is true hard-real-time. For God's sake, download RTAI and do
the measurements yourself if you don't want to take my word for it.
These hard-real-time processes are truely hard-hard-hard-realtime!!!

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Message-ID: <3CEF1F1E.F7062E9D@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 07:30:08 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
References: <Pine.LNX.4.44.0205241440210.28644-100000@home.transmeta.com> 
<3CEEC729.74625C2B@opersys.com> <20020524162228.D28795@work.bitmover.com> 
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Larry McVoy wrote:
> Err, I'm willing to believe that this is all hurting you badly, from what
> I can gather, you make your money off of RTAI.  That means you have a
> beef with FSMlabs because they hold the patent on technology you need
> for your revenue stream.  That's a problem for you, butI fail to see
> who that turns into a problem for Linux.

Oh wow, people and their arguments now get to be judged on this mailing list
because of their revenue stream???

I'm certainly not going to start discussing how much I make and where
it comes from, but I can assure you that RTAI is currently not part
of my revenue stream and that I'm making a very good living without
it.

> Oh, come on.  Yeah, there have been lots of visible failures but my
> opinion is that it is exaclty because of a lack of anything like this
> patent.  You need a business model.  If you have no IP then it's
> awfully hard to sell what you don't own for more than the next guy.
> The free market will drive the price down to the absolute minimum
> possible, which will amount to consulting fees for enhancements and
> bug fixes and that's it.  Life is hard.

Again, I sell 0$ of software.

But all this is total crap Larry and, for what's it's worth, I find
your comments quite insulting.

I like real-time and embedded software and enjoy working on it. The
fact that I'd like to see more of it being done with Linux is really
a desire to be working on the best of everything I like: Linux,
real-time and embedded.

> the patent is invalid, you are welcome to challenge it in court.  If you
> aren't going to do that, then I fail to see how raising a stink here is
> going to help you.  If anything, it's going to make more clear that you
> don't own the technology on which you depend for your revenue.  Not a
> good business position...

Thanks Larry, that's really helpful. Instead of finding actual arguments,
researching the mailing lists, asking potential rt users, doing
some background checks, and trying out the software, all you can find
to say is that you "fail to see how raising a stink here is going to
help" me.

Forget about who I am and forget about what I do and please don't take
my word for anything I wrote. Ask around. Try posting your questions to
the following lists and see what you get or even try the archives:
rtl-advoc...@rtlinux.org
r...@rtai.org

It seems that the LKML prefers to ignore the issue. Fair enough. I
did my part, I conveyed the worries of the rest of real-time Linux
community. My own personnal future is certainly not at stake here,
but Linux's is.

Thanks anyway Larry,

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 07:50:06 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020524223950.D22643@work.bitmover.com>
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	Christoph Rohland <c...@sap.com>, Jens Axboe <ax...@suse.de>,
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	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 01:20:30AM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> Oh wow, people and their arguments now get to be judged on this mailing list
> because of their revenue stream???

Yup, happens all the time.  

> Again, I sell 0$ of software.
> 
> I like real-time and embedded software and enjoy working on it. The
> fact that I'd like to see more of it being done with Linux is really
> a desire to be working on the best of everything I like: Linux,
> real-time and embedded.

Then you have absolutely no beef with the FSMlabs patent.  Let's review:

    a) you get to use it if the stuff built on it, all of it, is GPLed.
    b) you build on GPLed stuff.

Seems like you either have no problem or you aren't disclosing the whole
story.  I really don't understand why there is a problem here.   100%
GPLed is OK, so why do you have a problem?

> Thanks Larry, that's really helpful. Instead of finding actual arguments,
> researching the mailing lists, asking potential rt users, doing
> some background checks

Err, I was on the program committee for Usenix which rejected (over
my heated objections) the RT/Linux paper.  Their idiotic comments were
"it doesn't do posix so it sucks".   See Linus' comment about drivers,
I share that point of view.  Drivers are not for people who want to be
programming in userspace.

My point is that I've been watching this area for a long time, I know 
who you are, I know what RTAI is, I know the timelines, and while I'm
sure there are many people who know it all in much more detail than I,
I'm hardly what you'd call ignorant in the area.

> My own personnal future is certainly not at stake here,
> but Linux's is.

Personally, if I were depending on RT/whatever for my business, I'd be
much happier getting it from someone with a business model that makes
sense.  It's in my best interest to know that they are going to be there
tomorrow, with enough revenue to develop and support the product.  So
in that sense, I couldn't disagree more.  
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 10:10:04 +0200
From: Thunder from the hill <thun...@ngforever.de>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-Cc: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>,
	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
	Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
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Hi,

On Fri, 24 May 2002, Larry McVoy wrote:
> Then you have absolutely no beef with the FSMlabs patent.  Let's review:
> 
>     a) you get to use it if the stuff built on it, all of it, is GPLed.
>     b) you build on GPLed stuff.
> 
> Seems like you either have no problem or you aren't disclosing the whole
> story.  I really don't understand why there is a problem here.   100%
> GPLed is OK, so why do you have a problem?

I think the point he's tryin' to make is somewhere else than that. There 
are lots of companies running embedded devices (oh yes, I can tell ;-), 
and as long as it is a) not clear and/or b) impossible by license to use 
real time linux w/their licenses, they won't.

Embedded and real time devices are "The Future" for lots of companies. And 
of course they're going to want to sell it. Currently, they have three 
ways:

1. They try RTAI and don't have any licensing problems, but they are very 
   unsure about it, since certain people keep telling that RTAI is crap

2. They get used to RTLinux, where they are altogether forced to use 
   either GPL or their license. This isn't exactly a way of choice.

3. They go buy another real time os implementation.

Most will decide for 3., since it's the easy and virtually obvious way. 
Thus, Linux isn't going to get very far in respect to embedded devices. I 
suppose _THAT'S_ the point he was trying to make.

Regards,
Thunder
-- 
Was it a black who passed along in the sand?
Was it a white who left his footprints?
Was it an african? An indian?
Sand says, 'twas human.

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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 11:20:09 +0200
From: Robert Schwebel <rob...@schwebel.de>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020525110830.U598@schwebel.de>
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On Fri, May 24, 2002 at 08:25:38PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> With RTLinux, you have to split the app up into the "hard realtime" part
> (which ends up being in kernel space) and the "rest".
> 
> Which is, in my opinion, the only sane way to handle hard realtime. No
> confusion about priority inversions, no crap. Clear borders between what
> is "has to happen _now_" and "this can do with the regular soft realtime".

... which in turn results in the situation that applications must be
implemented as kernel modules. 

> Your claim was that RTLinux made realtime hard to do with licensing
> concerns. MY claim is that if you actually were to use RTLinux, you
> wouldn't _have_ any licensing concerns: the kernel module would have to
> be GPL (both because the kernel wants it that way _and_ because you get
> the liences to the patent that way), and the user-level code that uses
> whatever data the RT module produces is no longer hard realtime at all.

This is only correct for open-loop applications. Most real life apps are
closed-loop. 

Robert
-- 
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 18:20:11 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020525091444.H28795@work.bitmover.com>
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	Thunder from the hill <thun...@ngforever.de>,
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	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
	Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
	Andrew Morton <a...@zip.com.au>, Hugh Dickins <h...@veritas.com>,
	Christoph Rohland <c...@sap.com>, Jens Axboe <ax...@suse.de>,
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 01:59:10AM -0600, Thunder from the hill wrote:
> I think the point he's tryin' to make is somewhere else than that. There 
> are lots of companies running embedded devices (oh yes, I can tell ;-), 
> and as long as it is a) not clear and/or b) impossible by license to use 
> real time linux w/their licenses, they won't.
> 
> Embedded and real time devices are "The Future" for lots of companies. And 
> of course they're going to want to sell it. Currently, they have three 
> ways:
> 
> 1. They try RTAI and don't have any licensing problems, but they are very 
>    unsure about it, since certain people keep telling that RTAI is crap
> 
> 2. They get used to RTLinux, where they are altogether forced to use 
>    either GPL or their license. This isn't exactly a way of choice.
> 
> 3. They go buy another real time os implementation.

4.  Contact FSMlabs, ask about licensing costs, compare to #3 and go with
    #4 if it makes sense.

If we were hearing about lots of companies who want to use RT/Linux
and have choosen not to do so because of the licensing, there might be
cause for concern.  I'm sure there are companies who have choosen to
skip RT/Linux once they realized it wasn't free, that's too bad, but
not the end of the world.  In the long run, it's probably good because
somebody has to emerge with a business model which will allow them to
make enough money to support the RT stuff.  
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Message-ID: <3CEFB9C6.FC21D7CB@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 18:30:09 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-Cc: Thunder from the hill <thun...@ngforever.de>,
	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
	Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
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Larry McVoy wrote:
> 4.  Contact FSMlabs, ask about licensing costs, compare to #3 and go with
>     #4 if it makes sense.

Many people have said this before and I will say it again: Linux is
fine as an open-source/free-software rtos, but as a non-free rtos it
has no chance in front of the competition.

You can dimiss those who haven't chosen #4 as much as you want and
find all the reasons to justify your dismissal. It remains that the
embedded/rt market is closed to Linux because of the current situation.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 18:30:10 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020525092557.K28795@work.bitmover.com>
Mail-Followup-To: Larry McVoy <l...@work.bitmover.com>,
	Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>, Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>,
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X-Original-Cc: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>,
	Thunder from the hill <thun...@ngforever.de>,
	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
	Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 12:20:22PM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> 
> Larry McVoy wrote:
> > 4.  Contact FSMlabs, ask about licensing costs, compare to #3 and go with
> >     #4 if it makes sense.
> 
> Many people have said this before and I will say it again: Linux is
> fine as an open-source/free-software rtos, but as a non-free rtos it
> has no chance in front of the competition.
> 
> You can dimiss those who haven't chosen #4 as much as you want and
> find all the reasons to justify your dismissal. It remains that the
> embedded/rt market is closed to Linux because of the current situation.

Hmm, then why did Lineo license the patent?   Why is FSMlabs still in
business?  

I don't buy your assertions for one second without some strong data to
back them up.  Just saying something doesn't make it so, show me the
data.
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Message-ID: <3CEFBEA3.71611EDB@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 18:50:07 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-Cc: Thunder from the hill <thun...@ngforever.de>,
	Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>,
	Andrea Arcangeli <and...@e-mind.com>, Dan Kegel <d...@kegel.com>,
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Larry McVoy wrote:
> > You can dimiss those who haven't chosen #4 as much as you want and
> > find all the reasons to justify your dismissal. It remains that the
> > embedded/rt market is closed to Linux because of the current situation.
> 
> Hmm, then why did Lineo license the patent?   Why is FSMlabs still in
> business?

I'm not denying that there are clients who will still choose to pay
FSMLabs. But they're a staff of less than 10, so that's not very indicative
of anything else than minor market interest for the technology.

As for Lineo, they've been in financial trouble for some time, so their
situation is rather telling.

> I don't buy your assertions for one second without some strong data to
> back them up.  Just saying something doesn't make it so, show me the
> data.

Developers will simply not come out in the cold and say we chose OS xyz
instead of Linux because of the rtlinux issues. But talk to them in
private and then you get an entirely different picture.

One sympton of the current situation is the recent study by the VDC
which I alluded to earlier:
http://www.linuxdevices.com/articles/AT6328992055.html

When asked what the #1 factor inhibiting the use of Linux, developers
answered "real-time limitations".

This speaks for itself.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 19:30:10 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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X-Original-Cc: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>,
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On Sat, 25 May 2002, Thunder from the hill wrote:
>
> 2. They get used to RTLinux, where they are altogether forced to use
>    either GPL or their license. This isn't exactly a way of choice.

Ehh. That's just because of fud. Your (2) is _not_ the choice.

Does the RT part have to be GPL? Yes. Big whoopte-do. So does kernel
modules in general, if they are clearly derived works of Linux (which, in
something like this, is pretty obviously the case).

So you split your problem into the RT device driver and the user. And of
story. Stop this stupid FUD.

The thing that disgusts me is that this "patent" thing is used as a
complete red herring, and the real issue is that some people don't like
the fact that the kernel is under the GPL. Tough cookies.

Stop making excuses. I'm personally really happy with having another
reason why people should make all their kernel modules GPL'd. I see way
too many problems with things like the nVidia kernel modules etc, and I
realize that the GPL scares away some people, and I don't care.

Some people (you and Karim) seem to think that the GPL requirement si
going to hurt Linux in the embedded space. Fair enough. That's what all
the BSD people claimed was the case about Linux in server space, Linux on
the desktop, or Linux anywhere.

Personally, I'll just bet on open source myself. Even in the embedded
space. And anybody who bets against me, I just don't care about, because
it has zero impact on me.

		Linus

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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 19:30:13 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
In-Reply-To: <20020525110830.U598@schwebel.de>
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On Sat, 25 May 2002, Robert Schwebel wrote:
> >
> > Which is, in my opinion, the only sane way to handle hard realtime. No
> > confusion about priority inversions, no crap. Clear borders between what
> > is "has to happen _now_" and "this can do with the regular soft realtime".
>
> ... which in turn results in the situation that applications must be
> implemented as kernel modules.

That's a load of bull.

It results in the fact that you need to have a _clear_interface_ between
the hard realtime parts, and the stuff that isn't.

Yes, that does imply a certain amount of good design. And it requires you
to understand which parts are time-critical, and which aren't.

> This is only correct for open-loop applications. Most real life apps are
> closed-loop.

Most real life apps have nothing to do with hard-RT.

		Linus

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From: Wolfgang Denk <w...@denx.de>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)] 
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In message <Pine.LNX.4.44.0205251015350.6515-100...@home.transmeta.com>
you wrote:
> 
> The thing that disgusts me is that this "patent" thing is used as a
> complete red herring, and the real issue is that some people don't like
> the fact that the kernel is under the GPL. Tough cookies.

This is your interpretation, and it is not correct.

> Some people (you and Karim) seem to think that the GPL requirement si
> going to hurt Linux in the embedded space. Fair enough. That's what all

I'm not sure if you really bothered to read what Karim wrote. The GPL
itsef is not the problem, as long as you can draw a line between some
"base  system"  (which  is  strictly  GPL  -  like  RTAI)  and   some
application code.

I do like it very much when all code I write is GPLed, but there  are
situations  where  a there are good reasons for some application code
to remain closed. It seems, this is not a  problem  with  Linux.  But
FSMlabs spreads FUD trying to prevent this for all RT stuff.

What do you think: it it OK (both from the legal and from  the  ethic
point  of  view)  that  somebody  writes  and distributes proprietary
application code?

Wolfgang Denk

-- 
Software Engineering:  Embedded and Realtime Systems,  Embedded Linux
Phone: (+49)-8142-4596-87  Fax: (+49)-8142-4596-88  Email: w...@denx.de
Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence.
                                                   -- Edsger Dijkstra
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 20:20:06 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
In-Reply-To: <20020525175035.3580211972@denx.denx.de>
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On Sat, 25 May 2002, Wolfgang Denk wrote:
>
> What do you think: it it OK (both from the legal and from  the  ethic
> point  of  view)  that  somebody  writes  and distributes proprietary
> application code?

That's not my point.

My point is that from a technical standpoint, I think giving user land
higher priorities than the kernel is _wrong_.

It gets you into all the priority inversion stuff, where you suddently
must not do simple system calls because the regular kernel locks are no
longer safe to use. That's a HUGE design mistake, and a classic one. Yes,
others have done it that way. A billion flies _can_ be wrong - I'd rather
eact lamb chops than shit.

In short:

 - I think the microkernel approach is fundamentally broken. Karim claims
   there is no priority inversion, but he must have his blinders on. Every
   single spinlock in the kernel assumes that the kernel isn't preempted,
   which means that user apps that can preempt the kernel cannot use them.

   (Or RTAI just handles the priority inversion the way that it has been
   handled in other places: by dropping the priority on the floor when
   calling into the kernel. Whatever. It's still priority inversion, and
   it's still broken).

   It's worse than that. Something as simple as growing your stack a bit
   too much will cause a hard kernel failure (or failure of the RT part,
   assuming that the priority is dropped). Karim claims to give "user
   land" hard-real-time abilities, but the fact is, it's not "user land"
   any more. it's a limited shadow, and a _perversion_ of what user land
   is supposed to be all about.

   This is my _technical_ reason for saying that user-land hard realtime
   sucks, and SHOULD NOT BE DONE. That way lies madness, and crap.

 - My other argument is one of FUD against the patent. People claim that
   the RTLinux patent stands in their way, and they are full of _crap_.

	- The patent only covers a specific way of doing things, which as
	  far as I can tell isn't even an issue with RTAI. In short, the
	  RTLinux patent has about as much to do with "holding up
	  real-time development on Linux" as every other patent out there.

	- Yes, if you go the RTLinux way, you either need to make your RT
	  kernel modules GPL'd, or you need to pay FSMlabs. Since I would
	  strongly suggest you make kernel modules GPL'd anyway, this just
	  isn't an issue. The fact that FSMlabs can get people to pay for
	  their patent is just another "tax on stupidity".

	  And "tax on stupidity" is fine by me. People who don't want to
	  use the GPL might as well pay for it, either by paying FSMlabs
	  or by paying somebody else. I don't care.

Have I made myself sufficiently clear by splitting up the issues into a
technical part and a FUD part?

		Linus

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Message-ID: <3CEFD65A.ED871095@opersys.com>
Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 20:30:06 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Linus Torvalds wrote:
>  - I think the microkernel approach is fundamentally broken. Karim claims
>    there is no priority inversion, but he must have his blinders on. Every
>    single spinlock in the kernel assumes that the kernel isn't preempted,
>    which means that user apps that can preempt the kernel cannot use them.

Blinders ehh... Well, if you would care to ask I would answer.

In reality, what you point out is actually a non-issue since the hard-rt
user-land tasks are not allowed to call on normal Linux services. They
can only call on RTAI services which are exported by an extra soft-int.
These services are hard-rt, so there's no problem there.

Please, download the thing and play with it. Or, at the very least, ask
about how it works and we'll be glad to explain.

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Date: Sat, 25 May 2002 20:50:10 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Sat, 25 May 2002, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
>
> Blinders ehh... Well, if you would care to ask I would answer.
>
> In reality, what you point out is actually a non-issue since the hard-rt
> user-land tasks are not allowed to call on normal Linux services. They
> can only call on RTAI services which are exported by an extra soft-int.
> These services are hard-rt, so there's no problem there.

.. which was exactly what I said:

 "..every single spinlock in the kernel assumes that the kernel isn't
  preempted, which means that user apps that can preempt the kernel
  cannot use them."

Karim, I don't _need_ to download RTAI or ask you questions about how it
works, because this is fundamental "RT-101" stuff. This is what priority
inversion is all about: if you make user land more important than the
kernel, it _cannot_ stay RT and use kernel services.

I went on to say:

   "Karim claims to give "user land" hard-real-time abilities, but the
    fact is, it's not "user land" any more. it's a limited shadow, and a
    _perversion_ of what user land is supposed to be all about."

Which certainly should have told you that I understood the limitations of
RTAI very well indeed. And I reject them.

		Linus

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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 01:50:08 +0200
From: Robert Schwebel <rob...@schwebel.de>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020526003359.Z598@schwebel.de>
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 10:27:24AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> It results in the fact that you need to have a _clear_interface_ between
> the hard realtime parts, and the stuff that isn't.

Show me how you will implement a closed loop controller where the
application is _not_ implemented as a kernel module. I would really love to
do it this way, but unfortunately no one of the realtime programmers has
found a way how it can be achieved so far. 

> Yes, that does imply a certain amount of good design. And it requires you
> to understand which parts are time-critical, and which aren't.

Unfortunately, in the automation field nearly all applications are
closed-loop, and that means that the application itself is time critical. 

> > This is only correct for open-loop applications. Most real life apps are
> > closed-loop.
> 
> Most real life apps have nothing to do with hard-RT.

Perhaps in your life :-) It's different in mine, in Karim's, Wolfgang's,
Bernhard's, Steve's, Stuart's, Paolo's, Guennadi's, Thomas', Massimo's,
Pierre's, Lorenzo's, Giuseppe's, Erwin's, Dave's, Ian's, Alex' (just to
mention the RTAI team) and in that of all the thousands of engineers who
are working with Linux and RTAI every day. 

Please, take into account that there are people out there wo are working
with Linux in automation and control applications every day, and their
bread and butter _is_ realtime stuff. My experience is that this is
sometimes really hard to understand for people who normally work on
problems from the IT industry, you are not the only one.

Realtime may be someting exotic for "normal" PC users, but in the whole
industrial embedded world it is completely different. 

Robert
-- 
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 01:50:09 +0200
From: Robert Schwebel <rob...@schwebel.de>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
Message-ID: <20020526004710.A598@schwebel.de>
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 12:41:07PM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> Developers will simply not come out in the cold and say we chose OS xyz
> instead of Linux because of the rtlinux issues. But talk to them in
> private and then you get an entirely different picture.

That's also my experience: 

- I have been on all major automation trade shows in Germany for about 5
  years

- I am the author of one of the two German books about Embedded Linux and
  of lots of articles about Linux for automation 

- I have organized the largest developer conference in Germany about "Linux
  for industrial applications" 

During all that activities I have talked to hundrets of people who are
either already working with Linux or considering it's use. What Karim says
here does exactly reflect the mood of the people. 

Robert
-- 
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 02:10:11 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Sun, 26 May 2002, Robert Schwebel wrote:
>
> Show me how you will implement a closed loop controller where the
> application is _not_ implemented as a kernel module. I would really love to
> do it this way, but unfortunately no one of the realtime programmers has
> found a way how it can be achieved so far.

The thing is, if your whole app is really RT, then neither RTAI nor
RTLinux will help you all that much.

The "user space" in RTAI ends up being equally limited as any kernel
module in RTLinux. No dynamic memory allocation, no deep recursion, no
regular system calls. That's just fundamental to hard realtime, and has
nothing to do with any of the environments themselves.

The "advantage" of RTAI is a copyright license issue at that point,
nothing more (well, you get your own address space, but since you mustn't
fault anything anyway, the advantage is dubious, _and_ it certainly eats
into your performance). And as explained elsewhere, I don't find that to
be an advantage at all (and as pointed out by Larry, there seems to be
some dubious issues about the RTAI copyright itself).

Don't get me wrong - I'd love to say that it could be easily fixed by
doing xxxx, but the fact is that since the linux kernel itself isn't hard
realtime, the lack of kernel services really is unavoidable.

And once you lack kernel services, from a programming standpoint it
shouldn't really matter whether it's a kernel module or not. You've got
basically the same amount of (or rather, "lack of") support. A lot of
things are a lot easier in kernel mode (interrupts, IO etc), while you
might find loading the app etc easier in the RTAI model, for example. You
win some, you lose some.

Can we make the whole kernel truly hard-RT? Sure, possible in theory. In
practice? No way, Josť. It's just not mainline enough.

So I'm agreeing with you: for true hard RT, you need a kernel module. I
can't come up with a way to avoid any of the fundamental problems either..

			Linus

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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 02:50:06 +0200
From: Linus Torvalds <torva...@transmeta.com>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Sat, 25 May 2002, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
> Can we make the whole kernel truly hard-RT? Sure, possible in theory. In
> practice? No way, Josť. It's just not mainline enough.

Side note: we could, of course, mark some spinlocks (and thus some
code-paths) as being RT-safe, and then make sure that those spinlocks -
when they disable interrupts - actually disable the _hw_ interrupts even
with the RT patches.

That would make those sequences usable even from within a RT subset, but
would obviously mean that those spinlocks have to be checked for latency
issues - because any user (also non-RT ones) would obviously be truly
uninterruptible within these spinlocks.

Every single RT person out there is already painfully aware of (and used
to) having to limit the set of functions he can use while RT, so this is
something you guys tend to be pretty familiar with..

So the "hard-RT" thing doesn't need to be a complete on/off thing.

This kind of "limited kernel functionality" tends to help only RT kernel
modules, though. Full system calls (except the trivial ones like
"getpid()", of course) simply tend to have to require too much "real"
infrastructure that they can't use the RT subset.

Also, some people will he happy to know that soft-RT ends up getting
continually improved, and many people might be able to find that just the
regular preemptible kernel gives good enough latency at least if you can
limit the workload on the machine (which, on embedded devices tends to be
somethin gyou take for granted anyway).

That may not make the hard RT people happier, but at least it might shrink
the number of the die-hard hard RT'rs.

"If you can't beat them, try to make them extinct" ;)

			Linus

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Message-ID: <3CF03526.78F89E24@zip.com.au>
Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 03:10:08 +0200
From: Andrew Morton <a...@zip.com.au>
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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Robert Schwebel wrote:
> 
> On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 12:41:07PM -0400, Karim Yaghmour wrote:
> > Developers will simply not come out in the cold and say we chose OS xyz
> > instead of Linux because of the rtlinux issues. But talk to them in
> > private and then you get an entirely different picture.
> 
> That's also my experience:
> 
> - I have been on all major automation trade shows in Germany for about 5
>   years
> 
> - I am the author of one of the two German books about Embedded Linux and
>   of lots of articles about Linux for automation
> 
> - I have organized the largest developer conference in Germany about "Linux
>   for industrial applications"
> 
> During all that activities I have talked to hundrets of people who are
> either already working with Linux or considering it's use. What Karim says
> here does exactly reflect the mood of the people.
> 

Could you please tell us, just so it is really clear, what these people's
concerns are?  What obstacles they see to using Linux in this industry?

-
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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 05:40:05 +0200
From: yodai...@fsmlabs.com
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP - Warning actual technical content.
Message-ID: <20020525212832.A6479@hq.fsmlabs.com>
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 05:39:00PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> Side note: we could, of course, mark some spinlocks (and thus some
> code-paths) as being RT-safe, and then make sure that those spinlocks -
> when they disable interrupts - actually disable the _hw_ interrupts even
> with the RT patches.
> 
> That would make those sequences usable even from within a RT subset, but
> would obviously mean that those spinlocks have to be checked for latency
> issues - because any user (also non-RT ones) would obviously be truly
> uninterruptible within these spinlocks.

How about something more useful: interval progress assurances? Such as
"during any 5  second  period this process will be able to read X meg of
data from a file and write Y meg"

So if I have an RT task that dumps data to a DVD at millisecond intervals,
I can be sure that the non-RT task that reads the FS and puts data 
into a buffer will never let me run out of frames on a given shared memory
size.

This is useful in itself for nonRT Linux too. It seems quite hard, but it
could be relatively robust, once it was in place - making a 1 millisecond
worst case turn into a 10 millisecond worst case would not break it.


---
BTW:
I'm ignoring the 10 billionth rehash of the RTLinux/RTAI debate since 
there seems very little purpose in not doing so.  People who have actual 
questions should feel free to ask me directly - publically or privately, I
don't mind. Those on tape loops can keep repeating themselves without
my assistance. 


-- 
---------------------------------------------------------
Victor Yodaiken 
Finite State Machine Labs: The RTLinux Company.
 www.fsmlabs.com  www.rtlinux.com

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Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 08:00:09 +0200
From: Robert Schwebel <rob...@schwebel.de>
Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
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On Sat, May 25, 2002 at 06:06:46PM -0700, Andrew Morton wrote:
> Could you please tell us, just so it is really clear, what these people's
> concerns are? What obstacles they see to using Linux in this industry?

Uncertainty. The situation today is that they are using operating systems
like WindowsCE, VxWorks, QNX or other proprietary operating systems. The
problem is that if you use an operating system for the industry you need to
make sure that you can support your product (=hardware: motion controller
or whatever) for about 10 to 15 years. That's pretty different to the IT
industry! Note also that these applications are very different from IT
applications: they are in most cases not of general use, but only if you
have the special hardware.  

This is the reason why _lots_ of people still use home brown solutions
based on DOS: they have the whole system under their control, nobody can
obsolete them the most significant part of their system. 

Industry people like Linux because it gives them exactly the combination of
freedom (=control over the source) and modern technology they need (note
that ethernet as a fieldbus replacement is a very promising technology). 

On the other hand, Linux still has a rest of the hacker image, at least to
the conservative automation people. When they hear that there is a patent
problem regarding to realtime they often see their central requirement
violated: longterm availability. Even the slightest sign of a potential
problem makes them often say: "Then we better stay with closed sorce,
because that's what we know."  

We don't require much: most of what's _technicall_ necessary is already
there. We just want the same right that every Linux programmer has for it's
software: decide ourself about the license of our self made application. 

Is tat too much? 

Robert
-- 
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
 | Dipl.-Ing. Robert Schwebel | http://www.pengutronix.de |
 | Pengutronix - Linux Solutions for Science and Industry |
 |   Braunschweiger Str. 79,  31134 Hildesheim, Germany   |
 |    Phone: +49-5121-28619-0 |  Fax: +49-5121-28619-4    |
 +--------------------------------------------------------+
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From: "Adam J. Richter" <a...@yggdrasil.com>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 00:00:12 +0200
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	If Red Hat is able to leave the licensing issues for their
Linux patents unresolved and they still manage to be regarded as being
in good standing with most contributors and would-be customers, then,
in the coming months, many other Linux companies will take this is a
green light to file for many patents and remain silent when asked to
explictly grant permission to the public to practice the patents in
free software.  There is little or no business reason to publicly
grant such permission if one can get away with not doing so.

	Although other companies today already have many patents that
they could argue are infringed by certain free software components.
The Linux patents are different as a practical matter, however, in
that the chance of prevailing in that argument will be greater when
if alleged infringer is using the code for which the patent was
originally submitted.

	Eventually, as some companies are bought or go out of
business, it is a statistical certainty that some of these patents
will pass into the control of parties that do not care about the GPL's
penalties for enforcing a software patent (after all, that would allow
litigation only against copiers of the software, and a copyright owner
would have to sue, which is approximately already the level of danger
one has with an unlicensed software patent).

Adam J. Richter     __     ______________   575 Oroville Road
a...@yggdrasil.com     \ /                  Milpitas, California 95035
+1 408 309-6081         | g g d r a s i l   United States of America
                         "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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Subject: Re: patent on O_ATOMICLOOKUP [Re: [PATCH] loopable tmpfs (2.4.17)]
From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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On Mon, 2002-05-27 at 22:52, Adam J. Richter wrote: 
> 	If Red Hat is able to leave the licensing issues for their
> Linux patents unresolved and they still manage to be regarded as being

Nobody intends to leave in unresolved. It's simply a matter of coming up
on the Friday of a long weekend when most folk are not back until
Tuesday. I think everything will have been appropriately addressed
including the questions of the 'what if IBM/AOL/Sony/.. buy Red Hat' [1]
 kind

Alan
[1] Pick a bogus rumour, any rumour...

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Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 00:30:17 +0200
From: Larry McVoy <l...@bitmover.com>
Subject: business models [was patent stuff]
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Jumping on the chance to cause more discussion...  This probably ought to
be off on some other list, but I don't know what that is.  Alan will be 
sending out the guards to herd me back into the ward, but I've escaped
for the moment and I'll make the best of it :)

On Mon, May 27, 2002 at 02:52:13PM -0700, Adam J. Richter wrote:
> 	Eventually, as some companies are bought or go out of
> business, it is a statistical certainty that some of these patents
> will pass into the control of parties that do not care about the GPL's
> penalties for enforcing a software patent 

If the free software community is ever going to really compete with the
non-free software community, they simply have to come up with a better
business model than giving it away and trying to make money on support.
It's economics 101 - a free market will go to whomever can provide the
needed service most cheaply.  With no barrier to entry, that means as
soon as the price gets high enough, someone will resell the product for
less.  Which results in razor thin profits, if any at all.

In my opinion, it's time for the free software fanatics to ease off and
let some moderates come in and try and define a reasonable compromise.
We all need to realize that we can let businesses figure it out themselves
and we may not like what they decide, or try and define a compromise
that can be lived with.  Whether you like it or not, the patent ploy
works and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it if it is a legit
patent.

If you hold the "It's GPL or bugger off" position, people will figure out
how to work around it and it is virtually certain you won't like what they
do.  If you offer them some sort of reasonable compromise, I'll bet they
take it.  If you don't, you get to live with whatever their nasty evil
business minds dream up.

This whole line of reasoning is why I detest the OSI and Eric Raymond
in particular.  They had a chance to define a "Buiness Source License"
or some other compromise and get the world to consider it as an option.
Instead, they just made a lot of noise and for what?  Ask yourself -
how much more open source is there in the world today versus 5 years ago.
Imagine that pile.  Now take the OSI out of the picture and tell me what
would not be in that pile anyway.  Bloody little.  The OSI squandered a
golden opportunity to really change the world, and I find that depressing
beyond words.

Sorry, I'm wandering.  The discussion I'd like to see is one in which
people explored the values they hold dear and tried to come up with a
business model which preserves those values and allows that business
to compete with the likes of Microsoft.  Yeah, yeah, I know that Linux
kicks butt for print serving and web serving, but the 99% reason it
does is price.  It's not because Linux has new compelling features that
Microsoft doesn't have, it's because it's hard for Microsoft to compete
with stuff that costs zero dollars.  The problem isn't where we are,
the problem is where we are going (or more to the point, not going).
How is Linux and open source ever going to be a leader, producing new
applications, new protocols, new languages, new markets when it doesn't
generate the incredible amounts of revenue needed to build all that?

Ask yourself - how much open source is a reimplementation of what has
already been designed and implemented, and how much is fundamentally new?
That new stuff costs huge dollars, not because of the cost of building it,
but because of the cost of building all the crap that turned out bad
but provided the insight that lead to the new stuff.  It's really not
that hard to reimplement something, open source has proven that beyond
all doubt.  What it hasn't proven is that open source leads to new ideas,
products, and markets.  So far, open source follows, it doesn't lead.
A reasonable business model might change that.  There may be other ways
to change it, but something needs to change or 20 years from now there
will be open source versions of all the current popular apps, but still
playing catch up on the next generation.

My 2 cents.
-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	 lm at bitmover.com           http://www.bitmover.com/lm 
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Message-ID: <3CF2BE26.4FF03387@opersys.com>
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 01:20:08 +0200
From: Karim Yaghmour <ka...@opersys.com>
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Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
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I agree that this should go on some other list, but 'til then, here are my 2c.

No offense Larry, but many of your arguments are the same used by Microsoft
to push their vision of publicly available source.

Larry McVoy wrote:
> It's economics 101 - a free market will go to whomever can provide the
> needed service most cheaply.

I will take the liberty of rephrasing to illustrate my point of view:
"a free market will go to whomever can provide the needed service."

The question is: Can you provide the service? Of course if the service
you are selling is common knowledge, then you've got nothing to sell
your competitor can't. But if you're part of building the technology
then you're certainly in a know-how monopoly position. This is why I
don't think any of the kernel developers will ever be out of a job.

The drawback to this is that you simply can't scale a knowledge-based
company the way you do with a classical intellectual-property-based
company. The way I see it, the software industry will look increasingly
like that of other speciality fields such as law and medicine. Sure, any
doctor can administer a serum, but not every doctor can actually perform
robotic heart-surgery. He who can perform robotic heart-surgery can
offer something other doctors can't. Same will be with the software field.

> In my opinion, it's time for the free software fanatics to ease off and
> let some moderates come in and try and define a reasonable compromise.

Can you suggest a list of names of some "moderates"?

> If you hold the "It's GPL or bugger off" position, people will figure out
> how to work around it and it is virtually certain you won't like what they
> do.  If you offer them some sort of reasonable compromise, I'll bet they
> take it.  If you don't, you get to live with whatever their nasty evil
> business minds dream up.

I predict the inverse. Of course, people will actually try to use patents to
restrict free and open source software. And of course, they will push this
as hard and as far as they can. The community, however, will always find
alternative ways to obtain the same results and, in the end, no client wil
use the patent holder's products or services. Instead, they will use the
community's alternative solutions.

You would like the open source and free software communities to get used
to having their rights being violated. I think the software "manufacturers"
better get used to the fact that they can't outsmart the community,
regardless of the legal/political/financial tools they use.

As I said earlier, the current software business model is an endangered
species.

Best regards,

Karim

===================================================
                 Karim Yaghmour
               ka...@opersys.com
      Embedded and Real-Time Linux Expert
===================================================
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Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
From: Gilad Ben-Yossef <gi...@benyossef.com>
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On Tue, 2002-05-28 at 01:24, Larry McVoy wrote:

> If the free software community is ever going to really compete with the
> non-free software community, they simply have to come up with a better
> business model than giving it away and trying to make money on support.
> It's economics 101 - a free market will go to whomever can provide the
> needed service most cheaply.  With no barrier to entry, that means as
.........^^^^^^^^
> soon as the price gets high enough, someone will resell the 
> product for
..^^^^^^^
> less.  Which results in razor thin profits, if any at all.

Software is not a "product" any more then a lawyer argument in a case is
a "product" or an architect plan for a building is a "product".  That's
the whole problem in a nut shell. If you continue to view software as a
sellable object then the business model indeed doesn't make sense. Then
again, if you try to look at a lawyers argument in a case as the
"product" of the law firm then that same business plan doesn't make
sense either. After all, in most countries I'm aware of, a lawyer
argument cannot be effectivly copyrighted. Of course, this doesn't stop
lawyers from make a living. Just ask anyone at Microsoft legal
depratment... ;-)

Most "Open Source service companies" that I'm aware off don't understand
the implications. They're not built like a small law firm that may be
large one day; they're built like a company that tries to be a 90 pound
world class gorrila backed by Vulture Capital. Sorry, but it doesn't
work like this: you have to walk before you can run.

So there's a business model and it works for years in other fields.
Maybe the problem is that people this path is it isn't "sexy" - they
will have to lose the dream of being High Tech millionares who built a
megacorporation and start thinking  like a small time law firm, which
might one day be big. Maybe they don't like to work in a consultant kind
of way. I can understand that and it's OK, but there is a business
model.

The way Open Source (or Free) software works is to multiply the "use
value" of software by killing the "sell value". But here is the
interesting part: it increases the "use value" of the open/free software
in a given niche, but kills the "sell value" of ALL software competing
in that niche. This is why it's going to win, cold hard economic facts
and no need for FSF like ideology (not that there's anything wrong with
that... ;-))))

And BTW I'm OK with patents as long as their licensed for free to GPLed
software (maybe add a clause that makes this irreversable?).

> How is Linux and open source ever going to be a leader, producing new
> applications, new protocols, new languages, new markets when it doesn't
> generate the incredible amounts of revenue needed to build all that?

A. Who cares? We're having fun.
B. It already is in many senses.

I even think that A leads to B, but that's just me...

> Ask yourself - how much open source is a reimplementation of what has
> already been designed and implemented, and how much is fundamentally new?

Ask yourself - how much science is a reimplmentation of what has 
already been researched and implmented, and how much is fundamentally
new?

If I remember correctly Linus quoted some dead guy about this once,
something about standing on the shoulders of giants...

OK, I'll now go back to being a quiet little lurker... ;-)

-- 
Gilad Ben-Yossef <gi...@benyossef.com>
http://benyossef.com
"Hail Eris! All Hail Discordia!"

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From: Daniel Phillips <phill...@bonn-fries.net>
Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 11:10:06 +0200
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On Tuesday 28 May 2002 09:53, Gilad Ben-Yossef wrote:
> And BTW I'm OK with patents as long as their licensed for free to GPLed
> software (maybe add a clause that makes this irreversable?).

Indeed, an irreversible license is essential, but that's not all.  Not
only must the GPL be accommodated, but all open source licenses.  And it
is not enough to be free as in "without cost": it must also be free of
additional restrictions.

-- 
Daniel
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Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
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On Tue, 2002-05-28 at 09:57, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> On Tuesday 28 May 2002 09:53, Gilad Ben-Yossef wrote:
> > And BTW I'm OK with patents as long as their licensed for free to GPLed
> > software (maybe add a clause that makes this irreversable?).
> 
> Indeed, an irreversible license is essential, but that's not all.  Not
> only must the GPL be accommodated, but all open source licenses.  And it
> is not enough to be free as in "without cost": it must also be free of
> additional restrictions.

I don't think you can realistically expect all open source licenses like
the BSD one to be accomodated. Otherwise people would ship binary apps
linked with a BSD licensed libpatent.o/c that was useless to anyone. The
GPL restrictions happen to work very nicely in terms of making a patent
available for free software (or one definition thereof), the BSD license
alas doesn't.

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Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 19:20:08 +0200
From: "Adam J. Richter" <a...@freya.yggdrasil.com>
Message-ID: <200205281713.KAA22774@freya.yggdrasil.com>
Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
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Alan Cox responds to Gilad Ben-Yossef about licensing of Linux-based patents:
>I don't think you can realistically expect all open source licenses like
>the BSD one to be accomodated. Otherwise people would ship binary apps
>linked with a BSD licensed libpatent.o/c that was useless to anyone. The
>GPL restrictions happen to work very nicely in terms of making a patent
>available for free software (or one definition thereof), the BSD license
>alas doesn't.

	You could license all programs that consist entirely of
free software.  That way, BSD, LGPL, and MPL software that did
not link in proprietary software would be allowed too, but your
example of a proprietary program that linked in the BSD'ed
libpatent.o/c would not be covered by this permission.

	Licensing all programs that consist entirely of free
software would address issues like GPL'ed software that contains
content that is GPL compatible but not GPL'ed, future versions of
the GPL, what happens if a court ruling opens a loophole in the
GPL, and practicing the patent with free software in other free
operating systems.

Adam J. Richter     __     ______________   575 Oroville Road
a...@yggdrasil.com     \ /                  Milpitas, California 95035
+1 408 309-6081         | g g d r a s i l   United States of America
                         "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
In-Reply-To: <200205281713.KAA22774@freya.yggdrasil.com>
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On Tue, 2002-05-28 at 18:13, Adam J. Richter wrote:
> 	You could license all programs that consist entirely of
> free software.  That way, BSD, LGPL, and MPL software that did
> not link in proprietary software would be allowed too, but your
> example of a proprietary program that linked in the BSD'ed
> libpatent.o/c would not be covered by this permission.

Define "free software" using only legally defined phrases which have
precedent. In fact put four people in a room and get them to define free
software.

> software would address issues like GPL'ed software that contains
> content that is GPL compatible but not GPL'ed, future versions of

If its linked then it is GPL in the linked form, otherwise you wouldn't
be allowed to link it

Alan

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From: "Adam J. Richter" <a...@yggdrasil.com>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 05:30:08 +0200
Message-ID: <200205290321.UAA01482@adam.yggdrasil.com>
Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
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Alan Cox wrote:
>On Tue, 2002-05-28 at 18:13, Adam J. Richter wrote:
>>       You could license all programs that consist entirely of
>> free software.  That way, BSD, LGPL, and MPL software that did
>> not link in proprietary software would be allowed too, but your
>> example of a proprietary program that linked in the BSD'ed
>> libpatent.o/c would not be covered by this permission.
>
>Define "free software" using only legally defined phrases which have
>precedent. In fact put four people in a room and get them to define free
>software.

	Many if not all legal documents contain more than
"only legally defined phrases which have precedent."  I'm sure Red Hat
has signed many.  You can reasonably find a definition that covers 99%
of what people consider free software and make subsequent grants later.
In the other direction, if you accidentally include some less than
free software, that should not matter much if you are only taking out
these patents for "defensive" purposes.

	Example definitions might be: "public domain or any license
certified by the Open Software Initiative", "a license that has
no more restrictions than version 2 of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation ("or any subsequent
version"?)."  You could also cut and paste from OSI or Debian bullet
items.

	More importantly, licensing patents only for pure GPL'ed use
is unlikely to become a norm that you can expect broad adoption of
in free software businesses, as many of them tend to be proponents of
slightly different copying permissions.  If we have a bunch of patents
licensed for GPL-only, another bunch for MPL-only, another bunch for
pure-BSD only, then the patent proliferation that I described
yesterday will still probably occur.

	You have a fleeting opportunity to possibly head most of this
off, but you have to look beyond just your favorite license.  Many
developers and even companies' managements identify strongly with their
favorite licenses, and feel personally about their ability to develop
free software under those licenses.  If the GPL developers don't shield
the Apache developers, the X developers, the BSD developers, and the
MPL developers so that their ability to continue with the free software
portion of their activities has been respected, do you really think
they'll shield GPL development from their patents?

Adam J. Richter     __     ______________   575 Oroville Road
a...@yggdrasil.com     \ /                  Milpitas, California 95035
+1 408 309-6081         | g g d r a s i l   United States of America
                         "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
From: Alan Cox <a...@lxorguk.ukuu.org.uk>
In-Reply-To: <200205290321.UAA01482@adam.yggdrasil.com>
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On Wed, 2002-05-29 at 04:21, Adam J. Richter wrote:
> 	Example definitions might be: "public domain or any license
> certified by the Open Software Initiative", "a license that has


The OSI approves things like the BSD license which is a convenient open
door for anyone to use such patents in proprietary code with a tiny
useless BSD licensed library. That doesn't further free software, it 
doesn't provide opportunities for co-operative cross licensing to get
GPL rights to other patents from the proprietary world and so forth.
Being in a position where as part of the normal processes of proprietary
software design we can get other companies to give free software access
to some patents in return for access to use some our stuff proprietary
is a win.

I would worry much more about the million odd patents IBM have, where
IBM have no general statement of this nature than the Red Hat ones.
Perhaps once the Red Hat statement is published IBM can be persuaded to
show willing ?

> 	More importantly, licensing patents only for pure GPL'ed use
> is unlikely to become a norm that you can expect broad adoption of
> in free software businesses, as many of them tend to be proponents of
> slightly different copying permissions.  If we have a bunch of patents
> licensed for GPL-only, another bunch for MPL-only, another bunch for
> pure-BSD only, then the patent proliferation that I described
> yesterday will still probably occur.

I would agree to an extent. Certainly purely GPL is excluding stuff
which has identical 'all of package' rules like db3, Qt free editions,
and much of KDE.

> free software under those licenses.  If the GPL developers don't shield
> the Apache developers, the X developers, the BSD developers, and the
> MPL developers so that their ability to continue with the free software
> portion of their activities has been respected, do you really think
> they'll shield GPL development from their patents?

There is little evidence of that having happened with code, its also
possible to extend lists of licenses, clarify them for specific product
and so forth.

Alan

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From: "Adam J. Richter" <a...@yggdrasil.com>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 21:20:06 +0200
Message-ID: <200205291913.MAA01126@adam.yggdrasil.com>
Subject: Re: business models [was patent stuff]
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Alan Cox writes:
>On Wed, 2002-05-29 at 04:21, Adam J. Richter wrote:
>> 	Example definitions might be: "public domain or any license
>> certified by the Open Software Initiative", "a license that has


>The OSI approves things like the BSD license which is a convenient open
>door for anyone to use such patents in proprietary code with a tiny
>useless BSD licensed library. [...]

	I addressed that previously: you can license just the case
where the entire program is free software.  Patents restrict use, not
just copying.  So, it is hard to argue against the enforceability of
"user does the link" subversion when it comes to patents, which I
infer is your principal objection.


>I would worry much more about the million odd patents IBM have, [...]

	I addressed that previously:

| 	Although other companies today already have many patents that
| | they could argue are infringed by certain free software components.
| The Linux patents are different as a practical matter, however, in
| that the chance of prevailing in that argument will be greater when
| if alleged infringer is using the code for which the patent was
| originally submitted.

[...]
>> If the GPL developers don't shield
>> the Apache developers, the X developers, the BSD developers, and the
>> MPL developers so that their ability to continue with the free software
>> portion of their activities has been respected, do you really think
>> they'll shield GPL development from their patents?

>There is little evidence of that having happened with code,

	Linux distribution vendors make a lot of money from combining
and selling the work of these other free software development
communities.  These other communities currently do a lot of work to
ensure that their software runs under our GPL'ed kernel and LGPL'ed C
library.  The GPL developers are supported in the other direction too:
plenty of GPL'ed software runs under BSD-permission platforms like
tcl, or Apache or on BSD.  Even with the Linux kernel, you have Dave
Hinds relicensing his MPL pcmcia drivers for GPL linking, and sixty
two modules in linux-2.5.18 contain MODULE_LICENSE declarations of
"Dual BSD/GPL", plus two others that are just BSD.

	You would have no Linux distribution if you only shipped
GPL'ed software, or even if the non-GPL free software communities
stopped their continuing substantial efforts to ensure that their
applications run Linux, compile under GCC and binutils, and
interoperate with a host of other GPL'ed components.

	What more should the non-GPL free software communities have
done that now justifies your not licensing your patents for their free
software development?

>its also
>possible to extend lists of licenses, clarify them for specific product
>and so forth.

	If you "extend lists of licenses" _at the outset_, you will
discourage patenting of the non-GPL software you use.  Otherwise, I
think the practice will quickly proliferate if other free software
companies see that their users and contributors tolerate Red Hat
taking out patents on free software implementations and licensing it
GPL-only.  I think subsequent extensions would have less of of a
standards setting effect.


Adam J. Richter     __     ______________   575 Oroville Road
a...@yggdrasil.com     \ /                  Milpitas, California 95035
+1 408 309-6081         | g g d r a s i l   United States of America
                         "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."
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