final thoughts - bug tracking system

Rahul Siddharthan rsidd at
Thu Sep 15 06:33:56 PDT 2005

Chris Pressey <cpressey at xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>This doesn't change the fact that JIRA is closed-source.
>Does anyone (besides me) have objections to this on principle (rather
>than on a pragmatic basis)?

Yes, I do.  But it's not "rather than".  The Linux/BitKeeper story
shows that the "principled" objection *is* a pragmatic objection.  You
can't trust closed-source to be around forever.  With open-source,
even if the original author abandons it, you can continue with it (at
the very least, make sure it works with newer systems, compilers,

Someone wrote in another message that the problem with the BitKeeper
licence was that it wasn't perpetual.  Not quite -- the problem was
that BitKeeper would make changes upstream that would require updates
to clients , whether you wanted to upgrade or not (and of course, a
"perpetual" licence doesn't apply to newer versions, and one can't
assume it will with JIRA).  They also had obnoxious clauses about
"non-compete" (which is what caused them to pull the plug eventually).

I am not for a moment suggesting that the JIRA people are at all like
BitKeeper/Larry McVoy.  They are probably very nice people.  But they
CAN change the licence on newer versions; they CAN go out of business
and stop producing new versions; older freeware versions CAN stop
working on newer systems; etc.  It probably won't happen, but it may.
There are very pragmatic reasons to use open source.


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