Coda File System

Re: protection database - lower edge

From: Sleepycat Software <>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 12:21:43 -0500 (EST)
> On Sun, 15 Feb 1998, Brian Bartholomew wrote:
>>> GNU dbm (gdbm) format.
>> Recommendation: dump gdbm in favor of the follow-on work to Berkeley
>> dbm, available from  This code has lots of
>> good properties, including speed, transactions, multi-user locking,
>> on-line hot backups, and a port to Windows.  *I have never encountered
>> a bug in db2 while using it correctly*.  
> By `db2', I assume you mean Berkeley DB version 2.0, not the well-known
> relational database DB2 from IBM, right?

Yes, it's a problem.  It's one of those casual decisions that
we never even thought about at the time, and which turned out
to be spectacularly bad a few years down the line.  We try and
use "Berkeley DB" consistently, although that name has its own

>> The license says you can use it commercially
>> if you distribute the source for your application.  
> The license at requires a little
> bit more; it requires not only that you distribute the source, but also
> that you make the source freely redistributable.

This is correct.  In practice, we have let people restrict
further redistribution of their source code as long as the
code was itself freely available for no-more-than-nominal
cost, which is sometimes helpful, e.g., authors may not want
test releases to acquire a life of their own.

> The page that points to the license
> ( appears to contradict this,
> saying it can only be freely used under non-commercial conditions.  Perhaps
> the sleepycat people could clarify their intent here.

We put "non-commercial" on the initial web page as it covers
our general intent.  The specific details can be found on at
the web page you noted:

We have been flexible on the license in the past, and will to
continue to be.

Our intent is that people freely redistributing their work be
permitted to freely redistribute our work.  People wanting to
sell our software are required to obtain a commercial license.
If this is an unfair policy for any particular distribution, we
are happy to come to an arrangement or create a special license
for that distribution.

For example, there are various software packages where the
authors *want* vendors to have permission to sell their work,
e.g., Samba and other GNU-licensed software.  We're happy to
permit these authors to include Berkeley DB in their packages,
under whatever terms they choose, with the only restriction
being that vendors cannot extract DB from the package and use
it separately.

Keith Bostic

Keith Bostic
Sleepycat Software Inc.
394 E. Riding Dr.		+1-978-287-4781
Carlisle, MA 01741
Received on 1998-02-16 12:31:22