[master] 659f2af42 I had a good idea.

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at FreeBSD.org
Fri May 17 19:09:12 UTC 2019

commit 659f2af428935b83155c5e638d03e7c8501f2eaf
Author: Poul-Henning Kamp <phk at FreeBSD.org>
Date:   Fri May 17 19:08:12 2019 +0000

    I had a good idea.

diff --git a/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst b/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst
index d258654d8..70a7edc16 100644
--- a/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst
+++ b/doc/sphinx/phk/index.rst
@@ -8,6 +8,7 @@ You may or may not want to know what Poul-Henning thinks.
 .. toctree::
 	:maxdepth: 1
+	patent.rst
diff --git a/doc/sphinx/phk/patent.rst b/doc/sphinx/phk/patent.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000..426e9ba13
--- /dev/null
+++ b/doc/sphinx/phk/patent.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,233 @@
+.. _phk_patent:
+A patently good idea
+When I was in USA, diplomas on the wall was very much a thing.
+I don't think I fully reverse-engineered the protocol for which
+diplomas would get hung and which would be filed away, apart from
+the unbreakable rule that, like it or not, anything your company
+handed out was mandatory on the office-wall, no matter how embarrasing.
+Our paediatrician had diplomas for five or six steps of her education.
+My favourite pizzeria had a diploma for "Authentic Italian Food"
+from a US organization suffering from fuzzy territorial perception.
+Co-workers had diplomas from their universities, OSHA, USAF, DoE,
+CalTrans and who knows what.
+But the gold-standard of diplomas, at least amongst the engineers,
+was having a US Patent on the wall, even if it only ever made them
+a single dollar in assignment fee.
+I asked one of them about his patent and he answered wryly: *"It
+proves to my boss and my mom that I had at least one unique idea
+in my career."*
+Personally I do not think the patent system does what people think
+it does, ie: protect the small inventor from big companies, so I
+have no patents to my name, and in fact no diplomas on my wall at
+But I still mentally carve a notch when I see one of my ideas
+being validated in some form.
+Containers and Zones are not jails, but they know, and I know, where
+they got the basic idea from, and that is plenty of validation
+for my ego.
+Today is Store Bededag in Denmark, loosely translated "All Prayers
+Day", by definition a friday and we, like many other danes, have
+eloped to the beach-house for a long weekend.
+But being self-employed I puttered around with VCC, the VCL compiler,
+this morning, and as a result, you will soon be able to say::
+	import vmod_with_impractically_long_name as v;
+My idea that Varnish would be configured in a Domain Specific
+Language compiled to native code is obviously one of my better,
+and about 10 years ago, that was becoming very obvious.
+In Norway `Varnish Software <https://varnish-software.com>`_ were
+being spun out of the Redpill-Linpro company.
+Artur Bergman, one of the first Varnish Cache power users, who ran
+Wikias content delivery and hit our project like a blast-oven with
+ideas, patches, measurements, general good cheer and incredibly low
+tolerance for bull-shit, started the `Fastly CDN <https://fastly.com>`_.
+Prior to that, I had done a bit of soul-searching myself, wondering
+if I should try to take Varnish and run with it?
+In conventional economic theory, I would have patented the
+VCL idea, and become as rich as the idea was good.
+But in all probable worlds, that would only have meant that the
+idea would be dead as a doornail, I would not have made any money
+from it, it would never have helped improve the web, and I would
+have wasted much more of my life in meetings than would be good for
+anybodys health.
+As if that wasn't enough, the very thought of having to hire somebody
+scared me, but not nearly as much as the realization that if I built
+a company with any number of employees, sooner or later I would
+have to fire someone again.
+Writing code? Yes.
+Running a growing company? No.
+The result of my soul-searching was this email to announce@ where
+I took myself out of the game:
+.. code-block:: text
+	Subject: For the record: Varnish and Money
+	From: Poul-Henning Kamp <phk at phk.freebsd.dk>
+	To: varnish-announce at varnish-cache.org
+	Date: Fri Nov 19 14:03:22 CET 2010
+	Just so everybody know where I stand on this...
+	Poul-Henning
+	Hash: SHA1
+	Introduction
+	- ------------
+	As the main developer of the Varnish Software and the de-facto leader
+	of the Varnish Open Source Project, it is my desire to see Varnish
+	used and adopted as widely as possible.
+	To the same ends, the founders of the Varnish Project chose the BSD
+	license to facilitate commercial exploitation of Varnish in all
+	forms, while protecting the independence of the Open Source Project.
+	The BSD license is non-discriminatory, and makes no attempt to
+	separate the good guys from the bad guys, and neither should it.
+	The Varnish Project, as a community, is a different story.
+	While the BSD license can guarantee that Varnish, as software, will
+	always be available, a thriving Open Source Community takes a fair
+	bit more effort to hold together.
+	Nothing can rip apart an Open Source project faster than competing
+	commercial interests playing dirty, and since Varnish has started
+	to cause serious amounts of money to shift around, it is time to
+	take this issue a bit more seriously.
+	Non-competition pledge:
+	- -----------------------
+	My interest in Varnish is developing capable quality software, and
+	making a living at the same time.
+	In addition to Varnish, I have some long time good customers for
+	whom I do various weird things with computers and software, and
+	since they have stuck with me and paid my bills, I will stick with
+	them and send them more bills.
+	The Varnish Moral License (VML) was drawn up to provide a money-stream
+	that can fund my Varnish-habit, and it was designed as an "arms-length"
+	construction to prevent it from taking control of the projects
+	direction.
+	Therefore acquiring a VML does not mean that you get to tell me
+	what to do, or in which order I should do it.  There is no "tit for
+	tat" involved.  The only thing you get out of the VML, is that the
+	next version of Varnish will be better than the one we have now.
+	Therefore:
+	 As long as I can keep my family fed, happy and warm this
+	 way, I will not enter any other commercial activity related
+	 to Varnish, and am more than happy to leave that field open
+	 to everybody and anybody, who wants to try their hand.
+	Fairness pledge:
+	- ----------------
+	As the de-facto leader of the Varnish community, I believe that
+	the success or failure of open source rises and falls with the
+	community which backs it up.
+	In general, there is a tacit assumption, that you take something
+	from the pot and you try put something back in the pot, each to his
+	own means and abilities.
+	And the pot has plenty that needs filling:  From answers to newbies
+	questions, bug-reports, patches, documentation, advocacy, VML funding,
+	hosting VUG meetings, writing articles for magazines, HOW-TO's for
+	blogs and so on, so this is no onerous demand for anybody.
+	But the BSD license allows you to not participate in or contribute
+	to the community, and there are special times and circumstances
+	where that is the right thing, or even the only thing you can do,
+	and I recognize that.
+	Therefore:
+	 I will treat everybody, who do not contribute negatively to
+	 the Varnish community, equally and fairly, and try to foster
+	 cooperation and justly resolve conflicts to the best of my
+	 abilities.
+	Policy on Gifts:
+	- ----------------
+	People sometimes prefer to show their appreciation of Varnish by
+	sending me gifts.
+	I really love that
+	But please understand, that any and gifts or other appreciations I
+	may receive, from cartoons on my Amazon Wishlist, up to and including
+	pre-owned tropical tax-shelter islands, with conveniently unlocked
+	bank vaults filled with gold bars (one can always dream...), will
+	all be received and interpreted the same way:  As tokens of
+	appreciation for deeds already done, and encouragement to me to
+	keep doing what is right and best for Varnish in the future.
+	Poul-Henning Kamp
+	Signed with my PGP-key, November 19th, 2010, Slagelse, Denmark.
+	Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (FreeBSD)
+	iEYEARECAAYFAkzmdRkACgkQlftZhnGqOJOJwwCffytQ5kGP+Grh2unpNIIw8G2R
+	QcQAn18fGLT4Lx2ACBivtk5wEFy6fUcu
+	=3V52
+	-- 
+	Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
+	phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
+	FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe
+	Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.
+Today (20190517) Arturs `Fastly <https://fastly.com>`_, company
+went public on the New York Stock Exchange, and went up from $16
+to $24 in a matter of hours.  So-called "financial analysts" write
+that as a consequence Fastly is now worth 2+ Billion Dollars.
+I can say with 100% certainty and honesty that there is no way
+I could *ever* have done that, that is entirely Arturs doing and
+I know and admire how hard he worked to make it happen.
+Congratulations to Artur and the Fastly Crew!
+But I will steal some of Arturs thunder, and point to Fastlys IPO
+as proof that at least once in my career, I had a unique idea worth
+a billion dollars :-)

More information about the varnish-commit mailing list