Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Feb 2006 18:27 UTC
Linux It seems like Linus Torvalds cannot make up his mind about whether or not to use the GPL3 for the Linux kernel. After clearly rejecting the idea of using the GPL3 ('and I don't see that changing'), he now opens the option up again. "It's 'quite possible,' said Torvalds that the GPL 3 could be used, 'but on the other hand, there's a purely practical problem with any change of license when you have tens of major copyright holders and hundreds of people who have written some part and thousands who have submitted one-liners and small fixes. There are, after all, benefits to putting the kernel under the GPL 3,' Torvalds said."
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I'd have trouble, too
by smitty_one_each on Wed 8th Feb 2006 18:57 UTC
smitty_one_each
Member since:
2005-07-07

It seems like Linus Torvalds cannot make up his mind about whether or not to use the GPL3 for the Linux kernel.
Trying to make a decision about a year in advance.

Reply Score: 2

Question
by Smartpatrol on Wed 8th Feb 2006 19:35 UTC
Smartpatrol
Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't see the reason to change the more licenses they create the more convoluted the whole GNU/Linux operating system becomes. They are making it harder and harder for businesses to consider Linux in the enterprise. Companies have to decipher licenses to make sure they arenít doing anything illegal. They need to homogenize FOSS licenses.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Question
by Sean Parsons on Wed 8th Feb 2006 19:59 UTC in reply to "Question"
Sean Parsons Member since:
2005-09-11

Overall I agree with that statement (this is why there has been discussion in the past about finding ways to converge some of the similar OSI approved licenses), but there are two things to consider:

1.) The GPL has not had a major revision in many years and the FSF wants to address both patents and DRM.

2.) The concern over companies deciphering the legality of their activities in respect to their software licenses holds true if they are using proprietary applications as well.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Question
by Smartpatrol on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Question"
Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

2.) The concern over companies deciphering the legality of their activities in respect to their software licenses holds true if they are using proprietary applications as well.

Right but the liablity for such in handled by the software vendor and generally concerns number of installs, users etc.. Where FOSS can be any number of conditions for instance a simple FOSS code modification could violate mulitple licenses if done improperly where as proprietary software wouldn't suffer that problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Question
by morgoth on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:18 UTC in reply to "Question"
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

A couple of things. Firstly, the proliferation of licenses is the direct result of OSI getting set up and involved. Prior to them, it was really the GPL, BSD, MIT, Apache and that was it. Secondly, the GPL was long due for an overhaul, to make it more modern, and with the ability to protect us [the users] from being raped and pillaged by greedy corporations and things like software patents. Thirdly, I couldn't give a damn about corporations. As far as I'm concerned, they can bugger off and leave Linux alone. Linux was always by the people, for the people. The involvement of corporations has caused more harm than good imho.

Dave

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Question
by rcsteiner on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Question"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

And the Artistic License. And probably a few others. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Question
by Smartpatrol on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Question"
Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

You are the exact type of person FOSS doesn't need. Attitudes such as yours hurts FOSS and Linux the most.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Question
by dukeinlondon on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Question"
dukeinlondon Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't say that of morgoth if he is who I think he is.

But he is right anyway, corporation are stakeholders and their needs to restrict freedoms have nothing to do with the goals of opensource. Especially hardware manufacturers. They are free to go and do their own OS if they wish to do so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Question
by morgoth on Thu 9th Feb 2006 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Question"
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Did I say I was FOSS? I'm a GPL/FSF man through and through. I couldn't given a damn about "open source" in the way that OSI and others describe it.

I've met RMS, and I've conversed with him via email to some extent, my thoughts [on software and human greed] are very similar to his.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Question
by Smartpatrol on Thu 9th Feb 2006 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Question"
Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

I've met RMS, and I've conversed with him via email to some extent, my thoughts [on software and human greed] are very similar to his.

You do realize RMS and those that share his opinions and grooming habits i might add ;) have become relics of a bygone era. FSF is such an insignificant part of whatís going on with free software..time to embrace capitalism and freedom Che.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Question
by Soulbender on Thu 9th Feb 2006 04:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Question"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"time to embrace capitalism and freedom"

They have nothing to do with eachother.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Question
by Celerate on Thu 9th Feb 2006 06:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Question"
Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

Agreed, if anything capitalism has brought us patents, DRM and other practises and laws which harm many and benefit few. The belief that capitalism and freedom always come together is propaganda.

PS. I'm no advocate of communism either, I figured someone would suggest that since it's another myth that you either blindly believe in one system or the other.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Question
by Wrawrat on Thu 9th Feb 2006 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Question"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Thirdly, I couldn't give a damn about corporations. As far as I'm concerned, they can bugger off and leave Linux alone. Linux was always by the people, for the people. The involvement of corporations has caused more harm than good imho.

Depends what you mean by corporations... If you include Linux businesses like Redhat, Mandrake and SuSE/Novell, then I believe you are understimating their contributions. They have developed a lot of quality code, either in the kernel or for the userland. They have made a lot of marketing hype, too. Without both, the kernel wouldn't be as developed as it is today and the community would be quite smaller.

Sure, Linux would still had an happy existence without them, but would it be where it is today?

It's one of the reasons why Linus should be careful with a licence change (other than the fact it cannot propagate a change to a file without the approbation of its owner(s)). While the licence shouldn't be made to please corporate interests, it shouldn't be tailored to piss them off either. They can be great allies, even if their goals differ.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Question
by morgoth on Thu 9th Feb 2006 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Question"
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

I disagree. As soon as Linux does what the corporations want, the rest of us lose control. The 2.6 series kernel has been very unstable, and in fact, still is. It has not stabilised like previous kernel trees. Why? Because we don't have an unstable branch. Why is that? Because Morton and Co. feel that the big corporations don't like that, and 2 or 3 years development in an unstable branch, whilst having a stable branch with bug fixes isn't suitable for the corporations.

2.6 isn't unstable enough to stop you from using it, but it's sure as hell less stable than previous kernels. Some might argue that previous versions of kernels were unstable, and that'd be true - but only to an extent. The 2.4 series was unstable from 2.4.0 to 2.4.4, started to stabilise, then they had a few VM problems and it became unstable again, and didn't stabilise till around 2.4.15 or so.

What did they do? They tested the shit out of stuff in the unstable branch, and a new VM, until they got it working, and working satisfactorily, and then introduced it into the stable kernel tree. Now, we're just unstable. The amount of bloat and bugs are growing in the Linux kernel. The number of exploits are growing as well. This is a direct result of having features, features and features.

I seem to remember Novell wanting to dictate the kernel tree development, and around a year or so ago saying that the Linux kernel was offering to much to us "normal users", and not enough for the business users. Their attitude was basically, stuff the normal users, we want this and this and this in the kernel, the normal users can wait for improvements whilst we get our shit in the kernel tree. I don't like that. And if you had any common sense, you'd dislike it as well.

You are correct in your statement that the Linux kernel shouldn't move to the GPL 3 because it'll piss off the businesses. Good. And good riddance to them as well. They don't like it because it hits out at DRM, it hits out at software patents. It hits out at abusing GPL'd software. I'm all for the GPL v3.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Question
by gplCop318 on Thu 9th Feb 2006 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Question"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

Well said...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Question
by MightyPenguin on Thu 9th Feb 2006 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Question"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

Nice try, pinning the 2.6 development method on Andrew when this really is Linus's baby. No one is forcing Linus to deveop 2.6 this way. You just don't have the stomach to go after Linus himself. I understand you've watched Office Space and feel a little animosity towards corporations, but I think it's misplaced in this debate.

First off, yeah 2.6 has been a little too unstable. It's only had the 2 week merge, 6 week stabilize cycle for all of 2-3 releases. Hardy enough time for things to settle down that much. Will it have more bugs? Maybe. You can talk about shoulds and woulds, but I want to see documentation for all these amazingly bad exploits that 2.6 is drowning in.

Let me guess you're a gnome user aren't you? "This is a direct result of having features, features, features." LOL

Through 2.4 and into 2.6 a LOT of developers (and not just evil corporate ones you want to murder for trying to feed their families) were very impatient with waiting 2 years for the next unstable branch to open up. There were even at times a danger of forking Linux. Linus' new development model is a response to that. If you don't like not being able to upgrade to each and every latest kernel with impunity then tough. Stop whining and wait a couple weeks for reviews and for 2.6.x.y (with y>2) releases then. And stop doing hershey squirts in public forums.

Better yet, start using a BSD.

Edited 2006-02-09 16:18

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Question
by morgoth on Thu 9th Feb 2006 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Question"
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

If you read other comments by me, you'll see I'm just as damning of Linus as well. I used to like Linus before he got owned by big business and it started influencing the way that Linux is developed.

For details of exploits go visit cert.org and do your own investigation. I'm not your whipping boy.

No, I don't use Gnome, haven't since 1.4. Can't stand it. I'm a KDE user. But I also like XFCE and Windowmaker. :-)

That's baloney about the developers. If they want to develop on the Linux kernel, they'll hang around. If not, get rid of them and let new blood code. There's plenty of people wanting to help with kernel code.

[melkor@melkor:~]$ uname -a
Linux melkor 2.6.11-ln.std #1 Sun Apr 10 18:27:05 PDT 2005 i686 GNU/Linux


See, I'm not using a later kernel ;) Tried 2.6.14, but can't get nvidia to work, probably a Debian based issue, and I'm too lazy to figure it out and fix it. Things should just work.

BSD? No thanks. Read my comments on BSD elsewhere on osnews.com. I heavily dislike the BSD license and philosophy.

Before you try to character assassinate me again, do some research :-)

Dave

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Question
by MightyPenguin on Thu 9th Feb 2006 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Question"
MightyPenguin Member since:
2005-11-18

Thanks for the intelligent reply.

I went to cert and it was not at all easy to find sumarized information. I did find some good info at Secunia.

http://secunia.com/product/763/ -- Kernel 2.4
http://secunia.com/product/2719/ -- Kernel 2.6

2.6 has 14 more vulnerabilities (67) then 2.4 (53). What's interesting though is that in both kernels there were no advisories above Moderate level, but 2.4 has a higher percentage moderate level advisories then 2.6.

Basically though, my point here is that they're really about the same level of security, while 2.6 gives you much more features at a faster rate, and makes developers happier. Also, a disproportionate number of advisories affect both the 2.4 and 2.6 series kernels.

I think it IS important to keep developers happy. Yeah if they were all paid to work on Linux full time you might have a point that they'd just buckle down and deal with it but since a lot of device driver writers and others aren't paid even part time I think it is important. Economically speaking, Linux was a supply that created demand. The developers came first, and then the users. Lots of developers is what seperates Linux from Hurd and all the other weener OSes talked about here at OSNews, 99% of which aren't going to last 5 years.

Great, another KDE user! I like KDE and also haven't used gnome since 1.4 when it crashed more then Windows ;)

You might try 2.6.15, 2.6.14 seemed a little flacky for me as well (new USB changes). I'm running the latest nvidia drivers on 2.6.15 just fine (Slackware 10.2, GF6800).

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Question
by Wrawrat on Fri 10th Feb 2006 00:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Question"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

Features are one of the reasons why the Linux kernel is compelling these days. Of course, lack of stability is a major drawback, but pre-2.4 kernels weren't exactly hailed for having a legendary stability.

If Linux was still developed at snail pace, there are chances that it wouldn't matter today... neither the FSF with their GNU project. The popularity of the GNU OS is mostly due to his inclusion in Linux distributions. Now, both projects wouldn't be dead without corporate interests, but they wouldn't be widely known outside geek circles. Since one of the goals of the FSF is to get rid of our dependance on proprietary software, I believe that making some compromises and making a symbiotic relationship with corporate interest is not a bad idea as long as the other side doesn't push too far.

I reject the idea of having corporate entities in control of the development (even less by a single one), yet rejecting any contribution from a friendly business just because of its status is ludicrous. That is discrimination. Correct me if I am wrong, but I sincerly doubt it's one of the FSF goals; if anything, it would be going against discrimination.

I respect your opinion and your ideology, but I must say I am rather a moderate. For me, software is a tool, not some way of life. If you are going to ditch Linux just because it doesn't use the GPLv3, I hope you will find happiness with the Hurd... OpenSolaris? I will believe the rumours when it will be done, not before.

Reply Score: 1

Re: they need to homogenize FOSS licenses.
by rcsteiner on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:37 UTC in reply to "Question"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Who is "they"...? The OSI?

Since anyone can create any license they want (with varying degrees of quality), how do you control license proliferation?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Question
by gplCop318 on Wed 8th Feb 2006 22:30 UTC in reply to "Question"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

yea, whereas when companies choose proprietary software they all have the same license and companies never have to worry about legalities... Oh, and proprietary license are so short and to the point and easily readable that they are easily understood also...

uh yea, ok...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Question
by Smartpatrol on Thu 9th Feb 2006 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Question"
Smartpatrol Member since:
2005-07-06

I will take one corporate software license over 10 FOSS licenses anyday.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Question
by gplCop318 on Thu 9th Feb 2006 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Question"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

I have read the GPL a few times, have you ever made it thru MS license and terms? Didnt think so...

Reply Score: 1

can we get some objectivity?
by diegocg on Wed 8th Feb 2006 20:04 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

It seems like Linus Torvalds cannot make up his mind about whether or not to use the GPL3 for the Linux kernel. After clearly rejecting the idea of using the GPL3 ('and I don't see that changing'),


Good, http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/1/25/273">look and I can't read a single paragraph where it clearly says "I deeply hate GPL 3". It just read "we can't change to GPL v3 because we clearly don't have the "and any latter version" clause" and "I don't like some points of the GPL v3" (I shall remember everyone that the current GPL v3 is just a DRAFT and that things may change?)


The Linux kernel is under the GPL version 2. Not anything else. Some individual files are licenceable under v3, but not the kernel in general.

And quite frankly, I don't see that changing"



I'm not a native english speaker, but that doesn't looks to me like a "anti-GPL3" statement at all.

Of course, I didn't expected less since osnews already linked the <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/06/torvalds_gpl_analysis/">... inflammatory[/i] GPL analysis....(you know, one of those analysis from a "expert" who "analyzes" Linus' words about the consequences of GPL v3 in hardware licensing despite of never having written a single line of code)



It must suck being famous and see people interpreting your words off their ass. Just like the BK issue, Linus always stated that he would never force to use anyone to use BK (and many people, like ie: alan cox never used BK) and people just used it because it saved maintainers _hours_ of work not because it was a requeriment: GNU diff format patches were always accepted and were always the official way of releasing a new kernel version in kernel.org.....still everybody misinterprets things as they want and they start writing articles about how "evil" and "anti-OSS" you are. Oh, well....

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Good, http://lkml.org/lkml/2006/1/25/273 look at the message and I can't read a single paragraph where it clearly says "I deeply hate GPL 3".

Where did I say 'anti-GPL', diegocg? Point me to it!

Earlier, Linus said there was no chance the kernel would be licensed under the GPL3. Now, however, he has opened the option up again. I'm sorry, but by my standards that damn well looks like someone who cannot seem the make up his mind. Never did I condemn his sway, never did I attack him.

You should grow some shorter toes, and apologize.

Reply Score: 5

diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

I didn't said you said it.


What I'm surprised is that you claim that linus "can't make up his mind", despite of the fact that he seems to have a clear vision of what is going on.


Linus talks about asking to every contributor to change the license of their copyrighted code. Doint that is always an option. It'd possible to license the kernel under the BSD license that way or even close the sorce code completely. How this is news at all, and how this means that linus "can't make up his mind" is beyond me.


by my standards that damn well looks like someone who cannot seem the make up his mind

Oh well, that's your standard. You do a great work a osnews (which why i read it) but "personal standards" are usually published in blogs, not in new sites.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You seem to not understand what is going on.

First he says he will NOT license the kernel under the GPL3. Crystal clear. Reasoning supplied.

Then he makes some remarks, which are a LOT MORE OPEN towards a license change.

When that happens to the most influential character behind the most succesful open source project (or, at least, *one* of the most succesful), then it's news. Whether you like it or not.

Reply Score: 5

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

"I do not see that happening" is not the same as "it will not happen", Thom. One is a time snapshot "given the current situation" type of statement and could vary quite a bit given other elements of context, while the other is quite absolute.

Perhaps your interpretation of his comments is the issue here?

Reply Score: 5

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Linus never made up his mind before. He simply stated that the likelihood of the kernel going GPL3 was low because of the concerns he had.

That is not the same as saying "the kernel will not use GPL3".

Reality is rarely stated in absolutes, but sometimes you do seem to be presenting things that way. IMO, of course.

Reply Score: 1

gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

He has basically said or implied that for years! He backs it up with the words "it probably CANT go v3" but you cant read his comments and come out with anything except "it aint going to happen"

He also said that is the reason that the kernel specifically states "v2" and not "v2 or later" so that it is only covered under v2!

Torvalds made up his mind a long time ago and I think would undo the whole GPL thing if he could! ;) But I think he is starting to see that a lot of people want v3 and he is finally looking at the good parts of v3 instead of focusing on the one spot he THINKS is troublesome...

Reply Score: 1

Let people discuss, dammit !
by dukeinlondon on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:03 UTC
dukeinlondon
Member since:
2005-07-06

We are facing a very boring string of comments, if each time Linus says, we get another of these articles. It is bound to be a very long discussion in which many people will change their minds many times according to the suggestions adopted in the various versions of the draft....

Edited 2006-02-08 21:05

Reply Score: 1

L.T.
by agentj on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:45 UTC
agentj
Member since:
2005-08-19

begin{joke}
Linux geek diary:

Day 1 - I turned on TV and seen L.T.
Day 2 - I bought a newspaper, and L.T. was there
Day 3 - I'm anxious to open the can
end{joke}

Seriously: recently there's only "Linus Torvalds said ...... bla bla bla".

Reply Score: 2

I really like Torvalds
by Disruptor on Wed 8th Feb 2006 21:58 UTC
Disruptor
Member since:
2005-11-06

When he's open-minded like this. He might end up regecting the GPLv3 again but at least this time he will be more fair doing so (`It has some pros bla bla bla. Good work there bla bla bla but it doesn't quite fit good at bla bla bla'), instead of being like: `The GPLv3 is stupid - I don't even consider it'. His tone was a bit arrogant I must admit - but hey, which leader didn't have his quirks?

Reply Score: 1

RE: I really like Torvalds
by gplCop318 on Wed 8th Feb 2006 22:38 UTC in reply to "I really like Torvalds"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

yea I dont care for the way his head gets big occasionally and he decides to speak as if he owns linux and every line of code in it...

He seems to really be bipolar or moody or just plain multi-personality. When I read his rants I feel like I never want to see or use anything linux ever again. Alan Cox always seems to do a better job of discussing and admitting to when he is wrong. Sooner or later torvalds climbs down off his horse and starts discussin instead of ranting and we get somewhere... Is he a uptight kind of dude? Heck, I dont know...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I really like Torvalds
by Brendan on Wed 8th Feb 2006 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: I really like Torvalds"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

He seems to really be bipolar or moody or just plain multi-personality.

I'm not so sure of this - for "proper" interviews and things he seems quite diplomatic.

For the kernel developer's mailing list, it's like he forgets that his conversions aren't very private (and are read by more people than the kernel developers that they're intended for).

I'm sure if we could listen in on the private discussions of most commercial software vendors we'd also see a difference between what they say to each other and what they intentionally release to the media.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I really like Torvalds
by gplCop318 on Wed 8th Feb 2006 23:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I really like Torvalds"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

good point! hehehehe you may be EXACTLY right...

Reply Score: 1

Good
by youcha on Wed 8th Feb 2006 22:58 UTC
youcha
Member since:
2006-02-05

I admire the quality of admitting errors and changing one's ideas and decisions with no self-pride and boast. If only politicians and ideologist had the same behaviour...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good
by gplCop318 on Thu 9th Feb 2006 12:33 UTC in reply to "Good"
gplCop318 Member since:
2006-01-10

That political statement is worth a score of 4??? Sounds like someone is cheating...

btw - Ghandi you aint! Where do you see Linux admitting errors?

Reply Score: 1

All or None?
by Bonus on Thu 9th Feb 2006 14:52 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

"Linus never made up his mind before. He simply stated that the likelihood of the kernel going GPL3 was low because of the concerns he had."

He did say it will not use the GPL 3 for sure.

Linus: the license is not even out the door yet give it a brake.

Also Linus has you all at the end of his puppet strings. Hahahaah.

Sure we could fork away from Linus if he was too mean as I OWN my software but that would be too easy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: All or None?
by AlexandreAM on Thu 9th Feb 2006 19:10 UTC in reply to "All or None?"
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

Unless you wanted to fork it under GPLv2 (so you wouldn't change much of the state of things now) you really couldn't "fork away from Linus".

(Perhaps you weren't talking about the Licensing issue, if that is the case, please ignore this post)

Reply Score: 1