Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Feb 2010 18:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "When it comes to defining open source, licensing is a critical topic since it's the license that helps to make an application or effort open. But for Michael Tiemann, president of the Open Source Initiative, it's not necessarily the only key success factor for open source projects."
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Obvious?
by Delgarde on Thu 11th Feb 2010 20:07 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

Seems rather obvious, really. To be an open-source project, all you need is the license. But to be a *successful* open-source project, you need people to get behind it - you need users, you need contributors.

Reply Score: 4

Can't Resist
by fretinator on Thu 11th Feb 2010 20:37 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Forgive me

1 XOR 1 = 0

In this case, it is:

1 OR 1 = 1

So the answer is yes (or 1, if you prefer).

The serious answer is to avoid false dilemmas.

Edited 2010-02-11 20:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Free Software matters more
by Richard Dale on Thu 11th Feb 2010 20:39 UTC
Richard Dale
Member since:
2005-07-22

The problem with 'Open Source' is that it doesn't really mean a lot, and their main achievement seems to have been to create a proliferation of OSI approved licenses (66 according to the article).

The Free Software movement is based on the four software freedoms http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html with an emphasis on sharing code, which is all about building communties. If the OSI guys belated realize that Richard Stallman was right to emphasize software freedom over just licensing the source, then that seems fine.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Free Software matters more
by Delgarde on Thu 11th Feb 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "Free Software matters more"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

The problem with 'Open Source' is that it doesn't really mean a lot, and their main achievement seems to have been to create a proliferation of OSI approved licenses (66 according to the article).


The number of OSI licenses *is* excessive, but it reflects that one license doesn't suit everybody. The GPL has it's virtues, but those virtues are also limitations.

In particular, the Apache-license variants widely used in the Java community are a lot more acceptable to businesses, since they allow us to use a library and contribute back to it, without having to release our entire product. LGPL is also more reasonable in this regard than the all-or-nothing GPL, since it's demands are limited to the relevant code, not to the entire product it's used in.

Reply Score: 3

BrianH
Member since:
2005-07-06

"it's not necessarily the only key success factor for open source projects."

Or it might not be a factor at all. Most projects fail, and open source projects are no different. What matters most when it comes to project success is whether the people contributing to the project can make something sufficiently useful to enough people for the project to be considered to succeed, by whatever metrics you prefer.

What open source licensing does is attract contributors to whom such things matter. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on the contributors and the project. Having too many contributors can make some projects fail - it can be a management nightmare. Having the wrong contributors can be worse if the critical things aren't done correctly, or at all.

Some Free Software projects fail because they attract people who care more about freedom than software, and the software suffers as a result. Others succeed, sometimes despite their contributors, because the software does something that is needed. Some succeed despite being really poor software, others not.

A lot of Free or Open Source projects fail because they have no sustainable plan for keeping the project going, whether that be through money or other means. Community can help there sometimes; freedom helps less so in that, unless the particular freedoms expressed in the license attract the right people with the right money, or a big enough community that isn't actively useless.

It's a tradeoff. More freedom can kill some projects, and has done so.

Reply Score: 2

acid_head
Member since:
2007-05-23

What? Don't you know? Isn't it obvious? Humans are social animals and as such they need laws to be able to work with each other.

Reply Score: 1