Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Mar 2015 22:30 UTC, submitted by KLU9
GNU, GPL, Open Source

Stallman expanded and formalized his ideas in the GNU Manifesto, which he published in the March, 1985, issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal of Software Tools, thirty years ago this month. "So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor," he wrote, "I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free. I have resigned from the AI Lab to deny MIT any legal excuse to prevent me from giving GNU away." The nearly forty-five-hundred-word text called for collaborators to help build a freely shareable Unix-like operating system, and set forth an innovative method to insure its legal protection.

Stallman is one of the greatest technology visionaries. He will never achieve the popularity status of businessmen like Jobs and Gates, but his contributions to technology - directly and indirectly - are immeasurable.

And he was right all along.

Order by: Score:
v Hah
by krakal on Wed 18th Mar 2015 22:47 UTC
RE: Hah
by kwan_e on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:19 UTC in reply to "Hah"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

1) He's politically just too far left to be compatible with any sensible version of capitalism, the foundation of our industry and the western civilization that most of us enjoy.


Which is a load of bollocks because it has nothing to do with left vs right. The GPL uses copyright law to its advantage, which some would say is a feature of modern western civilization.

Also, the foundation of modern western civilization is the Enlightenment, which is neither left vs right.

GPL is a virus and that's not a good thing when you disagree with its RNA.


GPL is not a virus. You cannot unknowingly use GPL software and suddenly find yourself infected. Unlike a virus, you can choose to not get "infected" by it. The GPL isn't some magic piece of paper that infects software merely by its existence.

If you're unwilling to pass on the rights that the GPL grants you, then don't use it. Simple as that.

Reply Score: 10

v RE[2]: Hah
by krakal on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Hah"
RE[3]: Hah
by kwan_e on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"If you're unwilling to pass on the rights that the GPL grants you, then don't use it. Simple as that.


Uhm, no, it's not quite as simple as that, since there are useful GPL infested (often indirectly and inadvertently so) software out there I cannot use.
"

"Person says 'it's not as simple as that' offers even more simplistic interpretation"

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Hah
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Uhm, no, it's not quite as simple as that, since there are useful GPL infested (often indirectly and inadvertently so) software out there I cannot use.


Are you serious?

You do realise that merely *using* GPL software does not involve the GPL at all, right? You can use all the GPL software in the world, even modify it to your heart's content, without ever running into the GPL and its terms.

The GPL only comes into play when you want to DISTRIBUTE your modifications. This is such basic knowledge I have to assume you're just trolling.

Edited 2015-03-18 23:40 UTC

Reply Score: 10

v RE[4]: Hah
by krakal on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hah"
RE[5]: Hah
by WereCatf on Thu 19th Mar 2015 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hah"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I cannot USE as a software developer. Get a clue.


And? You can't just go and use proprietary code either and as such that complaint is just a red herring.

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Hah
by lemur2 on Thu 19th Mar 2015 02:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Hah"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I cannot USE as a software developer. Get a clue.


And? You can't just go and use proprietary code either and as such that complaint is just a red herring.
"

Absolutely. Agreed 100%. Furthermore, there are a large number of projects that offer a GPL license for people who want to just run the software, or for developers who want to contribute in the open source collaboration, and they ALSO offer a closed source proprietary license for developers who want to include the software within a large closed-source project. This is called dual-licensed software.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-licensing

"Examples of multi-licensed software include Oracle's NetBeans IDE, MySQL AB's database, Asterisk, Oracle Corporation's Berkeley DB, Modelio, ZeroC's Ice, Magnolia CMS and Qt Software's Qt development toolkit."

What is there not to like?

Edited 2015-03-19 02:22 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Hah
by jockm on Thu 19th Mar 2015 03:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hah"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

I know this is crazy talk, but it is possible that by "software" he meant libraries? Because where I come from, that still counts as software...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hah
by fretinator on Thu 19th Mar 2015 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hah"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I know this is crazy talk, but it is possible that by "software" he meant libraries? Because where I come from, that still counts as software...

Which is why the majority of libraries used in GPL software has the LGPL license, so you can link it to both GPL and Proprietary Software.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Hah
by jockm on Thu 19th Mar 2015 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Hah"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Which is why the majority of libraries used in GPL software has the LGPL license, so you can link it to both GPL and Proprietary Software.


Do you have some proof for that statement?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Hah
by fretinator on Thu 19th Mar 2015 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Hah"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I probably should have clarified that. I meant, most of the libraries that I, an Internet Celebrity, am familiar with.

For example:
GTK
GNOME
QT
KDE

Some are even friendlier to closed-source projects than LGPL:
SDL (zlib license)
X11 (MIT license)

It may not be scientific, but again, I am an Internet Celebrity. I taught Kim Kardashian to not code.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Hah
by Soulbender on Thu 19th Mar 2015 08:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So you don't agree with the license. It's no different from any other license that you may not agree with.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Hah
by krakal on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Hah"
krakal Member since:
2015-01-03

GPL is not a virus. You cannot unknowingly use GPL software and suddenly find yourself infected.


That's wrong on so many levels. Shall we enumerate them?

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Hah
by kwan_e on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"GPL is not a virus. You cannot unknowingly use GPL software and suddenly find yourself infected.


That's wrong on so many levels. Shall we enumerate them?
"

Please. I predict a lot of nonsense and logical fallacies, like affirming the consequent or non-sequitirs and red herrings.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Hah
by Soulbender on Thu 19th Mar 2015 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Well, of course you could end up doing that but only if you're utterly incompetent as a software developer.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Hah
by Vanders on Thu 19th Mar 2015 09:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hah"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh no! I tripped and accidentally included some GPL licensed code in my project! Damn you, RMS! *shakes fist at sky*

Reply Score: 8

v RE[2]: Hah
by WorknMan on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Hah"
v RE[3]: Hah
by krakal on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
RE[3]: Hah
by kwan_e on Wed 18th Mar 2015 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

"You cannot unknowingly use GPL software and suddenly find yourself infected. Unlike a virus, you can choose to not get "infected" by it.


I strongly suspect, however, that if Stallman had his way, we all wouldn't have any other option but to use GPL software. That doesn't sound like freedom to me. Neither freedom for developers, nor freedom for end users.
"

"I suspect if person X had his way, he would become a dictator"

That's not a very insightful thing to say.

The point is RMS doesn't have his way. So you look at the way he tries to achieve his aims. The GPL. And giving talks and other promotional activities.

No use imagining what he'll be like as a political dictator.

Fact: the FSF has a list of GPL compatible licenses.
Fact: the GPL is a compromise between absolute freedom and working within the law
Fact: the GPL is a compromise between absolute freedom and self-sustainability

A dictatorial attitude would not have produced these compromises.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Hah
by ddc_ on Thu 19th Mar 2015 06:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hah"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Fact: the GPL is a compromise between absolute freedom and working within the law

It would be true if you were speaking of MIT or ISC license, but GPL enforces its view on users and developers. This is just as much a compromise as "do or die" order.

Indeed, while GPL played a positive role in free software development at some stage, it also introduced some huge problems. Just investigae AAC support in ffmpeg, and you'll know what I mean.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Hah
by Soulbender on Thu 19th Mar 2015 08:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hah"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The GPL really doesn't affect the user much at all.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Hah
by Vanders on Thu 19th Mar 2015 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I strongly suspect, however, that if Stallman had his way, we all wouldn't have any other option but to use GPL software.


Why use facts when you can speculate?

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/copyright-and-globalization.html

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Hah
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Mar 2015 00:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Since Stallman has never said/implied anything of the sort and you don't know him personally, I strongly suspect you could be projecting your own overbearing tendencies...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hah
by Wootery on Fri 20th Mar 2015 12:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Hah"
Wootery Member since:
2013-11-22

If you're unwilling to pass on the rights that the GPL grants you, then don't use it. Simple as that.


Well, let's be careful: you're still fine to use the software (Freedom 0), you just can't use it as a basis for your own publicly-distributed non-GPL software.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hah
by martini on Thu 19th Mar 2015 00:20 UTC in reply to "Hah"
martini Member since:
2006-01-23

I also used to disliked the GNU GPL license. But at the end I found it is virus of love ;)

I understood that if I accept that there are licenses that forbides you to share the binary and they charge you for each machine you run it, without any access to the source code (like any commom commercial software), I also needed to accept the complete oposite of that, software that you can share and that you are forced to share changes on the source code.

So GNU GPL as a software license does not have anything wrong.

Why would someone would be against the GNU GPL license?
1) Possible because at some point they plan to make the software close source.
2) Somebody using an open source "bait and switch" strategy may dislike the GNU GPL license.
3) Because you have a component that you don't want to open source to be mixed with GNU GPL code.

GNU GPL is for the people that wants his software's source code to be public forever and don't want to go back to hide the source code like the 90's.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Hah
by ddc_ on Thu 19th Mar 2015 06:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Hah"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Why would someone would be against the GNU GPL license?

There are multiple other reasons as well. Eg. someone may want to use some code with GPL-incompatible license (eg. Apache 2.0 or Lucent) or to ensure that he doesn't exclude such possibility in future. Or someone may hope to make an iOS application reusing his code. Or maybe someone just doesn't believe he is entitled to dictate how everyone else is supposed to use and distribute software. Or someone may want to see his network protocol in commodity embedded systems. Or maybe someone wants to make sure that his secure implemetation of something will replace commonly-used insecure code, even in proprietary "solutions".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hah
by r_a_trip on Thu 19th Mar 2015 08:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

A nice raft of reasons, but the existence of the GPL doesn't preclude the use of a different license that makes all of what you mentioned possible for the code you wrote.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Hah
by ddc_ on Thu 19th Mar 2015 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hah"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

A nice raft of reasons, but the existence of the GPL doesn't preclude the use of a different license that makes all of what you mentioned possible for the code you wrote.

But not with the code my project depends on. Normally not a big deal if you write a small single-purpose tool, but quite a problem if you have to depend o third-party libraries to get things done.

FWIW the very fact that GPL isin odds with everything above is a good reason to dislike it per se.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hah
by tylerdurden on Fri 20th Mar 2015 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hah"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

If the tool you require has a license you do not like, or is not compatible with your interests, you have a bunch of simple options: either don't use that code, find another tool that fills your needs and has a license you want, or if neither is an option then write your own tool.

And that is true for the GPL or any other license...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hah
by lemur2 on Sun 22nd Mar 2015 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hah"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Or maybe someone just doesn't believe he is entitled to dictate how everyone else is supposed to use and distribute software.


Whose software? The GPL applies only to GPL'd software. So it doesn't matter one whit what "the someone" believes about how to distribute the software that belongs to the author who originally released it under the GPL, that author is the only one entitled to decide on that matter.

I think it can be taken as given that the original author who released the software under the GPL in the first place is not a person who is against the GPL, and neither would be any person who subsequently patched/updated the code and released the new version (also under the GPL) in a collaboration.

Edited 2015-03-22 08:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hah
by javispedro on Thu 19th Mar 2015 01:22 UTC in reply to "Hah"
javispedro Member since:
2014-06-04

I always love the "it's not capitalism" argument... as if proprietary software was an exemple of pure, Laissez-faire capitalism.

I'd even argue that the GPL, in its abuse of copyright, is actually more laissez-faire than traditional copyright.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hah
by Soulbender on Thu 19th Mar 2015 08:24 UTC in reply to "Hah"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

He seems to have at least less issues than Steve Ballmer.

Reply Score: 3

..But there is an issue
by martini on Thu 19th Mar 2015 00:28 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

I also belive that RMS is a vissionary, but there are some thing that I don't share with him.

He made the FSF community to belive that the "moral choice" is free software, and that any other alternative is "un-moral".

Here at Ecuador there is a strong arm of the "Free Software Foundation" in Latin America, which considers close source software immoral. I took a step out of that guys (which are good guys) long time ago since I was considering it wrong (and dumb) for people to feel superior to other because they were moral for using free software. Plus it does not make any sense to qualify people for the software they use or the software license they put to their code.

So that is why I turned my back to the "Free Software Foundation" and only accepted GNU GPL as a license without labeling the people that uses it or not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ..But there is an issue
by neticspace on Thu 19th Mar 2015 04:11 UTC in reply to "..But there is an issue"
neticspace Member since:
2009-06-09

My thoughts exactly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ..But there is an issue
by milliamp on Thu 19th Mar 2015 15:28 UTC in reply to "..But there is an issue"
milliamp Member since:
2011-03-29

I agree with you too. It's one thing to promote free software and another to be hostile to closed source commercial software.

I've always supported both but there are many in the FOSS crowd that disagree and feel anything closed source good or bad is evil.

I think some of the debate around GPL version 3 and the requirement of anything linking GPL code to also be licensed under GPL is around the time I decided to mostly write it all off. Closes source/commercial software has a place too and I don't want to use an environment that takes a hostile position against it by default.

That's why I've always liked the BSD license more than GPL.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ..But there is an issue
by Treza on Fri 20th Mar 2015 22:02 UTC in reply to "..But there is an issue"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

RMS' attitude is also related to his personal experience. He worked at MIT, on systems where all the code was freely disributed (X11 is an example).

Stallman was also involved in Lisp (hence Emacs Lisp). Having access to the source code and being able to modify it was crucial for Lisp machines. Then, a few start-ups emerged and tried to sell and restrict access, leveraging code which was developed in cooperation. The whole philosophy of GPL : if a program begin as free, it cannot be appropriated later, came partly from his resentment against that.

Reply Score: 2

He's still right
by No it isnt on Thu 19th Mar 2015 10:13 UTC
No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14