Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Aug 2009 22:23 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source When Windows Vista was launched, the Free Software Foundation started its BadVista campaign, which was aimed at informing users about what the FSF considered user-restrictive features in Vista. Luckily for the FSF, Vista didn't really need a bad-mouthing campaign to fail. Now that Windows 7 is receiving a lot of positive press, the FSF dusted off the BadVista drum, and gave it a fresh coat of paint.
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RE[7]: Why?
by ichi on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why?"
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

Do you get upset when you buy a can of Coke and are unable to see the recipe on the can?


Well yes, I do.
There's something uncomfortable about not knowing what the hell I'm actually drinking.

Anyways my overall point is that GPL ideology is a joke. You can't expect all software to fall under the GPL. It doesn't work for all software development models, and it doesn't always work for open source projects. See The Hurd as a class A example.


None of that proves GPL being a joke, but rather that there's no "one size fits all".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Why?
by nt_jerkface on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:11 in reply to "RE[7]: Why?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

"Do you get upset when you buy a can of Coke and are unable to see the recipe on the can?
Well yes, I do. There's something uncomfortable about not knowing what the hell I'm actually drinking. "

You can see what is in it. You just can't reproduce the recipe yourself. There are some pretty close coke-knockoffs but the recipe is secret. I suppose you should never use store products if you think this is unethical. Forget about restaurant food as well.

None of that proves GPL being a joke, but rather that there's no "one size fits all".


So you disagree with Stallman then? He thinks all software projects should fall under the GPL, even though his own software project (Hurd) has been unfinished for over a decade.

GPL ideology is a joke. Calling software unethical because you don't have the source is just as silly as calling an electrical drill unethical because you don't have the schematics. You're missing the entire context of why it exists: It's a tool that exists to solve a problem. Claiming your right to the schematics as a "Freedom" just makes your demand even sillier. Again I'm surprised that so many fall for the "Freedom" routine.

Furthermore proprietary software begets open source software. Stallman wouldn't have been able to write his gcc compiler or work on cloning Unix if there wasn't a mountain of proprietary software available to him. After all, what do you compile a compiler with? The GPL couldn't exist without proprietary software, and the world certainly couldn't run on the GPL software that currently exists.

But the real proof is in the Hurd, since for all the talk Stallman gives about the superiority of open source software his main project is not only unfinished but in an unworking state. He can't find enough volunteer programmers to finish the Hurd and yet he wants everyone to adopt his software model. Further those that do not adopt his model are according to him unethical and against the "Freedoms" that he defined. What a joke.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Why?
by JeffS on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:50 in reply to "RE[8]: Why?"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"But the real proof is in the Hurd, since for all the talk Stallman gives about the superiority of open source software his main project is not only unfinished but in an unworking state. He can't find enough volunteer programmers to finish the Hurd and yet he wants everyone to adopt his software model. Further those that do not adopt his model are according to him unethical and against the "Freedoms" that he defined. What a joke."

This paragraph is a joke.

Yes, the Hurd is a failure.

But the Hurd is only piece of software.

The FSF has been spectacularly successful with a lot of it's other software -

gcc - near ubiquitous on all platforms
glibc - standard API on many unix/linux/bsd systems
Emacs - love it or hate it, it has enjoyed very widespread use
unix shells, such as bash - standard shells used on Linux distros
Gimp - in spite of the stupid name and the less than desirable interface, it's a full featured image manipulation program that is comparable to Photoshop
GTK - GUI library used across many unix/linux systems, as well as many desktop applications

... and there are many others. Just peruse the FSF website.

All of it licensed under the GPL, or the LGPL.

And those things are why Stallman often insists on calling Linux, "GNU/Linux", because the combination of the Linux kernel with gcc, glibc, bash, and various other GNU utilities, constitutes a complete (albeit minimal) functioning system.

And oh yeah, the Linux kernel itself is licensed under the GPL. Linux powers Google. Linux powers many websites. Linux powers many devices, phones, set top boxes, and yes, even desktops/laptops. It's a spectacular success by any measure.

Clearly Stallman's development method is a proven, spectacular success.

And you're wrong. Period. Sorry.

Now that said, the GPL is just one of many viable open source licenses, all of which have pluses and minuses, like BSD, MPL, Apache license, EPL, MIT, and many others.

And in everything I've read from Stallman, it doesn't necessarily say those other licenses are bad. He just says the GPL is best for protecting people's freedoms.

And I'm no Stallmannite. Again, I'm a pragmatist, and Stallman is a hardcore idealist.

But I'm glad he's out their spouting off his ideals. While I don't agree with all his ideals, his actions have helped all of us immensely.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Why?
by JeffS on Thu 27th Aug 2009 23:00 in reply to "RE[8]: Why?"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"Furthermore proprietary software begets open source software. Stallman wouldn't have been able to write his gcc compiler or work on cloning Unix if there wasn't a mountain of proprietary software available to him."

Actually, it's the other way around. Proprietary software didn't really exist, to any major extent, before the '80's. Prior to that, there was no real market for it. Most software was essentially free, used only to run the hardware that the big vendors sold for big bucks.

And the proprietary software market could not have happened without the foundation laid by the previous free software.

And I'm not saying proprietary software is bad. I earn my living working for a proprietary software company.

Reply Parent Score: 2