Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Jun 2012 23:56 UTC, submitted by Modafinil
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The Samba Team and seven kernel hackers have come together with Software Freedom Conservancy to help efforts to ensure compliance with the GPL by those who implement Linux and other GPL software. Richard Hillesley talked to Bradley Kuhn of Software Freedom Conservancy, Jeremy Allison of Samba, and Matthew Garrett, who works in his spare time with the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers."
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RE: What a waste of time....
by darknexus on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 19:08 UTC in reply to "What a waste of time.... "
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

As a wonderful line on the unlicense.org website says - "Life's too short - let's get back to coding."

I wonder if the world would have been worse-off if Linux and gcc had been released as "public domain".


I couldn't agree more. I've never cared for the GPL, and have always considered it akin to forced communism. Sure, you may be free to redistribute the software all you want, but when it comes to actually developing with it, you're not nearly so free when considering the possibility of using GPL'd code or libraries. The FSF is as hypocritical as the US government when talking about freedom. What they both mean is, sure you're free to do what you want as long as you obey our rules. They allow you a limited subset of freedom which, to my mind, is not freedom at all.
To those who say that companies like Oracle could've taken a public domain Linux or GCC and made it proprietary: you're absolutely right. They would be free to do that, just as the original developers would be free to maintain their own open source version. In the end, everyone would have been better off and, if the proprietary Linux worked better (say by having a stable driver interface), that might have created a reason for the open source developers to strive for improvement in that area. Competition drives innovation, pure and simple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

They would be free to do that, just as the original developers would be free to maintain their own open source version. In the end, everyone would have been better off and,

How so? You realise that the reason so many companies are collaboratively developing Linux is because they are legally bound to share all their enhancements with eachother if they want to be able to distribute them.

If that was not the case then there would be a large incentive for these companies to keep their enhancements proprietary so as to gain a competitive edge on the others, which would result in the companies only submitting enhancements which they felt would give them no competive benefits if kept to themselves, thus hampering the overall progress of the project.

if the proprietary Linux worked better (say by having a stable driver interface), that might have created a reason for the open source developers to strive for improvement in that area.

The reason the Linux devs doesn't make it easy to keep proprietary out of tree drivers is because they want to enforce the creation of open source in-tree drivers.

This has in turn had a great impact on the availability of open source drivers as many companies find it's much easier to simply submit either a open driver or the necessary specs to make one instead of maintaining their own out-of-tree proprietary driver.

This also benefits other systems than Linux as these open source drivers are often dual-licenced and in the case they are not it's much easier to reverse-engineer from full driver source code than it is from black box hardware.

Looking past the driver interface, if the 'proprietary Linux' did things better and the 'open Linux' wanted those enhancements they would then have to duplicate those efforts, how can you see this as an improvement on what we have now, where thanks to the GPL these enhancements directly make their way into the project without any need for duplicated effort?

Competition drives innovation, pure and simple.

There's really no competition when one of the participants can take anything the other does and not have to give anything back themselves.

FreeBSD has turned out to be so much better as a desktop system since Apple decided to use it as part of their OSX?

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18



If that was not the case then there would be a large incentive for these companies to keep their enhancements proprietary so as to gain a competitive edge on the others, which would result in the companies only submitting enhancements which they felt would give them no competive benefits if kept to themselves, thus hampering the overall progress of the project.


Hello, have you heard of WebKit?

There's really no competition when one of the participants can take anything the other does and not have to give anything back themselves.


Actually if you remember correctly, during the browser wars we went from.

http://img.tfd.com/cde/_MOSAIC.GIF

To

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Internet_Explorer_5_on_Windows_98...

In a 5 years.

Because of the intense competition between NetScape and Microsoft. Once Netscape was dead, Microsoft had no incentive to make IE any better and thus we had years of Stagnation.

Until people started moving to Pheonix/Firefox for a better browsing Experience.

FreeBSD has turned out to be so much better as a desktop system since Apple decided to use it as part of their OSX?


FreeBSD doesn't want to be a Desktop OS. It doesn't even mention the word on it own home page.

The license allows Apple to do this is they want.

Also Apple has contributed to CUPS, LLVM/Clang and WebKit.

Edited 2012-06-03 06:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I've never cared for the GPL, and have always considered it akin to forced communism.


Unless you're forced to use GPL without having incorporated GPL into your code, it is NOT forced communism. You are FREE to not choose GPL.

Sure, you may be free to redistribute the software all you want, but when it comes to actually developing with it, you're not nearly so free when considering the possibility of using GPL'd code or libraries.


You're free not to use GPL libraries. This criticism I see all the time is just people complaining that they're not allowed to use other people's code without conditions.

Well guess what, normally, you'd have to BUY such code or write your own.

The FSF is as hypocritical as the US government when talking about freedom. What they both mean is, sure you're free to do what you want as long as you obey our rules. They allow you a limited subset of freedom which, to my mind, is not freedom at all.


The FSF never claims to be about "total freedom". The FSF, the GPL especially, is about SUSTAINED freedom and a pragmatic freedom. Read up on philosophy some time and learn about the actual effects of total freedom.

To those who say that companies like Oracle could've taken a public domain Linux or GCC and made it proprietary: you're absolutely right. They would be free to do that, just as the original developers would be free to maintain their own open source version.


Companies like Oracle would then be free to continue leeching off the efforts of the original developers without giving anything back.

In the end, everyone would have been better off and, if the proprietary Linux worked better (say by having a stable driver interface), that might have created a reason for the open source developers to strive for improvement in that area. Competition drives innovation, pure and simple.


Please explain the lack of drivers for the BSDs compared to Linux.

Linux isn't in competition with anything. Competition does not drive innovation in open source because money is not what is needed to survive.

Reply Parent Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The FSF never claims to be about "total freedom". The FSF, the GPL especially, is about SUSTAINED freedom and a pragmatic freedom. Read up on philosophy some time and learn about the actual effects of total freedom.


This just begs the following video to be posted http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QDv4sYwjO0

Also:
http://mises.org/daily/2066
http://reason.com/blog/2006/12/27/the-anarchy-advantage-in-somal

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

I agree with almost the entirety of your post. But this below didn't compute for me:

"Linux isn't in competition with anything. Competition does not drive innovation in open source because money is not what is needed to survive."

Funnily enough, I think I disagree with almost every single point in there, haha.

Linux (both the platform and the kernel) is in competition with everything else on the market.

Some open source devs are lucky to be paid, but many just donate their own time, which drives alot of developers away from open sourcing their own work. I myself have a very difficult time finding a balance.

Even if money is not an issue, competition always has a presence, and that's a good thing for driving innovation.


Edit: with regards to the point you were initially responding to, I believe linux's good driver support has a lot to do with it's relative popularity. BSD's lack of support makes sense given that very few manufacturers are paying attention to it(them) and having fewer resources. I would not spontaneously attribute BSD's technical design to be the cause of it's lack of drivers (if I understood correctly, seems to be what was implied).

Edited 2012-06-03 04:13 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2