Skip to comments.Open Source Myths
Posted on 07/26/2004 8:35:06 AM PDT by GeorgiaFreeper
neilgunton.com / open_source_myths / Copyright © 2004 by Neil Gunton This document collects some of my thoughts regarding some of the "conventional wisdom" that people seem to take as Gospel Truth about Open Source software (OSS) and software development in general. This is NOT intended to be "anti-OSS", but rather to generate real thought and discussion as opposed to the constant mindless re-iteration of the same old tired dogma. I fully realize that this will be controversial to many and will probably generate much vociferous condemnation of my opinions, but I just think that it needs to be said. This is a bit of a rant, sorry if it's longer than it should be. Copyright © 2004 by Neil Gunton Mon Jul 26 10:28:03 2004 CDT Back to top
Open Source Myths
Thoughts on some frequently-stated dogma promoted by the Open Source community
Last updated: Mon Jul 26 08:43:56 2004 CDT
1. "If you're not willing to help fix it then you shouldn't complain about it"
2. "Open Source software allows you to get under the hood and fix problems"
3. "All software should be free"
4. "Open Source software is always better than closed, proprietary software"
5. "Scratching the personal itch"
6. "More choice is always better"
7. Conclusion: It's Not So Simple
neilgunton.com / open_source_myths /
Copyright © 2004 by Neil Gunton
This document collects some of my thoughts regarding some of the "conventional wisdom" that people seem to take as Gospel Truth about Open Source software (OSS) and software development in general. This is NOT intended to be "anti-OSS", but rather to generate real thought and discussion as opposed to the constant mindless re-iteration of the same old tired dogma. I fully realize that this will be controversial to many and will probably generate much vociferous condemnation of my opinions, but I just think that it needs to be said. This is a bit of a rant, sorry if it's longer than it should be.
Copyright © 2004 by Neil Gunton
Mon Jul 26 10:28:03 2004 CDT Back to top
Sic 'im! <|:)~
Open Source Tech Ping
I'm no fan of the viral nature of the GNU license, though I think it's their right to license things that way if they want. I much prefer the BSD-style licenses and there are certainly major open source projects that use that model rather than the GNU model. BTW, Linux breaks the "viral" nature of GNU in a very critical way, much to Richard Stallman's chagrin from what I've read. If it didn't, people would be talking about FreeBSD rather than Linux. "Open source" is not only the GNU license. In fact, Richard Stallman doesn't really like the term "open source".
Well it's the old saying "All software should be free - except mine." ;>
Linux is licensed under the GPL, so how can it break the GPL's terms? Or are you talking about how Stallman got his panties all in a bunch when Linus decided to use the proprietary Bitkeeper as Linux's content management system? Those two just do not get along. Stallman is an egotistic ivory-tower type, while Linus is a down-to-earth realist.
1... Constructive criticism is and should be a valid part of the community process, and telling people that they don't have any right to gripe unless they contribute code fixes themselves is just unrealistic.
Agreed. Contributing to the process could be as simple as telling the author about a hard-to-use part of the UI, as the author wouldn't otherwise know about it. Contributing code or fixes shouldn't be a pre-req.
2... you can "tinker" with the code. But how many people actually do this? Hardly anybody in real life.
How does he know this? He does not see all of the tinkering going on, and "tinkering" does not solely consist of fixing bugs and feeding back the patches. You can customize things and add your own features and even use some of the code for something else. As long as you keep the changes to yourself and don't redistribute, he'll never know about it.
But the point is that you can "tinker" with the code if you want to. You cannot do that with commercial software.
3... I'm totally hung up on the economic implication of the word "FREE".
4... Windows kicks Linux's ass in terms of usability and GUI refinements. It's widely recognized that the Linux desktop is still a work in progress playing catch-up to Microsoft... the "design by committee" that goes on with community projects often results in a more bloated and less focused product that tries to be all things to all people.
5... if Open Source mostly scratches a personal itch, then you're going to get mostly software that scratches the itches of programmers, not end-users (unless the end-users happen to be programmers).
6... So we have fifteen different editors, several different web browsers, several different desktops, and so on. While this might seem like a Good Thing at first (biodiversity), it could also be argued that eventually trying to reduce the choice somewhat for the end-user would also be beneficial.
All good points. The bloat is readily apparent when you go browsing through FreshMeat, where 99% of the stuff there is really crap that I will never use.
Some people have grand visions of the purpose and future of Open Source. Some want to totally defeat the commercial software industry, lure Windows users away from the Monopoly, convert their governments. These are not realistic expectations, IMO.
I don't personally care about taking over the world. I just want something that works for me, and right now, that just happens to be Open Source. It's bad enough that certain commercial software producers are trying to wreck things, but they have a profit motive. There are some areas where FOSS excels; those areas should be emphasized and the infighting should cease. Stallman and Torvalds and Raymond should shake hands and be friends. Is that realistic?
If Open Source can escape its schizophrenia and settle on its own single identity and purpose, it will be much happier. We users and casual developers will be too. And maybe we can get more stuff done.
The Linux license is a variant, that permits linking to libraries and OS elements without invoking the GPL. If this exception didn't exist, then Linux would be going nowhere and FreeBSD would be the darling of the commercial software vendors. All of the standard Linux libraries are LGPL licensed and there is evidence that Stallman wishes the LGPL, which allows commercial software to link to open source code, would go away.
Or are you talking about how Stallman got his panties all in a bunch when Linus decided to use the proprietary Bitkeeper as Linux's content management system? Those two just do not get along. Stallman is an egotistic ivory-tower type, while Linus is a down-to-earth realist.
No, I'm talking about LGPL vs. pure GPL and Linus Torvald's intepretation. You are correct that Linus Torvalds, despite having a die-hard communist father (or perhaps because he did), is more of a down-to-Earth realist than Stallman. If that weren't the case, Linux would be going nowhere fast.
Okay, just wondering what you were basing the statement on. Of course, anything but what's in Stallman's little heart pisses him off to no end. The guy just doesn't have room for those who think differently, kind of like the folks at Microsoft, SCO and AdTI.
The Linux license is GPL - it's the kernel, it doesn't have any separately linked libraries. There is no library exception for the Linux kernel. Because there are no separate libraries for the kernel. The Linux kernel license doesn't violate GPL - it is GPL. Period.
Separately sourced drivers and loadable modules, working through the allowed exported API's, and user level programs, working through the classic system call API, are separate and not subject to the kernels GPL license. That this is so is not any "exception" to the GPL license. It is just a statement of where the Linux kernel's GPL ends, and other software's licensing begins.
I suspect you are confusing the loadable kernel module and driver license situation with user level LGPL library licensing.
You don't need to believe that to support open source software any more than you need to believe that all property should be communal in order to support the idea of public roads and public parks. It's mainly the fanatics who think all software should be free.
As a software developer, I kind of scratch my head at people giving away their work.
A lot of open source development comes from college students, academics, or people who do it as a hobby. For example, the PostgreSQL database rose out of a university-funded research project while a friend of mine contributed to the GCC compiler as a hobby.
I don't mean the small, but helpful utilities that probably were fairly quick to write. Instead, what about the larger, man-hour intensive programs?
They are rarely written by a single person all at once. And where they are, that person is usually supported in some way where money isn't a big issue for them.
I understand the concept that you can charge for "service". It just does not make sense to my capitalist mindset.
It makes plenty of sense if you've ever developed a web site. All that really matters to me between using a commercial or open source application server, database, or operating system is how much I have to charge the customer in software licenses before I even start coding. Things like an operating system, application server, or database are, to me, infrastructure, like roads. I don't mind them being public. Just because the government owns most of the roads doesn't mean that you can't do business using them and it doesn't even mean you can't set up your own private toll road if there is justification for the public to pay for it.
I wonder how automobiles would be if car manufacturers followed the open source model. The car is free and all you have to pay for is support / maintenance :)
And I wonder how automobiles would have fared if all roads were private and you had to navigate through a maze of private tolls to drive anywhere. Think about it.
Maybe we should start an "Open health care movement". Have a bunch of medically inclined hackers to get together and open a clinic. Isn't health care more important than software?
Think about how your life would be if everything were in private hands and there was no public property. I know some libertarians think that's great but I don't. And just because I think public roads work pretty well, that doesn't mean I think all private property should be taken over the the government.
I know you are making a technical point but my point is pretty simple here. "Linux", as most people understand it, is an operating system which includes several critical libraries, not just a kernel. If everything included in, say, the Red Hat bundle were pure GPL, you would not have companies like Oracle porting their software to Linux.
Yes, I was making a technical point.
However I had to make that technical point, to respond to yours. You started with the technical points, by making bogus claims. The legal basis for the kernel's license is not determined by a poll on what most people mean by the word "Linux". It is determined by what is legally part of the copyright kernel source and derived therefrom. User level libraries have nothing to do with that.
You continue to make such bogus claims, when you state:
If you wish I didn't keep making a technical issue of what is Linux and what isn't, then don't continue to make false claims that stem from a refusal to understand this technical issue.
I think the original statement in the article was either accidentally or purposefully misunderstood. As I read it, "Free" is meant in the context of free speech--not free beer.
Hence, all software should be free to be able to read data formats, record formats, file formats. This leaves room for proprietary software (MS Office), while allowing other software (OpenOffice.org) to read those formats.
That's what I would like to see as it pertains to fre software.
Are you telling me that you can't add runtime object code modules to the kernel using insmod? I was also under the impression that things like the ATI proprietary video drivers were linked in with the kernel. Is that not the case? By all means correct me if I'm wrong.
These modules are not libraries - the rest of the kernel does not depend on the code in the modules. Rather it is the other way around. The modules depend on the rest of the code in the kernel.
Since they connect to the rest of the kernel via a narrow API, and since the kernel was not written with specific awareness of or dependency on or derivation from any such module, therefore, if the actual code in the module was not derived from Linux kernel code, then the module is not subject to the GPL license of the kernel, because the module is a separate work.
Libraries are used by what links to them; modules use what they link to. Kernel loadable modules are not libraries, not technically, and not in common terminology.
NOTE! This copyright does *not* cover user programs that use kernel services by normal system calls - this is merely considered normal use of the kernel, and does *not* fall under the heading of "derived work". Also note that the GPL below is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation, but the instance of code that it refers to (the Linux kernel) is copyrighted by me and others who actually wrote it.
Also note that the only valid version of the GPL as far as the kernel is concerned is _this_ particular version of the license (ie v2, not v2.2 or v3.x or whatever), unless explicitly otherwise stated.
Yes, he disagrees on many larger issues with Stallman. But the Linus kernel code, copyright by Linus and others, is still bound by, and Linus and other copyright holders so choose it to be bound by, this particular version of the GPL license.
This disclaimer does not diminish or alter that legal binding on bit. It spells out a reasonable legal distinction between what is covered by the kernels copyrights, and what is not. Derived work is covered. Merely normal use isn't.
That Linus and co-authors reject later versions of the GPL doesn't diminish the legal bond of the version they have chosen. Nor would they want it to.
Of course that would be silly, because cars are composed of expensive materials. Giving them away is necessarily an act of charity, requiring the donor to take a loss. But software consists of bits which are free to copy. If I've determined that I'm not going to make a profit on a program that I've written, it costs me nothing to give it to anyone who wants it.
The term "open source" was in fact coined precisely to distance these efforts from Mr. Stallman and his "free software" philosophy.
But never mind that. The real issue is this: when you're done listening to the guy tell you how the world will go to ruin if people give away the stuff they do in their spare time, ask him what he proposes to do about it. Shall we pass a law that people cannot do volunteer work? Shall we prohibit people from disposing of their own property except at a "fair" price ('fair' to be determined by government)? Every time a parent hands down a piece of furniture to a newly-married son or daughter, some furniture store and some furniture manufacturer lose a sale. Shouldn't we ban that? Every time the Jaycees paint a house for an old lady living alone, some union housepainter gets robbed of a job. Should we ban that, too? If not, then why would we restrict or punish programmers who do volunteer stuff and toss it out there for people to use?
Open Source is not a company. It doesn't sell anything. There is no one in charge. It's no different than a bunch of musicians who get together to jam. Enjoy it, or walk away. Complaining that you didn't get to pick the songs is stupid.
These same guys will then paint themselves as capitalists, and have the nerve to call the open-sourcers communists. Meanwhile, the open source guys don't see anything wrong with tossing 50 kinds of shampoo out there and letting the market decide which ones will continue.
There is a professional side to the Microsoft PR effort which involves hiring think tanks, lobbying firms, industry research houses, and freeleance writers to wear the Cloak Of Objectivity while spewing a list of talking points provided by the Microsoft PR department.
These are generally recognizeable by applying the following two tests.
When a guy who advocates that calls somebody else a leftist, guard your wallet.
This is NOT intended to be "anti-OSS", but rather to generate real thought and discussion as opposed to the constant mindless re-iteration of the same old tired dogma
Well put. A place for every software and every software in its place (including putting Microsoft in its place).
Oh. So he spent five paragraphs crabbing about "free software" for the hell of it? What was his point then? He seemed to be trying real hard to explain to people all the harm that is being caused to the garment industry by grandmothers knitting sweaters and giving them away. Or maybe it was programmers. I forget. Whichever it was, people who give stuff away for free are a menace. That part I do remember.
Please do, but next time don't pretend you've done it by positing a different totalitarian government. The alternative to a government that restricts people's ability to make gifts of their handiwork is not a government that seizes everything from everyone. In fact, that's almost the same thing. Consider other, non-totalitarian possibilities. Like just leaving people alone.
Nothing I said advocated any socialist or leftist policy of any sort whatsoever. Putting words in my mouth to paint me as a leftist moonbeam is uncalled for and lame. See if you can do better next time.
Or, maybe he's just a guy spending some of his PR budget on maligning his competitors through hired cutouts. Clinton had James Carville and Sidney Blumenthal; Gates hires lobbying firms and freelance writers. Throw the mud and hope it sticks; it's a time-honored principle. It's not my preferred marketing technique, but it's his company and he can do what he wants.
Like they say in the military, don't bring me problems without solutions. That's kind of what the dems do, isn't it?Tinkering with the code is something that hardly anyone actually does, except for the core developers.
I guess I must be an exception to that.Saying that all software should be free ignores the hidden price - including your own ability to make a living from writing software.
I'm not big on absolutes, but if it isn't profitable, open source is a viable alternative to keep it alive.Closed source software can be just as good, sometimes even better, than Open Source.
They both have their pluses and minuses.Having a lot of programmers "scratching their personal itch" just ensures that a lot of programmer tools get written.
I think there is more truth in that statement than the author intended.Sometimes restricting the choices might not be a bad idea.
Maybe, but is that what is actually going on?
My experience with open source is limited, but it did what I needed it to do for free. I found a couple bugs and came up with fixes fairly quick. I have an instant patch, and if anyone else wants to use it they are free to do so. It's all good from my perspective.
It depends on the situation. Have you written an awesome program entirely by yourself that's ready for the real world and functionally complete? Go ahead and sell it. Are you writing a program, but don't have the time, talent or inclination to make it functionally complete? Put it up on SourceForge as OSS and get some other people to help you. You are now compensated for your work through the programming man-hours of others rather than through retail cash.
Linux is only GPL because Linus Torvalds didn't want to bother with what he thought was the dirty work of writing an operating system.
Why would that be amusing? Microsoft has spent tens of millions of dollars in the past year sponsoring various sorts of mud-and-FUD attacks in the press and in the courts, in an ill-conceived campaign to bad-mouth individuals who are involved in producing open source software. It's as if Aerosmith took out ads in newspapers to tell everybody that guys who play in garage bands are communists and a threat to the music industry. It's quite bizarre; it borders on thuggery for a $30 billion corporation to turn its PR guns on hobbyists working at home at night.
It is true that Microsoft faces competition from some open source projects, notably linux, but that is because those projects are being promoted by commercial enterprises that have sales forces and marketing budgets. Red Hat, IBM, and now Novell certainly belong on Microsoft's radar as guys who would take sales away from them. OK, those are legitimate targets of Microsoft's wrath. But not the guy coding Mightnight Pizza software. Spending money to call that guy a communist? What the hell is that about? Somebody at Microsoft has a screw loose if he thinks articles like this are doing anything but needlessly making enemies out of people who may well be in the approval chain on software deals where they work. It's one of the dumber things I've ever seen a company do.
It's a little late for that, don't you think? For at least the last ten years, Windows has come free with any computer consumers can buy. And IE comes "free" with Windows. As does Media Player. Tens of millions of consumers now think that computers come with a free operating system, web browser, and media player. Considering the enormity of the success that Microsoft has had with its OEM selling motion, I think that any efforts by you to reverse that tide are futile.
What's the difference between that and Dell selling laptops that have Windows pre-loaded on them? They're giving away the software to sell you the laptop. Now comes Microsoft to tell us that people who want to give away software are communist looneytoons. Their chutzpah boggles the mind.
|com·mu·nism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (kmy-nzm)
It is admirable the dude at Midnight Pizza software is giving of his time so generously. On the same token, it is not evil for a person to desire to charge for the work that he produces / owns and protect his intellectual capital from others using it without renumeration.
Again TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
Now does that sound more like the OSS model or the proprietary model?
Let's see: OSS, run by the people and any person who isn't happy with those running a software project can take it in his desired direction (your branch will survive or die on its merits). Microsoft, you take what the authoritarian central power says you need or switch to a different authoritarian provider.
Free software helps my career. The vast majority of all code written today is never intended for resale. My company saves money by using Linux, Apache, Java, Perl, and other free software. (Although we do use proprietary software when it makes sense to). As a result, they have more money for hiring more developers and giving me raises.
I certainly don't believe that all software must be free; it should always be up to the creator. But there's little to support the argument that free software makes it harder for developers.
Finding a bug and reporting to the developers should be encouraged.
I noticed that my co-worker's left brake light was not working when we left work. The next day I made sure to tell him so he wouldn't get a ticket. You're saying I should have bought the replacement bulb, brought in my tools, and fixed it on my lunch break?
That is true. I am one who believes that it is possible to make a lot of money in business while conducting one's affairs in an honest, above-board, professional manner.
I think that hiring cut-outs to file media-stunt lawsuits against your competitors is sleazy, thuggish, and contemptible. I think that funding bogus "think tanks" to write hit pieces about individuals who head no company and sell no goods is creepy. I think that using a bogus news site run by a Washington lobbying firm to salt the public dialog with slams on home hobbyists is the act of a sociopath who hits people for fun.
I do not like those behaviors. I think they evince a corporate culture that is seriously twisted and vile. I think that in turn points to a corporate leadership that is fundamentally dishonest, ethically blind, and which has lost sight of what business indeed life is really about. My belief is that he who dies with most toys does not win if this is how he came about them.
Call that a religion if you like. I do not believe it is necessary in business to cheat or steal or lie to people. I have never hired thugs to beat up my competitors. I have never used corporate resources to smear private individuals who have no real ability to answer my smears.
They offend my sense of right and wrong. The corporation has the behavioral characteristics of a sociopathic thug. It is absolutely true that such characteristics are highly well-adapted to this world, and succeed in it. Bill Clinton got to be President of the United States. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. It works. But I don't have to like such people, and I don't. Ronald Reagan got to be President of the United States too. You don't have to be a lying, scheming, sociopathic thug to get ahead in this world. I have seen with my own eyes that a Vietnamese "boat person" can start a donut shop in this country and be a millionaire in ten years. All he has to do is work his buns off, make good donuts, and sell them at a fair price. He doesn't need to hire sleazeballs to sue Winchell's, or hire bogus restaurant reviewers to say that Krispy Kreme's donuts are full of poison.
What kind of guy does stuff like that? You tell me. Gates does this stuff. He thinks it's part of business. I don't.
You're trying to have this both ways. When Dell or Microsoft do it, it's "bundling," but when Red Hat bundles the software with support, all of a sudden they are "giving away software" and that's somehow weird, unusual, and socialist. You're just throwing spears with unclean hands.
Now we need to decide whether you are ignorant of how open source software is owned and licensed, and made that statement because you don't know any better, or whether you are deliberately trying to mislead your fellow Freepers in the same way that the Microsoft Corporation deliberately tries to mislead people, i.e. by lying about it.
As you noted yourself, communism involves common ownership of property. There is nothing like that in open source software. The bits and pieces are owned and copyrighted by their respective authors, and licensed for use by those authors under some set of terms and conditions.
There is no difference between that arrangement and any other copyrighted and licensed software.
None of it involves common ownership of property.
It has nothing to do with a system of government.
The "communism" thing is basically a dishonest slur promoted by Microsoft and its shills to disparage something that they are afraid of, and insecure about.
dis·hon·es·ty [diss ónn?stee] (plural dis·hon·es·ties) noun
1.deceitful behavior: the use of lies or deceit, or the tendency to be deceitful
2.dishonest deed: a dishonest act or action
These are quite often the same guys, which is what makes this "let's spread slurs about guys who do open source software" so stupid. A few years ago I worked for a company where the CTO was a Microsoft Man. We had Exchange, and SQL Server, and all that stuff. But at night, this guy was a BeOS freak. He would go home and work on little toys that ran under BeOS. He thought this was fun.
What actual threat did BeOS ever pose to Microsoft? I can't imagine. It's like General Motors worrying that Carrol Shelby is going to make some more Cobras. So what? Nevertheless, Microsoft managed to turn this loyal customer into a blood-sworn enemy with some sort of thuggery that they performed on BeOS. I don't know what they did. But the last I heard, this guy was ripping out all the Microsoft stuff and replacing it with linux, Apache, and Postgres.
This idea that there are paid programmers over here, and some camp of commie moonbeams over there, is just stupid. It's the same guys. If you call them communists at night, when they are working on Python or Gnome, they are going to remember that the next day when they are at work, writing technical assessments for the pointy-hairs on the bids that came in for the new system.
Except for the collective ownership part. Each contributor retains his copyright and can license his code to others under a commercial license if he chooses to do so.
I don't know about your analogy. It might be more like, hey your turn signal is out, it probably needs a new bulb. I'm not saying you have to provide a fix. But, you will find that things get fixed a lot faster if you do. Basically, it is not enough to complain about something, you should try to provide a solution.
Source logs?? Bu.. but all of this stuff is contributed anonymously and you can't tell where all of that code came from. Isn't that what you and your SCO and AdTI buddies have been saying for months now?
Setting up a dev environment is often fraught with problems (ie. "get these libs from this project, put your files at this location, set these environment variables, run this script first ...", etc, etc),
If, like most hackers, one installs the dev tools at system install time, most of the environment is already taken care of. I'll grant you that large projects will have external dependencies, but 99% of the time the distribution tarball will contain everything you need -- sources, headers, configure and install scripts, makefiles, documentation, etc. It usually comes down to a four-step process:
But if you need to make a change, everything is right there. Re-compile it, test it ("./myprog --debug"), if there's a hardware dependency then move it to a test box, run it though Change Control, install in production. No need to have SDKs installed everywhere, No special licensing arrangements. No rebooting of servers into a special test environment.
.. as long as there are commercial alternatives, it's often a better investment (in terms of time and effort) to purchase software which meets your needs than modify open source code yourself..
And no need to spend lots of money for a customized version when no COTS software will do the job. You have a license to do it yourself. You know exactly what it will take, so you have a solid schedule to present to the boss and no fear of having to explain that the vendor has slipped his schedule and now the whole thing is gonna be late.
And no need to buy a multi-year support contract for software that you don't own and code that you don't have. No need to follow a vendor's support schedule or fear what an upgrade will do to your environment -- if it's working perfectly to begin with, why upgrade?
unless you're not motivated by money/efficiency and want to share your labor with others.
And you don't have to share anything if you just keep it in-house and don't release it. You spend less time and money on deployment and you get to keep your own IP private.
So let me get this right. I have software need A. A proprietary software title exists that fits that need, and an OSS title exists that almost fits that need. I see a simple value judgement there: is my time worth the purchase price difference? I'm with you and would usually say no and buy the proprietary software title unless all that's needed is a little tweak to the OSS title (but then I don't have much spare time).
But if I have software need B, where neither proprietary nor OSS fully meets my needs I may have a few options. If the proprietary title has an open plug-in architecture (like Adobe InDesign), I could buy the software and write the plugin myself. Otherwise, I'm completely screwed in the proprietary arena unless I want to write an app from scratch. However, I could just modify any OSS apps myself.
BTW, I've often found that OSS project managers are more responsive to feature or GUI change requests. I have some requests that are in Adobe software, but they took a while and everybody but the beta testers had to pay the upgrade price to get them.
There's another possible option depending on the software. Here's an example. You use Gimp and modify it to do what you need, say some special trapping technique. You keep that to yourself.
Then you turn around and modify that code, using the basic revolutionary trapping core you built, to be a proprietary Photoshop plugin and sell it.
And it's also true that Mac OS X is far better than Windows or Linux in terms of usability and GUI refinements.
That would be the GPL license not the GNU license, and though many people throw the term viral around it is nothing of the sort..
No its not a varient it is exactly the GPL! read the GPL file that comes with linux than read the one on GNU's website how are the two different?.. You are allowed to link to GPL libraries so long as its a dynamic and not a static call. Many (not all are LPGL which let you statically link). The funny thing is stallman has no say in if the LPGL goes away or not, nore do I or Linus, someone can choose to use the GPL, LGPL, or the BSD license or they can choose not to, how is that viral??
communist father (or perhaps because he did), is more of a down-to-Earth realist than Stallman. If that weren't the case, Linux would be going nowhere fast.
Da comrade I am usink the Linux software... Gosh are you really going to get on his dad was a communist? get a life and stop throwing that around as if it mattered. Now I notice all the wonderful 'if' clauses in there, well noe of them have happened and the use of GPL and LPGL have created a software package that is going places very fast..
how are software and an automobile similar? how easy is it for me to 'make a copy' of my car? better yet how easy is it for me to improve my car without buying parts? Not that I think all software should/nt be free, I have no trouble paying for good applications but just because an app is free does not means its a problem.
Maybe we should start an "Open health care movement". Have a bunch of medically inclined hackers to get together and open a clinic. Isn't health care more important than software?
Youre saying that free clinics in poor areas are bad things??
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