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This is what's wrong with open source ...

I'm talking about the Movement, not the software. Look at this board. Topic after topic trying to ram their points of view down our throats.

FullName, a programmer? No, I don't think so. More like some sort of feeder from the open source trough. Uses lower case because he thinks that makes him appear to be a "programmer." (Works on slashdot.)

OC, his tag team buddy. And a few others.

Open source zealots, go and do what you want, but stop trying to ram your views down our throats.

Professional Programmer
Thursday, July 31, 2003

And it's the open source programmers with the bad attitude...

Justin Johnson
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Amen to that.
I must say, I do have respect for capitalistic open-source fans. I have no sympathy for someone whose livelihood is taken away by open source. To me that says, you aren't trying hard enough, if some shmo can just start giving away software and take all your customers away.
On the other hand, I have nothing but contempt for those who advocate open source out of envious politics, especially reflexive anti-Microsofties.
I also have nothing but contempt for government employees who use their government-paid time to undermine closed-source developers. What gall! If you must develop open-source software, do it on your own time, or be paid to do it by someone who is a direct beneficiary. Not the government. That's just spitting on taxpayers as well as the private sector.
One last contempt-worthy group: Politicians who pass mandatory open-source legislation for government agencies. How ridiculous. The only class of government software that should be open source by nature is voting machine software.

Israel Orange
Thursday, July 31, 2003

i'll give you a bad attitude. sure the slashdot crowd is a bad scene, but during these holy wars no one really quite emphasizes just how craptacular most of this open source shite is. and i'm not just talking about the 1000 aborted PHP shitpiles on sourceforge, I'm talking about the J2EE crud that is actually dumped out by sun and ibm. i for one LOVE emacs and GCC, but these days i mostly have to create web/database/desktop "enterprise" applications, and if I EVER have to use any open source java product again, please shoot me in the head. thank you.

.
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"FullName, a programmer? No, I don't think so. More like some sort of feeder from the open source trough. Uses lower case because he thinks that makes him appear to be a "programmer." (Works on slashdot.)"

wow, thats just hurtful :)

FullNameRequired
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Please, people, "Can't we all just get along?!"

Unanimous Cowboy
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Personally, I get why people like OSS, and I get why people feel threatened by it.  But what I honestly don't understand are the people on this board who seem to think that government-funded software being released under the GPL is the root of all evil.

If a government agency pays for software to be developed, and then releases it to the public domain, and then a private company comes along, extends it, and sells it as closed-source... how is that not welfare?

Sam Livingston-Gray
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Can you do that with the GPL?

Wayne
Thursday, July 31, 2003

No, a company can't do that with the GPL.  That's the point of the GPL: you can't take something GPLed and close the source.  You can with just about every other open source licence (BSD, Apache, LGPL), but not the GPL.

In other words, if a government agency released taxpayer funded software under the GPL, that software has to stay under GPL.  A company can take it, extend it, and release its extensions under the GPL, but not under another licence.

What a private company can do is create an extended workalike with closed source and sell that.  As long as you don't cut-and-paste, it's pretty easy to reverse-engineer GPLed software since the source can be inspected and clearly understood.

Justin Johnson
Thursday, July 31, 2003

> If a government agency pays for software to be developed, and then releases it to the public domain, and then a private company comes along, extends it, and sells it as closed-source... how is that not welfare?

If the government project is GPL, then only GPL projects can use it, and only in ways specified by the GPL. (although yes non-GPL projects can use it by jumping thru extra hoops (discrimination) like reverse engineering).

If the government project is public domain, anybody, GPL or non-GPL can use it any way that they like for any purpose they like.

Therefore I would argue
- government funded GPL projects = welfare and favouritism for GPL  projects
- government funded public domain projects = equally good or bad for everyone


(of course government should only be funding projects that government actually needs to do, not to help some company or project. in either category)

S. Tanna
Thursday, July 31, 2003

To answer original post

> I'm talking about the Movement, not the software

Frankly I see nothing wrong, and plenty admirable with the BSD-style projects. They are doing it to improve the state of the art, and/or all software. If I worked on an open source project, I'd use a BSD style license

However there's plenty I don't like about the GPL movement:

1. Their religious fervour about GPL (I don't like any software religions, period).

2. Their "angels on a pinhead" approach to the GPL (like medieval religious scholars they can spend hours dissecting minutae of the GPL interpretation).

3. The colossal gap between their claims/aspirations and their actions in enforcing the GPL. Linksys is accused of alleged GPL violations. SCO is all over slashdot everyday because of their Linux allegations - and every discussion has dozens of posts about how SCO's actions are GPL violations.  SCO must be the biggest issue ever the movement has faced?  But do GPL copyright owners do about this license they spent days and weeks dissecting  - nothing except cry on their advocacy sites. Given points 1 + 2, it would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

As a fellow programmer, I sympathize with the Linux developers, but it's gradually turning to pity and worse.

4. Their attitude. Many GPL advocates say their are against copyrights on software - yet at the same time are religious about GPL compliance. GPL relies on copyright law, otherwise I could do what I want with their stuff (including making it closed) - it's hypocrisy.

5. Their motivations. Some want to destroy commercial closed source development, others have more limited goals.  For example, lots of GPL projects have pages saying why they chose GPL - and the ones I've read are along the lines of "not wanting a company to make money off my work" (heck - people like RedHat do make money off GPL work - within the terms of the license)... so there is a logical disconnect, and motivations which I consider less noble than the BSD motivations (which is to improve state of the art in as many areas as possible - closed and open source).

6. Some of their leaders, and some's blind worship of them

7. Er, their beards :-)


Now, I've slagged 'em off, I'd have to say it's the non-coder followers that I have less time for than the coders.  If they actually do programming, I probably have more sympathy for them than the reverse - it's the camp followers that get my goat more.

...And lastly I am in total disagreement with the majority of posts about GPL undermining commercial software in general or software pricing.  I am quite happy for them to do whatever like - and have no objection whatsoever - provided they are not getting a government subsidy to do it.

ST
Friday, August 01, 2003

In the US, there's a wrinkle about governmetn funding.  Government employees release under public domain, but contractors can be required to use GPL.  The reason is probably to prevent corruption of government employees.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLUSGov

"Government funding" sounds (imo) imprecise because government funds Microsoft all the time by buying software from them.

(By the way, there's a lot of throat ramming from all sides.  This must be a throat ramming crowd.  Yum.)

rohan j.s.
Friday, August 01, 2003

ST, you've taken the worst examples of the open source community and judged the whole by them.

If you take time to read the posts on Slashdot, you'll find many who are ardent defenders of copyright, because they understand exactly what you pointed out: that the GPL relies upon strong copyright laws for its own enforceability.

And you're wrong that, when GPL violations take place, developers do nothing but whine about it.  The Electronic Freedom Foundation fights with lawyers; the Free Software Foundation has a council on staff, Eban Moglin (I believe), who pursues legal matters.  I can recall several instances where a brouhaha on Slashdot was resolved when one of those parties discussed a GPL violation with the offending party and resolved the issue, either by getting the source code released or the software withdrawn.

Don't judge the movement by its extremists and its hangers-on.

Justin Johnson
Friday, August 01, 2003

> ST, you've taken the worst examples of the open source community and judged the whole by them.

I've judged by the impression the movement as a whole gives. While their may be individual variations on particular issues - either the majority, or the most vocal,  act in a way that repels, not attracts, me to their ideas.

Some of my points stand, regardless. I still think BSD style is much nobler form of open source than GPL.

> And you're wrong that, when GPL violations take place, developers do nothing but whine about it.  The Electronic Freedom Foundation fights with lawyers; the Free Software Foundation has a council on staff, Eban Moglin (I believe), who pursues legal matters.  I can recall several instances where a brouhaha on Slashdot was resolved when one of those parties discussed a GPL violation with the offending party and resolved the issue, either by getting the source code released or the software withdrawn.

I'll believe they take their own GPL license seriously, when they actually do something about SCO, other than complain - which has to be the biggest issue GPL software has faced, ever.

If these lawyers take no action. and/or SCO gets actual or defacto control over Linux licensing,... then I expect I'll find it hard to take the GPL movement seriously in future.

ST
Friday, August 01, 2003

"I'll believe they take their own GPL license seriously, when they actually do something about SCO, other than complain - which has to be the biggest issue GPL software has faced, ever."

They're doing exactly what they should be about SCO: nothing beyond issuing press releases and giving interviews explaining that SCO is bullshitting.  The way to fight FUD is with calm, clear explication of the facts.

SCO v. IBM is 98% corporate posturing.  I've seen plausible speculations that the whole mess is nothing but a pump-and-dump scam by The Canopy Group and the major shareholders of SCO, based on their buying and selling patterns of SCO stock before and after the whole thing blew up.  As a legal battle, it's a quagmire that will require millions in legal fees to settle that they don't have.  This is exactly the sort of battle IBM is built for, though, and they're wisely letting IBM deal with it.

In this, I speak from some experience.  My employer has been involved in several lawsuits in the normal course of business (in which I've been peripherally involved), and there is rarely, if ever, a dramatic courtroom showdown that reveals the truth once and for all.  In the vast majority of legal cases, especially civil cases, there's an expensive, drawn-out process of negotiation and litigation that drags on until one party or the other tires of it or runs out of money to fight.  Most legal battles are about jockeying for position.

I would like to see them do here what they've done in Germany, namely obtain an injunction preventing SCO from making claims that Linux contains infringing code, until that's proven.  But I understand that such injunctions are much easier to obtain in Germany.

Besides, how is this hurting Linux?  I've seen two polls where better than 90% of the businesses asked have said that SCO will not impact their deployment plans at all.  Since a 10% drop in "sales" doesn't affect the development of Linux or the current use of it, it's just another annoyance, really.

Justin Johnson
Friday, August 01, 2003

SCO says Linux = SCO stuff + Linux stuff

Presumably even if there is SCO stuff, the Linux stuff is still copyrighted and licensed for distribution under the GPL.

I understand you can't mix GPL and closed source

So if SCO distribute Linux, or presumably get license fees from Linux users, that'd be a GPL violation, right?

If the GPL movement doesn't enforce their own license, on their most important piece of software, then it's hard not to conclude all the talk of the license etc etc is hot air.  Any company can come and grab GPL software and do with it what they like ...  it might as well be public domain.  If SCO succeed, other companies will try for other GPL projects.

And while this won't necessarily hurt Linux deployments in the short term, I can't believe that the GPL idealists are going to be motivated to continue in future under these circumstances - if they were, they would have BSD-ed their stuff in the first place.

So in other words, it hurts the credibility and long term prospects of the movement.

It also has the side consequence, that while I have no intention of violating GPL (or any other license), that I'll just ignore all the rants about it and free software in future - as what they say doesn't jive with the reality.

ST
Friday, August 01, 2003

I love Microsoft
I get paid for the software I write

I've said before and will say it again

If I cannot make a case for my software against OSS alternatives to my clients than that is MY PROBLEM and not the evilness of OSS

Geert-Jan Thomas
Friday, August 01, 2003

Will people stop these silly arguments. There is nothing wrong with open source, I've been using it pretty much totally for about six years. If you don't like it, don't use it, or rant about it. If you do, why not code and help rather than starting stupid debates like these. Speak with code, not words.

FW
Friday, August 01, 2003

Glad you cleared that up. People can stop worrying now. JW said there is nothing wrong with open source...

Practical Geezer
Friday, August 01, 2003

That should be FW instead of JW. Last time I heard JW wasn't sure yet...

Practical Geezer
Friday, August 01, 2003

I do not believe the FSF would want to take the GPL to court. Not only could they loose, they have nothing to gain that they do not already have more of in the current FUD climate.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 01, 2003

"Professional Programmer"? Are you really? Is that as opposed to the Unprofessional type?

I'm not FullName's buddy, I don't know him. I just object to being told that my job doesn't exist because of open source... Because it does, thanks in part to open source.

It's more of an observation than an opinion.

Now run off and be professional somewhere.

OC
Friday, August 01, 2003

I went pack over the posts for the past week and found that most of the discussion was around understanding.  That some posts, like ST's, were not "can't we all just get along" but "Open Source sucks and so do you for supporting it."   

When you posted this thread, I just let it go as a troll.  After reading your responses, I see it is more the fear of obselence.  That the need for your skill set may be  dimiinshed with OpenSource.    I wonder if you have the same feeling concerning off-shore development from the US? 

I make a good living through MS.  I recognize that extremists exist on both sides and that they generally get the press.  Who wants to report on "yes, we can all get along and it really is not a big deal."

And for the people who hate the GPL I have a suggestion: Don't use the software.  No one forces you to use it, you are free to write your own.  I don't like the EULA for MS Media Player.  I don't want to give them access to " disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer."  (especially the "use other software" part)  So, I don't use it.   

MSHack
Friday, August 01, 2003

>  "Open Source sucks and so do you for supporting it

If you think that's what I'm saying, you haven't been reading.

I think some open source ideals, are noble and highly admirable, especially BSD ideals.

I appreciate programmers who get stuff done, whatever their affiliation.

However I think the most vocal part of the GPL movement, especially the non-programming followers, is unattractive, to me. 

Neither of the above has any bearing on the quality of the software. Some open source software sucks. Clearly some open source software is good work: BSD Unix variants, Apache, MySQL, PHP, GIMP.

ST
Friday, August 01, 2003

Bravo! Bravo! You are the troll to watch sir and I salute you. I can't believe people actually thought you wanted to discuss this. Well planned trap.

But I do see a flaw in your approach - I usually reserve personal attacks until later in the war. Make it seem as if they provoked you then attack the person. Never strike first.

It's kind of funny that you say they want to ram it down your throats - GPL is a choice. You don't have to use it. But we aren't falling for that communist bullshit are we?

We can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids!!!!

trollbooth
Friday, August 01, 2003

troll,

I agree with you to a point. GPL is a choice (so it suicide, self-mutilation, and spoon-castration) and you don't have to use it or use software that does.

There are two issues I have however:

The government's use of the GPL unfairly restricts its use. I firmly believe that all government written software should be public domain to citizens of that government. We paid taxes to build it, we all deserve to use it as we with.

The FSF does not intend to leave GPL a choice. They actively work toward forcing all software to use it. This is why that push for government acceptance of it rather than BSD or just plain public domain. I will not fight a choice, but I will fight at attempt to restrict my choices.

Marc
Friday, August 01, 2003

Marc-

Yes, the US government in particular seems highly concerned with enhancing the public domain.  That must've been what the Sonny Bono CTEA was for... not to mention the DMCA.  ;>

(ducking)

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, August 01, 2003

Don't duck. You are right. It is crap and should be removed. It was the right-winger's selling their souls and nothing more.

And God bless the left-wing nuts who think the best way to preserve and industry is to tax the consumers of another industry (save music by taxing blank tapes).

I'm not arguing that the Government is doing a good job at this. Quite to opposite, I think they are doing a horrid job right now. And using GPL would just be a continuation of that.

Marc
Friday, August 01, 2003

To all those people saying the government shouldn't be allowed to release anything under the GPL because it restricts corporate use.

If the government releases something under the GPL there is *nothing* stopping a commercial entity from using that technology.  They might have to spend a tidbit of effort implementing it themselves if they don't want to release their own code under the GPL.

You are 100% free to reverse-engineer GPL'd code.

You are 100% free to use GPL'd code to unit-test your reverse-engineered copy.

You are 100% free to read through GPL'd code and implement the APIs in your own code.

So releasing something under the GPL is on the same level as releasing chemical or pharmaceutical(sp?) research.  If a company wants to profit off of it, they are free too, but they'll have to do some work implementing the research.

Sure, it'd be nicer if it was public domain, but sometimes it's more appropriate to use the GPL.  For instance, if you release the code public domain, then a commercial company can use that code and instantly fork it with a few improvments.  The market would then be locked up with the proprietary version.  By releasing it under the GPL, the free and open implementations will be well entrenched by the time the proprietary versions are released, so the proprietary ones will have to interoperate.

Richard Ponton
Friday, August 01, 2003

That was one of the worse anti-software libre trolls I've seen.

Look, one one forces you to read Slashdot, so just stay away from it (like many free software users do as well). The discussions there are like a bad usenet group.

Please stop being so afraid of free software. It is a wonderful business opportunity if you can get the fixation on income from software licensing out of your mind. When you can use high quality free software components to build from, there's some serious time/money to save.

And as to government sponsoring free software, don't you think they are competent enough to decide for themselves? The IT integration issues would become much smaller if people used free components and kept the source around.

Jonas B.
Saturday, August 02, 2003

>Please stop being so afraid of free software. It is a
>wonderful business opportunity if you can get the fixation
>on income from software licensing out of your mind.

But still the question remains, how should i pay my bills, they keep coming in every month.

Why doesn't the local grocery GPL its goods ?

Michael Moser
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Jonas,

It's easy to tell people not to be afraid of free software ("free" as in speech...).
But free software is a threat to (closed) software vendors, and therefore to their employees (programmers), since free software more and more turns the software market into a buyers market.

Since this forum is full of programmers, it is also full of people afraid of free software. What I don't understand is why these scared programmers engineer silly excuses like "some dimwit on Slashdot defended the GPL, so it must be bad", instead of admitting that they are afraid that they wont make it in a highly competetive buyers market...

Martin A. Boegelund
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

"But still the question remains, how should i pay my bills, they keep coming in every month.

Why doesn't the local grocery GPL its goods ? "

So because you like to program, you expect me to pay you to program, instead of using GPL'ed software?

Sorry, Michael, but most users of software don't use software in order to keep programmers alive. They do so becase they have a job to be done. If free software does the trick, why pay?

Martin A. Boegelund
Tuesday, August 05, 2003

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