Comments on: Getting Pretty Lonely http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely Official blog of Red Sweater Software Wed, 12 Nov 2014 14:28:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 By: Daniel Jalkut http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150821 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 17:47:29 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150821 Thanks, everybody for participating. Closing comments now. This makes a pretty good artifact I think for anybody who wants to read into to the thoughts & motivations on all sides of the argument.

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By: Dallas Hockley http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150817 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 05:00:41 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150817 @Cátia Kitahara – ah, let me clarify.

Dallas Hockley, but it may be used in a business, why not? Also, free software as well as any other software needs support, this is a great incentive for small businesses to grow and without royalties all their profit sticks with them.

You cannot extend the software and then market it as a proprietary solution. Many businesses including those I’ve worked for use many open source software projects and tools. They don’t market products based on them though. There is nothing to stop a competitor or your customer from simply downloading the code if your product is GPL. You need to sell support to pull in revenue. I didn’t clarify which role the software was fulfilling. My bad. If you want to make a business off of support, that can be done on either GPL or any other licensed software should you choose. Absolutely true.

As for the trade deficit, I would venture a guess that if you take Microsoft Operating Systems, Microsoft Office, Oracle and Microsoft databases, and Oracle, Microsoft and SAP business software you probably account for well over half the 3 billion dollars. Just a guess based on experience from IT shops in a few big companies. “One throat to choke” is a mantra of many a CIO, and there aren’t many open source projects that warranty their software. You need to pay for the throat. :-)

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By: Cátia Kitahara http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150816 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 04:35:38 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150816

I don’t think that makes it more or less valid from a business point of view, but the use of it in public organizations is a very useful addition to the discussion. The downside is that the code can’t be used in a business to build the economy of Brazil unless the government allows dual-licensing.

Dallas Hockley, but it may be used in a business, why not? Also, free software as well as any other software needs support, this is a great incentive for small businesses to grow and without royalties all their profit sticks with them.

Thanks for your post! The adoption of free software by companies that don’t want to be wholly-dependent on American corporations for their IT infrastructure seems a very important issue for growing those countries’ economies and their ability to manage their own technology needs. It’s great that President Lula showed up at the conference, I can’t imagine Barack Obama coming to a free software conference in the US. ;-)

It is really an important issue. Let me add some more numbers, to illustrate how true is what you said: In year 2007 Brazil exported 250 million dollars and imported 3 billion dollars in software, just think about it! Why is that? Maybe because 97% of our computers runs Windows?

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By: Dallas Hockley http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150815 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 04:02:48 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150815 I just did a search on Google Code using their license search feature. Quick scouting with their estimate numbers does show a majority of GPL, but interestingly, there are quite a few BSD and Apache files INSIDE GPL projects. In many cases these are more utility libraries and functions that provide some fundamental services and features that are often present in more modern language cores like Java, Ruby and others.

I’ve got the full count and table over at my blog for anyone interested in looking at the numbers.

Maybe there is a hierarchy of licenses, in the utility code in Apache, BSD, MIT etc and the commercially viable protected from getting commercialized if so desired by the GPL. Either way *both* communities and styles of projects benefit from the liberal licenses. Even the GPL. I wonder if the coders contribute back to the BSD license utility libraries when they fix things and modify and extend them? ;-) (I’d guess yes as it’s not that political with the majority of developers, and it’s the right thing to do)

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By: Chris http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150814 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 03:42:22 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150814 @Mad Hatter:

And as to license usage, check the Black Duck site, I think that GPL licensed projects account for over 70% of the Free/Open Source Software projects that they track, so it’s obvious that a lot of developers like what the GPL does for them.

In particular, that’s:
http://www.blackducksoftware.com/oss

I think Daniel’s actually making a more subtle point than “the GPL is unpopular”, though — he’s saying that, even though most free software projects use the GPL, they might be getting more contributions if they didn’t. Since 99% of the software industry currently thinks that free software in all forms is crazy, the argument goes, that’s a large pool of developers who might contribute to free software if they weren’t being put off by all the presence of all the people who require that their donated code shouldn’t turn into non-free code later.

I don’t agree with Daniel’s conclusion, because I think it flies too much in the face of observed reality regarding examples like FreeBSD vs. Linux, and I think an extraordinary claim (“the most popular free software license, as used by some of the most successful free software projects which have plenty of backing from big business, is actually a really poor license because it doesn’t strongly attract contribution”) should require extraordinary evidence.

But it’s true that his what-if scenario of “maybe your project would be doing better” is harder to knock down than by merely saying that, amongst free software licenses, the GPL is a popular one. So you haven’t done that.

– Chris.

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By: The Mad Hatter http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150813 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 03:10:32 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150813 Sorry Daniel – mouse problems caused this to post before I finished it.

*****

This about the fifth time in the last 5 years that someone has had an epiphany about the GPL, and came to exactly the same conclusion. Isn’t that curious? Very curious?

As to an answer to you, Developers don’t form groups like that. Instead Developers form groups based on the software that they want (unless they work for a closed source company, in which case they are assigned a project).

So the Project comes first. Next comes the license. Here are a couple of examples:

You want to build a newer, better, TCP-IP stack. You want the world to use it. Obvious choices are the BSD and MIT licenses.

You want to build a super duper media player with TIVO like capabilities, because, hell, you can’t afford a TIVO. An Apple TV would be nice too, but you can’t afford it either. This is not a simple project, you want to make sure that you get code contributions back because otherwise it might never be finished. Obvious choices are the GPLV2 and GPLV3 & Later licenses.

You want to build a new Desktop using a user interface you’ve designed yourself. You’d like to get code contributions back, but you want to let it be used in other projects, so you dual license it under the GPLV3 or later, with a note that special licenses are available.

While the license used by a project is part of the attraction, the reason a project gets developers is that it’s something that the developer needs or wants.

Very few people who are interested in Free/Open Source Software will be interested in working for a closed source project. Very few people who work for closed source projects will be interested in working for Free/Open Source Software projects. So you can count the closed source people as not being in play.

And as to license usage, check the Black Duck site, I think that GPL licensed projects account for over 70% of the Free/Open Source Software projects that they track, so it’s obvious that a lot of developers like what the GPL does for them.

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By: The Mad Hatter http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150812 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 02:29:35 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150812 Daniel,

This about the fifth time in the last 5 years that someone has had an epiphany about the GPL, and came to exactly the same conclusion. Isn’t that curious? Very curious?

As to an answer to you, Developers don’t form groups like that. Instead Developers form groups based on the software that they want (unless they work for a closed source company, in which case they are assigned a project).

So the Project comes first. Next comes the license. Here are a couple of examples:

You want to build a newer, better, TCP-IP stack. You want the world to use it. Obvious choices are the BSD and MIT licenses.

You want to build a super duper media player with TIVO like capabilities, because, hell, you can’t afford a TIVO. An Apple TV would be nice too, but you can’t afford it either. This is not a simple project, you want to make sure that you get code contributions back because otherwise it might never be finished. Obvious choices are the GPLV2 and GPLV3 & Later licenses.

You want to build a new Desktop using a user interface you’ve designed yourself. You’d like to get code contributions back, but you want to let it be used in other projects, so you dual license it under the GPLV

super duper media player with TIVO like capabilities, because, hell, you can’t afford a TIVO. An Apple TV would be nice too, but you can’t afford it either. This is not a simple project, you want to make sure that you get code contributions back because otherwise it might never be finished. Obvious choices are the GPLV2 and GPLV3 & Later licenses.

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By: Arnold J http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150811 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 02:03:29 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150811 Every OSS survey out there shows that MOST OSS is GPL. Therefore any OSS which is not GPL is not playing nice with the rest of the OSS world. It is very easy to be GPL compatible and many licenses are but the GPL still dominates.

Had you researched anything, like the distribution of licenses in OSS projects you wouldn’t have made these silly claims.

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By: Chris http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150810 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 01:05:31 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150810 @Stephen:

Chris, I think you’ve forgotten the most compelling evidence for the demise of BSD: Netcraft confirms it.

Especially apropos given that I previously worked at Netcraft. ;-) (But did not have “confirming the death of BSD” amongst my job responsibilities.)

– Chris.

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By: Stephen http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/825/getting-pretty-lonely/comment-page-3#comment-150809 Tue, 07 Jul 2009 00:34:44 +0000 http://www.red-sweater.com/blog/?p=825#comment-150809 Chris, I think you’ve forgotten the most compelling evidence for the demise of BSD: Netcraft confirms it.

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