Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
SuSE Businesses Software Linux

Stallman Absolves Novell 101

Posted by kdawson
from the what-he-said dept.
A few days ago we linked the transcript of Richard Stallman's talk at the Tokyo GPLv3 meeting . Now bubulubugoth writes to point us to an analysis of what Stallman said in Tokyo. In particular, these quotes: "Microsoft has not given Novell a patent license, and thus, section 7 of the GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent license that is rather limited to Novell's customers alone." And, apparently resolving the conundrum of whether GPLv2 and GPLv3 licenses can be commingled: "There's no difficulty in having some programs in the system under GPL2 and other programs under GPL3."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stallman Absolves Novell

Comments Filter:
  • Comingling (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bottlemaster (449635) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:25AM (#17088194)
    And, apparently resolving the conundrum of whether GPLv2 and GPLv3 licenses can be commingled: "There's no difficulty in having some programs in the system under GPL2 and other programs under GPL3."
    All this says is that some code can be GPLv2 and some seperate code can be GPLv3. This is about as far as you can get from addressing the problem while still saying "GPLv2" and "GPLv3".
    • by somethinghollow (530478) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:44AM (#17088264) Homepage Journal
      Sorry, man. Your last sentence makes no sense. Maybe your whole post doesn't make sense. Please say more, as I can't interpret your words to meaningful text. That is, explicate your position. Your minimal treatment doesn't help me.
      • by Aladrin (926209) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:53AM (#17088310)
        Maybe if you RTFA, you'd understand. Or even the summary.

        Stallman didn't actually give us ANY new information about GPL v2/3 compatibility. He only said that some programs could be v2, and some v3, and exist on the same system. He didn't say they could work together (they can), and he CERTAINLY didn't say their code could be compiled together (this is the issue, and I say they can't).
        • Re:Comingling (Score:4, Insightful)

          by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:29AM (#17088440) Homepage Journal
          Of course they can be compiled together.
          Distributing that executable to the public is where the problems start...
          • by Monsuco (998964) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @02:19PM (#17091478) Homepage
            Of course they can be compiled together. Distributing that executable to the public is where the problems start...
            So what, we can use scripts that will download source code and compile it for us, that is legal. Also, most GPL2 projects will simply relicense.
            • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NickFortune (613926) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:29PM (#17093524) Homepage Journal
              So what, we can use scripts that will download source code and compile it for us, that is legal.
              Hard to say before the final draft of GPLv3, but that seems the most likely scenario. The GPL has never had a problem with people compiling and running software for personal use. It's just when they distribute that the GPL comes into play.

              Of course, you could argue that distributing such a download-compile-and-link program would be an attempt to violate the intent of the new licence, but I still think that's unlikely. The main point of GPLv3 seems to be aimed at hardware locked down against modification. If the user can compile the two lots of source together, I don't think GPLv3 has a problem. It's when you want to mod a GPLv3 program distributed with hardware, and the hardware won't let you run the result that you hit problems. Think "Tivo".

              Also, most GPL2 projects will simply relicense.

              Ones with the "...or later" boilerplate at the top won't need to, although I think some will explicitly re-licence as GPLv2 only. Not so many as I would have expected before recent shady dealings between MS and Novel, but some will. If nothing else, there are a lot of prominent FOSS devs being paid by large corporations. It's got to be difficult not to let something like that influence your thinking.

              The interesting question is which projects will prosper and which not, post GPLv3. Which will attract developers, which will be bundled, and which wil fal by the wayside. Interesting days ahead, I feel

        • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:31AM (#17088962) Homepage
          Stallman didn't actually give us ANY new information about GPL v2/3 compatibility. He only said that some programs could be v2, and some v3, and exist on the same system. He didn't say they could work together (they can), and he CERTAINLY didn't say their code could be compiled together (this is the issue, and I say they can't).

          Well, we can just read the GPL3 draft ourselves. Assuming no big changes in that area (and I doubt there will be any), it will not be possible to link GPL2 and GPL3 code together (except for cases of LGPL2 code or GPL3+a suitable exception).

          What Stallman was quoted as saying is the simple fact that a system can have various licenses on it, GPL2, GPL3, Apache, BSD, Python, etc. etc. Which is of course true. What we will see, in all likelihood, is a GPL2 kernel and GPL3 GNU tools (compiler, etc.), which virtually every Linux distro will use happily. Novell, on the other hand, will have some problems with the GNU tools.
          • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:41PM (#17092668) Journal
            I don't think GPL3 toold like a compiler would work with a GPL2 kernel. One of the things the GPLv3 was trying to address was the shirking around obligations imposed by the GPLv2. A compiler will depend heavily on the kernel and all it's libaries to work making the operations of a GPLv3 compiler contrary to it's own license when using a GPLv2 kernel.

            In my opinion, this is nothing different from TIVOs attempt to lock people out. If the GPLv3 can taint the hardware to the points it forces signed keys to become GPLed it will definatly tain a kernel running under a former GPL. I don't see why these requirments should be "waived" just because it is OSS people doing it and not TIVO.

            GPLv3 is bad news at it currently exists. It doesn't follow the spirit of the former GPL versions. It introduces too many unneeded problems and is more or less going to make the GPL weaker in the end. Some people are ok with that, some aren't. It isn't to hard to guess were i'm at on it.
            • by Laur (673497) on Monday December 04, 2006 @01:40PM (#17102180)
              You can use GCC to compile proprietary apps. I think that even Apple uses it to compile OS X, and it is the default compiler for Xcode. All the BSDs use it as well. Heck, you can even compile Windows apps using MinGW. I don't expect that GPLv3 will change this situation at all.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:28AM (#17088438)
        This is about as far as you can get from addressing the problem while still saying "GPLv2" and "GPLv3".

        English isn't my native language, but I'll try to explain that sentence to you as I understand it: "This" refers to "some code can be GPLv2 and some seperate code can be GPLv3" from the sentence before it. It's the statement that Stallman was willing to make. "This is about as far as you can get from addressing the problem" means "This does not address the problem at all". Stallman's statement deals with aggregation of separate programs. It does not address code with different licenses that forms one program, which is generally regarded as the problematic case. "while still saying GPLv2 and GPLv3" means: "in a discussion about these two licenses". In other words: Stallman was semi off topic. He got sidetracked.
  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:39AM (#17088240) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't seem logical but Novell won't discuss it preferring, it says, to wait and see what happens in the GPL3 negotiations, clinging to the notion that Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers - won't do anything to derail Linux.
    Quite apart from the partial title, which is misrepresentative of the article, why would you post a link to anything that contained statements like this?

  • W00t. (Score:-1, Offtopic)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:42AM (#17088254)
    Yay. Hooray and all that stuff. And what, exactly does that mean for us, the average Slashdot consumer?
    • Re:W00t. (Score:0, Flamebait)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:48AM (#17088286)

      It means that slashdot's editors are as stupid as they always were, and still don't bother to do the most basic editorial checking on submissions. Hooray.

      Two seconds reading this article would show that the headline attached is complete bullshit and the article is poorly written flamebait.

  • by kan0r (805166) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:43AM (#17088258)
    The subject line in the news implies that RMS absolved the deal between MS and Novell as a whole. Reading the text, I get the impression that he only talks about GPL-related issues and does not touch the related IP issue that Ballmer brought up. Correct me if I am wrong, but IMHO the latter seems to be a bigger problem but is not addressed by RMS at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:51AM (#17088298)
    Really, who cares? Stallman is a wanker anyway. GPL blah blah blah, this shit doesn't matter to 99.99% of the world, and you know what? They don't care.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:58AM (#17088334)
    Sorry for the karma whoring, but the article seems to imply that RMS thinks that there's nothing wrong with Novel's deal, which is not quite the case, as can be seed below.

    However, there's another way of using software patents to threaten the users which we have just seen an example of. That is, the Novell-Microsoft deal. What has happened is, Microsoft has not given Novell a patent licence, and thus, section 7 of GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent licence that is rather limited to Novell's customers alone.

    It turns out that perhaps it's a good thing that Microsoft did this now, because we discovered that the text we had written for GPL version 3 would not have blocked this, but it's not too late and we're going to make sure that when GPL version 3 really comes out it will block such deals. We were already concerned about possibilities like this, namely, the possibility that a distributor might receive a patent licence which did not explicitly impose limits on downstream recipients but simply failed to protect them.

    What if one company pays Microsoft for a patent licence where Microsoft says "Alright, we won't sue you, but we're just not making any promises about your customers if they redistribute it". We had already written a downstream shielding provision into GPL version 3 saying that if you convey the program, and you are benefitting from a patent licence that is not available, that does not extend to the downstream users, then you have to do something to shield them.

    This is, it turns out, inadequate in two ways. First of all, "shielding them" is vague. We're replacing that with a specific list of methods, and second, once again it assumes that the distributor has received a patent licence, so the Microsoft/Novell deal cunningly does not give Novell the patent licence, only Novell's customers.

    Well, now that we have seen this possibility, we're not going to have trouble drafting the language that will block it off. We're going to say not just that if you receive the patent licence, but if you have arranged any sort of patent licensing that is prejudicial among the downstream recipients, that that's not allowed. That you have to make sure that the downstream recipients fully get the freedoms that they're supposed to have. The precise words, we haven't figured out yet. That's what Eben Moglen is working on now.
    • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @03:12PM (#17091932)
      As I understand it, the Novell-Microsoft agreement does not protect either Novell or Microsoft directly. It only states that Novell's customers will not be in the firing line if Microsoft goes after Novell or Redhat, for instance. This advantage that Novell's clients would have is seen by some open source advocates as against the spirit of the GPL which, apparently, is that everyone should be equally vulnerable. I am sort of curious. Let us say that Microsoft unilaterally decides to offer protection to Red Hat's clients, but not any downstream recipients of those clients. Does Red Hat suddenly have responsibility to provide protection for those downstream recipients that they would otherwise not have? If the answer is "no", then presumably the problem with the Novell-Microsoft deal is not that some users are at less risk, but purely that this is as a result of an agreement between the parties. The fact that non-Novell customers are in precisely the same position they would have been if this agreement to which they are not a party did not exist appears irrelevant. I can understand why some free software extremists dislike the Novell-Microsoft agreement, but I am bound to say that I do not find their position very logical.
      • by ClickOnThis (137803) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @11:55PM (#17095636) Journal
        I am sort of curious. Let us say that Microsoft unilaterally decides to offer protection to Red Hat's clients, but not any downstream recipients of those clients. Does Red Hat suddenly have responsibility to provide protection for those downstream recipients that they would otherwise not have? If the answer is "no",

        Interesting. I'm thinking the answer is, in fact, no.

        then presumably the problem with the Novell-Microsoft deal is not that some users are at less risk, but purely that this is as a result of an agreement between the parties. The fact that non-Novell customers are in precisely the same position they would have been if this agreement to which they are not a party did not exist appears irrelevant.

        But perhaps not irrelevant to Microsoft. What they gain is a "supposed authority" to declare an imprimatur for the "blessed" version of Linux, as well as an implied threat that you're not "safe" if you're not using Novell's version. To put it another way, by offering a protection exclusively to a subset of Gnu/Linux users, they imply that there is some kind of risk to users of GPL software. Getting Novell to be a party to an "agreement" simply strengthen's Microsoft's "supposed authority" to offer a shield from such a "risk".

        I can understand why some free software extremists dislike the Novell-Microsoft agreement, but I am bound to say that I do not find their position very logical.

        Sorry to be so blunt, but your own statement doesn't seem logical. How can you say you "understand" their position if you think it isn't logical? But to continue: Insofar as the agreement generates FUD about the GPL, and (as Stallman points out) it reveals a possible weakness in GPLv3, it does indeed seem logical for free-software advocates (or "extremists" if you prefer) to "dislike" the agreement and respond by doing something about it (i.e., modify GPLv3).
  • by Terminus32 (968892) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .llesdnilnahtan.> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:08AM (#17088376) Homepage
    >>Doesn't seem logical but Novell won't discuss it preferring, it says, to wait and see what happens in the GPL3 negotiations, clinging to the notion that Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers - won't do anything to derail Linux. I can kinda see where they're coming from (being an anarchist-type myself) but I do sometimes think Stallman takes it a bit too far sometimes - he's eccentric, but still in the business world you've gotta hold it down a bit to be able to make people take you seriously & not think that you're some kinda freak!
  • Say what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lavene (1025400) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:08AM (#17088378)
    Reading the headline I almost instinctivly looked out of the window to see if there were any pigs or penguins flying by... but then I remembered that I was reading /.
  • by Karaman (873136) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:09AM (#17088382)
    Stallman is some kind of a pope, and M$ are buying indulgence from him?
    • by Coeurderoy (717228) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:02AM (#17088820)
      Stallman might be a sort of pope, but he is not selling indugence to M$.
      Well I guess that if the bill and melinda fondation would offer to give him ALL their money, he would at least think about it.

      Of course the way he would be using this money might be even more irritating to the current US rulers thant what he is currently doing,
      since I suspect that he would still have the same choice of entertainments (playing irish flute in front of a large crowd rather than buying a large mansion in beverley hills :-)).

  • by zotz (3951) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:20AM (#17088404) Homepage Journal
    As in, really did find a loophole that let's them legally stab everyone in the back? One that we will be sure to fix in v3 and then they can't play such games anymore.

    That kind of absolves, or did he say they what they did was perfectly fine and such practices will be ok going forward?

    Just asking.

    all the best,

    drew
  • by idlake (850372) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:27AM (#17088432)
    Doesn't seem logical but Novell won't discuss it preferring, it says, to wait and see what happens in the GPL3 negotiations, clinging to the notion that Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers - won't do anything to derail Linux.

    This statement is ambiguous; is it saying that Novell made these statements about Stallman, or is it the journalist's own statement?

    Either way, likening someone who takes a principled stand on intellectual property to "suicide bombers" is highly irresponsible. By the same reasoning, you might liken the Founding Fathers, Microsoft Management, or the US Supreme Court to "anarchist fanatics ... suicide bombers".

    This sort of shitty journalism shouldn't be rewarded with ad impressions.
  • trying to care... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:43AM (#17088510) Homepage
    Failed.

    I never really found a use for SUSE before, still haven't now. I use Gentoo. About as far off that I'll go is Fedora, and even then it's only for work. That RMS approves of it, or that it fits with GPLv3 doesn't really matter. RMS doesn't use SUSE. Why does he care?

    While I'm all for the FSF and what not, the GPL is just one of many licenses you can choose while supporting the notion of "free software." The BSD license also grants you the same four freedoms that is

    0 right to use as you see fit
    1 right to share
    2 right to modify
    3 right to share modifications

    OMG, wow, and the BSD license is less anal than the GPL (because frankly, there are commercial interests out there, and the purpose of writing free software is to make free software available, at least that's my goal).

    Of course I use the public domain as my release vehicle. Frankly, I couldn't care less if people proprietarize my code. I wrote it so people could use it.

    Tom
    • Re:trying to care... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bmo (77928) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:25AM (#17088650)
      "I never really found a use for SUSE before, still haven't now. I use Gentoo. About as far off that I'll go is Fedora, and even then it's only for work. That RMS approves of it, or that it fits with GPLv3 doesn't really matter. RMS doesn't use SUSE. Why does he care?"

      Because there are programmers at Novell that write stuff that winds up in _all_ distributions. Don't forget that Novell has the Mono and Ximian crew. Other distributions using Mono and Ximian software are downstream from Novell (such as Gentoo). Since Microsoft is saying "we won't sue you or your customers, but we're thinking about suing other people" tells everyone else that maybe they're tainted because they've got code that Novell employees wrote for Gnome and Mono. Whether that matters or not remains to be seen, but the chair throwing howler monkey that is Steve Ballmer has everyone involved with this stuff looking askance, to say the least.

      So just because you're not a SuSE user doesn't mean that you're unaffected.

      "0 right to use as you see fit
      1 right to share
      2 right to modify
      3 right to share modifications"

      You forgot

      4. Right to restrict downstream users/programmers rights, which the downstream doesn't participate in 0 through 3.

      Suppose I make AnAwesomeProgram and distribute it freely under the BSD license, thus releasing it to the world uninhibited. SomeoneElse comes along, takes the code he didn't write, adds some trivial functionality, and resells for $$$$, but doesn't allow his customers the same rights he had (thou shalt not reverse engineer, thou shalt not decompile, thou shalt not redistribute, thou shalt worship only me and live).

      To me, that would be unacceptable.

      In a perfect world, the BSD license would be ideal, but the world is neither perfect and not all people have good intentions, imo. That's why there's the GPL. The world is also full of choices, which is why there's more than just the GPL.

      --
      BMO
      • Re:trying to care... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:34AM (#17088686) Homepage
        See that's the difference. You write software to prop up a cause. I write software to solve problems and have the software out there.

        More often than not, a lot of my fixes come from users who stick my software in places you can't even imagine (from IPMI controllers, DSL modems, video games, etc...). Their improvements make it into the public domain code which benefits everyone (even GPL/BSD hippies).

        I don't write my software to make GNU or FSF more popular. To me, free means just that. Free. As in, fuck off with your "this is what you can do with my software, but it's free" bullshit.

        It's not free, it's just "more accessible". Freeer is probably a more correct term. Heck you get to keep the acronym FSF!

        Tom
        • by bmo (77928) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:06AM (#17088838)
          "See that's the difference. You write software to prop up a cause"

          I could say the same thing about the BSD license, no? Is Theo de Raadt any less foaming than Stallman?

          Choose the license you want. Saying that using other licenses are inferior and that the GPL is for hippies is a troll.

          --
          BMO
          • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:14AM (#17088870) Homepage
            All I'm saying is if you wrote the software to be truly free you'd not use the GPL. GPL is nice, but it's not free in the sense RMS claims.

            Part of being a magnanimous participant in the OSS movement means supporting people you don't like.

            I personally hate DRM and proprietary software. I hate it a lot. But I'll let them use my software just the same. I wrote it to be out there and used [because I think for the most part it does more good than harm and the stuff is of high quality].

            If I were to sit down and pick and choose who is "free" to use my software, it ain't free no more is it?

            Tom
            • by bmo (77928) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:55AM (#17089086)
              "If I were to sit down and pick and choose who is "free" to use my software, it ain't free no more is it?"

              Total anarchy helps nobody. Even if you use the BSD license, you still say who gets to distribute your software and who doesn't.

              To wit:

              Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

              Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.

              Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

              Neither the name of the ORGANIZATION nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.


              Those not following the basic terms of the BSD license don't have the right to distribute. Period.

              "Part of being a magnanimous participant in the OSS movement means supporting people you don't like."

              So what were you saying about a cause and hippies?

              This has been interesting. Heh.

              --
              BMO
              • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @10:16AM (#17089200) Homepage
                Total anarchy helps nobody. Even if you use the BSD license, you still say who gets to distribute your software and who doesn't.

                That's a subjective line there. You may dislike proprietary software, but if that provides 10, 20, 50, 100, 1000s of jobs, chances are even if 1% of them do something on their ownright [with the security afforded them by their employment] then hey that's alright.

                So what were you saying about a cause and hippies?

                I distribute my software because I love working on it [coding, debuging, optimizing, maintaining, documenting] and I want to share that with the world. I set up myself a set of principles that have served me well.

                1. I don't get to pick my users
                     
                2. I receive no compensation for my work (though I do accept gifts, I don't demand them)
                     
                3. My users do not dictate the direction of the projects


                Part of not being able to choose my users means I must choose a license (in my case I release as public domain) that doesn't exclude a group of users based on their commercial or personal requirements. It has to be a "free" license so that my users do not have to compensate me. But I took #2 further and said they don't even have to give me credit for the work. And finally my users don't get to choose what my projects become. I work on them because I want to. I accept bug reports/fixes and new ideas, but ultimately the decision is mine whether I use them.

                This isn't saying I don't like receiving stuff. I had part of my college tuition paid for by my users (for instance). I just don't make it a requirement. I also don't hold my users hostage over it too. I put in wicked cool features/optimizations not seen in any other library because I like studying the subject, not because I'm being compensated by fame or fortune.

                Unfortunately, there is a [growing] minority of OSS developers who only want the resume stuffer that comes along with working on an "OSS project". Few OSS projects are properly maintained or documented. Most of the well maintained libraries are organized by OSS developers who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

                I've yet to meet any teenager or 20s OSS developer who really took a liking to writing documentation for instance...

                Tom
            • Re:trying to care... (Score:3, Interesting)

              by kimvette (919543) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:07PM (#17093304) Homepage Journal
              I run Linux almost exclusively, or did until very recently (until I get Myth and my PVR-150 and TV@nywhere to cooperate on SuSE I boot Windows frequently now, running it while posting this in fact since I am recording a movie in the background). I have NO problem with running proprietary software. I LIKE Diablo, I LIKE Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I LIKE Video Wave and Media Studio Pro (cinelerra and klives both suck, VideoWave is great for very simple edits, and MediaStudio Pro blows the hell out of Adobe Premier and anything else I have tried at the consumer price level).

              What I DIS-like is proprietary operating systems and proprietary formats.

              What I dislike about proprietary operating systems such as Windows is:
                - The tendency to be available in any color I like, so long as it's blue, or a Microsoft-approved alternate theme (or hex edit Windows binaries to eliminate the DRM which will then allow me to create my own theme, at the risk of introducing incompatibilities)
                - Vendors' insistance that ONE license is tied to ONE machine, so if I upgrade a motherboard, I'm forced to buy a new license according to the EULA (illegal since it's a commodity good, not a work for hire under contract, and first sale doctrine applies, thus such tying is not legal, EULA or not)
                - The ability of the proprietary vendor to disable my machine at whim, or by mistake (e.g., upgrade from a M$-supplied video or NIC driver triggers activation, resulting in waiting on hold TWICE for twenty minutes but getting my call dropped due to their fluky system, then calling PSS and telling them I want to be transferred to a SUPERVISOR in the activation department so I can talk directly to a human)
                - The lack of support for ancient or newer hardware (If I want to run an ancient device from a vendor which went belly-up during the dot-bomb, there's a 99.999% chance that hardware supported by the 1.xx Linux kernels is supported even in 2.6.19, and likewise, if I keep this machine I'm on now when the Linux 3.0.0 kernel and Xorg 38.1.5 comes out, this hardware will STILL run very happily, AND it will STILL make a great HTPC)

              In short, I hate forced obsolescence and forced upgrades, because while I usually do periodically build a new bleeding-edge PC (I'm chomping at the bit for 2.6.19 so I can finally get full hardware support on my new machine), it's nice to be able to run new software on ancient machines. Older != useless for every task.

              Now, the MAIN reasons I hate working in Windows is:
                - Explorer sucks as a file manager. Konqueror is downright orgasmic by comparison because it's so fast, flexible, and extensible

                - Explorer (the GUI) sucks because Microsoft has it locked down so tightly. I know about Windowblinds, WinFX, and so forth, but when you come down to it, those are hacks. In kwin (or even metacity) I can make KDE look like an artsy-fartsy wet dream, I can make it look like Windows 95 or even Windows 3.1, or I can make it look exactly like the latest Windows Vista builds. I stick with the plastik theme unless running XGL, but the flexibility is there to do ANYTHING I want with it, without having to pay Microsoft additional fees for the right to modify MY OWN SYSTEM, or without having to "violate" the EULA by hex editing system libraries to enable unsigned themes to be installed.

                - The command line environment sucks wind. Powershell would have been a nice inclusion in Vista (that and WinFS would have been the main selling points for me) but sadly it was dropped, and it's probably not as comprehensive as bash on Linux or BSD. The reason? On *nix everything maintenance-oriented is a CLU, and apps are usually front ends for the CLI. on Windows, even with Powershell, the CLI is an afterthough, and the CLUs are generally calls to the COM interfaces, and not standalone utilities of their own, forcing one to learn COM anyhow. If you need to go through that trouble to begin with, why don't they just tell everyone to hard-code C++ utilities for maintenance tasks?
        • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Monday December 04, 2006 @11:02AM (#17099834) Homepage Journal
          You write software completely oblivious to the social consequences of what you do.

          There are plenty of well intentioned people that do little good for not checking what consequences their actions may have in a wider context, either in the IT world or in many other areas.
      • by Tim C (15259) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @11:31AM (#17089812)
        Suppose I make AnAwesomeProgram and distribute it freely under the BSD license, thus releasing it to the world uninhibited. SomeoneElse comes along, takes the code he didn't write, adds some trivial functionality, and resells for $$$$, but doesn't allow his customers the same rights he had (thou shalt not reverse engineer, thou shalt not decompile, thou shalt not redistribute, thou shalt worship only me and live).

        I do see your point, but if the functionality truly is trivial, you (or someone else) can easily add it to your version and release it under the BSD licence for free (and Free). If it isn't trivial, then to my mind perhaps they deserve to make some money from it - after all, the world hasn't actually lost anything, it's just not gained as much as it could have done.
        • by topham (32406) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:23PM (#17090336) Homepage

          I've written something which I thought was trivial. Other people obviously did not as I have received numerous emails about it.
          While I didn't go so far as to release it under a full blown license (it WAS trivial) I should have simply released it under BSD. I've been contacted on a couple of occasions and asked if I would allow the idea to be implemented in other programs and I've always answer the same way. Go ahead.

          I had intended to make a full blown application and allow the users to easily apply the 'trivial' code against a set of files, somebody else beat me to it and now sells an application that does it. It is partially based on my work; although he has since modified the method to do a better job of it.

          At first I was a little annoyed, but then I realized how much support I had to give my trivial code and how much support he has to give his application and I came to the conclusion I didn't want the responsibilities that went with the full application and charging for it. I have a full time job (He didn't at the time.) and don't need the additional headache. It would not have been a profit center for me.

          If I wanted to I could readily compete with him, but instead if people have problems with my utility I send them a link to his.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @03:46PM (#17092208)
        For a moment, let's imagine that paintings could be perfectly duplicated.

        And let's say that the Mona Lisa was under an equivalent license to the BSD.

        If an unknown artist tried to change it, they would probably not go very far. Mainly because why see a Da Vinci knock off when you can see the real thing? But if they had a reputation, like say, Andy Warhol, they could paint multiple Marilyn Monroes in multiple colours, or they could re-use the image of the Mona Lisa (yes, I know that would change the significance of the painting, but go with it).

        The reason to fear someone taking your stuff and holding it is mitigated by the fact that they are competing with the genuine article. Only big players have an advantage. And similar to the example, they could have just made their own standard from scratch, or they could use yours as a base. Which one would you prefer to work with or reverse engineer?

        "I wouldn't worry about a closed fork harming the community; I think that's a self-punishing form of idiocy." - esr [onlamp.com]
      • by kz45 (175825) <kz45@blob.com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:04PM (#17092328)
        "Suppose I make AnAwesomeProgram and distribute it freely under the BSD license, thus releasing it to the world uninhibited. SomeoneElse comes along, takes the code he didn't write, adds some trivial functionality, and resells for $$$$, but doesn't allow his customers the same rights he had (thou shalt not reverse engineer, thou shalt not decompile, thou shalt not redistribute, thou shalt worship only me and live)."

        The original code is still there. Only the additions are not made available to others. You may see this as unacceptable, but to me, it seems like a restriction I do not want to have to deal with, which is why I prefer the BSD license.

        Businesses are not going to deal with the FSF and stallman's antics much longer. The more restrictive the license, the less widespread usage.
      • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Monday December 04, 2006 @09:10AM (#17098490) Homepage Journal
        The saving grace of the BSD license is that as long as someone (e.g. the original authors) keeps the source publicly available, you have alternatives to getting trivially enhanced binaries from EvilCorp. The alternative could even be binaries from LessEvilCorp on better terms. That is why the advertising clause in BSD license is important. It makes it easier to know where the software came from, so you can get the source and make rude gestures at EvilCorp. BSD license copyright holders need to be vigilant about enforcing the advertising clause to preserve user freedoms.

        GPL license is more attractive to a for profit open source business, because it is essentially a form of barter. "Yes, you can use/distribute/sell our code with no license fee, BUT, we get to use/distribute/sell any enhancements you distribute." Endusers buy service and packaging. (I miss the RedHat CD retail packages.) BSD license is more of an out and out donation.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:31AM (#17088676)
      That's fine, but what do you mean by "available"?

      It is the GPL license of Linux that has forced companies like IBM, Intel, Sun, SGI, etc. to contribute valuable codes like enterprise-level schedulers and >128-way SMP support, RCU, great compiler optimizations, etc. Linux people aren't smarter than BSD (I'd even say it's the opposite), but GPL helps them to use the market forces to their advantage.

      My guess would be that the only reason you share your code is because you have no business interest in it, so from your point-of-view it is commercially worthless. In contrast, GPL is both encouraging and forcing people to share even software that is of central commercial interest to them.

      • by Qzukk (229616) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @03:16PM (#17091968) Journal
        It is the GPL license of Linux that has forced companies like IBM, Intel, Sun, SGI, etc. to contribute valuable codes like enterprise-level schedulers and >128-way SMP support, RCU, great compiler optimizations, etc.

        Forced? So it held a gun to their back and forced them to use GCC, the linux kernel, and so on, rather than writing their own?

        If spending millions on writing your own operating system is just too expensive for you, maybe you too would find trading "valuable" 128-way SMP code for a ready-made platform a bargain.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @10:21AM (#17089228)
      BSD gives you the rights..just you, just one time. Downstream one step there is no longer a duty to adhere to the four rights though, it fails the duty part and as such clearly seems to violate the spirit of the whole deal, because you can see the results, it goes from free to closed, it slams shut (or can). Just one step, that is all it takes.
      • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@@@gmail...com> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @10:39AM (#17089360) Homepage
        Who says YOU have to use software that doesn't grant you proper freedoms?

        I think we have to draw a line on what exactly needs the PROTECTION of the GPL. Kernel, gcc, binutils, coreutils, similaretc...., == YES.

        Random user library/util == NO.

        If some person sells a C compiler for GNU/Linux, does it matter if it's proprietary? Hells no. I have GCC. Now if GCC went proprietary that would suck. I think GCC needs the protection of the GPL license.

        If someone downloads my [say crypto] library and makes a chat program or something with it that is proprietary. Am I really falling to the vendor lockin that the GPL was meant to prevent? No. I don't have to use their chat program, and more to the point, I'm free to write my own using my free library.

        Tom
    • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:59AM (#17099800) Homepage Journal
      You BSD guys are really intellectualy lazy, so I will put a little allegory that hopefully clarifies this for you.

      Lets say there is a river and that it passes through your land. Lets also say that you can do whatever you want with your land, including the river bit that crosses it.

      The BSD guy will not block the river's flow, but will not care if somebody else's down stream does. He has done his bit to save the world and that gives him a warm and fuzzy feeling.

      The GPL guy will also allow the stream to flow, but since he could potentially stop the flow (hint: copyright) and he is a fair chap, he writes a rule that mandates that nobody downstream can stop the river flowing, and whoever tries will be taken to court and if possible blocked to have access to the water.

      The GPL guy understands that his actions take place in a societal context, the BSD guy is affiriming, in the best of Thatcherite traditions, if there is such a thing as society.

      (as an aside, the MS guy will try to damn the river, make you go thirsty, and then charge you every couple of years for a bit of coloured water).

      By releasing software with a BSD licence the flow of information stops with a commercial vendor, the users of products created by that vendor are exactly in the same situation as if a closed source advocate was providing the software. TO the user there is a point where BSD and closed sour code are completely undistinguishable from a practical point of view.

      So tell us again, how BSD released code is more free? It is looking pretty locked down to me.

  • Oh my (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bieber (998013) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:47AM (#17088524)
    It's almost funny that the author knows nothing about the GPL or free software in general, but it's actually far more sad, because other people who don't know anything about the GPL read this shit, and then they think that they do...
    • by wilec (606904) on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:41PM (#17109034)
      .. if they read such hogwash and believe it, kinda like the FOX "News" fanboys deserve to be misinformed. Anyone who would believe they have developed a well informed opinion about something as complex as the GPL and the surrounding legal issues from such a small data set deserves to be misinformed regardless of the bias in the information. However bias is the reason that such people go through life with a warped view of the world. This is somewhat analogous to the idea of a self full filling prophecy. Their less than nimble minds already had the kernel of misinformed or warped view and thus seek only sources that reinforce such fantasy. A spiritually and mentally slothful and thus dangerous way to live, this is. Ahh Karma!

      "because other people who don't know anything about the GPL read this shit, and then they think that they do"

      Your observation reminds me of one of my favorite quotes...

      "It ain't what folks don't know thats gets them in the most trouble, it's the things they think they know that ain't so"
      Will Rodgers (or a close paraphrase of something he said anyway)

      Wabi-Sabi
      Matthew

      How about a fork - FreeSuSe the Karma Khameleon , as an icon I kinda like the twisted little lizard-like navigator/engineer character off of "Trippin The Rift", I know he was a bit of a perv, but none the less a kool one, don't ya think! It seems to me he would fit in well on /.

  • Move along! (Score:4, Funny)

    by albertost (1019782) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:56AM (#17088550)
    DELETE FROM articles WHERE date = 06/12/02 AND id = 2259227;
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:01AM (#17088564)
    You'd think they'd finally learn from their mistakes [groklaw.net]...
  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:02AM (#17088566)
    FTFA: ".. will create a schism in the open source community and fork Linux."

    What's the big problem with a fork? So you have Microvell Linux and the real Linux.

    Microvell Lizard Linux is going to be a pregnant toad injected full of politics, DRM and Microsoft IP. Microsoft will have the option that way of killing it then with litigation, or letting it stick around to sell to Windows people that think they are smart switching to (MLL) Linux.

    The real Linux will still be around, minus whatever Microsoft pays the courts to tell everyone they can't use anymore. The inevitability of all this is approaching like a garbage truck, so what is the problem with forking? M$ has been preparing for this for a long time buying up patents and everything else. Beginning over with a forked code base may be the only alternative. Either that, or put all your computer gear in front of the garbage truck and let it have it's way.

    Novell, we smell poniez: http://techp.org/ [techp.org]

    • by Stalyn (662) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:42AM (#17088732) Homepage Journal
      You do understand that the Novell hackers frequently contribute code to many open source projects such as xorg, gnome and the Linux kernel. If you truly wish to separate yourself from whatever Novell touches you will have a hard time doing so and keeping a competitive modern desktop. Also it's totally unfounded that Novell is going to start injecting Microsoft IP into their code submissions.

      But if you are still designed on isolating Novell from the rest of the community I suggest you get on the devel mailing lists and argue for a fork. AFAIK no one other than the vocal minority at Slashdot has suggested such a thing.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:22PM (#17093924)
        Ximian (Novell) has been important for Gnome and Suse (Novell) have been important for the kernel. But they are far less important than the others together.

        Red Hat has developed most code for the linux distros. They are active almost everywere. Red Hat and Sun together has arguable been the two most important contributors to Gnome 2.x. Sun helped develop the HIG and accesability framework. Red Hat developed HAL, Network manager, and a lot other things.

        I see a future where Ubuntu and Sun will play a more active role. Even Asianux might start contribute more actively.

        Red Hat bought Sistina GFS file system, LVM2 and associated clustering tools acquired for 31 million dollars and Netscape directory server for around 25 million dollars. Both are totally open sourced and given to the community.

        Some of their contribution to Gnome:
        * pango: originally written and maintained
        * glib, gtk+: most primary maintainers and developer work
        * metacity: written and maintained
        * cairo: written (employee) and maintained
        * gconf: written and maintained
        * dbus: written (employee) and maintained
        * hal: written (employee) and maintained
        * gnome-keyring: written and maintained
        * NetworkManager: written and maintained
        * vino: written and maintained
        * gnome-menus: written and maintained
        * sabayon: written and maintained
        * http://gnome.org/ [gnome.org] infrastructure, hosting and bandwidth

        http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/RedHatContributions [fedoraproject.org]

        Ximian (Novell) used to be extremly important for Gnome, but their focus seems to be less of desktop infrastructure and architecture this days. Looks like their focus more on Mono and OpenOffice.org and less on everything else.
        • by Stalyn (662) on Monday December 04, 2006 @03:05AM (#17096622) Homepage Journal
          Red Hat has undoubtedly the most number of open source developers. Novell is most likely second and then maybe IBM/Intel are tied for third. But Novell contributions shouldn't be discounted. XGL/compiz/GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap are all from the same man, David Reveman who was hired by Novell. His Novell backed push for a 3D desktop pretty much forced Red Hat to respond with AIGLX which again uses GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap. Also Robert Love of Novell was essential in implementing inotify into the 2.6.x kernel.

          The idea that Novell is just working on Mono and OpenOffice is simply incorrect.
    • by hitmanWilly1337 (1034664) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @11:54PM (#17095620)
      simple. this is exactly what M$ wants. if the linux/open source community is divided up like that, it may well destroy everything this community has worked for over the years. thats all this is is an attempt to divide and conquer. open source and distributed development is completely antithetical to everything M$ is. They see linux as a threat to them. if we want linux to be more than just a h4x0r toy, we need to create a user friendly os w/ good software support. now with the cult of mac making a comeback, M$ is starting to realize fighting a war on 2 fronts is not a good idea. so they are attempting to remove linux from the picture by destroying the GPL and everything it stands for. windows is a lumbering behemoth w/ an unstable foundation full of security holes. as linux users, now is the time to unite and stop this abortion of an os once and for all.

      "live free or die"
  • by shareme (897587) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:28AM (#17088654) Homepage
    Sys_con gets it wrong again.. Not surprising given the failure in 2005 to apologize to Groklaw's PJ.. The whole reason why running GPLv2 programs along side GPLv3 programs will be hard in a system like Linux is that the tool chains to build programs are moving towards GPLv3. And GPLv3 will have a provision that if building under GPL licenses must give all rights to everyone..
  • sys-con trolling (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _dani3l (1034972) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:58AM (#17088796)
    More Sys-con trolling. This page is classified as "News," but how can any journalist use the phrase "said to be?" How can this be taken at all seriously: "...Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers..." Three fallacies in one sentence: Ad Hominem, Ad Baculum, and the Appeal to the Unnamed Authority.

    Don't feed the trolls. As we found out last year, there is little point in complaining to the management of Sys-con: Another LinuxWorld Resignation [groklaw.net]

    • by nuzak (959558) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:49PM (#17090630) Journal
      Logical fallacies only count when one is making a logical proposition. Failing to realize that connection in a rhetorical argument is in fact itself a (rhetorical) fallacy, Ad Logicam.

      Not that you're wrong in any sense ... they're certainly not helping their case or image with their shoddy prose. As if the article had any purpose other than trolling for hits. Sys-con is circling the drain, and I really wish they would go down for good soon.
  • by chiok (858005) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:07AM (#17088848)
    Stallman Absolves Novell

    Inigo Montoya: "I do not think it means what you think it means."
  • by KillerDwarfFromHades (1034984) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:25AM (#17088930)
    It should be noted, since Sys-Con is hiding it as "by Linux News Desk", all articles with that by-line are written by none other than PJ-stalker Maureen O'Gara.

    The proof? It's currently the free article on Maureen's poorly-named LinuxGram website: http://www.linuxgram.com/ [linuxgram.com]

    That's all her.

    (For those who live in a cave, only surf for porn, etc., Maureen O'Gara wrote a slanderous piece about Groklaw's PJ, wherein she literally tried to stalk PJ, peeking in windows, generally making an ass of herself.)

    Sys-Con swore they'd never publish an O'Gara piece again. Good thing noone believed them, since they just hid her behind a "Linux News Desk".
  • v2 might allow what Novell is doing.

    v3 will not allow what Novell is doing.

    After v3 is finalised and a lot of software, including all GNU software, is shifted to "v3 or any later version", Novell will either have to comply with GPLv3 (as well as whatever other licences they distribute software under) or fork gcc, glibc, gdb, binutils, coreutils, emacs, etc. etc. etc.

    Launching a big legal project to determine whether v2 is violated is pointless because v3 will be violated, so whether or not there is also a violation in non-v3 code is a non-issue.

    (Actually, when I tried to RTFA, I got a "page could not be displayed", but I've a good guess that it confused and the above explanation explains why)
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @11:26AM (#17089780)
    We're talking about contract law here. What's important is what is written on the paper and how it stands up in court, what judges and civil juries think it means, not what the author thinks. Unless there's some sort of clause in the GPL requiring arbitration by Stallman for all disagreements (and there isn't), his opinion and statements aren't worth more than anybody who posts on Slashdot.

  • by dilute (74234) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:14PM (#17090234)
    Oh yeah, he just absolved Microsoft (hee hee). I think what the world needs is a free bullshit filter to overlay on all feeds from Slashdot. It might not let much through these days, though.

  • by houghi (78078) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @12:23PM (#17090334)
    So when will Slashdot start to use the openSUSE icon?
  • by HotBlackDessiato (842220) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:12PM (#17093348)
    ...blame the sites who spread it.

    ---> i.e. Slashdot

    I guess I'll have to reshuffle my bookmarks today(with /. buried in the less frequently visited sites). It's the only voice of protest that counts anyways. An editor or two should be dropped over this. It wasn't stupidity, or lack of diligence.
  • by Outland Traveller (12138) on Monday December 04, 2006 @10:56AM (#17099764)
    I wonder if there's a way to twist this scenario again, by Novel setting up a mechanism whereby everyone, everywhere can be legally considered their customer without restriction.

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...