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Poll

What type of software licensing is the most compatible with your philosophy?

Closed source
- 7 (17.9%)
Open source - copyleft
- 11 (28.2%)
Open source - permissive
- 21 (53.8%)

Total Members Voted: 24


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Author Topic: Software Philosophy  (Read 63139 times)

Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2009, 08:03:58 pm »

I like software even better that I don't have to code.

But recompiling your software, especially the operating system kernel, to your specific hardware and configuration requirements is the only way to assure optimal execution efficiency and performance.   And don't forget to -O999 -funroll-all-loops too! ::)

(Just kidding.)
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madness!

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2009, 08:56:17 pm »

i write my own software. my keyboard only has two keys. (zero and one) it makes it very hard to navigate the internet. i dont even have a mouse.

it took me three hours to code this. so i hope you all appreciate the work i put into it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 09:09:19 pm by madness! »
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yeah, an actual signature. does that blow your mind?!

Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2009, 09:50:31 pm »

It took you 3 hours to bit in 235 characters?  You could optimize it to as little as 5 bits per character, but even with standard 8-bit ASCII that's only 1880 key-presses in 10,800 seconds! 

Man, back in 1940s binary switch operators were trained to input trigonometric equations into primitive computation systems at the speed that would blow your mind, with no backspace key, knowing that if they screw up by just one digit the gun trajectories would be off and people will die due to their mistake!

Slacker.
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madness!

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2009, 11:04:16 pm »

I am not very good at typing. i still have to look at my keyboard (which is two buttons) in order to type.  (slant face emoticon) you people seem to call it (if i have read the code correctly) picken chicking the keyboard. i do not really understand what that means. I am working on streamlining it into a morse code input system. that way i can keep the two key-keyboard, or i can upgrade to a single key-keyboard. Or i as i like to call it, a "button"
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yeah, an actual signature. does that blow your mind?!

rossby

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2009, 11:21:31 pm »

I like software even better that I don't have to code.

But recompiling your software...

And here I thought real code monkeys dreamed in machine code and dumped it upon waking...
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2009, 02:36:58 am »

lulz.  So, does anyone else have an opinion on this thread's actual topic - the morality of government-based restrictive software licenses like GPL?
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greap

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2009, 10:10:08 am »

This debate is even more relevant now that ever before, as the Copyleft Lobby [EU] ...

I am aware of the activities of the lobby but I still fail to see what that has to do with the issue - they represent a minority opinion of the users, they just shout the loudest. Do you consider that all (or even a majority) of libertarians want to kill cops etc simply because an outspoken minority advocate such positions? That logical fallacy is the same one that allows MSM to represent us as crazy backward conspiracy theorists.

And, like I've said above, a lot of Free Staters work in IT-related professions, and it's only natural that they would choose to use open source software with libertarian-leaning licenses, and perhaps join together to form businesses that work in this field.

I am an SA yet I generally work on closed source systems and rarely release under OS licenses. I do this because my chosen software/license stack provides me with the best possible income and market size opportunities. My choice of license was purely based on market considerations because no license is more "libertarian" then another, if libertarianism suddenly had a position on how I dispose of the product of my mind and the terms of a contract I make with others then I missed that memo.

When we are talking about legitimate contracts then, sure, people should be free to accept whatever terms all parties subject to the contract see fit.  But GPL is not a contract, it's a text file on your computer that the average user has probably never even read, much less understood in detail!  By failing to rationally define what does and does not constitute a legitimate contract, you are opening yourself to limitless potential for abuse!

When you walk in to a restaurant do you approach the manager for a complete list of terms allowing you to eat at the restaurant? No, because you have a reasonable expectation that you will walk in, order food, eat it, pay and leave. If you want to walk in with a 40 in hand, waving a gun and shouting obscenities that is not reasonable and you understand you would have to seek permission before doing so. If the restaurant serves you dirty food without warning you that is also unreasonable. In both cases the unreasonable behavior would land you in court without prior notification and agreement from both parties.

My point is that these semi-formal contracts exist everywhere in life but only come in to play when you want to do something abnormal. Using word to write a document is not abnormal, copying the disk and giving it to all your friends is abnormal. The software organizations have a duty to communicate to the public what "abnormal" implies which they have done through the various anti-piracy campaigns. If they take you to court over an action they have to show you had a reasonable reason to believe what you did was abnormal, you have an absolute defense if you can prove otherwise.

Also end users don't download source or binaries that only have the EULA in a text file, they download installers that embed the EULA. IT professionals know (or rather reasonably should know) to look for the text file when downloading.

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Did you analyze the last pencil you used closely with a magnifying glass to see if it has any legalese written on the side?  The last idea you wrote down on a piece of paper may no longer be your own!

That would not be "reasonable". If there was no visible statement of the existence of the terms then it would be justifiably void.

But there's no such thing as an implicit contract

When I lend you my hedge trimmer I expect you to use it to trim your hedges and then return it to me in working order when I request as that is a reasonable consideration or an implicit contract. If you return it to me broken and refuse to pay for it I can take you to court. We did not explicitly agree that you would pay for any damage but it is a reasonable expectation for both parties that would be the case.

A formally witnessed contract is simply to ensure that if the parties come in to conflict the responsibilities and culpability of each party is explicitly defined. At the other end of the scale you have reasonable expectations of behavior. The first protects both parties from the unreasonable behavior from the other, the second relies on the mood of a judge/jury and is weak protection. Between the two are graduated states of protection, software licenses sit between the two extremes.

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and there is no justification for government regulations like "intellectual property".

For everything other than copyright I agree (patents and trademarks are not property). As I consider copyright to be a valid property right it is not regulation but simple and valid rights enforcement (although IMHO it is a civil rather than criminal matter like all theft).

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Yes, all the government force that has been used against Microsoft is terrible.  I also believe Microsoft software would have been much better in absence of government regulations, and they'd probably just switch to an all-you-can-eat per-CPU monthly subscription pricing instead.  (But that's a separate topic.)

They already do: http://www.microsoft.com/calsuites/default.mspx

Office is on its way to being web based SAS for home users too.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #37 on: January 02, 2010, 10:00:52 pm »

News from the desktop BSD front -- PC-BSD 8.0-BETA Released --

Quote
The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.0-BETA (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE, and KDE 4.3.4

Version 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-Release
  • KDE 4.3.4
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers on amd64

Version 8.0-BETA of PC-BSD is available for download from our mirrors, and will be available shortly as bittorrent from www.gotbsd.net. Also, our Pootle Translation [WP] page has been updated with the latest strings, translators should now be able to finish localizing PC-BSD into their language.

In order to prepare for 8.0-Release, please report any and all bugs to our Trac Database [WP]!


Direct DVD torrent links: x86, x64.

PC-BSD is a great way for people addicted to Microsoft or GNU software to replace the core of their operating system without giving up a fancy GUI or ease of installation, package management, and other administrative tasks.  Most new users should probably wait for the stable release, but this is a good opportunity to get your feet wet (ex. via VirtualBox).
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rossby

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2010, 12:51:46 am »

you are putting words in my mouth. i never said stories exist outside of the books they are written in.

"Putting words in your mouth"? No. We call that an analogy.

Quote
and there is no justification for government regulations like "intellectual property".

For everything other than copyright I agree (patents and trademarks are not property). As I consider copyright to be a valid property right it is not regulation but simple and valid rights enforcement (although IMHO it is a civil rather than criminal matter like all theft).

For the Big-Four categories of IP, in terms of morally defensibility, I put them in the following order:

Trade Secrets > Trademarks > Copyrights > Patents
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scamper_22

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2010, 12:43:06 pm »

in a government free society, software would be a good like any other.

Don't expect people to work hard and build great applications, just to have them copied.

More likely, you would just end up with very annoying and restrictive copy protection measures.  Things like hardware and software colluding to have trusted platforms or everything accessing the network to 'validate' itself.  I suspect there would also be a tendency to have very locked down companies like Apple that provide the full solution.

I think you would just see that taken to another level were copy protection made void.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2010, 02:13:00 am »

Nothing wrong with corporate secrecy, explicit contracts, hardware bundles, copy protection, and so on, but that's only effective to a degree.  As a society gradually transitions toward Anarcho-Capitalism, a company like Microsoft would have to realize that it can't make much money anymore selling home products that aren't bundled with computers because those are very easy to "pirate" (that is simply to share between individuals), and they'd probably switch to a hardware-bundled all-you-can-eat subscription model instead.  What they're doing now is the opposite - they make piracy very easy, give people a few months to get them addicted, and then (unless they install the latest crack) start bugging them that their copy of Windows may not be genuine until, fearing government force, they comply and shell out the cash for a legitimate license.

Business practices that rely on government copyright laws, be they proprietary or copyleft, are inherently incompatible with the Anarcho-Capitalist philosophy, which is why I encourage all Free State computer geeks to focus on permissively-licensed (or ideally public domain) software instead.

Now is a great time for a programmer still trying (and probably failing) to make money selling shareware or whatnot to look into new opportunities that Web 2.0 / 3.0 and their "long tail" have to offer.

New Hampshire is a particularly good location to be the next Silicone Valley because of its business-friendly government (which will hopefully become far more so thanks to the Free State Project), proximity to the world's best research universities, lower server farm cooling costs, proximity to Europe-bound undersea cable infrastructure, and so on.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2010, 03:19:33 pm »

A couple of anti-GPL vids in case you missed them:




In other news, FreeBSD wasn't hardcore enough for me, so I'll probably switch to OpenBSD.  Not recommended for n00bs though.



This week's "coolest permissive desktop screenshots award goes to"...  OpenBSD + JWM!



Using copyleft / proprietary software is OK in situations where there simply are no free alternatives, but I'm discovering that a lot of light image work can be done via ImageMagick instead of Gimp, and Chromium + HTML5 will soon reduce the need for player apps like XMMS or mplayer.  There are also plenty of freer alternatives to rxvt, like xterm and eterm.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 03:50:15 pm by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2010, 11:34:16 am »

The FreeBSD commies turned out to be just as bad as the GNU/Linux commies...  Theo de Raadt never got back to me on the politics question (see here)...  I was also never able to get OpenBSD working on my other laptop, and my main desktop really needs Nvidia support and is slow enough without forcing it to run a slower OS on top of (or rather on the bottom of) everything else...   Also I'm in no position to turn down MySQL work at the moment, which unfortunately is far more plentiful than PostgreSQL...  So I'm taking a break from "my Anarcho-Capitalist software philosophy jihad"...  for a while...   :-\
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 11:40:06 am by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2010, 06:24:28 pm »

OK, now I'm back running GNU/Linux for practical reasons, but it makes me feel dirty all over...  :(

(More detailed rants can be found on the FTL BBS.)

I'm tired of trying to haul this issue all by myself - just don't have the strength for this right now.  But if there's ever even an inkling of a libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist movement for permissively licensed / public domain FLOSS software over GPL, then I will revive my efforts on the double!
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