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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 63099 times)

CurtHowland

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #75 on: March 04, 2011, 07:21:21 pm »

I dislike the GPL license. It's a leftist push for communistic software. If I use any GPL software then they want me to make all my code available to everyone for free.

If you read it, what it says is that if you use and/or alter GPL source code to create your code, then you have to allow others to use that resulting code in the same way you used it first.

Nothing about you, as a user of GPL programs, having to release your own work under any particular license.

Lots of people sell proprietary software that runs on Linux, for example.

Quote
I need to pay my bills so I need charge for my software. From a user's point of view does it matter what the license is as long as the software works?

Indeed, I've never seen anyone who would disagree with you.

How you release your own work is up to you.
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"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #76 on: March 04, 2011, 08:12:00 pm »

When you simply use copyLEFT software, the license might not affect you directly, but you are still aiding and abetting a very irrational, restrictive, and dangerous software philosophy.  You're better off using proprietary software until market competition pushes one of the products in that market segment to release the code with a permissive license, as was the case with IntelliJ IDEA "Free Community Edition" and countless other examples.  GPLv3 is just a stepping stone for those commies - licenses will get more and more draconian as they gain market share and can thus get away with it.

You need to understand that simply releasing the source code is meaningless.  You can have a piece of closed-source software that is reviewed by hunderds of processional and accountable programmers within the company, is flawlessly documented, and has been disassembled and analyzed by so many coders outside the company that it's more reliable than any "open" piece of code out there.  You can patch and put a hook and thus modify any closed source program.  On the other hand, you can also release the source code that is so obfuscated and so poorly documented that it does absolutely no good for anyone.  Future versions of GPL will surely address that, and then mandate that you document your work up to a certain quality standard that they'll set, etc, etc, etc, all the way to the point where when you ask your software what 2 + 2 is, it needs to ask the Party before it can answer!

What this is really all about is GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF THE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY - as with every other industry, they want to dictate the rules all producers have to play by.  And since their economic model is completely unsustainable they'll want GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT as well.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #77 on: March 15, 2011, 07:15:08 pm »

I'm always experimenting, and I'm running FreeBSD instead of OpenBSD at the moment.  The purpose of this rant is to say "bah, humbug" to the added benefits that FreeBSD claims to offer.


Performance

FreeBSD is faster based on the default settings, since OpenBSD is fanatical about security and stability, but there are many things you can do to equalize the playing field.  I'm not saying that OpenBSD can be as fast as FreeBSD, but the gap isn't as wide as most people think.  Network performance, for example, can be significantly improved with some tweaking.  Other performance differences come as the result of memory management - you'll notice OpenBSD frees up as much memory as possible, which has certain security advantages.  Having to say NO to copyleft and proprietary code in the kernel did reduce OpenBSD's performance a bit, as did the focus on source code readability and simplicity.  And then there's proactive security, crypto, etc...

You must remember that CPU cycles are just a commodity, like the fuel efficiency of a car - Gentoo Linux is a Prius, Fedora is a Honda Civic, FreeBSD is a minivan with half a Honda Civic strapped to the roof, and properly set up OpenBSD is a Hummer with a 5 tons of missile launchers attached.  Sure, the latter is more expensive, but which would you rather drive?  :twisted:

So, yes, I would be willing to pay more for CPU to run a "Copyfreer" and more secure OS, and those added CPU cycles will also benefit the things where OpenBSD is just as fast.  Given enough CPU power, all things are possible - even lighting-fast Windows 7/8 with all the graphical bullshit running in virtualization on top of OpenBSD!

But one thing that isn't a commodity is security - once your secret data leaks, you're screwed for good!  Code auditing and security will become increasingly important as operating systems come to control things like home intrusion detection systems, self-driving cars, robots, medical devices, cyborg implants, holograms / virtualization suits that offer real physical stimulation (and could thus hurt the user if they malfunction), etc, etc, etc.

The Klingons don't care how fuel-efficient your starship is, but whether they can hack past your shields could be a matter of life and death!  :roll:


Alleged Desktop Advantages of FreeBSD

On my computer being able to use Nvidia graphics drivers offers a significant performance advantage in Windows and Linux, and that is also one of the advertised benefits of FreeBSD.  Unfortunately I can't seem to get the Nvidia drivers working right at the moment - they cause flickering and some other weirdness in X.  I've spent over an hour trying various compilation and xorg.conf settings, then gave up.  Being banned from the official FreeBSD forum sucks ass, and even if I wasn't banned the fact that it's run my such total fascist assholes is a major turn-off from using FreeBSD.  Once again, if you have enough CPU power you don't really need GPU, and GPU is just a waste of money if you don't waste your time on games.

FreeBSD's Adobe Flash support is another benefit and it works fine, but it requires Linux virtualization and a fuckload of Linux components, which is also a major turn-off.  I think it's better to do without Flash, using work-arounds like youtube-dl (which can be integrated with an RSS-reading script to pre-download all your favorite channels), as well as certain browser plug-ins and Web-based features that convert Flash to HTML5.  Not having Flash most certainly makes things more secure!  And, once again, it's better to emulate / remote connect to a Windows machine if you really need to use a Flash feature, or any of the other things you can't do in a pure Copyfree software stack.

More Web browser choices (ex. native Opera) under FreeBSD is certainly a benefit, but much less so now that it looks like serious work will soon be done to stabilize Chromium under OpenBSD.  You only need one browser for surfing, and if you're doing Web design testing then you need access to a Windows box anyway, so you could also test under Internet Explorer (which looks like it's about to regain some market share thanks to the just released v9), real Silverlight, etc.


Server Virtualization

OpenBSD is alleged to have a very serious virtualization disadvantage, which is becoming increasingly important.  NetBSD's support for Amazon's EC2 just became official (though I was able to play with it many moons ago), and FreeBSD is getting there quickly as well.  But OpenBSD does run well on cloud providers that use full virtualization like VMware, and prices of real dedicated servers are dropping as well.  I think real servers are still a better solution, because security of virtualization is not bulletproof, and also because there are some freedom advantages to dealing with many small competing dedicated hosting providers (especially those that allow BitTorrent seedboxes) rather than mega-corp cloud giants that are more susceptible to government pressure.

Just compare the Basic package from ServerPronto ($69/month) to a Small EC2 instance using Amazon's calculator.   (Note that Amazon's Small instance gets you 0.2 GB more RAM, while the "1 compute unit" is "equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor", compared to AMD 2000+ you get from ServerPronto.)  You'll pay $62.22/month for the Amazon instance (or significantly less if you reserve the instance for a long period of time), but the 7 TB of transfer that ServerPronto includes for free would cost over $1000 with Amazon!  ServerPronto does charge an even more ridiculous $0.89/GB if you go over the 7 TB, so it could actually be more expensive if you overblow your limit significantly, but very few sites would need that much bandwidth and there are many things you can do to offload extra bandwidth to a cheaper host if you ever get close to the limit.

Amazon's data transfer (especially if you use CloudFront) is certainly faster than ServerPronto, but I think the best way to host a site is to mainly use static files, so you could use one "processing server" (ideally hosted in your home if there are no bandwidth constraints, or using something like ServerPronto) and to have multiple mirrors on cheap shared hosts in different countries.  For example, this forum could have all the threads as static HTML files, which would load more quickly, and the comparatively rare occasion where someone posts would trigger a server-side script to regenerate the thread HTML file and push it to all the mirrors.  Use of richer client-side technologies like AJAX can make this process a lot more effective and efficient.  You can use some server-side (ex. GeoIP) or client-side (ex. HTTP ping) tricks to route the user to the fastest mirror, or let them pick one manually.  You can also offer your larger downloads via Metalink and/or BitTorrent with HTTP seeds, which, given enough mirrors / seeders, can offer even faster performance than any single CDN, but more resilient and significantly cheaper!  And, of course having multiple mirrors in multiple countries is also the most effective anti-censorship precaution - never forget how Amazon gave WikiLeaks the boot!


Summation

FreeBSD's advantages over OpenBSD are rather shallow.  OpenBSD's supposed limitations actually encourage you to do thing right - invest in CPU power, use scripting, avoid cloud giants, avoid Web server inefficiencies, avoid GNUshit, maintain a rational attitude toward Microsoft, etc.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #78 on: August 21, 2011, 06:36:43 pm »

I haven't been posting my little "Copyfree Software News Roundups" in a while, but (as reluctant as I am to recommend a megasite) there's now an active Twitter feed for this very thing:


https://twitter.com/#!/CopyfreeNews


The Copyfree crowd also gathers on IRC -- ##Copyfree channel on FreeNode -- with a spike of activity every Monday night ~9PM NHFT.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #79 on: September 15, 2011, 05:30:24 am »

R.I.P. Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg...





From the Copyfree.org mailing list, by Chad Perrin:

Quote
The Inventor of the Digital Age

Michael S. Hart passed away on 6 September 2011.  He was the guy
who first saw the need and opportunity for widespread, easily accessible
ebook distribution and did something about it.  He founded Project
Gutenberg, and he's suddenly springing from relative obscurity into some  
kind of Internet fame thanks to the reverent obituaries appearing in the
wake of his passing.

At Mises.org, by Jeffrey A. Tucker:

    The Inventor of the Digital Age
    http://mises.org/daily/5650/The-Inventor-of-the-Digital-Age

At Open Enterprise, by Glyn Moody:

    Michael Hart (1947 - 2011): Prophet of Abundance
    http://tinyurl.com/3jeco3x

There are sure to be more out there.  These are the examples I've
noticed so far, and I haven't even really been looking.


May his values and achievements
always be a part of our civilization,
and may his name be remembered...
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 05:37:24 am by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2011, 05:40:59 am »

More recent deaths among great pioneers of computer technology...

As I'm sure everyone already knows, Steve Jobs had died earlier this month at age 56.  I was never a big fan of his company or its products, but I must recognize that Jobs was a marketing and management genius who contributed much to transforming technological gadgets from being toys for dateless geeks to actually being "cool" and an integral part of the popular culture.  It is also notable that, under Steve's guidance, MacOS X (which was originally based on BSD) has done much to encourage basic UNIX literacy among casual home users, thus making their skills more portable and helping to challenge the behemoth monoculture of Microsoft on the desktop.  On the Copyfree side of things, Apple also spearheaded the LLVM / Clang project, helping to finally liberate us from the clutches of GCC, as well as WebKit, GCD, many small bits of FreeBSD code, and numerous other things.  He will be missed by Apple users and non-users alike, with perhaps the sole exception of anti-capitalist blowhards like RMS.

And I just came across the news that Dennis Ritchie, a leading founding father of UNIX and the ubiquitous C programming language, passed away in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, at age 70.  I have actually worked with people who back in the day have worked with Ritchie and/or Thompson, and have heard a few interesting anecdotes about their people skills, most of which are not worth repeating.  ;)  Regardless of that, C and UNIX are a fundamental part of the world I live in today, as much as the English language, and people who were there from the beginning definitely deserve every ounce of recognition and respect.  His Bell Labs Web-site also mentions a few things he's done after UNIX, including Plan 9.  More information about 'dmr' can be found on cat-v.org.





---


A completely unrelated observation - a GPLv3 t-shirt was seen 9 seconds into a pro-commie occupants video from FreeKeene.   :-\
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 03:04:25 pm by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #81 on: October 27, 2011, 12:55:35 pm »

Wow, two more major communications / technology pioneers have passed away, representing the very opposite sides...


  • On October 18th we lost another revolutionary genius of 20th century communications, one whose impact is difficult to overstate: radio's "poet laureate" -- a journalist, author, playwright, and screenwriter -- the legendary Norman Corwin.   He was 101.

    I first became familiar with Norman Corwin as a Babylon-5 fan-boy in mid-1990s, reading online posts from another creative genius who was heavily influenced by him - Joe Michael Straczynski.  (Who, BTW, in spite of generally being a left-winger, had once donated $2,000 to Ron Paul.)  In June, JMS signed a petition calling for Norman Corwin to recieve a Congressional Medal, commenting: "for dramas about the best of the American spirit, that questioned even as they celebrated, and illuminated as they entertained, that uplifted a nation in times of war and trial, this recognition is long overdue".


  • John McCarthy, a severely under-appreciated early Computer Science pioneer, passed away on October 24th at age 84.

    He was the one who coined of the term "Artificial Intelligence" at the 1956 Dartmouth Conference, and he was the inventor of the very first programming language - the also-much-under-appreciated brilliant LISP.

    And, last but definitely not least, John McCarthy was an early pioneer of something else that is very close to my heart - relentless "right-wing" forum "trolling".  Farewall, my lispy prince!  You were an example for us all!   :'( :) :'( :P :'(
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 01:06:28 pm by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #82 on: November 02, 2011, 06:41:56 pm »

Rejoice, porcupine fans of Copyfree software (if any yet exist) - my news roundups are back!

  • CopyfreeNews reports that, "after careful consideration", the Apache License has been moved to the rejected licenses list!  This is a major blow to the number of software packages that can be considered genuinely free software (by the libertarian and not the socialist definition of "free"), but nearly all of those were packages that I'd never use.  I've always preferred lighter BSD-licensed Web servers (ex. nginx, thttpd, lighttpd) over Apache httpd, and always avoided all other ASF projects, most of which aren't fully baked yet, or rely on non-Copyfree Java.  The only major Apache-licensed project that I'll miss is FreeRDP (which was just recently liberated from the evil communist clutches GPL).

  • OpenBSD v5.0 has been released on Nov 1st!  Although the round number makes it look like a major release, in reality it's simply a routine semi-annual update on the previous 4.9 release - which, remarkably, had 0 erratas.  As usual, this release brings multiple hardware enhancements, including: MSI support, DMA improvements resulting in bigmem (>4GB RAM) support now being enabled by default on all architectures, major 10GbE and Wake-on-LAN improvements, SCSI, and other new drivers.  The release also brings about multiple security, memory management, randomization, and networking / pf improvements.  OpenSSH is bumped to v5.9.  In ports, the default Python version finally upped to 2.7.x, and PHP to 5.3.x.

  • FreeBSD, the most mainstream Copyfree operating system, along with its desktop-oriented distros PC-BSD and GhostBSD, are getting ready for a huge 9.0 release!  (Stay tuned...)


« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 07:13:50 pm by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #83 on: November 08, 2011, 10:01:36 pm »

From Slashdot -- In Favor of FreeBSD On the Desktop --

Quote
Deep End's Paul Venezia wonders why more folks aren't using FreeBSD on the desktop.

"There used to be a saying -- at least I've said it many times -- that my workstations run Linux, my servers run FreeBSD.  Sure, it's quicker to build a Linux box, do a `yum install x y z` and toss it out into the wild as a fully functional server, but the extra time required to really get a FreeBSD box tuned will come back in spades through performance and stability metrics.  You'll get more out of the hardware, be that virtual or physical, than you will on a generic Linux binary installation."

I really can't say that FreeBSD is faster than an equivalently-tunable Linux distro like Gentoo, but it is definitely becoming more competitive against Linux, with BSD's license freedom of course being its greatest advantage.
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agjennings

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #84 on: November 19, 2011, 09:07:41 am »


What really boggles my mind is that the SQLite Web-site, after repeatedly explaining that it's "public domain", links to a place where people can "purchase an explicit license" for $1000! 


Yeah, that's the key -- put out really cool and useful software, and people will beg you to accept money for it! Defies all logic, but hey -- far be it for me to turn away money if freely offered!
 :P


I wanted to reply as to why Dr. Hipp offers the pay option on his website for SQLite.  He did a talk at http://trilug.org a year or so ago and it boils down to lawyers wanting some sort of protection and they feel that by paying for it, they are getting something.  He also stated that many European countries don't recognize the public domain license so that is another reason to sell it.

And thank you for changing my views slightly on the GPL vs BSD debate.  I tend not to follow RMS much because he wants to force others to do his bidding and I tend to follow some of the thinkings of ESR and he has a pretty awesome blog and libertarian view point at http://esr.ibiblio.org/

For now, I still believe that the copyleft is superior to copyrighting IP.  Especially since I read Mary Ruwart's Healing Our World recently and then found this site: http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/microsoft_monopoly.html talking about a libertarian perspective on Microsoft and their IP monopoly.  I'll stick with Linux before going back to Microsoft (other than in my VirtualBox for those pesky office 2007 files).

Even Companies using GPL'd software (in addition to other licenses) can make it big.  RedHat is on track to become the first Billion dollar open source software vendor.  Here is an article from a month ago: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Red-Hat-Reports-Second-bw-474607315.html

Are there any active Linux/BSD/open source groups in NH?
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Philosophy
« Reply #85 on: November 21, 2011, 11:40:53 pm »

Thank you for your comments.

I don't know about meat-space groups in NH, perhaps somebody else does...


----


This just in:  DynDNS, a major New Hampshire IT company, takes charge against the new draconian Stop Online Piracy Act!

From my e-mail inbox -- Taking A Stand: Why Dyn Opposes SOPA --

Quote
We Need Your Help & Your Voice

It's rare when we contact you via email outside of a monthly newsletter, product update or maintenance alert.  However, we felt inclined to reach out as we're looking for your support as we oppose SOPA, a bill introduced last week by a U.S. Congressman.

The goal of the bill is to "expand the ability of federal law enforcement to shut down foreign Web sites and services that that use counterfeited or pirated content created by U.S. firms".  While Dyn agrees that online piracy is an issue, ourselves and companies like Google, Yahoo, OpenDNS and others don't think this is the way to solve it.  Passing this bill could do far greater harm than good.

We ask you to read this post by Dyn CEO Jeremy Hitchcock on why Dyn opposes SOPA and sign this e-petition to join the fight against SOPA.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


For this they deserve a plug...

Dyn (aka DynDNS or Dynamic Network Services, Inc) is a DNS hosting services / IaaS company located in Manchester.  I had previously mentioned them in frustration that not even they rent out servers that are physically located in NH, but they are an excellent company otherwise.

A somewhat dated article article called "10 Best Free Speech Web Hosts Compared" describes it as follows:

Quote
If you want true freedom of speech, DynDNS sets two boundaries only:  (1) you must be eighteen years of age to use their services, and;  (2) you cannot reside in any of the countries named in the body of this article above.  Otherwise, you and you alone are responsible for your content.

This company offers domain name services (DNS), domain management, e-mail services, Web redirection, and network monitoring.  All of their services include free technical support by e-mail or phone where you speak to a highly trained engineer rather than a call center reading a script off of a screen. They offer home and business solutions (clients include CNN and Twitter, so you know they can handle high traffic), and systems in the DynDNS clusters are commodity-based hardware running the FreeBSD operating system.  Switching and routing operations are powered by Juniper and Cisco equipment.  Best of all, it's free to create an account.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 12:00:24 am by Alex Libman »
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