Index > Scribe > Linux Community
Author/Date Linux Community
Ove Larsson
11/11/2002 11:27pm
First of all, don't put the Linux community as a whole down because of the occasional evangilst, that guy cleary is a STRONG advocate for GPL.

Going to the extreme of bringing in the holocaust was stupid and the pro-gpl opinion is super extreme, but in the long run I'm with him, closed source applications have very little to do in the linux world, face it.

Take Opera or the nvidia drivers as an example, they're both surely great pieces of programming, but ALOT less use them because they're closed source, why?

1. Distributors cannot support closed source software, thus doesn't attach them to their linux distributions or supply easy means to get them.

2. Pre-compiled stuff are always going to be non-optimal, the idea of linux is to be able to compile software yourself, optimizied for ones own machine, using all the latest versions of any libs needed.

3. Linux = Opensource. Anything not opensource, despite how great it may be, will always be looked down upon.

GPL isn't the only license, there are OPENSOURCE licenses that vary greatly from it, but STILL allows people to benefit from it in the same way as opensource software does.

Have you never asked yourself "I wonder why people pay to register my application when there are other better free opensource applications out there that does the same thing and better/more?", the answer probably boils down to that they PREFER yours above the rest... think about it.

Done thinking? Is GPL/Opensource still the "enemy"?
11/11/2002 11:45pm
In my book, GPL doesn't equal open source. There are plenty of non-GPL but open source licences that I like and agree with. The GPL is the LEAST free of the open source licences (IMHO)... which might start another flame war. However I still believe in open source... upwards of 80% of the code I've written is available to those who care.

But the sad truth is that people don't care. No-one has submitted a source code bug report to LGI or i.Ftp. Or even a comment about the crapness or otherwise of the code.

GPL is not the enemy.. I have never said that... I think Linux is a shining example of what the GPL can acheive. It has it's place in the software community, however it's not the only valid way of doing things in my book.

Do people believe that software has to be free (beer & speech)? Because they are mutually exclusive, people don't pay for what they can download and compile for free. Some people "donate" but, you can't make money from it. When I say make money, I don't mean "Microsoft throttling the living daylights out of business'", I mean "average joe down the street selling something at a more than reasonable price in the market". (Gee which of those do I look like?)

So I make lots of my work free (beer & speech) and keep 1 app to sell and make money. To pay for the website, my internet access, new translations for the software etc.

I've removed the part in the FAQ about the GPL, it's obviously to inflamitory for some in the Linux community to cope with. And I've clarified my position in this thread somewhat...

I hope we can all be friends... even if we don't see eye to eye on somethings.
12/11/2002 7:00am
Agreed with fret on this one, if all software were free, then how would the programmers survive? I think its a much better approach to keep both free and paid versions since it encourages a larger community and also helps the guy make money off his work.
12/11/2002 8:33am
I wholeheartedly believe and support open source and gpl software.

For us in the West it's merely a case of getting something for nothing, but when i look at Developing countries where lots of people have no money to buy commercial software I see just what a godsend GPL/Open source is. It allowes EVERYONE to get access to software and knowledge.

That said. I do wonder how programmers maintain the quality and integrity of Open source "free" apps. Afterall there is a lot of work that goes into them, not just in the building, but the bug fixing, translations etc. At the end of the day I believe that better software comes about when people have the time spend on them making them good, and due to the economic world we live in, that usually (although not exclusively) means paying people to write code.

Some of my most loved appz have been written by people in their spare time and are free. (mozilla, QCD, Trillian) But equally some of my most used apps are commercial: (Homesite, Photoshop, and now Trillian) At the end of the day a programmer has to get some kind of financial reward for the hard work they do, (everyone has to make a living) and I, for one don't begrudge paying for good work.

Caveat: Although i don't mind paying it does nark me off that some apps are priced so high that real people can't buy them: 3d studio, Lightwave, Photoshop, Visual Studio, etc