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Comment Re:can't link it as part of larger program (Score 1) 305

That's correct. My point was not that it was easy for all programs, just that the original statement that using the GPL makes it hard to even use the library as part of another program simply isn't true at all. It would assume that no program is licensed under GPL, and that certainly isn't the case.

Comment Re: GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 3, Insightful) 305

Users that lack the ability to change the software themselves can of course ask someone else to do it for them, either for free or for compensation. This is not at all the case with proprietary software. The vendor may of course choose to change the software for you but you have no such guarantees. Microsoft is not going to make fundamental changes to Windows or most of their other products if you ask them. With free software you are not locked in to the original vendor, you can ask anyone else to do changes for you.

Comment Re: GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 2) 305

It's too simplistic to think of users and developers as separate entities and to say that the GPL is anti any of those is just ridiculous. Even users without a desire to write programs can have an interest in the source code. Even though they may not have the required skill and knowledge to modify the software themselves they may contract that job to someone that can. This is actually quite common, a lot of IT consulting companies work with free and open source software. Individual people may be fore or against licensing software under the GPL, that's fine. But all users no matter how much of a programmer they are can benefit from GPL'd software and there are plenty of examples of both types of users that do so.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 2) 305

It looks like the Xpdf web page is inconsistent. I got this from the README:

License & Distribution

Xpdf is licensed under the GNU General Pulbic License (GPL), version 2
or 3. This means that you can distribute derivatives of Xpdf under
any of the following:
- GPL v2 only
- GPL v3 only
- GPL v2 or v3

The Xpdf source package includes the text of both GPL versions:
COPYING for GPL v2, COPYING3 for GPL v3.

Please note that Xpdf is NOT licensed under "any later version" of the
GPL, as I have no idea what those versions will look like.

If you are redistributing unmodified copies of Xpdf (or any of the
Xpdf tools) in binary form, you need to include all of the
documentation: README, man pages (or help files), COPYING, and

If you want to incorporate the Xpdf source code into another program
(or create a modified version of Xpdf), and you are distributing that
program, you have two options: release your program under the GPL (v2
and/or v3), or purchase a commercial Xpdf source license.

If you're interested in commercial licensing, please see the Glyph &
Cog web site:


Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 1) 305

There are lots of libraries under GPL. Poppler is for example dual licensed under both GPLv2 and GPLv3, since it's based on xpdf and inherits its license. A more liberate license would probably be more optimal for this kind of library but using proper GPL is not unheard of. Someone can of course create their own independent implementation if they want to.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 5, Informative) 305

Yeah, doesn't this require that all software that supports the format needs to be released as GPLv3 as well?

Who's bright idea was that?

The reference implementation is under GPLv3. Everyone is of course still free to create their own implementation and license it under whichever license they want.

Comment Re: Integer (Score 1) 86

That there are actual shipping software that follows this principle and still manages to improve and add new features and capabilities at a high rate. Sometimes people make stupid decisions; no one will ever be able to type ls * without an error in /usr/lib/systemd/system because someone though it was a good idea to put a file there called -.slice there. Now it's part of the API so it has to stay that way. Inconventient, yes. But will it prevent new features and improvements? No.

Comment Re: Integer (Score 1) 86

So you released version 111 and some people downloaded it and purchased a support contract. Then you add a major new features in version 112 that due to their awesomeness have to break backward compatibility with version 111, and for that reason the aforementioned customer is not going to upgrade right away... but they did find a bug in version 111 that you are obligated to fix.

Myth number one, new features does not need breaking changes. Take a look at the Linux kernel. Probably the most modern kernel of all time, yet its developers take pride in that they don't break compatibility. New features does not have to come with the price of breaking changes.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith