I posted this piece because I felt Faré raised some subtle but interesting ethical and legal points about the GPL that were worth discussion and clarification. I honestly did not expect to get flamed over my decision to post his submission.
I believe that software licenses and documentation, like software itself, should be discussed as openly and publicly as possible so that bugs can be exposed and repaired. However, words (especially legal words) are far more slippery than code. With words the question, "Is this a bug?" is often far harder to answer than it is in software.
But I was wrong to post this to Slashdot, which is obviously not an appropriate forum for discussion of subtle ethical matters, and it is apparent that any mention of even a hint of a possible tiny imperfection in the GPL does not belong here, and that anyone who dares to mention any such thing on this website must expect - and probably deserves - a series of harsh, even obscene, personal attacks instead of rational rebukes or comments.
Please accept my humble apology. I was wrong. I will try not to make the mistake of posting anything even remotely like this on Slashdot ever again.
Update: 01/18 01:37 by CT :Another Public Apology I apologize for Robin's "Humble" apology. Robin posts many good stories on Slashdot, but sometimes when he gets flamed, he takes it very personally. The reality is that every author on Slashdot gets a big load of flame every day as part of their job. They get this for mistakes, misunderstandings, or just because someone had a crappy day. Those of us who have been at it for a long time just don't care any more.
I think Slashdot is a fine forum for arguing subtle points. I just think that when things like the GPL come into question, the hostile kneejerk reactions run rampant, and its a good idea to up your threshold a notch if you prefer a conversation to be a little more mature.