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Comment Re:Microsoft and GPL (Score 1) 573

And just why I don't like the GPL - it is the exact antithesis of commercial software and means anyone that writes just software needs to tie their software to hardware to make money or have donors (which usually are corporations that want exclusive rights on their platform).

That's not my experience at all. I work with web consulting companies supplying solutions to organizations that are tired of expensive, inflexible closed source solutions provided by Microsoft or the likes of Kintera and Convio. The initial cost of development of a sophisticated open source site is (maybe) 50% of a closed source solution, so it's certainly not free. And if the client finds that they aren't getting the service from us that they want, they can easily find another shop that can take over development or maintenance of the GPL code base running on a relatively LAMP stack. So we have no "lock in" on our clients, which behooves us to provide quality service.

Yes, I would get paid more if I did the same work for a closed source shop. But I have to say: I like working with clients that like working with me, rather than with clients that have to work with me.

Comment Re:Microsoft and GPL (Score 1) 573

A less restrictive license would be... public domain? There's a lot of closed source, PD software (aka 'freeware') but not too much PD source code, which people usually tend to want to license in some way. The GPL will allow you to use, modify, distribute, even sell the software, but it won't let you deny others access to the source or restrict what others can do with the code. Where the GPL doesn't play nice with other more restrictive licenses, I find that is a failure more of the other licenses trying to restrict freedom than of the GPL that supports freedom. But there is a huge lobby of companies and lawyers who prefer to make their living off of caches of existing intellectual property at extortionary rates rather than actively contribute to socierty and get paid merely a reasonable wage for that work. For me, that is a failure of capitalism as currently practiced, as it supports the established wealthy that have the IP and suppresses the young revolutionary with new ideas.

Comment Re:Microsoft and GPL (Score 1) 573

Free software is not about altruism the way you meant it. Free software is about freedom, and I see no reason why I can't benefit from writing free software while allowing others to benefit from extending it.

I spent my early software days (before GNU - heck, software patents existed) writing and enhancing what was essentially free software. It was a wonderful environment, one in which everything was shared and people copied and imporoved on other people's code. Bob Miner - who wrote the first version of the Oracle database - testified to Congress that if software patents had existed, he would have been able to copy and improve upon the IBM RDB code.

I used to be a follower of the Grateful Dead that was - for many years - the top grossing band in the world. And they actively supported the "taper community" that would make high-quality recordings of their shows that would be traded for free.

I've spent the last ten years being paid well to install, configure and customize free software for clients ranging from Amnesty International to the Smithsonian. Every package I've delivered has included the GPL (or AGPL) stamp, and my clients have benefitted directly from that, as they are not locked into a single vendor and have a community of people enhancing their investment by adding features and fixing security holes.

I consider the practice of software a creative art, and it is a shame that so many feel they must prevent the many from enjoying their creations so that they can extract money from the few who want exclusivity. Sad that you've been taught all these years that it is the only way to survive.

Comment Re:Microsoft and GPL (Score 1) 573

As others have stated, RMS works for 'free software' that gives you the freedom to do anything you want with it. A lot of 'open source' software only lets you see the source, restricting who you can share it with, what modifications you can make to it, etc.

Another important fix to the question would be to replace 'Linux' with 'GNU/Linux' as the former refers only to the kernel which is fairly useless without any of the GNU utilities created by RMS & friends, such as gcc, bash, etc. It is IMO respectful to use the term 'GNU/Linux' and (also IMO) it is worthwhile to be respectful of RMS and the uncompromising life he leads.


Submission + - Openwall Linux 3.0: no SUIDs, anti log spoofing ( 2

solardiz writes: Openwall GNU/*/Linux (or Owl for short) version 3.0 is out, marking 10 years of the project. Owl is a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers, appliances, and virtual appliances. Two curious properties of Owl 3.0: no SUID programs in default install (yet the system is usable, including password changing) and logging of who sends messages to syslog (thus, a user can't have a log message appear to come, say, from the kernel or sshd). No other distro has these. Other highlights of Owl 3.0: single live+install+source CD, i686 or x86_64, integrated OpenVZ (host and/or guest), "make iso" & "make vztemplate" in included build environment, ext4 by default, xz in tar/rpm/less, "anti-Debian" key blacklisting in OpenSSH. A full install is under 400 MB, and it can rebuild itself from source.

Submission + - Security-enhanced Linux distro can rebuild itself ( 3

iago-vL writes: Last week, the Openwall Project released the latest build of Openwall GNU/*/Linux (Owl for short) (announcement). This distribution, which has the ability to completely rebuild itself from source, is designed from the ground up to be secure. From source code audits of critical components to advanced privilege separation, secure defaults, and integration of OpenVZ container-based virtualization, Owl makes a great server platform!

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