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Comment Philosophy (Score 2) 232

It all comes down to a difference in philosophy.

Richard Stallman believes that not having access to source code causes material (and psychosocial) harm. Under the GPL, anyone who takes and modifies your code cannot turn it into a proprietary product. He views this is for the good of mankind.

Bill Joy, on the other hand, believes that making just the APIs available is good enough. The FreeBSD license means that you are allowed to develop proprietary software (contrast this with Debian).

For those Java developers who side with Stallman on this issue, a GNU Java compiler does exist.

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"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"