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GNU General Public License (GPL) (Read 3131 times)
Dieter Werner
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GNU General Public License (GPL)
11/11/03 at 17:51:23
 
  GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
                  Version 2, June 1991

Copyright (C) 1989, 1991 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
                      59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA
Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

                     Preamble

 The licenses for most software are designed to take away your
freedom to share and change it.  By contrast, the GNU General Public
License is intended to guarantee your freedom to share and change free
software--to make sure the software is free for all its users.  This
General Public License applies to most of the Free Software
Foundation's software and to any other program whose authors commit to
using it.  (Some other Free Software Foundation software is covered by
the GNU Library General Public License instead.)  You can apply it to
your programs, too.

 When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not
price.  Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you
have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for
this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it
if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it
in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.

 To protect your rights, we need to make restrictions that forbid
anyone to deny you these rights or to ask you to surrender the rights.
These restrictions translate to certain responsibilities for you if you
distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it.

 For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether
gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that
you have.  You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the
source code.  And you must show them these terms so they know their
rights.

 We protect your rights with two steps: (1) copyright the software, and
(2) offer you this license which gives you legal permission to copy,
distribute and/or modify the software.

 Also, for each author's protection and ours, we want to make certain
that everyone understands that there is no warranty for this free
software.  If the software is modified by someone else and passed on, we
want its recipients to know that what they have is not the original, so
that any problems introduced by others will not reflect on the original
authors' reputations.

 Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software
patents.  We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free
program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the
program proprietary.  To prevent this, we have made it clear that any
patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all.

 The precise terms and conditions for copying, distribution and
modification follow.

               GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE
  TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

 0. This License applies to any program or other work which contains
a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it may be distributed
under the terms of this General Public License.  The "Program", below,
refers to any such program or work, and a "work based on the Program"
means either the Program or any derivative work under copyright law:
that is to say, a work containing the Program or a portion of it,
either verbatim or with modifications and/or translated into another
language.  (Hereinafter, translation is included without limitation in
the term "modification".)  Each licensee is addressed as "you".

Activities other than copying, distribution and modification are not
covered by this License; they are outside its scope.  The act of
running the Program is not restricted, and the output from the Program
is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on the
Program (independent of having been made by running the Program).
Whether that is true depends on what the Program does.

 1. You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
along with the Program.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.

 2. You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion
of it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and
distribute such modifications or work under the terms of Section 1
above, provided that you also meet all of these conditions:

   a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices
   stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.

   b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in
   whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any
   part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third
   parties under the terms of this License.

   c) If the modified program normally reads commands interactively
   when run, you must cause it, when started running for such
   interactive use in the most ordinary way, to print or display an
   announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a
   notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide
   a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under
   these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this
   License.  (Exception: if the Program itself is interactive but
   does not normally print such an announcement, your work based on
   the Program is not required to print an announcement.)

These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole.  If
identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program,
and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in
themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those
sections when you distribute them as separate works.  But when you
distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based
on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of
this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the
entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.

Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest
your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to
exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or
collective works based on the Program.

In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License.

 3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

   a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
   source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
   1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

   b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
   years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
   cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
   machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
   distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
   customarily used for software interchange; or,

   c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
   to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
   allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
   received the program in object code or executable form with such
   an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it.  For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable.  However, as a
special exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable.

If distribution of executable or object code is made by offering
access to copy from a designated place, then offering equivalent
access to copy the source code from the same place counts as
distribution of the source code, even though third parties are not
compelled to copy the source along with the object code.

 4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
except as expressly provided under this License.  Any attempt
otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.
However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under
this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such
parties remain in full compliance.

 5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not
signed it.  However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or
distribute the Program or its derivative works.  These actions are
prohibited by law if you do not accept this License.  Therefore, by
modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the
Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and
all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying
the Program or works based on it.

 6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the
Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the
original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to
these terms and conditions.  You may not impose any further
restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein.
You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to
this License.

 7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License.  If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all.  For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other
circumstances.

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is
implemented by public license practices.  Many people have made
generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed
through that system in reliance on consistent application of that
system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing
to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot
impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.

 8. If the distribution and/or use of the Program is restricted in
certain countries either by patents or by copyrighted interfaces, the
original copyright holder who places the Program under this License
may add an explicit geographical distribution limitation excluding
those countries, so that distribution is permitted only in or among
countries not thus excluded.  In such case, this License incorporates
the limitation as if written in the body of this License.

 9. The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions
of the General Public License from time to time.  Such new versions will
be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to
address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number.  If the Program
specifies a version number of this License which applies to it and "any
later version", you have the option of following the terms and conditions
either of that version or of any later version published by the Free
Software Foundation.  If the Program does not specify a version number of
this License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software
Foundation.

 10. If you wish to incorporate parts of the Program into other free
programs whose distribution conditions are different, write to the author
to ask for permission.  For software which is copyrighted by the Free
Software Foundation, write to the Free Software Foundation; we sometimes
make exceptions for this.  Our decision will be guided by the two goals
of preserving the free status of all derivatives of our free software and
of promoting the sharing and reuse of software generally.

                     NO WARRANTY

 11. BECAUSE THE PROGRAM IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY
FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW.  EXCEPT WHEN
OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES
PROVIDE THE PROGRAM "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED
OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  THE ENTIRE RISK AS
TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU.  SHOULD THE
PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING,
REPAIR OR CORRECTION.

 12. IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING
WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR
REDISTRIBUTE THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES,
INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING
OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY
YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER
PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

                END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

         How to Apply These Terms to Your New Programs

 If you develop a new program, and you want it to be of the greatest
possible use to the public, the best way to achieve this is to make it
free software which everyone can redistribute and change under these terms.

 To do so, attach the following notices to the program.  It is safest
to attach them to the start of each source file to most effectively
convey the exclusion of warranty; and each file should have at least
the "copyright" line and a pointer to where the full notice is found.

   <one line to give the program's name and a brief idea of what it does.>
   Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>

   This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
   it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
   the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
   (at your option) any later version.

   This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
   but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
   MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
   GNU General Public License for more details.

   You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
   along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
   Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307  USA


Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and paper mail.

If the program is interactive, make it output a short notice like this
when it starts in an interactive mode:

   Gnomovision version 69, Copyright (C) year name of author
   Gnomovision comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
   This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
   under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the appropriate
parts of the General Public License.  Of course, the commands you use may
be called something other than `show w' and `show c'; they could even be
mouse-clicks or menu items--whatever suits your program.

You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your
school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if
necessary.  Here is a sample; alter the names:

 Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program
 `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) written by James Hacker.

 <signature of Ty Coon>, 1 April 1989
 Ty Coon, President of Vice

This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into
proprietary programs.  If your program is a subroutine library, you may
consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the
library.  If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General
Public License instead of this License.
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Re: GNU General Public License (GPL)
Reply #1 - 11/20/03 at 15:27:57
 
My Truth anyway.

A few weeks back I finally switched my entire computing life back to linux. I say "back" because I am a pretty old school linux guy - at least by averages I suppose. I first installed linux during my masters degree in the early 90's. Since all my academic work was unix based, it all worked in linux too. Subsequently, I started working in Java which just fed my ability to stay in linux for my work environment. I programmed the entire engine of my company's first product DashO in linux. The GUI was made by other guys in windows - if thats any testament to how well Java can glue the two together.

So I'm back to linux. I chose Redhat 9 because although I was a crusty old Slackware guy, I hated finding those fancy RPM install packages running around the net that were always a pain to make work in Slack. Yeah, yeah, save your emails about how easy "alien" is and all, redhat was easier. Talking about linux through its history is interesting but its far more interesting to talk about it today.

One thing I always hear is how solid linux is compared to windows. Well, you know what? It used to be. But right now I can say from personal experience all the crap sitting on top of the kernel including X and gnome and kde and huge friggin office packages crash my desktop once or twice a week. Thats not much, but my windows XP box never crashed. Sure windows applications crash, but if there is one thing Microsoft got right was not letting an application bring the OS down with it.

So, as always, linux is rock solid. Put all that shiny open source software written by a bazillion un-quality-controlled programmers on top of it though, and its far less solid.

I always loved linux because I love to tinker. The trick is that linux doesn't just let you tinker - it FORCES you to tinker. Redhat has done a crazy good job providing little gui's that let me auto-configure things (I wont miss the samba config file ever). Its nowhere near windows but then again it isn't supposed to be. I'm sure there are a hundred of those little helper GUIs I havent found, because I know where the config files are for every package I care about and I do it the way I know how. Mind you I never exactly remember the syntax of every little config file, but there's always how-tos and I'm pretty good at looking those up.

I originally got away from linux because it took too much time (eventually) to configure things. At some point I just wanted things to "work" and go programming or something. Apparently, that part of me cooled off and I'm ready to waste days here and there making something trivial work again.

Of course throughout this, I put linux on my laptop too. Unfortunately, the latest Redhat did not support the power management system in laptop, I had to patch the kernel. My wireless card is still dead (haven't had the afternoon to get that working yet) and printing to my very normal Minolta 1250W would require a windows box, ghostscript and some voodoo from the references I've found. Not a great testament to linux's usability as I still have to patch a friggin kernel to get a 2.5year old laptop's wireless card to work.

Linux on the desktop is a long way off. Well, actually, I suppose its in front of me right now. However, its a long way off for my mom. My mom can whip up chicken paprikash faster than you can ask for it, but she hasn't a clue on patching kernels and isn't particularly motivated to learn about it either.

You may doubt it by now, but I am still a linux lover (unix really). Much in the way linux forces you to tinker, Windows does everything for you. And, of course, thats the only option. If the driver says it can't find your printer, pointing at it and screaming "Its right there!" isn't going to help. You're done. At least with linux you can go into its brain and change its mind (unless apparently, its my Minolta).

I've also heard linux zealots yip about how great it is not to be the subject of so many viruses (as windows is). Thats true, linux viruses are rare and don't propogate well. On the other hand there are some real peachy hacker clubs that can break into your linux box in about 9 seconds and install an invisible rootkit into them. All you have to do to stay ahead of these script kiddies is to keep your software up-to-date. Yeah, no sweat. Every morning you wake up, start checking the security sites to find out about new software exploits that the bad guys have known about for weeks. If you have a linux server on an open network I highly suggest you check for rootkits on it. Try Chkrootkit for a great starting point.

Hand-in-hand with all this is open source software. I'm pretty sure thats a terrible name, because 99.9% of the time I say "open source" software, I mean FREE software. I really rarely care if I have the source code, I'm looking for a piece of software that will do the job. If I find a open-source-free piece of software that "almost" does the job, too bad, not interested. Chances are that modifying some monolithic piece of software to do something my way is anti-productive.

For example, I have a server that came with redhat 9 on it. Redhat 9 includes apache (which I need). However, Redhat 9's apache does not include encryption (i.e. SSL) support. So, I had to get the apache source and perform a compilation that has probably been done a billion times - I recompiled apache with SSL support. Lets say I wanted to change that source (hey! its open source!). Basically, I've condemned myself to either never upgrading apache (upgrades have security fixes in them among other things) or re-applying my code changes to the new versions as they come out.

I'm sure there are people unlike me that have benefitted from apache being open source, but I'm quite confident the whole idea is overrated. The idea that I had to compile apache with SSL support for Redhat 9 is ludicrous. I'm sure that EXACT act has happened millions of time. God forbid I have something slightly off in my configuration too and the happy compile crashes with some bizarre error.

We can step back a second -- why do we HAVE open source? What kind of idiot does a whole crapload of work and then GIVES it away for FREE? Hello? McFly?

First off, its someone who isn't hungry. Laugh if you will, but if you didn't have that shiny bimmer in garage (or the nintendo dad bought you) you might think a tad more entrepenurial. You never see hammers at the store for free. Granted, hammer's have materials that cost money, so let me restate - you never see hammers at the store priced for what they cost to make. Why would someone give away software at cost? Even mechanics charge for labor. Why the heck does open source exist? To make the world a better place? May be.

I'm pretty sure that fame is one reason. The typical open source developer doesnt own a company or even have a good idea how to start one when they start an open source project (that often changes later if the project is a success). This is probably not because they are lazy or dumb or any fault of their own, its probably because they are 18. Generally, you're not 18 and the CEO of a billion dollar company - and if you are its rare you have enough time to run that company, think capitalist on one hand, altruistic on another, and code an open source project in the mean time (not to mention high school). If you're 18, you probably believe that the same number of people listen to you as the number of people that listen to such a CEO, but think outside the box a second - it might not be true.

CEOs are used to being known. 18 year olds aren't. But in comes the internet - all of a sudden you have a free, ubiquitous, worldwide way to distribute anything you like -- including hammers. In order to actually sell your hammers, you'd have to have a company, a tax id number, and maybe even employees. Instead of all that headache, you show your hammer to your buddy Fred who says "cool hammer!". You show your hammer to your Aunt Edna who says "Neato hammer!". You start giving away your hammers for cost on the internet and you start getting emails of appreciative nail pounders. Message boards pop up around how great YOUR hammers are! Next thing you know you're mentioned on tons of blogs about having wonderous hammers! You are SUPER JOE HAMMER GUY!

You could have made money - but how? How about begging? It worked pretty well on mom.

People love these hammers, they would obviously pay for them. Some have even offered to donate for your hammers! In comes paypal.. notice those on those open source sites? "Donate to the hammer foundation". Aha! A no-cost, no-overhead, no-funny-tax-forms way to get some money. Not much - but who cares - you're famous. (what a great way to get paid and not have to deal with those pesky IRS people too!)

If you're lucky, other people come and ask to help make your hammers better. Thats right, they ASK to be your underling. They hope to share your fame. Sweet - call mom -- you got FOLLOWERS! No, no, call them "disciples".. chics love guys with disciples. The disciples help with the hammers and you keep working on them. The emails of appreciative hammer users keep you going. If your hammers are really really great, you get lots of disciples. In your spare time, you scoff at Sears - did you know Sears SELLS hammers? What FOOL would BUY a hammer when you give them away? If you had money, you'd buy an ad saying "Hey dumb heads - I am GIVING hammers away! Why are you going to Sears!?".

Could there be some enterprise level sales tier that buys tens of thousands of hammers from Sears each day that you don't even have a clue exists? Nah.

Dummies.. Sears doesn't get it. Hammers were meant to be FREE! That company is doomed.

Sometimes, the disciples get loud. Maybe because they are just loud folks, or maybe because there gets to be a lot of them. You better fight to keep control you know - these are YOUR hammers. Sometimes those disciples branch off and tell you to goto hell. They go make their OWN hammers (see the XFree project - this thread captures some of the spirit).

If you're at this point, you're obviously making something people want. And if there is something that has enough demand to it, you'll get competition. That's competition besides the traitor disciples (infidels!).

Competition you say? You mean you have to compete to give away something? What kind of silly world do we live in where people compete to give away stuf (besides drugs and web browsers of course). You'd better get lawyers. Those scumbags who are trying to steal your market of people that don't pay you are up to something funny! What if they STEAL the free, open-source code you gave away for free and give it away free themselves!? darn them!

The Judas disciples can smoke a turd in hammer hell for all you care. You also realize that this hammer project is taking a lot of time. Users are calling for support and features. Sure would be nice if you could pull back on your shifts at Mickey D's to devote more time to the hammers. Maybe you can make more money off they hammers? They sure are popular!

Idea! First off, start traveling the country giving speeches about your hammers. You're famous you know. People will go to conferences to see you speak on the nuances of handle design. Second, sell support. You already gave away the farm by giving free hammers, can't go back on that now. We'll sell support - thats it! Microsoft does it - why cant you!? What else.. hmm.. T-shirts? How about selling the documentation? And consulting! You can get consulting gigs showing people how to use your hammers.

You've helped the economy you know. You took something that cost companies millions before and made it far cheaper (or free). The CEO's thank you. You might have hurt a few little mom-n-pop hammer makers, but thats the breaks. Evil cretins -- CHARGING for hammers indeed.

Eventually though, you might get a better offer. Be it from a wife, a new child, or a great new job. There won't be any more time to work on hammers. And since hammers only paid so much, you'll probably have to move on. Others may take over your hammers, they may not. Big companies that relied heavily on your hammers might be in trouble now, they may have to take over your hammers themselves because of their dependence.

It was a good run, you'll always be known as Super Joe Hammer.


Maybe open source does work. I would love it though if there was a clear distinction in the naming protocol. Currently, there are such things as free open-source, for-pay open-source, free closed-source, and pay closed-source. If I am messing around with one my servers to setup a free blog (like this one) I'm probably inclined to use something free - open-sourcedness being irrelevant. Thanks hammer guy.

By the way, I just checked, Sears is still doing just fine.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(This Blog is on the free open-source Xoops content management system, the web server is the free open-source Apache running on the free open-source OS linux operating system. The article was written using Xemacs, a free open-source program that some call an editor, others call 'a way of life').


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Re: GNU General Public License (GPL)
Reply #2 - 11/22/03 at 21:08:31
 
Grin  Dear Fred,

     You hit the nail on the head!  I love your analogy.

     I suppose the idea of Open Source is flexibility and a desire to promote the enviromnent.  As for why it's free, a programmer is like an artist.  He loves his work.  If nobody ever bought one of his paintings, he'd still paint.  

   For a programmer (or hacker and I suppose, to some twisted degree, even a cracker) when something finally works, it's a rush - and an accomplishment he wants to share.  With the exclusion of work by crackers, the though whole community is enriched by his efforts. He spawns new ideas for enhancements or even for whole new programs.  Whether these programs ever get used is not the issue.  The fun is in getting there.  College was a lot more fun than any job I found as a result of the education.

    In the real world,  I found that when I was in programming mode, there were very few people I could talk to.  

   'Well, Michele, what have you been up to?" And as I started to tell them, I could see their eyes glaze over and I knew I might as well have been talking to my cat.  At least my cat LOOKED interested in what I had to say!

   So Open Source is free but as a commercial product, it's unfinished.  It's up to the person who wants to use it to finish it in his own way.  As for the person doing the writing, I always thought it was as Dieter said in his last subroutine of eAuction161 - something like - make of it what you will or just burn it.

  Thanks for the article!

Michele

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Michele


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