Related: the Linux Foundation pulled support for the Software Freedom Conservancy, leaving it in dire financial straits.
Yeah, the Linux Foundation has a vested interest in violating the GPL. VMWare and Allwinner are involved in GPL violations, and they’re both prominent LF members.
Oracle is a prominent LF member too, and they seem to rarely be up to much good in these kinds of organizations.
This is terrible.
It’s actually not as bad as you think. The community rep seats were actually a way for corps to get more votes on the board, there was very little “community” involvement.
I reiterate my prior statement: https://lobste.rs/s/lifdep/the_history_behind_the_decision_to_move_python_to_github/comments/hvtexz#c_hvtexz
But with the note that the LF is essentially the mega-corporations of tech, with a vested interest in benefiting from gratis labor.
All your base are belong to them.
Who am I exactly trolling here? As far as I know, lobsters doesn’t have any corporate sponsorship. This is a simple commentary that the Open Source world has all but lost it’s facade as a community driven enterprise.
Indeed, Sir, though it may at first appear a desert, I believe that upon closer inspection you will find yourself mistaken.
There are in reality many such projects which would fall under the rubric you have stated, they may not be large and broadly-recognized, but I assure you that a great many programmers toil still for naught but the privilege to call a program their own.
I’m a Free Software programmer. I’m bringing up the old Open Source vs Free Software debate and I think this latest news highlights the real nature of the Open Source movement. That it is a movement by corporations to exploit the generosity of the community.
It is really a moral issue over any technical one. There are still great community projects like the Debian project, and of course GNU.
This is a singular organization, and I would really wonder what impact they have had. Its name is taken after the kernel project that is itself GPL. What did this organization have to do with open source?
I am a pragmatist, I do not feel strongly about the debate of which you make reference. When I look at the history of the term (taken from the wikipedia article), it seems that it is a movement promoted by individuals sick of the philosophical/moral strictness of the free software movement. I am sure some corporations take advantage of it, but there is no reason to assume most are necessarily abusing it — because the purpose of most of the licenses makes it clear that such use is permitted. I would argue strenuously that it is still at the heart of the community.
People like RMS will say that it is immoral to use the software I am using right now to write this. I say use whatever software works for you.
P.S. I hate emacs and vim, nano is the best console editor!
People like RMS will say that it is immoral to use the software I am using right now to write this
No, RMS does not believe that it is immoral to use it. You are not at fault for using non-free software. The people who are controlling your computer without your knowledge are the ones at fault for exerting control over you with non-free software.
You probably disagree with RMS that non-free software is controlling its users. Or perhaps you believe the the users are being willingly controlled and thus it is not immoral. I would counter that there are subtle kinds of control in non-free software that most people are not aware of. People only rebel against this control when they realise what it can do. Such was the case with DRM in Apple’s stores which nobody really noticed until it became clear that the effect was that you had to buy the same music twice just because you changed devices. A similar situation is currently happening with Windows 10 as people are slowly starting to realise just how much spying it can do.
You are not at fault for using non-free software. The people who are controlling your computer without your knowledge are the ones at fault for exerting control over you with non-free software.
I reject this notion. I am using it by my own free will. I could have installed Linux on this machine, I chose not to. I will not put fault on a third party when it is clearly my informed choice.
my informed choice.
That’s the problem, it cannot be your informed choice, because you have not been informed. There are secrets in the software that you are using if it’s non-free. You may think those secrets do not matter, but you are certainly not being informed.
There are secrets in the Linux kernel or X.org that I don’t know about, because I don’t go around reading the source code for every odd program I use.
Which is precisely why everyone relies on organizations that have gained our trust. Since the Linux Foundation have removed any community representation, it is pretty logical to conclude, you cannot trust them anymore when it comes to valuing and defending the community.
On the one hand you said you don’t feel strongly about the debate, a d on the other you say use whatever software works for you.
You have clearly chosen, by your own words,to disregard the moral aspect of software. This is exactly what the free software movement criticises. I’m not sure if you realize or not, but you have chosen the Open Source side.
Apathy is a decision. Whether you made the right decision, I think time will tell.
For me it is not a political issue.
I use all sorts of software because it is convenient and fit for purpose. I have Linux (Debian) on my server because it works well. I like the FSF core tools more than the BSD ones, but I also do software development on a Mac with Apple’s MacOSX. I need a good word processor, and it turns out that for “production” documents — Word is easily the best choice here. For documents that are not being submitted, and especially if they are to be shared, Google Docs is the one.
To me there is no moral aspect of software, anymore than there is a moral aspect to the use of a hammer to drive in a nail. Whenever I put code up somewhere, the honest truth is that I don’t really care what license it is under — because I don’t care how it is used.
To me there is no moral aspect of software, anymore than there is a moral aspect to the use of a hammer to drive in a nail.
What about a hammer that explodes if used incorrectly and blows away the users' fingers? Is that explosive hammer also amoral? Or a hammer that can spontaneously break at the whim of the company that sold it to you? Also amoral?
That is one strange hammer. The analogy you use is not an appropriate one. The only thing even close to reality is the last one if it were an inexpensive hammer. A cheaply made hammer that is inexpensive, is certainly a buyer beware item OR rather buyer’s choice - not immoral.
If we are talking about something like a car that explodes if used incorrectly — depending on the meaning of used incorrectly — that would likely be a regulatory issue. Knowingly selling a product that is dangerous can be immoral, sure.
To bring this back to software, if I buy a subscription to a software product for a year - say IntelliJ - and it stops working after that year on the whim of the company that sold it to me - would not be immoral. If I bought software that was standalone (not needing online services), which was disabled by the software company — that could be immoral.
The analogy with the hammer I was thinking of was in relation to Karen Sandler’s defibrillator in her body, which has uninspectable software that can literally kill her.
The remote kill switch I was thinking of was things like Amazon being allowed to remove books from users' kindles.
I have heard of the medical devices thing. I am quite sympathetic to the issue, and I would go as far as saying that certain critical infrastructure should be some form of open source. If it can convict you (blood testing device for example), or it could kill you if it went wrong (like the one you mention) then the openness thing should be mandatory.
I understand where the companies are coming from also. They would be afraid of the source code getting into the hands of the chinese, who could then copy the hardware and undercut them. It is a very real issue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they already have it.
If we grant users the ability to look at the source code, or some independent auditing party — then we have the issue of verifying it is the same thing on the device. It isn’t even easy to do this on fully free software platforms yet — you might be able to do it with all the same versions of software used originally - but that isn’t always feasible. I am not sure it would be a good idea to let the user change the software on the device in/near their heart anymore than I think they should dispense their own prescriptions.
The ability to remove books would be okay if that ability was spelled out in the user agreement in clear language. Any other situation, no. I do not appreciate user agreements that are dozens of pages long, the GPL unfortunately fails this test as well — but given the authors I give them a pass because I am presuming it was necessary.
It is actually one of the reasons why I don’t use it myself unless the software is already in that state. I prefer a license I can understand the basics of which is shorter than this post.
I understand all of that.
Open Source movement’s arguments are about convenience, Free Software’s arguments are about morality and freedom.
Since you are arguing about convenience, and denounce the moral and freedom arguments of the Free Software movement, therefore you are part of the Open Source crowd.
You have picked a side whether you knew it or not.