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    Rob’s Keynote was disappointing. Very uninformative and banal.

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      I did menial labor for my first 8 years of being an adult, and now I’ve been an engineer for the last 10. I will have to say that menial labor felt much more soul draining than this. Don’t be babies guys. At least you get paid well and, for the most part, are respected.

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        The author doesn’t seem to have done his homework here. antirez responds in the comments to this post and refutes nearly all of the author’s points fairly well.

        All in all, it ends up sounding like he’s saying “I tried to use redis as a Postgres replacement and it didn’t work”

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          Yeah, I’m all for a well-researched, properly thought out rant, but this seems like getting in a car and complaining that it can’t take flight.

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            In the comments he seems to indicated that it is as good as memcache but slightly slower, but using anything above memcache functionality and it sucks. I totally disagree. Redis is especially suited to putting a bunch of data into memory to manipulated. All the different data structures are amazing for working with a data set that fits in memory. I’d much rather use it then memcache. Redis is a pleasure to use, and that’s it’s strength.

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            Stallman’s co-opting of the word “freedom” was a stroke of genius. To those uneducated about the specific definition of freedom used by the FSF, the way he uses it makes the LLVM folks seem like they’d rather not share their code at all. Of course, that’s not the case. For example, I put my code into the public domain precisely because I think that’s the fullest expression of freedom possible. But not according to Stallman.

            I certainly don’t agree with Stallman’s values, but I’m all for freedom. Just not the kind that has stipulations on distribution of derivative works.

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              “The fullest expression of freedom” is a ridiculous goal; it means whatever you want it to mean. You see the same fight over the definition of freedom in debates about closed shops vs. Right to Work legislation, and it’s just as pointless there.

              I don’t care about what freedom means in the abstract sense. I care about results, and the FSF’s principles have done a pretty good job of obtaining the results I want (ensuring the continued existence of a modern software system that I can study and modify).

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                I care about results

                Me too… Specifically, I care about maximizing the number of people using my software. Which is one reason why I use copyfree licenses. I’ve never had someone tell me they won’t use my software because it’s permissively licensed, but I’ve bumped up against that with GPL licenses.

                “The fullest expression of freedom” is a ridiculous goal; it means whatever you want it to mean.

                To each their own, I guess. I care about it and I don’t think it’s ridiculous.

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                  Specifically, I care about maximizing the number of people using my software.

                  That’s something actual that we can look at, discuss and determine what effect different licenses have. (And I agree that it is a totally valid goal, and that if that is your goal you should not license your software under the GPL.)

                  But we can’t discuss what effect different licenses have on “freedom”, because we’re not going to agree on what that word means.

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                    because we’re not going to agree on what that word means

                    I think that’s because of Stallman and the FSF co-opting the word “freedom”. Almost all dictionary definitions are about the ability to act without restraint or restriction, which is opposite of the FSF “freedom”, which explicitly puts restrictions on what you can do.

                    I have no with the FSF existing, and attempting to get people to share their code, forcibly if necessary. I have a problem with their redefinition of “freedom” and moralistic stance on the availability of code. They’re the reason we can’t have a discussion on the effects of licenses on freedom, because they took a word and mutated it’s meaning, to something almost opposite of it’s original definition, like the word “literally”, but with a cohesive group actively working to redefine it.

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                      They didn’t mutate its meaning, they’re just looking at a larger scope than you are.

                      If I’m restrained from assaulting you, I’m less free. But if we expand the scope of our search so that you’re included…

                      (This debate over the meaning of freedom is much older than the FSF.)

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                        I’ve been mulling that over for the past eight minutes trying to think of a way to refute that point, or wheedle in something in without being perceived as overly argumentative for the purpose of being argumentative. I’ve got nothing, however it’s lead me to some thoughts I’ve been having for a while…

                        Mainly, and I have no idea if you have any insights on this, that it seems odd that the FSF doesn’t explicitly come out and say “that capitalism thing, it’s not all that great now, is it?”. The goals are inherently anti-free market, but nobody affiliated with the FSF is willing to say that. It just seems odd to me.

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                          The goals are inherently anti-free market

                          What makes you say that? Even if one takes the extreme position that proprietary software is morally wrong (and you don’t have to believe that to support the FSF), there are lots of opportunities for free enterprise in software that don’t involve selling licenses.

                          (P.S. This is exactly the kind of meaty discussion I think the subject deserves. It’s way better than the usual “lol rms is weird”.)

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                            I had a big long thing on how if the world were economically efficient that with Free Software the price of everything would eventually be driven down to effectively nothing but it wasn’t really going anywhere, and that’s kinda true with most things, minus the fact that in the “real world” things aren’t created out of nothing, and the resources have to be paid for, also collusion is typically frowned upon…

                            The core of what makes me say Free Software is inherently anti-free market is that with a minimum of collusion it isn’t difficult to drive down the prices as much as possible, and the moralistic viewpoint pushes collectivism and production of software not for capital gains but communal gains.

                            Edit: Also, the GNU Manifesto states:

                            The real reason programmers will not starve is that it will still be possible for them to get paid for programming; just not paid as much as now.

                            In a free market wouldn’t those programmers would be free to keep the enhancements they make private and sell them to the highest bidder, instead of having to supply them back for the collective good?

                            Edit2: (also: lol rms is silly)

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                              Nothing in the GPL says you can’t sell your changes and nothing says that you have to share them with anyone. The only thing you aren’t allowed to do is control it after it leaves your hands. In other words, you can’t control how your customers use it. I’ve been paid quite a bit to work on open source software in my lifetime, much of which was never shared back to the community.

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                                From my understanding, section 10 of the GPL states that the downstream (the guys who made the software you’ve modified) are given a license to “run, modify, and propagate that work”, meaning they can ask you for your source at any time, and are free to put it back into the main software, or share changes provided they follow the procedures in the GPL.

                                Also, open source is a counter movement to Free Software, working on open source doesn’t automatically mean you’re working with Free Software, and because open source is more encompassing, it doesn’t require you share your changes…

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                                  I’m sorry to say that your understanding is wrong. RMS has pointed out this fallacy on many occasions. Sorry to conflate the term “Open Source” with Free Software. There are many people running modified versions of GPL software as web services that haven’t shared their modifications. The GPL is not about protecting developers, it’s about protecting consumers of software. It just so happens that we are all consumers, even developers.


                                  [edit] added link

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                                    It also says that if the web services can be used by the public the source needs to be available to those users. It’s only acceptable to not release the sources if they’re used entirely internally, where the source is essentially available to the parent entity (the company) already.

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                                      Again, you are dead wrong. Please stop. If that were the case every major company in the world would have to release all their code. There is a license you can use that says that, but it’s not the GPL and I haven’t seen it actually used anywhere.


                                      [edit] Added link to license that NOONE uses.

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                                        The link you posted says that. You’re selectively reading again to only support your viewpoint, which is flawed. Cite where it says you’re okay to not convey the source.

                                        an organization can make a modified version and use it internally without ever releasing it outside the organization.

                                        But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program’s users, under the GPL.

                                        The modified version is released to the public by being used by the public. It’s no longer private. Your link says that.

                                        The GPL also says so in sections 2 and 6 (2: source must be conveyed; 6: if you have object code running on a server, you need to have the source available somewhere).

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                                            That’s the FAQ about the GPLv2. It even says that they wanted to address it in v3 (not that it was).

                                            Both the v2 and v3 FAQ have the following:

                                            It is essential for people to have the freedom to make modifications and use them privately, without ever publishing those modifications. However, putting the program on a server machine for the public to talk to is hardly “private” use, so it would be legitimate to require release of the source code in that special case.

                                            Which basically says they don’t like it, but they don’t have the wording for it (v2 explicitly says they don’t have the wording for it).

                                            Similarly, releasing those changes back is in the spirit of the license, if not the wording.

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                                              That is specifically what the AGPL is meant to address. No one uses it. There are multiple licenses people can use. The FSF doesn’t mandate using one license. Many people use the LGPL which allows linking with proprietary code. All those licenses are considered “free” licenses and good licenses by the FSF.

                                              The fact remains that what you said is completely false. No company that uses GPLv2 or GPLv3 code is compelled to release their source simply by using it on a public web server. This should be fairly obvious since almost every company on earth is using some GPL code on their production stack. I don’t know whether you generally don’t know this, or if you are spreading FUD, but I suggest you learn more about FSF before speaking about it with such authority. Everything I’ve corrected you on is in the FAQ.

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                                                You seem to be mistaken about exactly how the GPL infects. Because there’s a lot of times when you’re permitted to use GPL software and have it not infect your software. Using GPL code in your stack most of the time doesn’t infect your application. The FAQ says that. So maybe you should read your own FAQ and the license’s text.

                                                Also, fascinating that you’ve decided to only go down the nitpicking road, instead of the more interesting and meaty discussion involving the Free Software being not a market economy.

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                            Mainly, and I have no idea if you have any insights on this, that it seems odd that the FSF doesn’t explicitly come out and say “that capitalism thing, it’s not all that great now, is it?”

                            I’ve certainly had those thoughts too. But I’m not sure if they see it that way.

                            I’ve personally had many long discussions with extremely ardent supporters of the GPL, the FSF and its mission. There’s an ungodly amount of back and forth, but eventually, we get to the topic of intellectual property and whether coercion ought to be used to impose it. Interestingly, most, if not all such supporters agreed with me that intellectual property was unjust and should be abolished. But how could this be? Copyleft fundamentally requires intellectual property to work. But it turns out, they see the use of copyleft as a necessary evil to fight back against intellectual property. I think they see it as a sort of leveling the playing field.

                            At this point, we come together in (some?) agreement over philosophy but a disagreement over how it should be achieved.

                            I guess I don’t have any real point here, but just trying to share an experience. It’s obviously impossible to extrapolate it across all FSF supporters (or even the FSF itself), but I found it to be an interesting similarity between the hardcore FSF supporters.

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                              I’m not entirely sure that RMS is against intellectual property, because copyleft is dependent on copyright. He wrote an essay against the Swedish Pirate Party’s position on shortened copyrights because they would put things in the public domain, where they can no longer be copyleft.

                              It seems silly to me. Copyleft is a total hack on copyright, but because the FS movement took the moralistic stance they couldn’t exist without copyright, and copyright lasting for a good long time. It also means there needs to be someone actively maintaining the software to make sure people know about it and have relatively easy access to it.This is one of the main reasons I prefer Open Source’s ideas. Plus it aligns nicely with my views on copyright and IP in general.

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                                Sorry for the late comment, but funnily enough, I just ran into exactly what I described in my GP comment.

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                            I don’t think the comparison of copyleft with “restraining from assaulting someone else” is relevant. I agree that in both cases my liberty is reduced, but there is still a big difference.

                            By assaulting someone, I cause harm to this person and I reduce his/her liberty to be safe and healthy. This is the reason why it looks necessary to reduce my liberty to assault a third person to guarantee the liberty of that third person.

                            By reusing a free software in a non-free software, I’m not reducing the liberty of free software people to do what they want.

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                              You’re technically reducing the liberty of anyone else who might want to use those improvements.

                              I went down the same line of thinking myself (and several other lines), there’s a response from the “Free Software” viewpoint, and I don’t completely disagree: it is a broadened look on freedoms, and restricting use to keep it open and available keeps everyone else’s freedom to modify and play with it open.

                              I don’t think it’s necessary, bit it’s more free, from a certain point of view.

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                                I suspect bct’s link to negative freedom elsewhere in this thread is relevant here. The FSF version of freedom is very much more in line with the notion of positive liberties, whereas the copyfree version of freedom is more in line with the notion of negative liberties.

                                I don’t believe either one correspond that well to the colloquial definition of freedom which simply means “less/without restriction” without any other qualifiers.

                                With that said, in my view, there are at least three definitions of freedom at play here.

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                                  I can’t tell if you’re agreeing with me or not because we have too many meaning associated with “freedom”… It’s… a conundrum.

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                                    I think I was just adding some extra clarification. But based on your other comments in this thread, we seem to be in general agreement.

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                                      Okay, cool.

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                            I don’t think the problem is with having different definitions of “freedom”. I think that Stallman agrees with freedom being “the ability to act without restraint or restriction”.

                            The problem is that Stallman promotes user freedom while non-copyleft license like BSD/MIT promotes programmer freedom. Stallman wants a future where every computer programs are free. But to achieve this goal, he wants to prevent non-free software from using free software, in order to slow down as much as possible the development of non-free software.

                            This is paradoxical because to promote freedom, he has to withdraw the liberty of using a free software with a non-free one :)

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                              It’s not paradoxical. No freedoms are removed or restricted, it’s entirely his (and anyone else who follows that philosophy’s) choice to not use non-free software.

                              I’m also not entirely sure that non-copyleft licenses like the BSD/MIT promote programmer freedom while copyleft licenses promote user freedom, because the entire purpose of copyleft is to let programmers play with other programmer’s changes/improvements.

                              I can see the FSF/other Free Software peoples' point, I just disagree…

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                                That’s a programmer-centric viewpoint. The fundamental goal of FSF to guarantee that users have control over the software they run. They may use that control directly if they are programmers, or they may hire programmers if needed, but either way the actual benefit is aimed at users. A social movement that only improved the lives of programmers would be pretty sadly limited…

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                                  It’s not paradoxical. No freedoms are removed or restricted, it’s entirely his (and anyone else who follows that philosophy’s) choice to not use non-free software.

                                  What I meant is that a GPL licensed software removes my “freedom” to combine this software with another non-free software. This is what I consider paradoxical. The goal of the GPL is “to guarantee that I have control over the software I run” (like wrs wrote in another comment), but to achieve this goal I’m forbidden to combine this software with a non-free one. I’m not saying this is good or bad, I just think this is an interesting situation. I can do anything I want with a GPLed software, except combining it with a non-free software. Whatever definition of freedom is used, this clearly reduces my freedom on the short term, even if I understand the long term goal of the FSF (to give a kind of competitive advantage to free software and level the playing field).

                                  I’m also not entirely sure that non-copyleft licenses like the BSD/MIT promote programmer freedom while copyleft licenses promote user freedom, because the entire purpose of copyleft is to let programmers play with other programmer’s changes/improvements.

                                  I agree. Copyleft licenses promote user and programmer freedom (not just the user). What I wrote in my previous comment was ambiguous.

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                              We can’t discuss what effect different licenses have on “freedom”, because we’re not going to agree on what that word means.

                              Indeed, you’re 100% correct. I suppose I was being too coy in my initial comment. :-) It’s similar to the criticism I was lodging against Stallman.

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                                Sure, and I think that his insistence on the word freedom is a mistake that encourages his detractors to engage on an abstract level instead of discussing concrete goals & results.

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                          “They hate us for our freedom.”

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                          Making your own, custom laptop obviously seems expensive and difficult, but it seems plausible to design a laptop and fund it’s manufacturing through KickStarter.