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Free Talk Live => General => Topic started by: Alex Libman on March 29, 2009, 05:20:34 PM

Title: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on March 29, 2009, 05:20:34 PM
I've recently lifted a self-imposed taboo of Microsoft software, but I still care about being able to use and develop software without falling victim to "intellectual property" aggression.  The line between free software and proprietary isn't black-and-white, there are many shades of gray.  Thus, without doing much prior research, I'd like to brainstorm up a scale of software freedom vs software tyranny.  There obviously are many potential combinations of restrictions and finer details, so I'll only try to hit the fundamental ones.  This is my first whack at it, I'll probably revise it over time:
























OK, so people concerned about software freedom will try to use software that falls as low on this scale as possible, like using a BSD operating system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Software_Distribution) instead of Windows or even Linux, or coding in Python instead of Java.

Does anyone have any tips for using less tyrannical software?  Please share.  :D

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on April 03, 2009, 09:19:53 PM
So, anyone have any opinions on choosing freer-than-GPL software whenever possible?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: blackie on April 03, 2009, 09:29:15 PM
So, anyone have any opinions on choosing freer-than-GPL software whenever possible?

Roll your own.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: M83 on April 04, 2009, 07:57:43 AM
That's always bothered me about the GPL, too -- how is it "free" software if I'm not free to do whatever I want with it?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on April 04, 2009, 09:48:12 AM
So, anyone have any opinions on choosing freer-than-GPL software whenever possible?


I do what I want cuz a pirate is free, yarr!
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: NHArticleTen on April 04, 2009, 10:33:41 AM

seems more and more folks are carrying around Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux...

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on April 05, 2009, 05:22:54 PM
I do what I want cuz a pirate is free, yarr!

You're free until someone sends the pigs after you - Bill Gates for trying out Visual Studio without paying for it, Richard Stallman for closed-source-forking a GPL'ed project, etc...  Then you're not so free anymore.


seems more and more folks are carrying around Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux...

That's still GPL.  Damn Small BSD (or MINIX 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINIX_3)) would have been better from software freedom point of view.  Just look at how much good BSD software has done for the industry, for example: MacOS X (BSD/Darwin), Google Chrome / Apple Safari (WebKit),  ActiveState Komodo IDE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ActiveState_Komodo#Komodo_IDE) (non-copyleft scripting languages, scintilla (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scintilla_(editing_component)), etc), and so on.  If Stallman had his way, none of that would be possible.

(http://www.cryptohax.com/humor%5Ctux.jpg) (http://www.cryptohax.com/humor.html)


That's always bothered me about the GPL, too -- how is it "free" software if I'm not free to do whatever I want with it?

It's free as in North Korea - Dear Leader decides what freedom is and isn't...
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: fatcat on April 05, 2009, 05:26:25 PM
Theres nothing wrong with controls on software as long as it is done contractually, and not the bullshit assumed contracts that are currently standard
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on April 24, 2009, 11:19:35 AM
From Slashdot -- Wikipedia Threatens Artists For Fair Use (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/24/1239232) --

Quote
Can a noncommercial website use the trademark of the entity it critiques in its domain name (http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/wikipedia-threatens-)? Surprisingly, it appears that the usually open-minded folks at Wikipedia (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1192818/Wikipedia) think not.

The EFF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Frontier_Foundation) reports that Scott Kildall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kildall) and Nathaniel Stern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Stern) have created a noncommercial website at WikipediaArt.org (http://wikipediaart.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page) intended to comment on the nature of art and Wikipedia. Since "Wikipedia" is a trademark owned by the Wikimedia Foundation (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home), the Foundation has demanded that the artists give up the domain name peaceably or it will attempt to take it by legal force.

"Wikipedia should know better. There is no trademark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark) or cybersquatting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting) issue here," writes the EFF's Corynne McSherry (http://www.eff.org/about/staff/corynne-mcsherry). "Moreover, even if US trademark laws somehow reached this noncommercial activity, the artists' use of the mark is an obvious fair use." It is hard to see what Wikipedia gains by litigating this matter but easy to see how they lose. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect)

This is particularly depressing.  Notice how I haven't stopped linking to Wikipedia, even though they've banned me for calling Global Warming a hoax, and now this.  I wanted, as a gag, to hyperlink everything I usually hyperlink to Wikipedia to other online encyclopedias, but they seem to be missing very basic articles, and are otherwise harder to work with...  So then, is Wikipedia becoming a "natural monopoly" that cannot be forked, and is my addiction to it partially to blame?  Switching away from an OS, an app, or a search engine is easy.  Switching away from a service site like MySpace or YouTube is harder, but it still can be done.  But Wikipedia, on the other hand...  We're trapped!  The horror...  The horror...  :|
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: NHArticleTen on April 24, 2009, 11:36:10 AM
From Slashdot -- Wikipedia Threatens Artists For Fair Use (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/24/1239232) --

Quote
Can a noncommercial website use the trademark of the entity it critiques in its domain name (http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/wikipedia-threatens-)? Surprisingly, it appears that the usually open-minded folks at Wikipedia (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1192818/Wikipedia) think not.

The EFF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Frontier_Foundation) reports that Scott Kildall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kildall) and Nathaniel Stern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Stern) have created a noncommercial website at WikipediaArt.org (http://wikipediaart.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page) intended to comment on the nature of art and Wikipedia. Since "Wikipedia" is a trademark owned by the Wikimedia Foundation (http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Home), the Foundation has demanded that the artists give up the domain name peaceably or it will attempt to take it by legal force.

"Wikipedia should know better. There is no trademark (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark) or cybersquatting (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybersquatting) issue here," writes the EFF's Corynne McSherry (http://www.eff.org/about/staff/corynne-mcsherry). "Moreover, even if US trademark laws somehow reached this noncommercial activity, the artists' use of the mark is an obvious fair use." It is hard to see what Wikipedia gains by litigating this matter but easy to see how they lose. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect)

This is particularly depressing.  Notice how I haven't stopped linking to Wikipedia, even though they've banned me for calling Global Warming a hoax, and now this.  I wanted, as a gag, to hyperlink everything I usually hyperlink to Wikipedia to other online encyclopedias, but they seem to be missing very basic articles, and are otherwise harder to work with...  So then, is Wikipedia becoming a "natural monopoly" that cannot be forked, and is my addiction to it partially to blame?  Switching away from an OS, an app, or a search engine is easy.  Switching away from a service site like MySpace or YouTube is harder, but it still can be done.  But Wikipedia, on the other hand...  We're trapped!  The horror...  The horror...  :|


chime

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Ghost of Alex Libman on April 29, 2009, 12:37:51 PM
From Slashdot -- Is Apache Or GPL Better For Open-Source Business? (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/29/1440254&art_pos=3) --

Quote
While the GPL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License) powers as much as 77% of all SourceForge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SourceForge) projects, Eric Raymond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_S._Raymond) argues that the GPL is "a confession of fear and weakness" that "slows down open-source adoption (http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=928)" because of the fear and uncertainty the GPL provokes. Raymond's argument seems to be that if openness is the winning strategy (http://opensolutionsalliance.org/osa/osaalert(apr09)-tiemann.html?x_lf_kt=2&_x_lf_kvid=b63e6e94-dd3f-4d5f-905b-9ea79a559ad8), an argument Michael Tiemann (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Tiemann) advocates, wouldn't it make sense to use the most open license?

Geir Magnusson (http://blogs.codehaus.org/people/geir/) of the Apache Software Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Software_Foundation) suggests that there are few "pure" GPL-only open-source projects (http://blogs.codehaus.org/people/geir/archives/001690_not_just_the_gpl_or_no_one_would_use_it.html), as GPL-prone developers have to "modify it in some way to get around the enforcement of Freedom(SM) in GPL so people can use the project". But the real benefit of Apache-style licensing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_License) may not be for developers at all, and rather accrue to businesses hoping to drive adoption of their products: Apache licensing may encourage broader, deeper adoption than the GPL (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10229817-16.html).

The old GPL vs. BSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BSD_licenses) / Apache debate may not be about developer preferences so much as new business realities.

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: anarchir on April 29, 2009, 01:08:01 PM
[youtube=425,350]y_ctSlBxptM[/youtube]
So, anyone have any opinions on choosing freer-than-GPL software whenever possible?


I do what I want cuz a pirate is free, yarr!

Same here!
[youtube=425,350]pZ_btTYk9v4[/youtube]
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Harry Tuttle on April 29, 2009, 09:17:19 PM
I used to like H2G2.com before Wikipedia came along.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A8906790 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A8906790)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Kevin Freeheart on May 01, 2009, 05:17:04 PM
Software licensing depends on coersive force. They all suck.

As I refuse to comply with unethical laws, I merely ignore all license and do what I want anyway.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on November 20, 2009, 12:11:31 AM
(BUMP)

I'd really like to get more feedback on this.


...


BTW, a minor correction to the original post: I wrote "Software Tyranny Level 4" twice, forgetting to increment the number, and now it's too late to edit because I've cycled accounts.  Also, I've described Qt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qt_%28toolkit%29)'s license as a tiny bit more tyrannical than it is, because I didn't know they've made LGPL an option since version 4.5.  And some existing licenses are similar to the "Libman License" described above, including WTFPL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTFPL) (permissive) and HESSLA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacktivismo_Enhanced-Source_Software_License_Agreement) (reciprocal - but deeply flawed).



Software licensing depends on coersive force.  They all suck.

Yeah, but some suck more than others.  GPL clearly encourages government force, even more so than closed source does, because proprietary / closed-source can still exist in a free society through contract law, while GPL can't.  Most developers use the BSD license only for its warranty clause - to discourage others from using the government to initiate aggression against them!

With Google BSD'ing (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=31254.msg574662#msg574662) many awesome Web-browser components, I'm starting to revive hope of a full-stack libertarian (aka "pure BSD") OS being functional on the desktop.  All libertarians who use (or plan to try) GNU/Linux should watch this first:

[youtube=425,350]mMmbjJI5su0[/youtube]


(NOTICE:    THIS THREAD IS PROVIDED WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, ESPECIALLY
                    IF THE LULZ IN THE ABOVE VIDEO MAKE YOU POOP YOUR PANTS.)

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on November 22, 2009, 01:19:53 AM
Software licensing depends on coersive force. They all suck.

As I refuse to comply with unethical laws, I merely ignore all license and do what I want anyway.

yes, this was my point
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on November 22, 2009, 02:03:00 AM
Yes, but it would make more sense to invest your time and learning / coding effort into software components that are the least likely to initiate aggression against you or others (lowest on the "Software Tyranny Level" list above).

In the "free software" world, this means choosing Python (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_Software_Foundation_License) / Tcl / Lua over GPL'ed scripting languages like Ruby, for example,  or PostgreSQL / SQLite over MySQL,  BSD / MINIX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINIX_3) over Linux kernel,  Xiph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiph.Org_Foundation) over other audio / video codecs,  vim / mg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mg_%28editor%29) over GNU Emacsen,  IntelliJ IDEA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IntelliJ_IDEA) Community Edition over Eclipse over NetBeans,  a future stable Chromium fork over Firefox,  Harmony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Harmony) over other JVM's, Rasterbar's library (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libtorrent_(Rasterbar)) over full-GPL BT clients, etc, etc, etc.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: TimeLady Victorious on November 22, 2009, 03:35:43 AM
The GNU is something I will never give a damn about.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Zhwazi on November 22, 2009, 07:45:32 AM
I think it's funny how the FSF calls BSD licenses "permissive" without calling the GPL "restrictive", preferring to call itself "copyleft". Doublespeak muchwise?

I'm not sure what will happen first, GPL's deliberate incompatiblity with everything driving Linux users bonkers until they get so frustrated with Linux's poor reimplementations, or the GPL actually being tested in court, found inconsistent, and getting thrown out for being the bullshit it is.

I'm entertained by how Stallman has actually argued in OPPOSITION to the pirate party who wants everything to be public-domain after 5 years because then all GNU code would be unprotected by the GPL if it's more than 5 years old.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on November 22, 2009, 11:33:25 AM
I didn't know that...  What an asshole...  :x

Unfortunately the FOSS world is stuck with some copyleft components that are still pretty much impossible to replace, like gcc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection) for example, and pretty much anything desktop-related.  I just tried the latest snapshots of E17 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_%28window_manager%29#E17) again - still sucks.  :cry:


Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Zhwazi on November 22, 2009, 01:47:36 PM
I didn't know that...  What an asshole...  :x

Unfortunately the FOSS world is stuck with some copyleft components that are still pretty much impossible to replace, like gcc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection) for example, and pretty much anything desktop-related.  I just tried the latest snapshots of E17 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_%28window_manager%29#E17) again - still sucks.  :cry:
OpenBSD and NetBSD people are trying to make PCC a viable alternative (they don't like how GCC keeps dropping support for architectures they need it to support), OpenSolaris already uses Sun's compiler instead (though I don't think it's open source), and FreeBSD is trying to get itself to compile completely with Clang/LLVM ("almost works" except any C++). I even heard talk that Linux is trying to get itself independent from GCC, though not as hard as other free OSes are.

All hope is not yet lost!
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on November 22, 2009, 02:54:09 PM
Yeah, I'm watching the Clang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang) / LLVM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Level_Virtual_Machine) projects and the attempts to integrate them into BSD with great anticipation, but it will probably take a couple of years before all ports (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ports_collection) can be reliably compiled and the GNU compiler / toolchain can be abandoned completely.

By the way, it's starting to look like Python will be the major scripting language of a GNU-free UNIX OS.  Once again, the corporate hero there is Google with its unladen-swallow (http://code.google.com/p/unladen-swallow/) project (which also uses LLVM).  Python is also the easiest way to script libtorrent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libtorrent_%28Rasterbar%29) / python-ogg, because all major front-ends for those BSD libraries are either copyleft themselves or have copyleft dependencies.

I'm a big fan of Ousterhout's dichotomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ousterhout%27s_dichotomy) - a language should either be system-oriented or scripting oriented.  Unfortunately there's also a dichotomy between generations: the current (C for systems, Python for scripting) and Google's vision for the future (Go for systems, Web client / server-side JavaScript for scripting) - so that's 4 languages to be concerned with.  Everything else (Java, Obj-C / C++, perl, ruby, PHP, lua, tcl, bash scripts, etc) should be phased out, the sooner the better.  The older generation will be around for a long time, until JavaScript gradually gets more libraries than Python / PHP, and all systems software (including the kernels) are rewritten in Go.  Then - singularity!  :lol:

Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Zhwazi on November 23, 2009, 12:05:12 AM
Yeah, I'm watching the Clang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang) / LLVM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Level_Virtual_Machine) projects and the attempts to integrate them into BSD with great anticipation, but it will probably take a couple of years before all ports (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ports_collection) can be reliably compiled and the GNU compiler / toolchain can be abandoned completely.

By the way, it's starting to look like Python will be the major scripting language of a GNU-free UNIX OS.  Once again, the corporate hero there is Google with its unladen-swallow (http://code.google.com/p/unladen-swallow/) project (which also uses LLVM).  Python is also the easiest way to script libtorrent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libtorrent_%28Rasterbar%29) / python-ogg, because all major front-ends for those BSD libraries are either copyleft themselves or have copyleft dependencies.

I'm a big fan of Ousterhout's dichotomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ousterhout%27s_dichotomy) - a language should either be system-oriented or scripting oriented.  Unfortunately there's also a dichotomy between generations: the current (C for systems, Python for scripting) and Google's vision for the future (Go for systems, Web client / server-side JavaScript for scripting) - so that's 4 languages to be concerned with.  Everything else (Java, Obj-C / C++, perl, ruby, PHP, lua, tcl, bash scripts, etc) should be phased out, the sooner the better.  The older generation will be around for a long time, until JavaScript gradually gets more libraries than Python / PHP, and all systems software (including the kernels) are rewritten in Go.  Then - singularity!  :lol:

I wouldn't be disappointed with C and Python ruling the world together. :P
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on November 23, 2009, 12:13:57 AM
Software freedom...

If it's run on a "cloud", it ain't free.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on November 23, 2009, 04:13:04 AM
I wouldn't be disappointed with C and Python ruling the world together.  :P

Neither would I, but...  [moved rant to a more appropriate thread] (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28632.msg575325#msg575325).


If it's run on a "cloud", it ain't free.

I'm talking about the software, not the services.  If the software is BSD-licensed then there's nothing Google can put in them that a fork cannot remove.

And it also depends on who runs the cloud.  If it's a government-licensed corporation, definitely not - we're talking Big Brother 2.0 here.  But if it's FreeStaterNet, a wireless P2P mesh meant to stay resilient even if the whole Internet disappears, a local "friendly cloud" can be a very good thing.  You're not going to host a mirror of Wikipedia and 1000s of other relevant Web sites, FTP servers, mailing lists, etc in your own basement, are you?  If you would - awesome, but most people would not, thus if you're willing to share your IT resources with them then you would become their "cloud", like a SysOP of a dial-up BBS in the olden days.  (Ah, memories...)  There are many new and evolving ideas for setting up locally-owned government-proof communications infrastructure like that.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on November 23, 2009, 04:14:28 AM
Fuck clouds.  And you can quote me on that.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 07, 2009, 01:52:30 AM
From Slashdot -- Palm Sued Over Palm Pre GPL Violation (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/12/07/0232243/Palm-Sued-Over-Palm-Pre-GPL-Violation) --

Quote
Palm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm,_Inc.) is being sued by Artifex Software over the PDF viewer (http://www.techworld.com.au/article/328719/lawsuit_alleges_palm_pre_violates_copyright) in Palm's Pre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Pre) smartphone, which may violate the GNU GPL.  Artifex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostscript#History) alleges that Palm has copied Artifex's PDF rendering engine, called muPDF, and integrated it into the Palm Pre's PDF viewer application without the proper licensing conditions.  The entire application must be licensed under the GPL if muPDF is part of the application.  [...]
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 15, 2009, 01:07:53 AM
From Slashdot -- SFLC Sues 14 Companies For BusyBox GPL Violations (http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/12/14/210207/SFLC-Sues-14-Companies-For-BusyBox-GPL-Violations) --

Quote
The Software Freedom Law Center (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_Freedom_Law_Center) has filed a lawsuit accusing fourteen companies, including Best Buy, Samsung and Westinghouse, of violating the GPL in nearly 20 separate products (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/2009/dec/14/busybox-gpl-lawsuit/). This is similar to earlier BusyBox GPL suits (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/08/03/17/1854252/Settlement-Reached-in-Verizon-GPL-Violation-Suit). The commercial uses of BusyBox must be much more prolific than anyone could have imagined. Having dealt with hundreds of compliance problems and finding an average of one violation per day (http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/11/10/1540242/SFLC-Finds-One-New-GPL-Violation-Per-Day), the SFLC recommends one thing: be responsive to their requests (they try to settle things in private first) lest you find one of these (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/resources/2009/busybox-complaint-2009-12-14.pdf) (PDF) in your inbox.


My daily rant:  Restrictive licenses like (L)GPL rely on government force, which makes it no different ethically than proprietary software, and its viral and economically unsustainable nature makes it even worse!  Only permissively-licensed software like BSD and Apache is truly "free", and there's nothing wrong with using proprietary software if it makes economic sense to do so.  Software freedom should be driven by free market competition, not government force!


EDIT: an update from Slashdot -- Busybox Developer Responds To Andersen-SFLC Lawsuits (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/12/15/1925257/Busybox-Developer-Responds-To-Andersen-SFLC-Lawsuits) --

Quote
"I'm the creator of the Busybox program.  I have released a statement on the past and current Busybox lawsuits (http://perens.com/blog/2009/12/15/23/), which do not represent my interest."
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 15, 2009, 11:56:45 PM
From another thread -

I didn't come (http://ubuntuforums.org/member.php?u=965147) to UbuntuForums.org (http://ubuntuforums.org/) to be a troll, but my outspokenness on Global Warming (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1353254&page=5) and especially on restrictive vs permissive "free" software licensing issues (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1355497) [2] (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1354778) will probably get me "in trouble" once again.  [...]

My experiences in trying to debate GPL worshipers have been so negative (this time they just locked my thread and deleted by best posts - hours of hard work down the drain) that I'm thinking of quitting all GPL software cold turkey.  I'm not sure I can do this yet without going back to Microsoft (which is much less evil, but nonetheless evil)...  There are many software components for which permissively-licensed equivalents simply don't exist...  :cry:
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 17, 2009, 04:55:19 PM
The Ubuntu fascists continued to censor any discussion of software freedom philosophy on their forum and mercilessly deleting my posts, locking threads, etc.  I swear, the next time I see a person call Linux "free software" I'll cut his fucking balls off!  :x


Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: blackie on December 17, 2009, 05:05:43 PM
There are many software components for which permissively-licensed equivalents simply don't exist...  :cry:
Roll your own.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 17, 2009, 05:25:37 PM
C'mon, we don't even have a solid permissively-licensed C/C++ compiler and build toolchain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_toolchain)...  I can't rewrite stuff like FFmpeg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FFmpeg), GStreamer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GStreamer), Asterisk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_%28PBX%29), etc, etc, etc all by myself...  (Life's too short - and I'd rather just use proprietary software, which truth be told is of much better quality anyway (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28047)).

That's why it's so important that we inform other liberty-loving individuals that copyleft software encourages government force, and that it's likely to increase in the future.  GPL v4 might require that all program output (software compiled, files served, etc) be GPL'ed.  GPL v5 may further forbid mixing copyleft components with non-copyleft ones.  And GPL v6 might be accompanied by government legislation that open source writers be compensated for their work through tax-victim money (how else can they make their software philosophy economically sustainable?)  Etc...  :x
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 22, 2009, 01:44:59 PM
I wrote another rant for another seemingly-libertarian forum (http://www.graveyardofthegods.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=9441):

Quote
Hi.  I'm new on this forum, and what inspired me to seek more feedback from other libertarians / Anarcho-Capitalists today is an issue I've been wrestling with for the past several weeks: reorienting my career as a programmer / database administrator / general small business "computer guy" around a software philosophy that is the most compatible with my ideology.


Does proprietary software always violate the Non-Aggression Principle?

The obvious answer to that seems to be yes - companies like Microsoft rely on government force to punish people for copying 1's and 0's that originate from them, even though copying does not really constitute an initiation of aggression against Microsoft, and those users have no clear contractual obligation not to copy.  (A good summary of the Anarcho-Capitalist position on the so-called "intellectual property" was recently presented in a series of episodes of the Complete Liberty (http://completeliberty.com/) podcast (http://completeliberty.libsyn.com/).)

It is very easy for me to imagine, however, how companies like Microsoft could still make a profit (though possibly a more modest one) in a government-free society by selling business contracts, student certification contracts, bundling software with other products and services, and so on.  They might even do better in absence of taxation, tariffs, antitrust regulation, restrictions on hiring of labor, and so forth.  There seems to be no limit to how far Microsoft's enemies will go to suppress the free market environment in which Microsoft is currently so dominant (without, of course, blaming Microsoft's use of government force, on which they also depend).

As a developer, I must also complement Microsoft on the recent improvement in the quality of their desktop products (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28047) - which lured me back out of the Linux-land earlier this year.  And I certainly never had any problems pirating their software (I've pirated every MS OS since DOS 5.00), which has actually profited Microsoft in the long run because it enabled me to bring value to many companies that were shelling out obscene sums of money for legitimate licenses, and in most cases it actually did make objective business sense for them to do so.  But my relationship with Microsoft has never been an easy one, knowing that they are in bed with the government and can betray their users' trust at any time.


Is restrictively-licensed "free" software really any better?

Over the past decade I've been using the GNU/Linux (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU/Linux_naming_controversy) software stack at every opportunity, although work commitments and hardware / software compatibility limitations have made that pretty difficult much of the time.  Linux is the undisputed leader on Web servers, where most of my recent development work has taken place, and it is gradually catching up to Windows and Mac OS on the desktop, having recently surpassed the 1% market share (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems) in that category, though it still has a long way to go in terms of simplicity and noob (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newbie) appeal.

Unfortunately (at least from the point of view that ignorance was bliss), I've recently become aware of the fact that in reality the "copyleft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft)" software movement relies on government force even more so than proprietary software does, and would be completely impossible without it.  Consider, for example, Richard Stalinman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman) (typo intentional - see his personal site (http://stallman.org/)) speaking out AGAINST (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/pirate-party.html) the so-called Pirate Parties (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party) that were trying to limit the extent of government force in the name of the false construct called "intellectual property"!

It would have been natural to expect that free market competition would have quickly lead to over-saturation of some segments of the software market, resulting in prices stabilizing at the cost of distribution (essentially zero) and the competition of licensing terms resulting in software becoming open source and free of restrictive licenses, essentially public domain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain).  The "copyleft" socialists succeeded in jumping ahead of that bandwagon (as successful socialists tend to do) and convinced everybody that the only way software can ever be free is through the use of restrictive software licenses, most notably GPL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License).

Consider, for example, the case of the BusyBox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BusyBox) software - most of that program's functionality was freely borrowed from permissively-licensed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permissive_free_software_licence) UNIX code, and then released as restrictive GPL.  When a number of companies tried to leverage that program for their benefit, however, the copyleft lobby used government force to initiate legal proceedings against them (http://linux.slashdot.org/story/09/12/14/210207/SFLC-Sues-14-Companies-For-BusyBox-GPL-Violations) (in spite of the fact that the BusyBox author wasn't entirely supportive of their actions (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/12/15/1925257/Busybox-Developer-Responds-To-Andersen-SFLC-Lawsuits))!

A license like GPL has even less contractual validity than a proprietary EULA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license_agreement#End-user_license_agreement), which could be argued comes about at the point of the sale.  In a free society, a contract can be defined as a "meeting of minds", described in unambiguous written language, which is then insured by an arbitration authority (not necessarily a government monopoly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycentric_law)) that is then responsible for its enforcement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_defense_agency).  A "copyright" text-file inside a tar file you come across clearly isn't a legitimate contract that would hold up in a government-free society!

Due to its "viral" nature, GPL has spread throughout the open source no÷sphere like a hurricane!  Gullible developers (most of whom spend all their time thinking about code and little time contemplating philosophy) who had doubts about the commercial value of their work were convinced that simply giving away their source code wasn't enough, they had to license it to keep the "evil corporations" from "taking advantage of it".  In reality that's nothing but FUD, because a corporation that created a proprietary fork of your downstream work is only closed-sourcing their own contributions to it, which they should be free to do, while copies of your original code remain open source for anyone else to use as they see fit.

GPL forcefully demands that all derived works be released under the same restrictive license, and even static-linking to a GPL-licensed library usually requires that your work be GPL'ed also.  The ambiguity of this issue has worked in GPL's favor, and I personally know many developers who were confused into thinking that the GPL license (which is pretty long and written in legalese) was more restrictive than it actually was, and thought they were obligated to release their code as GPL if they developed in on a GPL'ed system (ex. Linux) or with a GNU compiler (ex. gcc).  While for now that usually isn't the case, there's always a chance that the GPL license will expands its powers in its future versions.  Successful socialists know how to phase in their agenda gradually, to keep the frog mellow in its ever-warming water instead of jumping out from shock.  The recently released GPL version 3 was more restrictive than its predecessor, and who knows what a future GPL v4, v5, or v6 would bring?

The copyleft-enforcement industry is still in its larval stages, but it can grow very quickly some time in the future, and they already claim to come across one GPL violation (a potential lawsuit) every single day.  Of course most slaves don't need to be whipped every single day, and the mere fear of falling victim to a GPL lawsuit will be enough to force most people into compliance.  Unfortunately, when it comes to software, proving that your code is original and didn't come from one of countless thousands of GPL projects can be very difficult, and two independently-written pieces of code that do the same thing can end up looking quite similar.  Just like becoming a proficient writer in the English language requires one to do a lot of reading, serious programmers spend a lot of time reading other people's source code to pick up the best algorithms, and there usually is one way to do something that is more efficient than all others.  Even if you're lucky enough to get a competent judge / jury and are found innocent, the legal proceeding are likely to have cost you weeks of your time and tends of thousands of dollars in legal fees!

That possibility can have a powerful chilling effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilling_effect_%28term%29) on the software industry.  Even under reasonable legal standards for burden of proof - if you've worked on a GPL'ed database program when you were in college, can you ever go on to work on a proprietary database program when you graduate without fear that some of your code will end up looking "too similar"?

All this leads to ever-more people being forced to GPL their code, thus almost entirely destroying the free market in the software industry (support services being an exception).  Much of the current open-source software was paid for with tax-victim dollars through military research and public universities (open source writers in some European countries enjoy free university education and even a government stipend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stipend)), and some came about as the result of a short-term game theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory) phenomenon where companies like IBM and Oracle found it in their interest to hurt Microsoft as much as they can (which wouldn't be the case w/o Microsoft's intellectual property dominance, which is backed by government force).  In the long term, this leads to an ever-greater fraction of the software industry being subsidized by the government, which some copyleft proponents actively lobby for, and with government subsidies greater government control is pretty much inevitable.

I am not against people using copyleft software any more than I am against people using proprietary software, but I do have a problem with them calling the former "free" and the latter "evil".  True freedom comes from avoiding institutionalized aggression, not from trying to use the government force in the name of doing good, which historically has always backfired!


What other alternatives are there?

Several months ago I've started ranting about a "Software Freedom Scale (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28400)" that ranks different software licenses according to the amount of government force they are based on, public domain being the ideal.  It is important to  note, however, that aggression-free software isn't always 100% guaranteed to be zero-cost and open source - a programmer has no more obligation to release his source code than a book writer his research notes, or a sculptor a video of every stroke of his chisel.  Having the software you use be open sourced is a very important benefit, but that benefit must come from qualitative competition between various alternatives, not from mandatory transparency through government force!

There is hardly any good software out there that exists in the public domain, but the next best thing seems to be permissively-licensed software whose licenses were actually intended to prevent someone else from suing the authors in case that software does something naughty (though such disclaimers would not be necessary in a society with rational jurisprudence).  Some of those licenses also forcefully require proper attribution, which shouldn't be necessary in a free society because there are many other ways to prove who did what first, but I don't think there's any history or potential for that clause to be used as a trigger for substantial legal aggression.

It is also important to note that this "Freedom Scale" was simplified to ignore things like whether that software originated through government aggression (as is the case for much of it), and the ideology of the programmers involved (I was particularly upset by a recent example (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1451590&cid=30173908) of a programmer I idolize being a total commie).  History is filled with evil things, and we are all standing on the shoulders of slave-traders, warmongers, and other savages - what matters is that we do the right thing going forward.  (I have briefly considered the possibility of a license that specifically denies all rights to any government employees and other NAP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle) violators, but that would obviously be unenforceable and comically hypocritical.)

So this leaves us with permissively-licensed open source software, which isn't as popular as copyleft or proprietary software, but still gives us a solid foundation to leverage.  The so-called "Anarcho-Capitalist software stack" begins with any of multiple competing BSD-licensed UNIX operating systems: FreeBSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeBSD) (and its derivatives like PC-BSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC-BSD), which are great for new users), OpenBSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenBSD), NetBSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetBSD), DragonFly BSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DragonFly_BSD) (my emerging favorite), and someday maybe even a derivative of MINIX 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINIX_3).  Although the BSD family of operating systems use competing implementation ideas, they voluntarily adhere to a common UNIX philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_Free_or_Die#Unix) and industry standards (much more so than Linux), and it can be as easy to switch between different BSD's as it is between Linux distributions, especially when you're using a common package management system like pkgsrc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pkgsrc).  I must admit that Linux has just recently surpassed all BSD's in performance and portability, but that only happened due to a massive inflow of funds from companies like IBM, and the BSD projects could easily catch up and surpass Linux if more people started contributing, which is fairly likely to happen as more people come to see the down-side of copyleft aggression.

A lot of people use BSD and similarly licensed code, but they're more likely to release their own open source work as GPL for reasons stated above. It even could be argued that BSD-licensed operating systems have a 100% market share, because I can think of no noteworthy operating system that didn't borrow some code from them - most famously Mac OS X, but Windows and Linux as well!   :wink:

The X server (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X.Org_Server) (the core GUI foundations that most UNIX-based operating systems use) is permissively licensed, but most noob-friendly desktop environments (ex. KDE, Gnome, Xfce, ROX, etc) are not.  There are a few less popular window managers that are permissively licensed (ex. Enlightenment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_%28window_manager%29), Fluxbox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluxbox), JWM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JWM), and the Compiz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compiz) 3D effects engine), but that is becoming ever less relevant as more and more software is starting to function though the Web browser.  This is good news, because there's finally a real possibility of a permissively-licensed open sourced Web browser coming about some time in the future, all thanks to Google's Chromium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_%28web_browser%29)!  The current version of that browser still isn't entirely stable, still married to Google's motives, and still uses some GPL code, but its BSD components will inevitably be used to create a new browser some time in the future, which I see becoming a backbone of a complete permissively licensed desktop environment with AJAX-powered widgets.

Fortunately my favorite database tools (PostgreSQL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostgreSQL) and SQLite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostgreSQL)) are already permissively licensed, as are many other great server-side components (ex. apache (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_HTTP_Server), ssh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell), pureftpd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure-FTPd), bind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BIND), cyrus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_IMAP_server), qmail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qmail), etc), and a sufficient selection of shell tools and scripting languages.  I never found any serious need for a complete IDE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_development_environment), so I've always used free non-copyleft editors like vi and SciTE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SciTE).  The biggest GPL'ed villain in an average developer's software stack is the GCC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection) compiler and the rest of the GNU toolchain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_toolchain), but it may soon be possible to replace it with Clang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang), and perhaps even new programming languages like Google's Go (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28programming_language%29), or Apache Foundation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Software_Foundation)'s noble efforts to rebuild all Java components (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Harmony) (and a complete application server (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Geronimo)) under their permissive business-friendly license.

Unfortunately there are still some gaps in the permissive software stack that current software just cannot fill.  For example, we have a great BSD-licensed BitTorrent library (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libtorrent), but all of the GUI clients that use it are GPL'ed.  We also have a similar situation with BSD-licensed multimedia codecs from Xiph.org (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiph.Org_Foundation) (ex. ogg, vorbis / theora), but there doesn't seem to be any permissive media player program out there (except playing them in Chromium via HTML5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5) audio / video tags), and since most video you come across online is in other formats non-permissive software like FFmpeg or GStreamer is most often needed for conversion.  Of course I have no moral qualms about just using a Windows box in addition to my primary BSD boxes, with the Windows box doing all my shady P2P and codec crunching for me and spitting out a nice standards-compliant HTML5 interface for playing any multimedia files that I need.  ;)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on December 29, 2009, 09:48:13 PM
Bah, I wanted to post the above-quoted rant on several Anarcho-Capitalist forums, but ended up only posting it on one small forum where it didn't really take off, and more recently on the FSP Inc's forum (http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?topic=19771).  I'll post it on more forums in the future - unless someone beats me to it of course.  (Just please let me know about it, so I don't annoy the same forums with a duplicate.)  Needless to say - the text is public domain.  ;)

An interesting terminology started to evolve on that FSP forum thread: RL for Restrictively Licensed software (ex. GNU), PL for Permissively Licensed software (ex. BSD), and PD for Public Domain.  Not sure if it's a good idea because it'll make my threads less visible to the likes of Google, but it does save a bit of typing in most of my paragraphs.


In other BSD-related news, from OpenBSD journal (undeadly.org) (http://undeadly.org/) -- Call for testing: pcc and the OpenBSD kernel (http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=article&sid=20091228231142) --

Quote
Michael Dexter from BSD Fund (http://bsdfund.org/) writes in with an update on pcc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_C_Compiler) developments:

Quote
Anders Magnusson (ragge@) reports that pcc (http://pcc.ludd.ltu.se/) can now build a bootable OpenBSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenBSD) -current x86 kernel and that amd64 support is coming soon. Your testing using a fresh snapshot (http://pcc.ludd.ltu.se/downloads/) is greatly appreciated.

Please report any bugs in the pcc bug database (http://pcc.ludd.ltu.se/jira) and be as precise as possible. Code samples are welcome.

We'd like to thank Jonathan Gray (jsg@) for finding many code-generation bugs that were revealed by the kernel and also the dozen donors who contributed a total of over $750 to this effort this month, bringing us less than $3,000 from our goal.

This is great news for software projects in general, as it is another step to try to diminish the GCC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Compiler_Collection) monoculture and for OpenBSD specifically as this marks the first architecture kernel that can be compiled with this compiler with hopefully many more to come.

PCC should not be confused with Clang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clang) + LLVM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Level_Virtual_Machine), which together form another BSD-licensed C compiler that has been used to compile FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD.

Take that, Richard Stalinman!   :twisted:
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 02, 2010, 09:59:39 PM
News from the desktop BSD front -- PC-BSD 8.0-BETA Released (http://pcbsd.org/) --

Quote
The PC-BSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC-BSD) Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.0-BETA (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeBSD) 8.0-RELEASE, and KDE 4.3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KDE_Software_Compilation_4#KDE_4.3).4

Version 8.0 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/135/11/). Some of the notable changes are:

  • FreeBSD 8.0-Release
  • KDE 4.3.4
  • Brand new System Installer, allows the install of PC-BSD or FreeBSD
  • Run in Live mode directly from DVD
  • Updated Software Manager, allows browsing and installing applications directly
  • Support for 3D acceleration with NVIDIA drivers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia#Documentation_and_drivers) on amd64

Version 8.0-BETA of PC-BSD is available for download (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/137/11/) from our mirrors, and will be available shortly as bittorrent from www.gotbsd.net (http://www.gotbsd.net/). Also, our Pootle Translation (http://www.pcbsd.org:8080/) [WP] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pootle) page has been updated with the latest strings, translators should now be able to finish localizing PC-BSD into their language.

In order to prepare for 8.0-Release, please report any and all bugs to our Trac Database (http://trac.pcbsd.org/) [WP] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trac)!

  • Download PC-BSD 8.0-BETA (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/137/11/)
  • Changelog (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/135/11/)
  • Release Notes (http://www.pcbsd.org/content/view/136/11/)

Direct DVD torrent links: x86 (http://www.gotbsd.net/torrents/PCBSD8.0-BETA-x86-DVD.iso.torrent), x64 (http://www.gotbsd.net/torrents/PCBSD8.0-BETA-x64-DVD.iso.torrent).

PC-BSD is a great way for people addicted to Microsoft or GNU software to replace the core of their operating system without giving up a fancy GUI or ease of installation, package management, and other administrative tasks.  Most new users should probably wait for the stable release, but this is a good opportunity to get your feet wet (ex. via VirtualBox (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VirtualBox)).
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 06, 2010, 06:36:38 AM
Today's excuse for bumping this thread is...  FreeBSD Advocacy Project (http://www.freebsd.org/advocacy/)'s debunking of common anti-BSD myths like:










And the coolest permissive desktop screenshots award goes to...  PCBSD + E17 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_%28window_manager%29#E17)!

(http://files.myopera.com/peispud/albums/141935/2008-10-22-225801.png) (http://forums.pcbsd.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12568)

(or)

(http://files.myopera.com/peispud/albums/141935/2008-10-22-223111.png) (http://forums.pcbsd.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12568)

(click above for more)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 10, 2010, 11:59:26 AM
OK, I no longer advocate using FreeBSD... 

Man, I'm so pissed about this I can't stand it.  FUUUUUCK!  :cry:

Commies, every single one of them!  Not a single pro-Linux / FreeBSD forum (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28728.105) out there where you wouldn't get ostracized or banned for discouraging government violence.  They make the old WiN^WaReZ groups seem like havens of wisdom and integrity in comparison!  I posted my opinion on the FreeBSD forum (http://forums.freebsd.org/) thread that was pushing for government intervention in the Oracle / Sun deal (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28517.30) and I had my account AND ALL MY POSTS fucking deleted by some retard mod!  Even the posts where I was submitting bug reports and helping other users!  FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!?!!!

OK, fine, there might still be one free operating system that isn't totally FUBAR'ed, which is OpenBSD.  Sure, it might be the slowest (http://bulk.fefe.de/scalability/) [2] (http://www.aydogan.net/ruby/mauthesis.com/ruby_bench/) and least supported major UNIX operating system, and it can't boot on my fucking Gateway CX200 laptop (http://www.daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=4220) without freezing it to the point where I have to take the battery out just to turn it off (no OS, not even the early Haiku builds, has ever screwed it up so badly!), but at least its philosophy isn't based on government force...

After all, the brains behind it, Theo de Raadt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_de_Raadt), is well known for his Howard-Roark-like commitment to his values, and his outspokenness against the Iraq War did push a lot of government funding away from his project, and his avoidance of copyleft components does seem to fit with my philosophy perfectly, and he chose to live in Canada's most fiscally-conservative province, etc...  All that seems to indicate that he's a kind of person whose operating system I can proudly use and contribute to without contradicting my Anarcho-Capitalist values!

But I didn't want to spend any time falling in love with this operating system just to discover that its being managed by government-loving assholes, as turned out to be the case with Windows, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, etc...  According to some speculation (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/general-10/how-would-you-describe-theo-de-raadts-politics-673578/) and quotes (search this link for "taxes" (http://slashdot.org/bsd/00/12/11/1455210.shtml) and this link for "let the FCC" (http://kerneltrap.org/node/6550)) that certainly was a possibility...

So I've decided to put common courtesy aside and just e-mailed the guy to ask where he stands!

Here's what I wrote:

Code: [Select]
Theo,

I'm a big fan of all your open source work, with a history of promoting
OpenBSD and its components in some places where I've been employed over
the years, like [NAMES OF COMPANIES DELETED].

Of course you've probably gotten thousands of such "thank you" e-mails
out of the blue before, so I'll just jump to a somewhat impolite
question that I'm really hoping you will answer.  There seems to be a
lot of speculation in some Internet circles about your personal
political opinions, one example being at tinyurl.com/yjzyyeg ...

Now normally I didn't let stupid things like politics get in the way of
good software, but lately my libertarian / Anarcho-Capitalist /
Objectivist philosophy has become a very divisive issue for me,
especially in my increasingly zealous avoidance of software communities
that I see as benefiting from government force: not just proprietary
software but Copyleft as well.  (One could read a summary of my
political philosophy as it pertains to software at tinyurl.com/ykwakf4).

Earlier today I also had a falling out with the FreeBSD community as
well, after a moderator on their forums banned me for my outspoken
opposition on a thread promoting the HelpMySQL.org petition, which I see
as advocating unjustifiable Nanny State interventionism.  This incident
has finally encouraged me to end my addiction to Copyleft multimedia and
blobs on desktop computers, entirely devoting myself to running OpenBSD,
as well as promoting it for technical as well as ideological reasons to
other libertarians in our growing movements.  That could end up becoming
a major campaign, including a customized OpenBSD distribution with a
"Free State Project attitude", but I'd really like to know your opinions
on these matters beforehand.

You probably can't really stop someone from drawing a gun-toting Puffy
holding an Anarcho-Capitalist flag with a sign that says "Taxation Is
Theft", but I'd really like to know how that would make you feel before
I run with the idea. It might have been inappropriate of me to create
this idea in my mind that OpenBSD is particularly compatible with my
philosophy, so I'd really like to get some feedback from you beforehand,
not just what I am allowed to do with your work but also your opinions
on the issues I've mentioned.

I really hope you will reply (in due time of course - I'm sure you have
more important things to worry about).  I would appreciate being able to
quote from your reply on open Internet forums, but I welcome you to
indicate in your reply if/where you don't wish to be quoted, which I
promise to respect.

Either way, once again - thank you very much for your work!

Best regards,
Alex Libman


(EDIT: I initially thought there was something wrong with their mail-server, but then I remembered that some people configure their mail-servers to ignore incoming connections that aren't white-listed the first X hours because spammers tend to give up trying to redeliver sooner than legitimate mail sources do.  Never seen one set the timer to over 6 hours before...)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: error on January 10, 2010, 12:05:24 PM
Ah, idealism meets the Real World. (TM)

The real irony here is I suspect rms is ready to hear the message of liberty.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: BobRobertson on January 10, 2010, 02:51:11 PM
The real irony here is I suspect rms is ready to hear the message of liberty.

Now THAT is something I would really consider a GoodThing(tm, reg us pat off).

He has been very convincing as far as he went, like Milton Friedman in that, but he's stopped short. Likely due to the scientist hubris that "it would work with the right people in control."
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 10, 2010, 03:06:44 PM
Richard Stalinman is enemy #1, or maybe second only to PETA in his nuttiness and hatred of individual rights.

I counted like 35 different calls to violate people's rights on his personal homepage (http://stallman.org/) alone (mixed in with feel-good propaganda, of course, that is how would-be tyrants always operate).  If I had to pick just one it would have to be this: a call for universal government to end all tax competition (http://stallman.org/articles/states-union.html)!  :shock:

That alone should encourage every free-stater with even a nanogram of moral integrity to abandon GNU software for good!
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: digitalfour on January 10, 2010, 03:58:28 PM
Hey Alex, vi or emacs?


 :lol:
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 10, 2010, 04:11:09 PM
Umm, vi (nvi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvi) / vim (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vim)), obviously.  If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to use an emacs editor, I'd use mg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mg_%28editor%29).  I can survive with mg and I can do pretty much everything with vim, but I don't like using them for programming or other tasks that involve jumping between files a lot.  Also, I'm trying not to go blind before I'm 40, and console fonts do stress the eyes more than antialiased GUI, so I'd rather use an editor like SciTE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SciTE) instead.

If your question was meant to suggest that I'm engaging in some pointless "holy war" with the GPL vs BSD thing, well, you might as well say that about all aspects of liberty.  Is tyranny vs freedom another "holy war" cliche where you'd stand aside and giggle while the nerds fight?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: digitalfour on January 10, 2010, 04:36:03 PM
I was being totally serious. Just like always.

Why don't you start some new thing?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 10, 2010, 04:59:48 PM
I'll have to find a way to clone myself first.  Unfortunately my clones are never perfect copies - they always forget to put breaks in their switches or dangle their curly braces in all sorts of ungodly places...  :roll:
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Harry Tuttle on January 11, 2010, 12:16:15 AM
I'll have to find a way to clone myself first.  Unfortunately my clones are never perfect copies - they always forget to put breaks in their switches or dangle their curly braces in all sorts of ungodly places...  :roll:

You are not fooling anyone. You ARE the imperfect clone. You killed the original, jealous of - of all things - his perfect hair.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: BobRobertson on January 11, 2010, 07:51:57 AM
Richard Stalinman is enemy #1, or maybe second only to PETA in his nuttiness and hatred of individual rights.

I would suggest, rather, that he doesn't understand them.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 11, 2010, 10:32:15 AM
Theo de Raadt responded to my e-mail (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28400.msg582991#msg582991)!

Code: [Select]
I am sorry but though I would like to reply in detail there is no
way I can for the next week since I am 100% flooded with 5 more
days of solid hacking in the company of 15 developers, and then
taking a little break.

So far so good.  :D
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 16, 2010, 03:09:01 PM
A couple of anti-GPL vids in case you missed them...


Eric S. Raymond and his opinion of the GPL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEPg2M1qbEs):

[youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/gEPg2M1qbEs&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/gEPg2M1qbEs&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]


BSD v. GPL, Jason Dixon, NYCBSDCon 2008 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMmbjJI5su0):

[youtube=425,350]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/mMmbjJI5su0&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/mMmbjJI5su0&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/youtube]





This week's "coolest permissive desktop screenshot award goes to"...  OpenBSD + JWM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JWM)!

(http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/2928/jwm12.png)

Using copyleft / proprietary software is OK in situations where there simply are no free alternatives, but I'm discovering that a lot of light image work can be done via ImageMagick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageMagick) instead of Gimp, and Chromium (http://www.google.com/search?q=openbsd+chromium) + HTML5 (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=31254.msg584051#msg584051) will soon reduce the need for player apps like XMMS or mplayer.  There are also plenty of freer alternatives to rxvt, like xterm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xterm) and eterm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eterm).


BTW, check out how many libertarians (broadly speaking) there are on this BSD forum (http://www.daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=2336)!
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on January 31, 2010, 11:32:23 AM
Theo de Raadt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_de_Raadt) never got back to me on the politics question (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28400.msg582991#msg582991)...  I was also never able to get OpenBSD working on my other laptop (http://www.daemonforums.org/showthread.php?t=4220), and my main desktop really needs Nvidia support and is slow enough without forcing it to run a slower OS (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_bsd_opensolaris&num=8) on top of (or rather on the bottom of) everything else...   Also I'm in no position to turn down MySQL work at the moment, which unfortunately is far more plentiful than PostgreSQL (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PostgreSQL)...  So I'm taking a break from "my Anarcho-Capitalist software philosophy jihad"...  for a while...  :?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: error on January 31, 2010, 01:16:25 PM
Welcome.....to the real world. :P
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 09, 2010, 07:32:35 PM
The leaders of all major software companies are socialists...












(to be edited and expanded)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 10, 2010, 02:05:02 PM
After being censored and banned from a FOSS forum over ideological dissent yet again (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=29820.msg588440#msg588440), I've decided to give my attempt to strike up an e-mail conversation with Theo de Raadt (http://www.theos.com/deraadt/) one final bump.

As you may recall, I first e-mailed him (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28400.msg582991#msg582991) on the night of January 9th, and he replied two days later (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28400.msg583151#msg583151) saying that he'll get back to me.  I waited (im)patiently, and two weeks later I replied to his reply with the following:

Code: [Select]
Theo,

I understand that you are very busy doing very important things,
and I am looking forward to your reply if/when you ever find the
time to answer.

Then...  nothing.  So this morning I wrote the following:

Code: [Select]
Theo,

I'd really hate to be the kind of clueless e-mail troll who keeps
nagging a VIP, but you did say that you wanted to "reply in detail",
whereas it would probably have taken less of your time to simply block
me.  It's been exactly one month.  You obviously don't owe anyone an
explanation of your political opinions, but some of my "which OS to use"     
decisions really do depend on if/how you answer, so I'd at least like to
know if an answer is forthcoming; if not to me via e-mail then perhaps
in a blog entry or an industry publication interview someday...

Greater government control of the Internet with the so-called "Net
Neutrality" and other legislation (ex. CAN-SPAM) is one example of an
issue I'd like to know your opinion about, but I would be even more
interested in learning about the root of your personal philosophy, and
how it applies to the various political and economic questions of the
present day.  I obviously don't expect you to be a fellow Rothbardian
Anarcho-Capitalist, but I seriously hope that the foreshadowing of where
you'd stand was not entirely unfounded.

A lot of my friends in the libertarian hacker circles (and we use that
term very loosely) have come to have a great amount of admiration for
not just your work, but for your personal character as well.  With most
other software industry VIP's being the kind of people who've never met
a government interventionism program they didn't like, you seem to stand
out, and your speaking truth to power with the famous DARPA funding
quagmire can only be described as heroic!  Even seemingly trivial
details, like your choice to settle in one of Canada's most fiscally
conservative cities, has been read into and (mis)interpreted.

A lot of us, and myself personally, see you as a great real-world
example of a "Randian hero" - a software industry equivalent of Howard
Roark, who is driven by a rational set of principles and would not
give in to the irrationality of the world around him.  I once even
used you as an example of what a future agorist secession movement
(ex. the Free State Project, Seasteading Institute, etc) may try to
accomplish: peacefully "fork" from mainstream society, demonstrate the
superiority of our ideas through competition, and after many years of
hard work come to attract top brains and capital, just as OpenBSD came
to surpass NetBSD!

So, once again - thank you very much for your work, I hope you'll keep
doing what you do so well, and that I'll be in a position where I can be
of some help, financially or otherwise.  I really hope that you will
eventually find a moment of your time to reply, and I hope it will be
sooner rather than later.

Best regards,
Alex Libman


I'll keep you posted.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Harry Tuttle on February 10, 2010, 07:08:19 PM
I read that whole email and though it to be a very good, rational, appeal to the man. Then you put in a couple of paragraphs about a Randian fantasy of him that seem likely to creep him out.

 :P
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 10, 2010, 08:59:10 PM
Hey, well, it is what it is.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on February 20, 2010, 06:12:58 PM
So, needless to say, Theo ain't getting back to me...  :cry:

My ideological reasons to run *BSD have been overpowered by the practical benefits of running Linux - at least for now...

I started having persistent dreams about sending public e-mails to RMS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman) now, explaining my critique of his philosophy, etc.  (Us Internet shut-ins stop dreaming about actual physical interactions with people after a certain point.)  Some of those dreams are weirder than others.  In one I propose that while he has no right to use the guns of government to enforce GPL as if it was an explicit contract, he could make a plan to turn GNU/Linux into the world's first AI entity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_artificial_intelligence) that can be recognized as rational economic actor, and thereby his software can own itself!

(No, this is not an attempt at a joke (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=32687), just explaining what my subconscious mind is going through with this dilemma.)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: AL the Inconspicuous on March 02, 2010, 05:12:30 AM
One last e-mail to de Raadt for closure:


Code: [Select]
Theo,

You know, there's nothing more insidious in online relations than
telling someone you will get back to him and never doing so, ignoring
all further e-mails for months.  I can only guess whether you intended
this effect, or maybe you really are so prioritized you file away less
important e-mails for months and would get back to me eventually, or
maybe some peculiar spam filtering on your end is getting in the way...     

Your reply from Jan 11th did not seem to be automated by timing and
content, so it would have probably taken less of your time to simply
tell me to "f@#$ off", and I would have thought better of you if you had
done that instead of leaving me hanging for months...

I continue to look up to you as a developer, but my plans to deploy
OpenBSD and quite possibly allocate some considerable resources to aid
its development in the long-term are crumbling.  Forking aside, when an
operating system is this dependent on a single personality, and that
personality is hostile to you for political reasons, then committing to
such an operating system would be pure foolishness.  The Linux and even
the FreeBSD people may ban people like me from their forums for
contradicting their overwhelmingly statist ideology, but at least you
know exactly where they stand, so people like me don't try to justify
their software choices philosophically, as I tried to do with OpenBSD.

Though it may take a very long time, someday there will be a software
stack that an Anarcho-Capitalist philosopher can use knowing that his
software shares his moral values, and for example won't go cap in hand
to Mommy Government for a grant the next day, or initiate legalistic
aggression the day after that.  My vision of basing this stack on
OpenBSD may need to be revised, but doing this fast is less important
than doing it right.


EDIT - he replied quickly this time:

Code: [Select]
I am not interested in talking to you.

So that's that...
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on June 20, 2010, 11:25:50 PM
Looks like me calling Theo a "Randian 'hero'" went straight to his head...

(http://openbsd.org/images/Superfish.jpg) (http://openbsd.org/lyrics.html#47)

Some say that I'm a hero
But I'm just being me
With my filter I can hide
My true identity

:lol:


I must say that DragonFly BSD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DragonFly_BSD) is a much more efficient operating system than OpenBSD, especially judging from the time it takes its lead developer to make it clear that he ain't gonna reply to your e-mails.  Here's what I wrote to Matthew Dillon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Dillon_(computer_scientist)):

Code: [Select]
Subject:   A question not entirely related to DragonFly

Matt,

Hi.  I'm a person who has a very weird hobby.  Some people collect
stamps, some fly kites - I research where the various permissively
licensed OS developer VIP's stand politically, and how compatible their
positions are with my philosophy of libertarian free market capitalism.

I think it started when I was banned from forums.freebsd.org (and had
all my prior posts deleted, even those where I was offering technical
support) for expressing a dissenting opinion on a thread about
government intervention in Oracle's acquisition of Sun, and it became
more of a sport when I tried to figure out Theo de Raadt - now there's a
mystery wrapped in an enigma surfing the vortex of a black hole!

The question of Matthew Dillon was much easier to figure out from your
Slashdot posts, particularly one where you praised California regulators
for making washing machines more efficient and making 2 + 2 add up to 4,
only thanks to them.  There goes yet another BSD-licensed operating
system that won't be getting any support from any Murray Rothbard fans
any time soon...  Of course being able to judge a person's political
philosophy from just a few online posts is not an exact science (did a
subsequent one advocate nuking something?), and any clues you might
volunteer, in public or private conversation, would be much appreciated.
If you ask me to keep something private, I will.

That said, I'd also just like to express my utmost admiration for you as
a developer, and I wish political issues would not be a factor in my
organization's choice of operating systems, but unfortunately they are.


Best regards,
Alex Libman

And I'm really impressed how quickly he didn't reply to my e-mail, no months of waiting like with Theo.  :lol:


Here is another BSD-related anecdote - in the #OpenBSD IRC chat-room on Freenode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freenode) I got privately MSG'ed by a ... well, here's the chat log:

Quote
(16:18:03) ArchGT: I am a marxist freebsd sysadmin/user and I share your hate for the gpl
(16:18:27) ArchGT: openbsd*
(16:19:03) AlexLibman: Are you a good Marxist or a bad Marxist?
(16:19:53) ArchGT: I think that depends on your point of view
(16:20:50) ArchGT: but hey! much of the points you made against the gpl I agree with
(16:21:08) ArchGT: and share with my linux-user friend
(16:21:18) ArchGT: users*
(16:21:24) AlexLibman: A "good" proponent of any ideology is willing to practice that ideology without initiating aggression against others.  You can buy up some private land, invite people to join you there voluntarily, and share as much as you like.
(16:21:29) AlexLibman: I guess that question would only apply to communists, not Marxists specifically, since pretty much all of Marxist ideas are based on violence.
(16:22:30) ArchGT: I must be a bad marxist since I can not recall any of those violence based ideas
(16:23:03) AlexLibman: So then, if your political ideas are any good, why can't they be practised without theft and murder on a massive scale?
(16:23:51) AlexLibman: Libertarian movements grow organically - the greater the level of economic freedom (including property rights) within a society, the more brains and capital it attracts.
(16:24:02) ArchGT: no they can not
(16:24:09) ArchGT: it's called capitalism
(16:24:26) AlexLibman: Yes, and I am a capitalist.  I own myself.
(16:25:13) AlexLibman: http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.swf
(16:25:35) ArchGT: flash is hard in openbsd
(16:25:56) AlexLibman: Oh, right.  My bad.
(16:25:57) ArchGT: I'll look at it later
(16:26:37) AlexLibman: You can use HTML5 or youtube-dl from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyEs5OP5Ahc
(16:27:35) ArchGT: ok
(16:27:38) ArchGT: saving...
(16:28:32) AlexLibman: There are obviously mountains of Objectivist / Anarcho-Capitalist literature to RTFM, but this short video sums up our ideas of self-ownership very nicely.
(16:28:44) ArchGT: I have read them
(16:29:12) ArchGT: FA Hayek is standing 2 feet from my head
(16:29:35) AlexLibman: And how does one go from reading and understanding Rand / Rothbard / Friedman / etc back to the religion of class-worship?
(16:30:40) ArchGT: quite easy, the explaination they offer is incomplete
(16:30:49) ArchGT: so you go somewhere else
(16:31:19) AlexLibman: How are they incomplete compared to Marxism?
(16:31:54) ArchGT: it's based on menger's value theory
(16:32:12) ArchGT: and it can not stand a breeze
(16:32:23) AlexLibman: Ah, the old "my emotions justify my violence" routine?
(16:32:45) ArchGT: I'm not familiar with that routine
(16:32:55) ArchGT: any url for that?
(16:34:01) AlexLibman: It is my summation for all of collectivist thought, from thousand-year-old religions to all modern socialist ideas.  What gives you the right to initiate aggression against others?  Emotion, nothing else.
(16:34:58) AlexLibman: All of human history is one econometric fact being repeated over and over again - capitalism works, collectivism doesn't.  Objectivist epistemology and some other libertarian psychologists have done a very good job explaining why.
(16:35:16) ArchGT: and yet you can shoot to kill in order to defend your property
(16:35:37) ArchGT: making private property god-like or religion-like
(16:35:57) AlexLibman: I would rather use a "less lethal weapon" and take you alive - it's more profitable that way.
(16:36:06) ArchGT: certainly
(16:36:35) ArchGT: you have the name of one of those libertarian psychologists?
(16:36:47) ArchGT: I like to read you kno
(16:36:51) ArchGT: know
(16:36:55) AlexLibman: There is a logical foundation behind property rights.  If you want to live within a "gift economy" you can still do that, but without violating the rights of the individuals who don't want to be a part of your "gift economy".
(16:38:11) AlexLibman: I'm a big fan of Stefan Molyneux, though he's not exactly a psychologist.  And then there's Nathaniel Branden, obviously.
(16:39:18) ArchGT: I have this hipotesis of libertarian thinking being pushed by corporate america because, well, they get to look like heros on one side and the other being people tired of watching people on wellfare checks doing nothing?
(16:39:25) ArchGT: thanks for the names
(16:39:51) ArchGT: what you think about that?
(16:40:15) AlexLibman: Rights are only attributable to "rational economic actors" - that is entities that are capable of independent thought, independent action, and experiencing individual consequences of one's actions (capital or liability).  An involuntary group of people cannot have "collective rights".
(16:41:19) AlexLibman: Corporate America hates free market.  In the free market Microsoft wouldn't be able to bust software pirates who never entered into an explicit contractual agreement with them, and every BP shareholder would lose the shirt off his back.
(16:42:33) ArchGT: but the "less regulation" speech is making wonders to their pockets
(16:42:41) AlexLibman: Anarcho-Capitalism is a gradual transition toward individual ownership of means of production, and a triumph of [non-profit] market entities over for-profit ones (which we already see in industries like software).
(16:44:16) AlexLibman: No governmental regulation, but also no corporate welfare, no military-industrial complex crony-ism, no liability limitations, no artificial scarcity (ex. patents), no wide-spread "Mommy Government didn't ban it so it must be good for you" delusion, etc.
(16:45:57) AlexLibman: Regulation mostly benefits the big corporations who can afford to comply, and thus it raises barrier to entry for would-be competition.  The benefit of economy of scale quickly reach a point of diminishing returns, which combined with a localism bias means in an Anarcho-Capitalist society WalMart would be more profitable as 10,000 independent stores than one giant corporation.
(16:47:21) ArchGT: and the process from here to there is free market?
(16:47:40) ArchGT: they profit less so shrink or die?
(16:47:57) ArchGT: and small business take over
(16:48:12) ArchGT: sound ok to me
(16:48:26) ArchGT: somewhat dreamy
(16:48:50) AlexLibman: Not in any "vote for Ron Paul" sort of sense.  You can't get the plantation owners (governments) to free the slaves voluntarily, and the plantation owners have a lot more nukes than we do, you have to raise the cost of slavery to the point where it isn't profitable anymore.
(16:49:03) ArchGT: heavy industries don't fall into that
(16:49:17) ArchGT: they need to be large and already are
(16:49:37) AlexLibman: The way toward Anarcho-Capitalism is mostly based in political migration, and efforts like seasteading (someday spacesteading).
(16:49:37) ArchGT: and have monopoly power on strategic reserves
(16:50:28) ArchGT: their power is gobernment-backed which you hate
(16:50:33) AlexLibman: Corporations by themselves are not your enemy, they are just voluntary agreements between people.  A marriage is a corporation.  All the evil things you associate with corporations in reality come from government.
(16:52:50) ArchGT: and we are back into menger/marx's realm
(16:54:40) AlexLibman: Have you read Ayn Rand?
(16:56:30) AlexLibman: Yes, she was wrong about a number of things, mostly on anti-Soviet grounds, and most notably she was wrong on intellectual property, but she's really the first person to put together a complete secular philosophical system of free market capitalism.
(16:56:57) ArchGT: no I haven't
(16:57:22) AlexLibman: She definitely wouldn't have had a problem with FLOSS software, as long as it's not funded by government force (as often is the case).
(16:57:32) ArchGT: I hated the "atlas shruged" meme few years ago
(16:58:13) ArchGT: so I never read anything but the wikipedia page
(16:59:07) AlexLibman: That meme perfectly describes how capitalism has triumphed over socialism (Nazi Marxism, Soviet Marxism, etc) in the 20th century.  All the smart people simply left, or became alcoholics, or made deliberate errors in their physics papers...
(16:59:22) ArchGT: so she would be ok with the bsd/isc license
(16:59:44) AlexLibman: I think she wouldn't like the B in BSD, hehe.
(16:59:56) ArchGT: xD
(16:59:59) ArchGT: right
(17:00:30) AlexLibman: But Google's use of the BSD license for their code is definitely something Ayn Rand would appreciate.
(17:01:30) ArchGT: google's use is the same as apple's
(17:02:18) ArchGT: and even google have some gpl software they modified and since the not released they don't have to share any source
(17:02:37) ArchGT: that bothers many gpl people
(17:03:27) AlexLibman: She wouldn't like governments releasing software under any license.  Free market competition naturally leads to some goods being so cheap to produce / distribute that charging for them doesn't make any sort of business sense.  In today's world this mostly applies to information and also some levels of access costs - you can go to a mall and park there and walk around all day and not buy anything.
(17:03:38) ArchGT: which is a good thing because they get to rethink the license
(17:05:07) ArchGT: well, I should leave the keyboard, nice to talk to you
(17:05:12) ArchGT: see you in #openbsd
(17:05:29) AlexLibman: As technology advances, more and more things will become free - agorists in New Hampshire build their own backyard greenhouses (and some have very large backyards), and their motivation is self-reliance, not profit, but when they grow too much they just give it away for free.
(17:05:58) AlexLibman: ok, TTYL.  You can find me on forums by googling my name together with a term like "anarcho capitalism".
(17:06:25) ArchGT: I did
(17:07:36) AlexLibman: BTW, a quick question...
(17:08:00) AlexLibman: Do you happen to know anything about Theo's personal politics?  As you see, I really wanna know...
(17:08:39) ArchGT: no, I'm totally in blank there
(17:08:41) ArchGT: sorry
(17:08:51) AlexLibman: ok, thanks anyway
(17:08:56) ArchGT: np

Gee wiz, you don't meet a lot of Marxists at Microsoft / Oracle certification exams...  The more I live the more I come to question if maybe Ayn Rand was right about IP rights all along...   :?
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on June 20, 2010, 11:39:01 PM
But anywayz, putting politics / philosophy aside and just using whatever works best, I've rekindled the old love-affair with my favorite Linux distro, namely Gentoo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentoo_Linux).  Definitely the fastest and the most flexible system out there, and a joy to drive if you know what you're doing (and I like to at least pretend that I still do).

I like playing with alternative versions of it in chrooted / emulated environments, with each version built to reflect a specific software philosophy.  I used to do that to keep a pure GNOME desktop separate from a pure KDE desktop, etc, but what I find more interesting now is playing with the ACCEPT_LICENSE setting - I can set it to just allow permissive licenses and work to reduce the list of license mask exceptions (the kernel and build system (obviously), Gentoo-specific utilities (unfortunately), and some dependencies for X + Chromium + UPP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate%2B%2B) IDE).  It's a great learning experience trying to hack ebuilds to work w/ fewer restrictively-licensed dependencies.  Of course I have no moral qualms about the x11-drivers/nvidia-drivers... :lol:

Another nice thing about Gentoo is their forums are very tolerant of my opinions, at least in the "Off The Wall (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewforum-f-10.html)" section (and I've tested the tolerances quite thoroughly) - this by itself makes Gentoo more libertarian than those commie fucks in Ubuntu and FreeBSD.
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on July 11, 2010, 01:05:41 PM
After yet another phase of Windows (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=28047.msg604079#msg604079) and Linux distro-hopping, I'm back on FreeBSD.  Like I've said on the other thread (http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=29820.msg604720#msg604720), if there is to be a "libertarian operating system" fork someday, FreeBSD is the most likely base for it.  The anti-copyleft movement is gradually starting to pick up some steam - check out the following sites:




I'm also a big fan of something called Time-limited Hybrid Source (http://hybridsource.org/).
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Stoker on July 25, 2010, 08:56:12 AM
The leaders of all major software companies are socialists...


  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates) -- strong endorsement of Obama, "the president's team is on the right track" --

    [youtube=425,350]<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nG3VRx0tuok&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nG3VRx0tuok&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>[/youtube]

    (And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Ballmer) donated to Nancy Pelosi, Edward Kennedy and others (http://www.newsmeat.com/billionaire_political_donations/Steve_Ballmer.php).  Etc, etc, etc.)

These corporate leaders are not only "Socialist" , they are National Socialists.

(http://i877.photobucket.com/albums/ab338/JaggedSteel1/Windows_Is_Your_Friend.jpg)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on July 27, 2010, 05:28:34 AM
Copyfree (http://copyfree.org/licenses/) software news roundup:




Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on July 31, 2010, 10:09:20 PM
CopyFREE (http://copyfree.org/licenses/) software news roundup:





General information freedom news roundup:



Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Terror Australis on August 01, 2010, 02:38:44 AM
Quote
More license bullying news as WordPress creator insists all temples / themes / plug-ins (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/07/22/1935248/WordPress-Creator-GPL-Says-WP-Template-Must-Be-GPLd) must be released under the restrictive GPL license.  The same logic could apply to plug-ins for browsers, editors, etc...  Fine print can make or break your business (http://econsultancy.com/blog/6267-fine-print-can-make-or-break-your-business), as a related article puts it.  All rational people should avoid using any piece of software with that communist license whenever possible - even proprietary freeware is most often more respectful of your freedom!

How does wp compare to the other cms suites such as joomla and drupal?

Im about to get some web dev work done and dont want to get stuck with issues later on.

edit: http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=21113.msg326089#msg326089 (http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=21113.msg326089#msg326089)
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on August 13, 2010, 09:18:46 AM
I can't really recommend a CMS because I've always coded Web-based components from scratch.  Keeping in line with my copyFREE fanaticism (and for a CMS that means also avoiding ones married to MySQL, Ruby, Java, Mono, etc), I would probably use something like Django CMS (http://www.django-cms.org/).  For PHP there's SilverStripe (http://silverstripe.org/) and Habari (http://habariproject.org/en/).
Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on August 20, 2010, 11:21:35 AM
CopyFREE (http://copyfree.org/) software news w/ views roundup, August 20th 2010:









Title: Re: Software Freedom Scale
Post by: Alex Libman on August 24, 2010, 11:01:22 PM
An update on the above - anyone can download Chromium 7.0.502 r57001 for FreeBSD right now at chromium.hybridsource.org (http://chromium.hybridsource.org/).

(http://chromium.hybridsource.org/chrome.png) (http://chromium.hybridsource.org/)