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Author Topic: Software Freedom Scale  (Read 36441 times)

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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #60 on: July 27, 2010, 05:28:34 AM »

Copyfree software news roundup:

  • FreeBSD 8.1 and PC-BSD 8.1 were released last week, yaaay!  (Though I've been running 9-CURRENT all along, recompiled with debug options disabled for performance reasons.)  Also, for the even more adventurous, OpenBSD is about to release first stapshots for 4.8-BETA.


  • I highly recommend for everyone to listen to the latest episode [MP3] [OGG] of the BSD Talk podcast [RSS], which contains an interview with one of the most awesome free software developers of all time: D. Richard Hipp, the author of SQLite (which is quickly becoming one of the most widely used pieces of software out there, most likely including your Web browser).  The first part of the interview focused on his great new DVCS system called Fossil, but the part of the interview I particularly recommend is toward the end where he talks about licensing issues.  He mentions how SQLite was originally forced into GPL for dependency issues, and how inconvenient that was, and he had to rewrite those components from scratch in order to make his software useful.  He also talks about his attempt to give away his software as "public domain", and how some governments make even that seemingly simple prospect very inconvenient.

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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #61 on: July 31, 2010, 10:09:20 PM »

CopyFREE software news roundup:

  • GhostBSD version 1.5 has been released [SS] [DL] [BT] [DW].  Though this project is still new and unpolished, GhostBSD aims to be an Ubuntu-like easy-to-use installable LiveCD of FreeBSD packaged with X, GNOME 2.30, some proprietary drivers, Compiz, Firefox, Thunderbird, AbiWord, Gnumeric, Pidgin, Gstreamer plugins, etc installed by default.  It borrows the installer and several other features from the more stable PC-BSD project, which for some reason decided to use that dying dinosaur called KDE.  I think it makes more sense for copyFREE fans who have to make the tactical compromise of using some copyLEFT desktop software to use GNOME instead of KDE, because GTK+ is something that we can't yet entirely get rid of anyway, as it is required for otherwise-copyFREE desktop components like Chromium, Ultimate++ (the version in ports), SciTE, etc.  The GTK+ realm also excels with some essential copyLEFT apps for which copyFREE alternatives are not yet available, most notably GIMP.


  • Computerworld UK has an article called If Oracle Bought Every Open Source Company, which seems to have been intended to attract readers who resent "evil corporations".  It discourages the rational cure of using copyFREE licenses by saying "clearly, that is less satisfactory from the point of view of preserving users' freedom".  What that article seems to recommend is transferring copyright to an "independent" organization like the FSF, which would most likely lock the piece of software into the latest version of GPL, and the author would not be able to liberate it to a copyFREE license once he realizes his mistake.  I guess the defining feature of every idiotic movement is that when they find themselves in a hole, they cut their rope and begin to dig harder...


General information freedom news roundup:

  • There seems to be increasing talk about "enforcement" of the "creative commons" "non-commercial" / "share-alike" / "no derivatives" "licenses", especially in situations when the downstream reflections of that information happen to be hosted by for-profit companies or individuals with advertisements on their Web-site.  This "license" is commonly used on all forms of Web-based content, and what exactly constitutes an advertisement is a vague issue susceptible to perpetual restriction-creep, so its use and enforcement inevitably creates a "chilling effect" that reduces the utility of the Internet as a whole.  If you see any otherwise-reasonable Web-site using a restrictive license for their context (ex. HomelandStupidity.us), then please nag them to change it, especially by pointing out their philosophical hypocrisy if they things like MPAA, RIAA, BSA / Microsoft, DRM, etc.

  • Stalinman's Web-site is now promoting a deceptive contest called "America's Got Net", which asks contestants to upload a YouTube video about how much they love the Internet.  In reality this is a propaganda stunt pushing for greater government control of the Internet, which will result in anything but openness and freedom!  In framing the question as "love Internet" == "love government control", the tactics of this Orwellian-named "Open Internet Coalition" are identical to those used by the Nazi party, which attracted youths by asking if they "loved Germany".

  • A small hint of things to come with greater government control of the Internet is evident from DOJ considering pushing ADA regulations for the Web.  Mommy Government will get to decide if your Web-site is "accessible" enough for them, reminiscent of similar barriers that were used to control publishing rights in places like the Soviet Union, and this is obviously a stepping stone toward more Orwellian-named bullshit like "search neutrality", "social network neutrality", "fairness doctrine", and eventually complete elimination of free speech.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2010, 10:46:26 PM by Alex Libman »
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Terror Australis

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2010, 02:38:44 AM »

Quote
More license bullying news as WordPress creator insists all temples / themes / plug-ins 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, 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
« Last Edit: August 01, 2010, 02:43:34 AM by Terror Australis »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #63 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.  For PHP there's SilverStripe and Habari.
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #64 on: August 20, 2010, 11:21:35 AM »

CopyFREE software news w/ views roundup, August 20th 2010:

  • Google Chromium [WP] is in my opinion the most important copyFREE(ish) project that exists today, because it is unique, hyper-innovative, and has been the driving force of everything that is now in the process of liberating the modern Web-centric desktop from the forces of both copyRIGHT (i.e. Microsoft and Apple) as well as copyLEFT (i.e. Mozilla, GNOME, KDE, etc).  It is also a leading innovator in the field of online security, with new sandboxing techniques (including R&D like a new capability mode on FreeBSD), and gradually escalating rewards for bug bounties ($10,000 just paid out).  Its funding and development by Google is not without controversy, with a lot of people keeping an eye on the code to make sure there is no "Big Brother" activity going on behind the scenes, but the only things found so far have been understandable mistakes and false alarms (ex).  Unlike with GPL or EULA's, Google has no claim of any legitimate use of force against people who use their code downstream from them, so if they ever start misbehaving a freer fork will immediately emerge.

    Chromium has been developing at breakneck pace, while following the "release early, release often" philosophy at the same time.  It jumped up to version 7 release numbering on Tuesday, which includes hardware-accelerated graphics and other major performance improvements.  Version 7 should be considered "alpha"-quality, while version 6 had its status upgraded to "beta" a week earlier, which makes version 5 the "stable" version that most less adventurous people will want to use.  Those stable / beta / alpha numbers will shift by one and a new version 8 alpha will be released by the end of the year.  The latest versions available for copyFREE operating systems are: 6.0.495r56147 on FreeBSD to hybridsource.org subscribers, 5.0.375.125 via FreeBSD ports, and 5.0.359.0 on OpenBSD [OP].  There is no interest in porting Chromium to Haiku OS, due to their focus on GUI toolkit consistency, but many of the same technologies will eventually be imported into their WebPositive browser.

  • Node.js [WP] version 0.2.0 has been released earlier today, incorporating Google's V8 JavaScript engine [WP] version 2.3.8.  It is an update and bug-fix to what seems to be the most successful copyFREE project utilizing the CommonJS [WP] standard, the long-overdue effort to standardize and enhance Server-Side JavaScript.

    Implementations of this poorly-named language (i.e. it has nothing to do with Java) have been called many things over the years (ex. ECMAScript, JScript, ActionScript, QtScript, TheScript, DMDScript, etc), and if taken together it would definitely be the most popular scripting language on earth, present in just about every modern Web browser since ~1996.  With competing implementations by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Opera, Mozilla (in both C and Java), KDE, Digital Mars, etc, JavaScript is the most "synergized", dependable, and free (as in choice) language there is - if one or two top projects go sour the rest will surely pick up the slack.  (You would only be able to say that about C/C++ and Java once there are stable modern copyFREE implementations, while both Clang and Harmony are still lacking.)  Being able to use it outside the Web-browser for tasks that are typically done with languages like PHP, Python, Perl, Lua, Tcl, AppleScript, Lisp, Java, VBA, etc would be a huge step for un-bloating the modern software stack, and simplifying programming tasks for everyone, newbies and experts alike.  (Remembering inconsistencies between various library wrappers is a major pain in the butt!)  JSON would also make a much more efficient alternative to XML.  I would even like to see UNIX shells, Makefiles, configuration files, etc all be based on JavaScript - one scripting language is all you need!

  • The VIM (vi improved) text editor [WP] version 7.3, after two years of development, has finally been released.  Described as a "major" minor release ("minor" as opposed to 8.0), it includes a large amount of small changes / bug-fixes, support for Lua and Python 3 scripting (both copyFREE), Blowfish encryption (public domain), and persistent undo / redo.  I found that the move from Linux necessitated adding "set nocompatible" and "set backspace=2" to my vimrc.

    Love it or hate it, vim arguably remains the closest thing the copyFREE software stack has to a decent code editor (though if you use GTK anyway you might as well use SciTE [WP]), and if you're a serious UNIX user then you really need to know at least the basics of vi.  I personally question whether vim's "CharityWare" license [WP] qualifies as pure copyFREE, but clearly it's not copyLEFT either.  The intentions might be honorable (or not), but there are much more appropriate places to encourage people to donate to charity, like a Web-page or a regular text-file that isn't purported to be a legal document.  Licenses are not about giving the author his two minutes of microphone access to talk about whatever he wants, they are threats of violence backed by the guns of state!


  • Yesterday's BSD Talk podcast featured an interview with Mike Larkin [MP3] [OGG].  Covered topics included ACPI and OpenBSD.  It's probably not the most interesting episode for people not trying to run OpenBSD on their laptops, but it's nice to know improvements are being made.  Although FreeBSD is by far the biggest copyFREE OS project, hardware support innovations often come from OpenBSD and other smaller projects as well, from where they can quickly diffuse to any *BSD OS, as well as Haiku, Linux, and most importantly - proprietary systems that can't accept GPL.


  • The copyLEFT lobby is perpetually looking for ways to expand its power as its market share increases, with too many recent examples for me to list them all.  Their legalistic aggression against Westinghouse [/.] has been a smashing success, which will further strengthen the "chilling effect" that copyLEFT software presently has over the IT industry.  The Linux Foundation, which owns the "intellectual" "property" "rights" to the popular kernel, has started an "Open Compliance Program" to help guide the GNU sheep toward the slaughterhouse on their own four hooves!

  • As I predicted earlier, the copyLEFT lobby is now gradually beginning to push for government funding of "free software", starting with the area where their argument would be easiest.  In his recent interview with reddit (question #7), Stalinman said: "tax software can and should be released by the state".  All efforts to forestall this government expansion are spun as "lobbying" by "evil corporations".  In the same interview (question #11), Stalinman criticized libertarian and laissez-faire philosophies in favor of "liberalism" (meaning socialism).  He then expressed his support for "regulations", "consumer protection laws", unions, rent control, and abolishment of free trade!  Clearly government funding of tax software is just a snowflake compared to the avalanche that'll follow as the GNU movement gains ever-more political power!

« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 09:30:26 AM by Alex Libman »
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Alex Libman

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Re: Software Freedom Scale
« Reply #65 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.

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