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FF Sparks (Casual)

Grawr! Open source fools must die...!

Okay. Now that I've made a nicely inflammatory subject line, I figure I'd better explain it. As most of my friends know, I tend to do my own spare-time projects under the Artistic or GPL (depending on the circumstances) licenses; I consider myself a supporter of the open source ideals, even if I'm not zealous enough to think /everything/ should be (simply because sometimes it is nice to try and make a living off of your code, and unless you're writing something fancy enough to require a major, pay-worthy support structure).

But here's the thing. Cerulean may not have Trillian under open source, but whenever there is a fatal protocol change (witness the last two Yahoo auth changes) which we decipher, we toss the code for it over to the Gaim team, being nice neighbors. They always credit us in the changelog, and they always leave a little 'Cerulean Studios' boilerplate in the source file. We actually have a very good relationship with the Gaim folks.

And yet, every time, there's some smartass who goes and looks at the constants or some other little piece of signature code in this code we've contributed to Gaim -- completely overlooks the changelog entry or the comments in the code as to the code's origin -- and binary-examines Trillian to find the same little signature, then goes to whine on the Trillian IRC channel, or on some mailing list, or on Slashdot, or whatever... about Trillian stealing code from an open source project.


Stealing code. Code which is credited in the changelog as having been contributed /from/ Trillian. Code which is credited in the source file as having come from Cerulean. Stealing that code.

Is it so damned hard to read the changelog or, I dunno, look at the comment at the top of the source file?

See, I like the open source mindset. But it seems sometimes like I see this far too often. You end up with someone saying 'they stole that code!' when they contributed it, or you end up with someone saying 'since you donated that code to a GPL project but are still using your own copy, you have to GPL your entire project! Give us the source code!' It's this kind of blind, rabid zealotry which gives the open source world a bad reputation sometimes with traditional companies.

Anyway... yeah. Rant done. Grar. People suck, and stuff.


You couldn't make me put something under the GPL if you stuck bamboo shoots under my fingernails and shoved red hot pokers into my eyes.

I much prefer the Artistic license, personally, but I have occasionally used GPL because I have encountered a few situations which called for it. A Linux kernel module, I'd release under GPL. I won't do it with applications anymore, though.

But yes, I find the GPL a fairly objectionable license overall. It's viral, in terms of infecting everything it touches, and thus discourages people from contributing any code they might find useful elsewhere later to a GPL'd project. And it protects the code at the expense of the author's rights, which I find irritating.

Artistic License?

Not certain I've heard o' that one. But then, it's been millions of years since I last visited Slashdot or the like.

Re: Artistic License?

The Artistic License is the license under which Perl is released. It's sort of a half-way between the GPL/LGPL and the BSD types... I see it as a good compromise if you're doing something that's possibly of commercial value. It's DSFG-compliant, if you had to ask.

Re: Artistic License?

I never do anything of even vaguely commercial value, but I'll look into it nonetheless.

"It's DSFG-compliant, if you had to ask."

I didn't, but now I have to ask: what's DSFG?

Re: Artistic License?

Debian Free Software Guidelines. Outside of RMS hisself, the Debian folks tend to be the biggest sticklers about Free Software being Free as in Freedom (in particular, to repackage so it lines up with the Debian way of doing things, directory structure etc)...

Re: Artistic License?

And here I always thought DFSG stood for Debian are Fucking Sticklers about GPL. ;)

Re: Artistic License?

Ah. I am now doubly-educated.
*nods* Terpstra was ranting on this kind of rude, clueless behavior when he was out here two weeks ago. I can only assume you gave this asshat the Foam Rubber Cluebat treatment he so righteously deserved...

Sturgeon's law is, alas, universal. Conversely, I have to say that Trillian is definitely in the 5% that proves the rule.... tell your co-workers thanks again, and I shall be compling GAIM once again tonight.
I look at it like a signal-to-noise issue. When people are involved, signal increases linearly, and noise increases exponentially. The noise level of a million zealots can be very high indeed.