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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Advogato post for 2000-09-08 14:26:29

<person>julian:</person> Mozilla is not currently under dual licensing. It is announced to be.

Ok, enough abou that. I am done read­ing "a man in ful­l" and am half through "the right stuff", and I now won­der if Wolfe has used "let his ego out for a romp like a red dog" in any of his oth­er book­s.

Advogato post for 2000-09-07 16:45:29

Uraeus, my friend, I will only tell you two things:

a) Nau­tilus ain't Ga­le­on. And you missed the part about GNOME ac­tu­al­ly steal­ing (for a while on­ly) KDE code. And that code is still used, and no for­give­ness has been asked, that I know of. Should GNOME be now "il­le­gal"? Again, I say no. If you agree, don't ar­gue with me.

b) The apol­o­gize and for­give I do is hon­est. Re­al­ly. I have said nasty things about De­bian. I will apol­o­gize , for what­ev­er that's worth, and I will for­give De­bian for call­ing me a crim­i­nal, when I be­lieve that was to­tal­ly un­war­rant­ed. Again, for what­ev­er that's worth.

If you feel strong­ly about that, well, see if I care.

sh It's nowhere as sim­ple as "it links" or "it does­n't link", ac­tu­al­ly. You see, the GPL, in its fuzzi­ness, does­n't say any­thing about link­ing. It just speaks about "the larg­er work" that com­bines the two work­s, the GPL'd and the not GPL'd. The mech­a­nisms for com­bin­ing are not in the li­cense, and are de­bat­able.

For ex­am­ple, I have al­ways said that dy­nam­ic link­ing is not com­bin­ing in the sense the GPL deals with.

Think about it: what dif­fer­ence is, from a prac­ti­cal point of view, be­tween a bonobo com­po­nent and a shared li­brary? On­ly that there is a dif­fer­ent way to call the func­tion­s, and that (not sure here) both pieces of code re­side on dif­fer­ent ad­dress spa­ces.

Just chang­ing the con­ven­tion for func­tion call­ing, I have nev­er seen de­scribed as a way to work around the GPL, and I doubt you want it to be.

As for be­ing in sep­a­rate ad­dress spaces, I re­mem­ber RMS once say­ing that as long as things were like that, it was not "com­bin­ing". Ok, but sure­ly you don't want to say the op­po­site, that by be­ing in the same ad­dress space it IS com­bin­ing, be­cause in that case, you get in a hell of a mess with any en­vi­ron­ment that does­n't sup­port mem­o­ry pro­tec­tion!

If you do, all GPL soft­ware would be il­le­gal on, say, win­dows 3.11, and I know for a fact that the FSF does­n't be­lieve that to be true.

So, the fine point is: what is "com­bin­ing in the sense used in the GPL", and none of us has a straight an­swer, not me, not you, and prob­a­bly not RM­S, ei­ther.

This is yet an­oth­er rea­son why the GPL is a mess.

Advogato post for 2000-09-07 15:47:02


I still say "I'll be­lieve it when I see it", but at least I have SOME hopes of se­ing it.

I steel feel De­bian has, in gen­er­al, act­ed wrong in the past, but I will apol­o­gize and for­give. When the code is in, of course.

I won­der if this means that RMS will de­clare De­bian to be non-free soft­ware, though.

Two more ran­dom li­cense ques­tion­s:

a) if KDE code was not prop­er­ly li­censed, then it was not li­censed. If it was not li­censed, noone could use it. If noone could use it, noone could de­rive from it. If noone could de­rive, gtkhtml is il­le­gal, and GNOME should be dumped from De­bian. And GNOME should ask for­give­ness?

b) Nau­tilus (and oth­er GNOME pro­gram­s) are GPL and link (op­tion­al­ly) to mozil­la. Mozil­la is still not com­pat­i­ble with the GPL. Should­n't those pro­grams be de­clared "not prop­er­ly li­censed" by De­bian, too?

My an­swer­s: no and no. But nei­ther should KDE have had to take as much crap when oth­ers are al­lowed to get away with it.

Advogato post for 2000-09-06 17:19:31

mazeone: If I give a copy of whatever to Joe, he is now in compliance, because accepting the copy is legal (he is not forced to assure MY compliance), and the copy contains only GPLd code. You could argue that I would be breaking the license one last time, but what's another stripe on the tiger? ;-)

broth­er: It's not a mat­ter of black he­li­copter­s, at al­l. It's a mat­ter of hav­ing a pack­age (kdelib­s) that De­bian al­ready said has no li­cens­ing prob­lem­s, and still it nev­er gets in­to De­bian, af­ter many many month­s. Why should I be­lieve KDE will change their mind­s? Af­ter al­l, again, it was not li­cens­ing that kept kdelibs out! In fac­t, I still have not seen any ra­tio­nal ex­pla­na­tion on why kdelibs was re­moved in the first place, ex­cept that they were wrong about the li­cense of some­thing in it (get­tex­t). They were wrong. They knew it. Did they put it back? Of course not.

Be­sides, did­n't knew that post­ing some­thing in my di­ary was yelling ;-)

nymia: Odds of what? Odds of hav­ing fun cod­ing? Prob­a­bly. Odds of find­ing peo­ple to use the code? I doubt it. Odds of be­ing sued? There are none what­so­ev­er. The so­lu­tion is so triv­ial (and de­scribed be­low) that it makes no sense to even whine.

Be­lieve it or not, I am now to­tal­ly re­laxed. Since I don't give a damn about the whole bunch any­more, they can do what­ev­er they wan­t, in­clud­ing sue­ing me, if they re­al­ly want to. They are dead to me.

Advogato post for 2000-09-06 13:21:54

Joey, if Debian includes KDE now, I will be happy to apologize. BTW: Debian can just get a copy, you are excepted by section 4, which RMS told me is the one about forfeiting rights. You will be in compliance, and you can keep on redistributing it, so Debian still has no excuse. Go ahead, MAKE ME APOLOGIZE, that's what I want most than anything.

Tla­d­u­ca: what you see here is just rage and frus­tra­tion. Be­cause that's about all I have left in me re­gard­ing RM­S, the FS­F, etc. If it both­ers you, too bad, re­al­ly. I'm gonna keep on cod­ing, but I now know that what­ev­er we do we will nev­er get the re­spect of the FS­F, or RM­S, be­cause they seem to just dis­like us for pol­i­tic­s, be­cause I refuse to be­lieve this hack­neyed for­give­ness thing is se­ri­ous, since it's triv­ial to fix (even if you take the most hard­core po­si­tion on it). Too bad for them. I don't care any­more.

And af­ter al­l, if RMS re­al­ly be­lieved this about for­fei­ture, would­n't he have said that in one of his pre­vi­ous state­ments about the sub­jec­t? That's why I be­lieve he is just mak­ing it up as he goes.