the GPL dilemma

*IF* you want to share your opinion on the GPL issue, this is the place for you.
infra-greg
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the GPL dilemma

Postby infra-greg » Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:53 am

guys, guys, guys...

immersing myself in developing high quality websites with Joomla hasnt' allowed me time to read 400 million posts in the forums regarding philosophical matters regarding GPL and 3rd party components, etc, etc.

from the little i've read, there are many good points to consider but who's got the time to sift through all the points to come to 'RIGHT' conclusion???

i'm all for gpl type stuff, the community doing things for free, assisting everyone, being good samaritans, helping the poor and the downtrodden, etc,, etc, etc. In other other words OPEN SOURCED DOES MATTER.

BUT!!!! we live in a commercial world and sometimes going with the flow works better than trying to enforce dams and structures along the legnth of the river.

the one BIG reason that Joomla has succeeded over Mambo and Postnuke is that it was flexible with 3rd party people. JOOMLA HAS FLOURISHED BECAUSE OF THIS.

often left wingers (i'm one of them) and open source people get a bit too self righteous and start to become dictators and begin to behave like the people that they've been resisting all along.

they must have things their way because of some philosophical mumbo jumbo.

lets live in the real world, go with the flow and let things self-regulate a bit. I'm not advocation comlete lack of rules and guidelines, etc, etc. Neither am I suggesting let the commercial capititalist pigs run amock.

but how many greedy, good for nothing, capitalist pigs are amongst our great commercial 3rd party developers??? Possibly zero!!!

so what's the problem???

looks like joomla is turning into one big red tape. lets get on with it people and develop more good quality websites. That's the aim.

Whats the easiest way to do this? Not by fighting, and cramping people's styles.

Mark my words...everyone will flock to Drupal and e107 and the like, where commercial 3rd party components are allowed.

it shouldnt' be either/or. Its why nations go to war and many couple divorce. Either/Or is trouble.

There is a way of doing BOTH and everyone happy :)

Too much philosophy, like too much religion, is a bad thing. Back to work everyone and leave the babbling to the mad people in mental asylums.

and one last thing. Is it any wonder why people pay thousands for commercial CMS's??? The reason being is that they provide stability and support. They don't spend 2yrs developing websites only to find the rug pulled out under their feet by philosophical ramblings.

Provide a product and be done with it. Millions of people are dependant on Joomla. They come first, before 5 or 6 guys with philosophical beliefs of any persuasion trying to build dams and structures to alter the flow of a natural developing river.

okay, nuff ramblings of my own ;-)

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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby infra-greg » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:41 am

Ah, dear gawd...

Great Commercial Joomla developers leaving the fold.

Oh, I read somewhere that that is fine, things will kinda regulate, blah, blah.

You know what. When people in religion try to adhere to the strict interpretation of the "word" they turn into fanaticals, and get great satisfaction and purpose by surrounding themselves with fellow strict interpreters of the the faith.

Please guys, instead of spending months debating these things, can we get on with developing Joomla further and let people what they want to develop.

Lets not get all pure and holier than though. People are fighting over a few words, and great components aren't being used or allowed to be used because of a few footers, or included or excluded words.

Its becoming ridiculous.

Seriously, the only reason why the "West" has progressed is because it seperated Religion from the State. It allowed people to do all sorts of creative and imaginative stuff with science, sex, and money. (hmmm, there's a mix if i've ever seen one  :laugh:  )

The reason certain other nations got bogged down was because they stuck to the strict interpretation of words. Which spawned more denominations and sects and the like, all arguing about who's the keeper of the the true word.

See my point? You can debate forever.

Give people the freedom to develop. If someone charges $1000 for a component, not many will buy it. When someone gives it away for free or $20, then things progress and self regulate.

For all i know the developers could be right, etc, etc. I'm not a lawyer and I don't have the time to read 6000 posts all over the web to find out the absolute pure truth according to some guru.

I want to design nice practical websites and keep the world turning.

Lets get to it guys. Enough waffle. On all sides.

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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby Robin » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:45 am

Moderator note; moving to GPL forum

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Re: the GPL Dilemma

Postby Rogue4ngel » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:55 pm

I consider myself far from fanatical about my belief in GPL.  I tend to be on the optimistic side, but I'm also a realist.

This horse has been picked up and beat so many times, the GPL debate is pretty much a bloody soup.

I can tell you everyone is weary of this debate, but people don't like to sift through the information to find out what is really going on.  Granted, it's difficult to make time.  Part of the reason why the development team tries to avoid it (I would like the plague), but they still have been taking the time to comment so they can try to clear the air that's been fouled as of late.

Here's the skinny on this whole thing, once again, for those who don't have time to read.

(Insert brief statement about this being my opinion, yada yada yada...)

Joomla is GPL.  They have not told anyone that they can't develop for Joomla.  They haven't told anyone they are not compliant.  They even said *IF* a product is not, the Joomla team won't really do anything about it, but they'd like to see people compliant to the license.

Here's my little interpretation:

"Hey, we had a talk with someone knowledgable about GPL, and realized we haven't been totally compliant with our own license. So we need to do some clean up to make sure we are.  This means somewhere down the road we may have to ask you, if you still want to advertise on our site and everything, that you need to have a compatible license.  Now that we realize it, we wanted to let everyone know because we don't want to see anyone get sued, and we could get in trouble too.  Oh, and we're not sure about your specific software, but if it's that important to you and you're making a living on it, you might want to talk to your lawyer, because the GPL is a big gray area, and we can't tell you what's best for you."

It's not an exact interpretation, but I think it's fairly accurate from everything I've read.

The nightmare then ensued.  The funny thing is, nothing changed.  Joomla was this way before, and the risk was present prior to the announcement.  They just made it clear so everyone knew where they stood.  You do realize this is the same problem for Mambo. Or any other GPL project on the planet.  It's basically that little nagging skeleton that is in every GPL project closet that has non compliant derivative software.  Everyone hopes that it will stay there, but you never know when someone might open that door.  What could happen after is anyone's guess.

The Joomla team has chosen to be prepared for it, and let other people know.  If people want to be ignorant to the law, and think this applies only to Joomla, they can continue to live with the risk, and that may be perfectly acceptable to them.  The Joomla team has chosen to stick to their belief in GPL, and err on the side of caution by letting everyone know.

The reason for the uproar is that the 3PD's are concerned that the immoral,  underhanded and conniving community that they sell their product too will steal their code and and offer it for free to everyone and undercut them so they can't make a decent living, so as a punishment, they are pulling prodcuts and defaming the team in hopes that they may beat them into submission by making the product less appealing to some.  The problem is Joomla can't change the law.  It is what it is.

If the developers can't accept that, there are other projects out there that I'm sure will overlook this for them.

Sure it hurts the community, but again, you're building off of free software.  If everyone is so concerned about the quality, work, and security of GPL software, why are they using Joomla in the first place!!!!!!!!!

If you consider that fanatical, I guess we all are.
Last edited by Rogue4ngel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby aoirthoir » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:44 pm

I find these kinds of opinions interesting. So let's review it a bit.

A developer requesting compliance with her license is being religious. Ok, I can agree for the sake of argument. Religion is often about rules. Certainly it is in the context of which you are speaking.

Church of GNU GPL.

Thou shalt give the same rights thou receiveth.

Church of Proprietary License (and its many denominations).

Thou shalt not distributeth.
Thou shalt not runeth on more than one domain.
Thou shalt not distributeth changes.
Thou shalt not runeth on more than one computer.
Thou shalt not runeth for profit (freeware that restricts commercial use).
Thou shalt not altereth.
Thou shalt not giveth.
Thou shalt not selleth.
Thou shalt not tradeth.
Thou shalt not decrypteth.
Thou shalt not revere engineereth.

Returning to somewhat serious mode here. The GNU GPL restricts people in one manner, and one manner only. That restriction is that they may not restrict others. Proprietary licenses restrict in any number of other manners. Sometimes you are not allowed to use the software in certain ways. The GNU GPL specifically allows you to run the software in any manner you desire for any purpose you desire. So it is less religious than proprietary software in this regards. Proprietary php programs often restrict the number of domains you are allowed to run them on. The GPL does not, so it is less religious in this regards. The GNU GPL allows you to change the software. Proprietary programs often restrict this via several mechanisms. One via licensing. Another is encrypting or compiling and not providing the source code. So the GPL is less religious in this regards. The GPL does not restrict your 'faith' to a single dogma. That is, if there are errors in a program, you can correct them, you are not forced to believe the program as is, is the only path. Proprietary software, particularly software that does not distribute code, forces you into dogmatic adherence to their view of what the software should do. So the GPL is less religious in this way.

I could go on about the many things that you can do with GPL software that you cannot do with proprietary software. The long and short of the entire matter though, is if you are going to state that it is a matter of religion, because of this restriction upon proprietary vendors, distributors, and developers, then you must also completely conclude that they are far more religious because of their many more restrictions.

In addition these restrictions are not business friendly at all. I am a capitalist pig. I am an old COBOL Coder. COmmon Business Oriented Language. COBOL is the language of banks and financial institutions. I am very pro business and very pro money. From a business perspective, proprietary software has restricted our business' freedom. It has hampered our growth and increased our costs. Now we use FOSS whenever we are able. We even pay for FOSS modifications. I am paid to create FOSS myself. So the GNU GPL is a very useful and pro business tool.

Signed, Capitalist GNU GPL Priest. (Mods may remove this line if it qualifies as a signature)
Joseph James Frantz

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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby infra-greg » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:05 pm

he, he...witty (and serious) reply aoirthoir

i'd really like to write more, but its 3am over here, i've had a nightmare upgrading mambo to joomla (couple of silly components - the free one unfortunately *he, he*) gave me grief.

but all good now...what a drama :-(

i must say though, its not that I want to be all loose and ad hoc about things, the law, etc. There is the side that says "if you're going to do something, do it well/right/proper, etc.

but you know, the law also states not to jaywalk. Cops let it slide cos hey, you all know why.

and i take the point, that joomla devs have in the past let it slide (the jaywalking???) and are kinda saying they kinda will again.

when i was using postnuke, 99.999999% of the devs, users, etc were religiously against anyone charging a cent for anything. I was on their side.

its just with joomla there seemed to be a cool mix. A kinda real life, self regulating, happy go lucky kinda approach. And believe me, its partly why Joomla (and mambo back then) FLOURISHED.

i know life is about "no pain, no gain" and i'm not being hippy trippy here. But it would be nice to get back to that state where commercial and non-commercial devs "policed" themselves and did a lot of good.

Not all the commercial devs have other, okay paying jobs in the day. Their joomla work is their bread and butter. I don't think many (if any) of them are millionaires and i don't think they're scared of losing their riches.

They're scared of losing an income opportunity to pay the rent, buy flowers for the wife and have a few beers.

I'm not taking sides. All I want is the b*tching to stop and the work to continue. And that is creating sh*it hot websites using Joomla.

Joomla has made a huge impact on the IT community, GLOBALLY.

Would be nice to keep doing that. If there are going to be forks, and different versions, and religious sects all reading legal tomes (sp?) to each other, we're going to get bogged down for longer.

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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby aoirthoir » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:39 pm

Infra-greg,

Actually I think a technical solution will exist eventually. Maybe sooner than some folks expect. The solution will require work on 3pds parts that want to remain proprietary. So the advantage will be to those that are GPL releases. Still there are many solutions being tossed out.

I only posted because so many act like the GPL is restricting freedom, when actually it is proprietary licenses that do. Other than the aforementioned restriction on restricting.

So the issue will eventually be resolved. But it is going to take lots of ideas, of which there will be disagreements from various parties, and lots of work from all involved.

Thanks for understanding my post:) Some might have taken offense, when it was meant to be a wee bit silly. I could be even sillier though if you want, for instance I could take a picture of my face. :D
Joseph James Frantz

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Re: the GPL dilemma

Postby Rogue4ngel » Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:13 pm

And everyone said "Amen!"

We all know what it's like to try and carve out our little niche in the world so we can live.

Joomla would not be what it is today without the dedication and commitment of the people who make it a reality.  It is there values and integrity that brought Joomla to life, and they are no strangers to 'going against the grain' to do the right thing, not the easy thing.

A great deal of the banter back and forth has really been trying to grind the misinformation machine to a halt.  A daunting task to say the least.  At the same time, they are working hard to bridge the GPL / non GPL gap and create a win / win situation for everyone.  Just be patient, and you will see this seeming setback is going to put Joomla in a position to be an even better product in the long run.

I commend everyone who has not only spent time on the project as a whole, but taken the extra time to keep the lines of communication open and allowed people to voice their opinions / concerns / and ideas as to how best to keep Joomla one of the premiere prodcuts of it's kind.
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