Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

*IF* you want to share your opinion on the GPL issue, this is the place for you.
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Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:57 pm

I really don't understand what all the fuss is about here.

If you're a developer who starts coding an extension for the Joomla! Open Source Matters project, is there some part of that name you don't understand?

If the developers are worried about their bottom line, then can't they offer a basic "OPEN SOURCE" extension, but charge for the advanced version with additional desirable features under different licensing?

As a newbie to PHP and MySQL, I chose Joomla! because it's open source status allows me to observe professional coding techniques and styles to learn from. I can find LOTS of places to hire coders on the web...which by going that route, eliminates the need for the Joomla! community doesn't it?

 
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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by technopuzzle » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:22 pm

I'm not an expert and I don't even play one on TV.

But I think (IMHO) that if a 3PD creates a GPL version and an advanced version (under a different license) then the advanced versions code must totally different and it can't use any of the GPL versions code - otherwise the advanced version must also be released under GPL.

If I'm wrong someone please correct me.
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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:46 pm

I'm still not sure.

Not long after posting this comment I read in another thread here, that part of the confusion is that only the [coded] parts of an extension that use/access/call GPL'd code are required to be open source under the current terms.

Now, I took that to mean that if an extension is composed of say 10 files, but only two of those files call includes from the core J! code, then those are the only files that need to be "open source". To my (newest) understanding, the stand-alone files written to be independant of the core code can be encrypted...is this correct?
Last edited by hall_n_a on Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by rliskey » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:27 am

To my (newest) understanding, the stand-alone files written to be independent of the core code can be encrypted...is this correct?
Here's the text of a FAQ from http://www.gnu.org that I think answers this question. (Red italics are mine.)

What is the difference between "mere aggregation" and "combining two modules into one program"?

    Mere aggregation of two programs means putting them side by side on the same CD-ROM or hard disk. We use this term in the case where they are separate programs, not parts of a single program. In this case, if one of the programs is covered by the GPL, it has no effect on the other program.

    Combining two modules means connecting them together so that they form a single larger program. If either part is covered by the GPL, the whole combination must also be released under the GPL--if you can't, or won't, do that, you may not combine them.

    What constitutes combining two parts into one program? This is a legal question, which ultimately judges will decide. We believe that a proper criterion depends both on the mechanism of communication (exec, pipes, rpc, function calls within a shared address space, etc.) and the semantics of the communication (what kinds of information are interchanged).

    If the modules are included in the same executable file, they are definitely combined in one program. If modules are designed to run linked together in a shared address space, that almost surely means combining them into one program.

    By contrast, pipes, sockets and command-line arguments are communication mechanisms normally used between two separate programs. So when they are used for communication, the modules normally are separate programs. But if the semantics of the communication are intimate enough, exchanging complex internal data structures, that too could be a basis to consider the two parts as combined into a larger program.

Source: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.htm ... ggregation
Last edited by rliskey on Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:11 pm

I'm completely on the side of Open Source here, but (licensing types aside) how is this different from Micro$oft making an API available to developers? Any programs I install on my Windows machine are "Tightly Integrated" with Micro$soft's core code. The same core code that would be useless to computer owners if Micro$oft's 'licensing' policy didn't allow interaction with their core code.

It would seem that both sides need the other to survive. Selling support for overly complicated solutions is just a longer and more painful death. Savvy users will figure it out anyhow, and less skilled users will bail IMO.

We must have Open Source, but we also must give devs a way to grow as well.

I just want my cake, and be able to eat it too...is that too much to ask?!  :'(

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by mcsmom » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:29 pm

Microsoft is not working off of a gpl base of freely contributed copyrighted code.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:54 pm

Yes, I understand that mcsmom, but the bottom line for industry success is still the same. If they [M$] had tied the developmental hands of 3PD's, nobody would have been interested in building on the capabilities of Windows, and we would all be running versions of NIX on our desktops today. I see no incentive for 3PD's to continue development if they can't be paid. There's no shortage of problems, just expertise to help us deal with them.

From where I'm sitting [end user] the best programmers don't need J!, J! needs them.
No I'm not a programmer, but I am a business man, and asking these folks to work hard (daily) for little or no pay, seems unrealistic.

As badly as I want J! to remain Open Source, I don't want it at the cost of project and community demise.  :-*
Last edited by hall_n_a on Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by mcsmom » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:31 pm

Well, like I said, iI assume you believe the same applies to the Joomla! developers who are donating their time and intellectual property without compensation excapt for admiration and thanks from the community.

So, personally, I think your argument is stronger if before anything else you acknowledge this.

Othewise, you seem so dismissive of their contribution that the rest of your post just seems, well, I don't know, kind of not relevant to Joomla!? I don't want to use a meaner word.

No one thinks that developers should not or cannot be paid. It seems like a very deliberately misleading thing for you to state that anyone thinks that.

As to what the proprietary developers would do if Joomla!, Mambo, drupal and other open source cms disappeared tomorrow?  Perhaps some of them would be willing to commit the time and energy to start from scratch to build a new non gpl cms. That is their option. As most of them know, that is not a trivial undertaking.

What you are not understanding is that Joomlla! does not have the legal right to allow developers to violate the copyrights of the code contributors. going back to mambo and the various gpl libraries a that are used. Microsoft does not have these restrictions and thus is allowed to do what it wants.

modified to fix spelling and grammar.
Last edited by mcsmom on Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
http://officialjoomlabook.com Get it at http://www.joomla.org/joomla-press-official-books.html Buy a book, support Joomla!.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:03 pm

Well, like I said, I assume you believe the same applies to the Joomla! developers who are donating their time and intellectual property without compensation excapt for admiration and thanks from the community.

So, personally, I think your argument is stronger if before anything else you acknowledge this.
I'm sorry, but you assume incorrectly. The original developers knew they would receive GLOBAL recognition for their work on J! if they could make it fly, and the doors that could open [for them] are virtually unlimited.
No one thinks that developers should not or cannot be paid. It seems like a very deliberately misleading thing for you to state that anyone thinks that.
Perhaps you could point out why so many devs are up in arms and a few have pulled their modules if: "No one thinks that developers should not or cannot be paid"?
I'm very confused by that statement. After reading about 500 posts, it appears to me that it's exactly what the devs are worried about.
I don't want to use a meaner word
Thank you :)
What you are not understanding is that Joomlla! does not have the legal right to allow developers to violate the copyrights of the code contributors. going back to mambo and the various gpl libraries a that are used. Microsoft does not have these restrictions and thus is allowed to do what it wants.
I think I do understand that part, what I don't understand is how it got to this point. Why was the first encrypted upload allowed on the Forge? Why did nobody ask questions when the second was uploaded, and the third? Nobody 'noticed' those were violations of the GPL several yrs ago? It's just not adding up in my mind, and I'm sure many others too, who are just too shy to come in here and state that.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by mcsmom » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:15 pm

Some developers are up in arms, but a lot of it is based on fear and misunderstanding.

We are now, after the months of developers  demanding an announcement about this issue, watching people go through a lot of venting. However, we also see here and elsewhere that creative people are trying to come up with approaches that work for them, whether developing gpl, lgpl or other bridges, moving to a business model that perhaps provides more service or more polished presentation (remember css and js do not need to be gpl'd), customizaiton services, hosted services and a number of other possible options. I love how people are trying to do this; it's like what Raymond talks about in The Cathedral and the Bazaar. 

As for loading on the forge, as far as I know only gpl projects are allowed there. On the directory, I don't know, but people have certainly been aware of this issue (and working on it) for a long time.
So we must fix our vision not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but upon the positive affirmation of peace. MLK 1964.
http://officialjoomlabook.com Get it at http://www.joomla.org/joomla-press-official-books.html Buy a book, support Joomla!.

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Re: Does OPEN SOURCE MATTER? You Bet!

Post by hall_n_a » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:23 pm

Thanks for the feedback mcsmom, and sorry if zI made you wanna say bad words  :-[

This topic stirs emotion in every user who loves J!, and fears losing it.
However, because of the 'fear and misinformation', I have halted work on my J! site until I can see where this is going to end up. I hope an announcment of the resolution comes soon for everyones sake.

And, THANK YOU VERY MUCH to anyone behind the scenes who has helped to create J! I LOVE IT

 

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