|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [firstname.lastname@example.org: Re: [Balug-talk] [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Its a sorry day for The Linux?Journal]
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Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 02:42:07 -0400
From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com, rms-at-gnu.org
Subject: [rick-at-linuxmafia.com: Re: [Balug-talk] [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Its a sorry day for The Linux?Journal]
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----- Forwarded message from Rick Moen -----
Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 23:37:29 -0700
From: Rick Moen
X-Mas: Bah humbug.
Subject: Re: [Balug-talk] [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Its a sorry day for The
Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com):
> > Hi, Ruben. I'm not quite sure what this outburst had to do with the
> > preceding conversation?
> The reference was to the statements, as I understood them, that no
> Open Source advocates publically said that their software freedom was
> any less important to them than the Free Software Advocates.
I'm quadruply confused.
1. Nobody made the claim you cite. It seems drearily
bespoke-constructed (perhaps accidentally) to be easily knocked down.
2. You seem to be referring to the film "Revolution OS", but I can't
remember the speech you're referring to (though I appear in it, in a
couple of places), let alone what it's supposed to show about Mr.
Augustin, not to mention anyone else.
3. Nor do you quote it (nor the same purported speech from Bruce
Perens), nor can I seem to find any reference on the Web.
4. Most of all, your post seems a complete and utter non sequitur to
_mine_, which it partially quoted and purported to respond to.
At least Augustin is a _little_ more relevant a person to cite in
relation to OSI than the prior rather pathetic and inaccurate reference
to Torvalds: Although Augustin never has held any post at OSI to my
knowledge, he at least was one of those attending the restaurant meeting
in Silicon Valley at which the group was formed.
> I'm not certain if the very intelligent people who promote the lines
> of reasoning such as we witnessed by "The Linux Journal" editors
> editorial from February, the one I sent at the start of this thread,
> fully comprehend just how much damage they are doing to their own self
> interests for the comfort of a short term solution.
Ah yes, Nick's troll "rant". I had a draft of the note I wrote after
after giggling for a good long while at how many places he screwed up
in that screed. I'm not going to send it because it's too long, and
takes _way_ too long to reach the main point, which is that his "rant"
is either clueless about licensing strategy or, in the alternative, is
empty sophistry because of that omission.
(Initially, I didn't mind it being overlong: If Nick's badly written
rant made me suffer, I'm going to make him suffer.) But I'll have to
write something shorter and more pointed if sending it to a magazine.
But here it is, logorrhoea and all:
Thank you for taking the reins of _Linux Journal_. It's good to see you
aboard, and I'll be looking forward to seeing your work.
February's spirited /etc/rant piece seems to have been written to provoke,
deliberately insulting epithets and all -- a fine art form in itself, I
suppose. I just sincerely hope you were _deliberately_ trolling. This
mail is thus intended as, pardon the phrase, a reality check.
Item: Why label eschewing of proprietary Java toolchains (Sun's,
IBM's, BEA's, or others') as motivated by "fear"? Surely you haven't
been a Linux user for a decade-plus without encountering other reasons
for preferring open source / free software?
Item: Along the sane lines, you speak of schizophrenia and other forms
of damaged sanity in (unnamed) "free/open-source advocates". This is
just in paragraph two, and you're already wildly calling people names,
and skirting the libel laws mostly by failing to mention names.
Item: What is the relevance to your assertion about "fear" of Evans
Data Corporation's claim about the number of Eclipse developers on
Linux, especially since Eclipse doesn't require a proprietary JRE?
Item: Why do you imply that people eschewing proprietary JREs are
merely "afraid" of being asked to pay a "licence fee", especially since
you are well aware that open source has ultimately roughly zero to do
with avoiding "licence fees", and has much more serious concerns?
Item: Why do you posit that (unnamed) Linux open source people would
consider Qt "evil", when Qt has famously been available under an open
source licence for many years?
Item: Why do you assert that anyone developing proprietary applications
(which you refer to by the vague term "closed source") must pay licence
fees to Trolltech, when a rudimentary understanding of licences and
copyright law will reveal that this is incorrect as stated (regardless
of what Trolltech AS might state)?
Item: Why do you imply that open source advocates would necessarily and
everywhere prefer LGPLed GTK+ over GPLed Qt, when that plainly is not
Item: Why would you refer to the LGPL licensing of GTK+ as permitting
"exploiting" that codebase's developers, when it was the latter's
strategically considered choice? Do you think those developers are
idiots? Or perhaps insane? I would suggest, rather, that they were
shrewdly picking a licence for a particular key component that they
wished to see very widely adopted, with an eye towards longer-term
licence-strategy goals for other components.
If you honestly have not considered the notion of licence _strategy_,
that might be a new thought for you. E.g., Free Software Foundation
urged the Xiph.org authors of the Vorbis codec (for .ogg sound files) to
change their licensing from GPL to LGPL to increase .ogg adoption, as a
means of encouraging wider use of that sound format instead of the
patent-encumbered MP3 one.
Item: Why would you say the GNU General Public Licence embodies "the
spirit of open source", when even FSF publishes software works under
other licences as well?
Item: Why would you mischaracterise the GNU GPL as requiring
publication of one's code if "you publish software that integrates
someone else's publicly available [GPLed] work", when you're surely well
aware that many means of integration create no such obligation?
Item: Why would you erroneously state that Nvidia, Inc. "violates the
GPL" (i.e., violates third-party copyrights of GPLed work authors)
"because it keeps some of its Linux kernel driver code secret", when
surely you're aware that such copyright violation requires (1)
redistribution, not merely creation, of (2) a work derivative of the
other authors' work (which you've not shown to be the case, here)?
Item: Why do you state that using GTK+ in accordance with its licence
is the same thing as using the Linux kernel in a way that (per you)
violates its licence (i.e., using it with Nvidia kernel modules)?
Item: Why would you assert that GCJ is "nearly useless" when, among
other things, it runs Eclipse, why you asserted in paragraph three to be
the preferred development environment of the majority of developers on
Item: Why, after all of this, do you close with a reference to Torvalds
stating a strong preference for current KDE over current GNOME, when his
reasons had nothing at all to do with licensing, when in fact both
desktop suites themselves are identically licensed under the GNU GPL
(only their toolkits being under diverse open-source licences),
when either one could have sucked or not under any licence at all, and
when Torvalds expressed _no_ opinion about the toolkits where (fairly
minor) licensing differences can be found? You seem to be attempting to
contrast his view with that of Icaza, and yet Icaza's reasons for
touting LGPL's advantages on some components are well known, and are
strategic, exactly the same as those of the Xiph.org developers.
Item: Why do you laud Torvalds's opinion about desktop suites as
showing that he recognises what has "practical value", impliedly
saying that different views in other circumstances (such as Icaza's)
fail to recognise "practical value"? Are you suggesting that a
strategic approach to software licensing has no practical value?
Twenty-two years of copyleft coding history seems to prove you wrong,
On the other hand, to accentuate the positive: The one paragraph in
your rant that seems both cogent and informative is the one at the
bottom, that says you're Editor in Chief of Linux Journal. I'm
sincerely glad to hear that, and hope you'll make better use of your
editorial -- or rant -- space in the future.
 Just to clarify, I am not personally an "advocate" of that or any
other software or licensing regime, though I have a strong preference
for free software, irrespective of advocacy.
balug-talk mailing list
----- End forwarded message -----
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