On 01/02/06, Bill Kelly <billk / cts.com> wrote:
> From: "Austin Ziegler" <halostatue / gmail.com>
>> I do maintain and will always maintain that my applications and
>> libraries released under an MIT-style licence will always be freer
>> than anything released under the GNU GPL, any version.
> Freer? Yes, if you are talking about the individual freedom of anyone
> extending your libraries and applications to close the source.

No, I mean freer. Period. I place minimal restrictions on my software. I
most emphatically do not place the restriction that someone has to open
up *their* source just because they want to use a library that I have
written.

> Not so free when the authors of modifications to your applications and
> libraries decide after some years to abandon the project and refuse to
> open the source, stranding the userbase at wherever development left
> off.

That, to be honest, is completely irrelevant. As long as I'm the active,
primary developer on a project that I'm working on, I won't accept code
that isn't under the *same* licence that I released it under. If someone
wants to fork my code and make their fork closed source, that's their
right and decision. I fully support them in that. But the original
source -- mine -- is still available and is perpetually available under
the licence(s) which I granted at release.

This is much more true now with long-lasting resources like RubyForge.

[...]

> But I wouldn't agree that the only definition of "freer" worth
> considering is one that allows authors modifying our libraries
> and applications the freedom to close the source.  Because for
> the eight-year-old Quake II community, these abandoned closed-
> source game modifications aren't feeling very free at all.

You know, I don't particularly disagree with that stance. But I'm not
really arguing about the definition of "freer"; it is a *fact* that I am
explicitly not setting restrictions, and as such my source *is* less
encumbered. Honestly, I'm much less concerned about second- and
third-level recipients ability to hack code that, while based on my
code, is no longer my code.

That said, I also don't have a problem with a licence that carries
restrictions similar to the GNU GPL. I just wish the damned preamble
weren't part of the GNU GPL. Just give me a licence that does what the
GNU GPL does without the pseudo-political nonsense, and I might use it
as it's appropriate. (FWIW, I am of the opinion that the GNU LGPL is a
wholly worthless licence, and feel that the MPL and its derivatives
accomplish the same thing as the GNU GPL in a much better manner.)

-austin
--
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca