Saturday, March 26, 2011

All biggies use FLOSS nobody gives back.

Take all the big companies in the IT world. They have used FLOSS in one way or the other. But when it comes to giving back to the same FLOSS projects they act smart. They take out all the loop holes in the FLOSS licensing and use it to shield their proprietary ways. They always resist using software licensed in gpl v3 which is one of the best FLOSS license I have come across to preserve the FLOSS ecosystem. The main reason a FLOSS developer goes for a lesser restrictive license like gpl v2 or bsd/apache license is that proprietary biggies love those licenses and the possibility of its use and reach to users increase. If a developer is interested in vast reach then he would never release it with gpl v3.

The linux kernel is the best example for software licensed with gpl v2. If it was licensed with gpl v3, I dont think google would have put that kernel in android systems. They in turn would have gone for a bsd kernel. Which is the same case with apple. Though linux is far ahead in terms of hardware support compared to bsd kernel, for apple it worked nicely since they are not here to support all the hardware in the world. But for android, it was different. They wanted to support anything and everything on the planet so google went ahead with linux gpl v2. Given the same hardware support or if linux is licensed in gpl v3, I am pretty confident that google will go with bsd kernel. They just have to re-write their virtual machine, and all the apps would run fine.

facebook also uses lot of FLOSS software, but I have not heard about any code being given back to the FLOSS eco-system

The summary is, all these proceeding will stifle further innovations in the FLOSS world and there would not be any special FLOSS project which the biggies can parasite on. I appeal to all the biggies to come out with their usage of FLOSS projects and put the changes and improvements they have done back to the FLOSS ecosystem.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RMS and cell phone.

I was getting bored with the heap load of discussions about GNOME, Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth..... Here comes a whiff of fresh air from the Master.

"I don't have a cell phone. I won't carry a cell phone," says Richard. M. Stallman. That is a very serious statement by the founder of Free software foundation. RMS has always been vocal about any technology that invades privacy of people. Let it be the cloud, social networking sites which lack enough privacy extensions or recently the cell phone. RMS is always for absolute freedom. In India Sri Mahatma Gandhi called it "sampoorna" ie, freedom without any tag lines, without any special conditions, without any riders.

Now, what is it with a cell phone. I still have to come across anybody who can make that statement and stand by it. RMS walks his talk. When he was in India a couple of years ago, I read in Linux for you mag that he did not drink packaged water produced by the coca cola company. He waited until he found out a decent source of water not produced by the multinational company. Cell phones can be tracked to the last millimeter. With this we forgo the last millimeter of privacy which is left. The beauty is you will not know that u are being tracked. We do yearn for the good old days where meeting anybody after a long time evoked so much positve happiness among everybody who meets. Now everybody is connected and are normally updated every day/hour/minute by talking over phone or tracking on the social networking sites. Meeting people is these days never exciting. Now that was the "social" problem. RMS does not like the cell phone since it gives immense opportunity for big brother to wait on you, collect enough info on you and then fix you.

Can I live without a cell phone to his standards. No. Partially yes. I would definitely like to increase that "partial" to near complete No. Let us see how much I would succeed. As of now, I do support RMS with his statement regarding cellphones. Will he succeed in changing few others? Difficult.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A blog reply to mark shuttleworth

This was the reply sent to mark concerning the revenue sharing model for banshee.

Mark, Please do note the following.
1. Ur explanation of the whole situation is most confusing.
2. U have not taken any stand.
3. Ignorance of law is also a crime. Ignorance of the banshee scenario is no explanation for such a heavily debated topic
4. Banshee or any other "free as in freedom" developers do not need ur advice. They very well know how to make money or not from their favorite project.
5. Your re-iteration of telling the banshee developers to develop "their" project, improve "their" project, think about only "their" projects is something that will not be taken easily by the "free as in freedom" developers.
6. Ubuntu is "your" project. So go ahead and do whatever u want with it.
7. Since u dont like nasty comments here please head out to my blog, If u have time(And if u think that it might give ur monetary returns).
8. "U" and "U"buntu are here at this commanding position because of the "free as in freedom" developers(gnome, linux kernel, open office, kvm, qemu, firefox, X, all the plethora of window managers, GNU/Debian and all the fantastic "free as in freedom" developers.
9. U seem to be interested only in the beatification of GNU/Linux.
10. U have spent only "dollars" in making brand ubuntu known(If allowed, u might have a windows kernel if it was free.)
11. U in fact should have spent those "dollars" in making the world understand "free as in freedom" software.
12. stop aping Apple.