By David Chisnall Aug 31, 2009
. Richard Stallman believes thatmy comment:
writing proprietary software is antisocial.
Unfortunately, this mentality leads to lost opportunities.
The GPL doesn't give you the choice of
writing some proprietary software
and contributing it to Free Software.
If you want to use some GPL'd code,
you have to GPL your entire project
(which is sometimes impossible due to
This is where the FSF and I have a
fundamental philosophical disagreement.
I believe that the community benefits when
the amount of Free Software increases.
The FSF believes that the community is harmed
when the amount of proprietary software increases,
and that making it easier to write a proprietary application
is a bad thing,
even when the side-effect is that
the developers improve some Free Software.
. Chisnall doesn't seem aware of Stallman's
motivation for the GPL .
. the main point was not to get more contributed code,
rather it was to remind developers who program for the public
that it is rude to distribute a license that says
the code has no guarantee of being free of bugs
and yet users are disallowed from
inspecting and debugging the code .
. as an incentive for these developers to
cooperate with user debugging,
here's a whole library of free code that is theirs
if only they allow us to help them with fixing their bugs .
. this problem is esp'ly urgent for hardware drivers,
where you've paid good money for something like a printer,
only to be told that only their in-house apes
can write & test the drivers for your machine!
. the real solution to this problem would have been to
demand a totally openware platform
where any compatible drivers would have to openware,
and this would make it easier to
not only fix all the buggy drivers,
but also use competing os's .
. this is where you have to wonder about the USA's reputation;
it's known as the bastion of free market principles,
but then their computer drivers are creating these monopolies,
and their doctors are running price-fixing cartels .
. well, ok, who needs doctors anyway;
but computers are becoming really important !