Aug 6, 2010

I need a new favorite OSI license or Why I don't like the GPL anymore

I don't like the GPL anymore after the WordPress Theme fiasco. I don't like the idea that a theme, plugin, addon, extension, whatever is 'derived' from the thing it's adding on to and thus must also be GPL.

If I build a deck onto the back of my house is that deck derived from my house? No! if I take the blueprints of my house and build another one that's 80% like it is that house derived from my house? yes. If I offer a painting service to paint houses and I offer people preexisting color schemes are those schemes derived from their house? should the manufacturer/contractor (whatever) be able to tell me I can't do that, or that I have to share my colorschemes (and how I mix my paint) with him? How STUPID, IMO. But that's what the GPL does, you can't help other people addon to their house without sharing it with the house builder.

Now I'm all for sharing source code back, and I think if you modify OSS you should have to give your source back. But if you don't modify it and you are just using the the public API, why should you have to give all of your code up for that? or more importantly why shouldn't be you be able to choose your own OSI approved license? I mean what if I have a GPL library, a Artistic Library and a BSD library I want to use to build an application, which has an API, must be GPL and so must everyone's apps that add to it. No you may not make a DWTFYWWI plugin, no you may not make a BSD plugin, no you may not release that code into the public domain, because the GPL says so, and I used a library that made me use it.

Well ya know what? I'm not going to use the GPL from now on. I need to find a new license that fits my needs (and will not be toxic to others).

Desire #1. He who modifies my code, and distributes it, must share his code (with me).
Desire #2. He who wants to use my API may do so (so long as he doesn't modify it)
Desire #3. He who wants to copy my code must share it, and any changes.
Desire #4. Some patent protection would be nice
Desire #5. letting users outside your organization utilize it counts as distribution (a'la AGPL)

I think the LGPL fits this bill, except for #5.

seriously why is it that you could optimize the internals of wordpress and make your own hosted blogging platform and you wouldn't have to share the changes at all... but with a theme you do...

Are there any other licenses I should consider or considerations I should make?

(honestly you don't have to agree with me about not liking the GPL here, this is just me)

Aug 3, 2010

Some Stack Exchange site's I'd like to see come to fruition

  • Unix & Linux: I think it'd be more used than Super User and ServerFault for some questions.
  • Outer Join: A place to ask questions about databases and queries
  • User Interface: because this is something we could all do better with.

Please consider following/committing. esp the unix/linux one (since I don't think Ubuntu should get to have its own, while leaving the rest of us in the cold.)

Aug 2, 2010

If you can't beat them, join them

I have been heavily criticized for criticizing, critiquing, and complaining about lack of quality in open source projects. I have done these things because I care, generally because I care about that specific project, or Open Source (or whatever I'm talking about) in general. I've been attacked, insulted, and sworn at. I've recently come to the realization that the community support that behavior, to the point that they won't stand up against those doing it. It is a very cliquish and tribal community, if you're in the in crowd you can do or say what you want, if not you'll be ostracized. I have been ostracized for years. I have decided to join the opinions of those I've been ostracized by, but also to accept my exile.

In order to discontinue my negative and inappropriate behavior, I have to stop caring. I choose now to not care about helping others who cannot (or choose not?) to help themselves. I will no longer complain about the problems of some projects, even those that I can and have provided fixes to the problems for. I will no longer fix problems that do not impact me. I will no longer tell people that they are misguided, no matter how much they are. I will no longer produce anything that doesn't help me. I have to become selfish and stop caring about the problems of others.

To this end I'm discontinuing my work on Arch Linux's AUR as it doesn't help me, CPANPLUS::Dist::Arch which does most of the work, is more than capable of doing this for anyone using Arch, the packages will be orphaned. In acceptance of my exile I am removing myself from all IRC channels (though I will continue to connect) unless I have a problem, that way I do not end up causing a problem, it seems even when I have a problem and try to limit it to that I end up causing one. I am going to ask that my blog be removed from the Iron Man 'competition'. I've been told that none of the work I've done is significant anyways, and thus my loss will not be a loss at all.

I will continue working on any project that has some benefit to myself, as my time is precious and I have a life outside of Open Source. I will only do so, however, if it doesn't require me to have an opinion. There is no point in pushing for a fix that I have a workaround for already, I will simply be seen as entitled and asking too much of other peoples time.

I can't win the fight by writing patches, or by helping people by answering questions, or sharing my knowledge publicly. So I choose not to fight, I choose to accept that I am not wanted and so I will leave.