[nSLUG] Richard Stallman in Halifax

Rich budman85 at eastlink.ca
Fri Jan 30 14:17:04 AST 2009

David Payne wrote:
> On Fri, 2009-01-30 at 13:20 -0400, Daniel Morrison wrote:
>> Challenge: name a "freedom" which is not permitted by Free software.
>> Hint: a restriction (i.e. the right to restrict distribution of
>> portions of the software, such as the source, is not a freedom).
> Software released under the GPL has a restriction, you can't make
> derivative copies and release your copies without access to the source
> code.  In most peoples eyes this is a *good* restriction, but it's a
> restriction none the less.  Truly free software would be in the public
> domain.
> Not being aloud to release software without source code is less freedom
> than being able to do what ever you want with the software.

I think the main goal is the freedom of choice.

The restriction you mention, if I recall, was to keep the software free.
Stopping proprietary coders from using GPL code, making updates,
and not releasing the new extended code.  Worse off, blame the GPL
coders for bad code, when it was actually the modified code that broke -
Java and Kerberos under Microsoft.   (Funny how Java seems to run
better now its only in Sun's control now).

But... doesn't this break one of basic rights of the software.
Our choice to modify and release the source...

I guess coding would be like books in a library.  They are there to read,
borrow, study.   You can quote them if you give credit to the authors.
Study them and write your own books.  You choose to publish them
or not.  You don't want to put limits on WHO can read them, or HOW
they will be used.  

To programmers, looking at the source of a program can send chills
up your spin.  Especially, ahh that's how they solved it, or hmm this
can be improved by doing this and that.  

Ever wake up in the middle of the night with an Eureka moment!
I have several times and wrote down logic I was working on. 
The best is during a conversation, a thought just pops in... hehe. 


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