[Ilugc] change in name
- From: prabhu@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Prabhu Ramachandran)
- Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2002 15:28:46 +0530
"RB" == Raghavendra Bhat <ragu@xxxxxxxx> writes:
RB> The OSS came after Arun & you started ILUG-Chennai. So, `By
RB> free' Arun really meant the ideals as conveyed by the GNU
RB> Project of RMS.
Few points to make here:
1. RMS did not invent freedom.
2. Unix existed before RMS *thought* of GNU. And before Unix was
commercialized etc. people exchanged code freely.
3. How can you speak for Arun? Unless you have some special powers
that we dont know of.
The trouble is that people seem to use the meaning of 'free'
interchangeably with the dictionary meanings and the meaning as given
by the FSF. This can become extremely misleading. Ask anyone who is
not very aware of GPL etc. to define what they mean by free and they
will give you a very different interpretation. And by that
interpretation the GPL cannot be considered truly free.
For instance, lets say you publish an idea for a toy on the web. Now
someone takes the idea enhances it quite a bit, supports it,
advertizes it, polularizes it, bets his money and life on it, forms a
company that makes an honest living of selling your enhanced version
of the toy idea and does not give the details of the major
enhancements back to everyone on a free webpage. If you gave the idea
freely then this would be allowed. But if you used a FSF
interpretation of the word free, the person would never be able keep
his changes to himself. Now there are two ways to look at it.
1. The FSF way would be to say: that is evil. You took my idea and
did not give me your idea. Fine. This protects your idea. But if
the person felt, "if I give the idea out then my future is insecure
why should I pursue the idea at all?" Anyway there are restrictions
and common folk would not consider that as true freedom. This is
like the Britishers telling India when we were freed that if we are
free we will never do this or that (or else they will take us to
court and spoil our fair name! ;)
2. The free (as in dictionary meaning) would say. Good, someone took
the idea and made a lot of money out of it. Good for them. Just
note that you can do this (without the following features) for free
and do exactly what you want with it.
Now there are obvious pros and cons to each. However, you cant say
that the FSF definition of free is the commonly accepted version.
Further this was a kind example. The GPL can be notoriously
restrictive. Lets say I have an application (that is commercial) and
make one single library call (lets say its something like printing to
screen) a to a GPL'd (not LGPL'd) library, I'd have to release *all*
my sources under the GPL simply because of that one library call! I'm
sure you cannot say such a thing is truly free.
So back to the point, free is a pretty wide ranging word. AFAIK we
support the wider definition of free.
RB> Do you know when the Open Source Initiative was launched ?
RB> Prabhu, it is time you give credit where it is due...... :)
haha. Thats funny. Many points here I'll restrict myself tho.
1. Do you really believe that people started sharing software (and
potentially other things) after RMS started the FSF? Wow! If you
associate the formation of OSI with the licenses that affiliate to
it you are destroying your own argument because the GPL license is
also OSI approved! Did public domain software come after RMS or
before RMS? Intersting we have AD/BC now we have AR and BR eh? ;)
2. Who am I supposed to credit? FSF? FSF didnt write all the GPL'd
code out there. How about credit to individual programmers? How
about credit to the X11/Xfree86 folks? How about credit to those
who founded the Internet? How about credit to those who wrote
Python/Perl/Tcl/<whatever>? How about giving credit to the BSD
folks for the TCP/IP stack? How about giving credit to Kernighan
for developing C? How about the founding fathers of Unix? How
about the founding fathers of computing? How about their fathers
and mothers and theirs? How about God?
If you claim that most software is licensed using GPL/LGPL based on
this: http://www.dwheeler.com/sloc/redhat71-v1/redhat71sloc.html and
therefore we must put GNU everywhere, then think again for I can
argue even harder that you should include 'C' in every program name
because more than 70% of the sources are in C!! So how would you
feel if Kerninghan turned around and said "Henceforth you must all
call your groups ICLUGC. If you don't I will not give a talk at
your group! Afterall I had this grand vision that programming
should be 'free', easier and portable ..." I think you get the
3. Well, since you have forgotten I was one of the blokes who
suggested after RMS's talk that we could change references to Linux
as GNU/Linux. I think I also supported the move to change the name.
However after discussion we decided to stay with the old name
because of many reasons. There seemed no point in changing it. all
this had already been discussed and decided. The matter was put to
rest. Suraj suddenly seemed to get all excited once more about
chaning the name and some comments on the list were very misleading.
So my argument is simple.
1. All licenses have their pros and cons. We cant say we endorse any
one of them. ILUGC should encourage the use of free(dictionary
meaning) software. I dont think commercial software should be
shunned or thrown out. We always enjoy freebies (even if the
software is commercial!). ;) However as always free(dict meaning)
software is given the highest priority and preference. We are open
to discussing technical things about software/hardware. This has how
it has been always and it has nothing to do with the FSF or RMS
2. ILUGC is fairly old has a name and site and many things already
going for it. We have always been democratic and open to all sorts
of ideas. We dont think it is correct to change the name at this
stage to make it GNU centric. This also seems the general consensus.
I dont really trust the votes -- if we really did we should have met
at Aminjikarai a long while ago. ;D
This is my last post on the thread (on or off the list). I dont care
anymore what happens. Call me names for all i care. This does not
mean I agree with where the thread goes. I think I have made myself
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