[K12OSN] Scary article from Russia (w/o love)

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu May 21 18:36:25 UTC 2009

R. Scott Belford wrote:
> Anytime Les Mikesell has an opinion, I read it.  Period.  End of
> discussion.  I know of no other human that has reliably served the
> K12LTSP community any more than Les.  I think that when half of us ask
> questions to this list, we are secretly hoping that Les is reading.
> So, on the subject of why gnu/linux is not the best thing in the
> world, it's no surprise that the discussion progressed to
> collaboration with software code.  I have found this to be brilliant,
> enlightening, generally civil, and educational.  If you are not a
> developer, then you can skip this thread.  If you are curious about
> the dynamics behind software evolution, then this is compelling
> reading.
> I have never considered the GPL as restricting freedom.  This is a new
> and educational perspective.  I understand that in the pursuit of
> perfect code, some projects cannot borrow from others due to the
> licensing restrictions.

I've actually never used k12ltsp in the way it was intended other than 
playing with a few old PCs as thin clients.  The thing that attracted me 
to the distribution was the fact that it included things or scripts to 
install things that the stock distros didn't even admit existed (a 
packaged  Sun java, decent fonts, acrobat, flash, realplayer, etc.). 
That is, it had the right pragmatic approach to getting work done with 
the best tools available - and helping others do the same.  Ubuntu may 
match this now, but remember this was years ago.

> I'm a user, though, and not a developer.  I love and am romanticized
> by the principles of the GPL and Stallman because I want my software
> "free."  However, I want it to be great, too,  If I need to
> intellectually grasp the dynamics behind software collaboration in
> order to help make it better, then I am grateful for this discussion.

On the philosophical side, just consider how you and just about everyone 
else have benefited from the unrestricted availability of the reference 
TCP/IP code - and how things might have turned out if it had been 
encumbered with the GPL restrictions that make commercial products 
problematic.  The same principle applies to all other reusable code - 
there is no 'up' side to restricting distribution or use - all that can 
come out of it is having to use something worse.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

More information about the K12OSN mailing list