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



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 gmail com


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