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Syllable, open source or free software?

 
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ddavid123



Joined: 08 Mar 2009
Posts: 15
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Syllable, open source or free software? Reply with quote

There has been a debate for 10+ years between Free Software and Open Source! For whatever reason, there are at least 2 different movements. My question is this: is Syllable considered Free Software or Open Source?

The GNU GPL and LGPL calls it Free Software. Personally, I am a Free Software man. Open Source is pretty much Free Software, but with better sounding name to big business, and proprietary software permitted to coexist!

I agree with Richard Stallman, the community is as important or more so than the software! Without Stallman's contribution, there would be no Free Software Operating System! There would be no GNU/ Linux or Syllable in it's current form!

Just thought I would ask! If this starts a flame war, then please delete!!
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Kaj
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 2201
Location: Friesland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with Richard and we agreed that we couldn't present Syllable as an official GNU project, because we don't want to guarantee to only include free software. In fact, Syllable contains a few small non-free parts. I do agree with Richard's ideas and motives, except that I don't think it's unethical to offer non-free software. People are free to reject the offer.

The aim of Syllable is to use what works. Free software is a great way to ensure the survival of an operating system. On the other hand, a platform is not a platform if it is hostile to some classes of applications. We want Syllable to be a platform for both open and closed applications, so LGPL is the way to go for our libraries. Further, we think current free and open source software doesn't work all that well and we think the way to be successful is not mainly to be free, but to be better.
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.ee



Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to agree with Kaj. The classical open source movement has a tendency of becoming too dogmatic and ideological at the cost of the quality and usability of software products. fedora and ubuntu are the best illustrations of that.
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Kaj
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 2201
Location: Friesland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's funny. Richard is extreme in that he refuses to use software if it is not free. In the same way I refuse to use software that has no chance of ever working on Syllable or that is too complex to ever be manageable. We're quite alike, it's just that we have a different priorities order. Richard sees freedom first and foremost in the license; I see freedom in the ability to have technological control over systems, a part of which is that the source should be available.

We are considered to be extreme, but I can see very clearly that several situations in the world are actually extreme, and it requires people to go in the extreme opposite direction to remedy them. One thing that has been exposed now is the financial structure of our world. Another thing is the extreme lock-in that IT vendors exercise over customers in this early stage in the history of computer technology. This is what Richard is railing against, and it takes his extremely clear reasoning to paint a proper picture of it. I can see people gliding away from the truth as soon as they try to compromise on these viewpoints. What we are railing against with Syllable is in the first place the extreme overcomplexity that the IT industry has created for itself in just a few decades. This is causing a lot of trouble and goes across both closed and open software. Our experience, too, is that it takes extreme opposition to ingrained ideas to remedy this.
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Vanders
The Knights of Syllable


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 849

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Kaj"]What we are railing against with Syllable is in the first place the extreme overcomplexity that the IT industry has created for itself in just a few decades. This is causing a lot of trouble and goes across both closed and open software. Our experience, too, is that it takes extreme opposition to ingrained ideas to remedy this.[/quote]

Quite right. This has been one of the most interesting aspects of Syllable for me so far, and I've found that even trying to explain the concept that modern software is too complex is difficult to get across to others. Even when you provide clear examples of over complexity, people will ignore or challenge those examples. The entire concept that "Complex" does not automatically equate to "Better" is so foreign to many people that it's impossible to even introduce the concept to them.
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