Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open to Misinterpretation

Filed under
OSS

Before "open source", before free software, there was software in the public domain. You could say that software in the public domain was truly free. The code was "open source" and the user had the right to take it, break it, appropriate it, re-use it, package it, sell it, re-brand and license it, or do what you will with it.

The problem with software in the public domain, was that, more often than not, any changes to the software didn't come back to the developer in any usable form, and modifications didn't revert to the original maintainer of the code. In some cases the software was appropriated and relicensed by the user. In other words there was no guarantee that the software would remain free, or would grow.

The solution to this problem was the GPL. Not only did the GPL protect free software and keep it free, but it opened the door for a community to form around the software in the knowledge that contributions were fed back into the original body of code. The often criticised "viral" nature of copyleft and the GPL was the instrument that fostered participation and feedback from the community, and provided the framework for the later success of free and "open source" software.

More Here.




More in Tux Machines

Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd

The boycotting of systemd has led to the creation of uselessd, a new init daemon based off systemd that tries to strip out the "unnecessary" features. Uselessd in its early stages of development is systemd reduced to being a basic init daemon process with "the superfluous stuff cut out". Among the items removed are removing of journald, libudev, udevd, and superfluous unit types. Read more

Android One: Let us fill you in on Google’s big game

India is now the world’s third largest Internet market and “on a bullet train to become the second”. But even when we become the second with around 300 million Internet users, India would still have over 75 per cent of the population that has no access to this so-called information superhighway. It is this chunk of population that will form the “next billion” which companies like Nokia, and now Google, has been talking about. And it is this next billion that Google thinks will line up to buy and good smartphone that is also affordable. Read more

Mesa Gets Closer To Having OpenGL 4.0 Tessellation Support

A significant patch-set was published on Saturday night that implements the driver-independent bits of OpenGL 4's ARB_tessellation_shader extension inside Mesa. The tessellation support has been one of the big pieces missing from Mesa's OpenGL 4 implementation and fortunately it's getting close to mainline. Chris Forbes of Intel published fifty-six patches this weekend that implement the driver-independent portions of the extension inside Mesa. Of course, the driver portions still need to follow for it to be useful. Read more

Small Console Menu Utilities

One of the great strengths of Linux is the whole raft of weird and wonderful open source utilities. That strength does not simply derive from the functionality they offer, but from the synergy generated by using them together, sometimes in conjunction with applications. The Unix philosophy spawned a "software tools" movement which focused on developing concise, basic, clear, modular and extensible code that can be used for other projects. This philosophy remains an important element for many Linux projects. Good open source developers writing utilities seek to make sure the utility does its job as well as possible, and work well with other utilities. The goal is that users have a handful of tools, each of which seeks to excel at one thing. Some utilities work well on their own. This article looks at four tiny utilities that offer menu facilities. They get virtually zero coverage in the Linux press, so you may not have heard of them before, but they are well crafted and might just fit the bill. Read more