Arnt Gulbrandsen
About meAbout this blog
2016-07-21

Open source is succeeding, and rms is unhappy

This summer Dropbox released an image compression thing called Lepton, effectively a better way to encode JPEG (same principles, same pixel results, considerably better execution of various implementation aspects). Dropbox didn't have to do that. But one does nowadays, it's become part of modern programming culture. Using and releasing open source is a best practice, as the buzzword goes.

Around the same time Richard M. Stallman posted a condemnation of companies that both support free software and teach classes in use of nonfree software. Condemnation is the word he chooses, not my choice. No fraternisation with the enemy!

That enemy is us, now. The enemy is those who follow today's conventional best practices. A stealth-mode startup I am talking to has ten projects on github, because the CTO there has decided that whatever good programmers consider good is what shall be done in his realm. Most of the projects are forks, some with PRs for upstream, others described as the code in this fork isn't really suitable for upstream, but take it if you want. Good, polite behaviour, best practice indeed, and very different from the GNU purity that rms requires.

What is left of rms' following if the good programmers are declared to be enemies? The outlook for the GNU project is poor.

2012-04-23

Choosing an opensource licence

Last night I read that use of the GPL is declining, ever faster. Makes sense. And makes me want to braindump another minor aspect of Trolltech's history, with a bit of a comment.

Trolltech started using 100% closed licensing, then, when I suggested it a few days after being hired, gradually released Qt under ever more permissive licenses. (more…)

2010-04-26

83% PHP

Github thinks aox is 83% PHP. That is even more of an insult than its previous supposition. 60% C might have been misleading, but that error was understandable (it thought cryptlib was part of aox). 83% PHP is just insulting.

Ohloh also smokes the good stuff: Archiveopteryx is GPL'd, thank you so much.

2009-12-15

No GPL for me

There are four things I dislike about the GPL. In no particular order:

Its bad writing causes flame wars. So there are flame wars about the concept, that's OK, but there are also flame wars about what the GPL says, and that's simply inacceptable. Writing clear prose isn't that difficult.

I do not want to spend a single hour in the rest of my life arguing about what the GPL says and doesn't say. I do not want any more mail from advokids with (more…)