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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] More bad news about the GPL License: Fwd:[Gxl] GCC Licencing and XML extracts

Jack Park wrote:    (01)

> ...a bit from
> http://www.itworld.com/AppDev/350/LWD010523vcontrol4/pfindex.html, Joe
> Barr's defense of GPL:
> Enumeration of the benefits:
> "Users are free to use the program for any purpose.
> Users are free to examine the source code to see how it works.
> Users are free to distribute the program to others.
> Users are free to improve the program. "    (02)

Gee, that sounds really good. Except...    (03)

The 94 versions of Unix the proliferated killed the platform more
thoroughly than any machinations from Redmond. Granted, folks
frown on branching a lot more these days. But...    (04)

Folks who use the software want to work. It takes a lot of
testing to make sure that changes work and are compatible
with each other. It takes a lot of design review to make sure
the changes use consistent conventions and are both well
structured and well commented.    (05)

Again, I see that happening in subsidized concerns and in particularly
close-knit groups of folks who are tinkering with mostly-there code
(e.g. GNU). I don't see anything like an extrapolation to collaborative
design of new systems, which are maleable to an excruiating degree.    (06)

Free to examine makes sense, and free to suggest improvements
makes sense. But free to distribute? Only when you assume that
testing, review, and all the other stuff are not important, or that
people are somehow free to do these things for other reasons.
(I sure wish I was one, I can tell you -- but who does lots of regression
testing without being paid -- or do the bleeding edge users take on
that role?)    (07)

As always, on this subject, I know I am flying in the face of
accepted lore, and therefore bracing for flames...    (08)