Posts Tagged ‘mswl-intro’
A couple of days ago some people from the Redmine community announced the creation of a fork, its name is Chiliproject. For those of you that don’t know Redmine, it is a libre software project management very popular during the last two years.
Redmine is an active project, the creation of a fork could take away contributors from it and the forked project will have a strong and popular competitor, the reasons to create a fork in those cases must be very strong. The Chiliproject leaders explain it in a post, they basically complain about the community management which from their point of view have to be more open.
… Integration of community-created patches were too sporadic, lacked a clear methodology, and was interfering with the effectiveness of the Redmine project for its users. Over the past two years, several members of Redmine’s community worked to resolve management bottlenecks through clear suggestions and contributions. They also attempted to broaden and open up the development process to more contributors. But efforts via public and private forums to discuss the goals and future direction with the project manager of Redmine failed, as the current project manager did not share these priorities
These are the reasons why some people from the Redmine community decided to create a new project, they want to put in practice a more transparent and open governance model following the “ideals of Free and Open Source Software ethics, governance and development practices”. During the following months we will witness a very hard competition where two similar projects will use two different approaches to manage its community. Will Chiliproject be able to attract more code contributors than Redmine? Won’t Redmine lose a bigger part of the community in favour of Chiliproject? These questions will have an answer by the end of the year.
The debian-legal is a great source of knowledge about legal issues related to FLOSS. A couple of days ago one of the contributors sent a mail informing that a computer shop has taken the Debian logo and used it for his business.
The Debian Open User Logo without the word “Debian” (they call it DOUL-nd) is released under the terms of a license similar to MIT, as specified on http://www.debian.org/logos/
If the people from http://www.legendpc.co.nz/ copied the logo from Debian it could be a copyright infringement problem because there is no mention to the license. The violation is about the following statement:
“The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.”
If they do that, they would be in compliance with the license of the DOUL-nd
On the other hand, what if they just obtained it from scratch? According to a message in the debian-legal mailing list the swirl is just one of the defaults. Some contributors were discussing if that would be relevant for a trademark violation, in those cases what matters is whether the image is confusingly similar to an existing trademark. The point here is the swirl is not trademark, what Debian has under trademark is the Debian name and as a consequence the logo that contains the “Debian” label.
This morning Stefano Zacchiroli (the Debian leader) has forwarded the issue to the SPI lawyer, it seems that the idea is to send a letter to the domain owner requesting to come into compliance with the licensing term of the Debian swirl.
I used to be one of these persons that daily spend a lot of time browsing photos on flickr and tried to learn tricks from the best photographers. Soon I started to upload photos licensed under CC by-nc and to be honest I didn’t think this photos would be less free than the software I use (libre/free software). It was around a year later I joined flickr when talking with a friend about contributing with photos to libre software projects he told me the license I was using was not compatible with projects like wikipedia, why? because it enters in conflict with one of the freedoms included in the free licences definition about redistribution. If you included a photo with the non-commercial clause in its license in wikipedia it wouldn’t be possible to sell DVD copies of it and it couldn’t contain advertisements. Basically if you want to create a free cultural work using Creative Commons you have to license your photo under the CC Attribution license of the Attribution-Sharealike license. First one is similar to the MIT or BSD used in software, the second one is copyleft.
So, this cloudy night I wondered how many free cultural works are hosted in flickr and I obtained some approximated numbers:
- According to blog.flickr.net there are more than 5 billion photos in flickr
- According to the search engine less than 167 millions are using a CC license
So far we can say that 3,3 out of 100 photos are using Creative Commons licenses. Let’s dive it a bit more:
- 167 millions using CC
- 38 millions of photos licensed under cc-by or cc-by-sa
So .. around 1 out of 100 photos stored in flickr is a free cultural work and 2 out of 100 use a CC license that is not considered free. I wonder how many people does not know yet how important that free contribution would be.
After my collaboration to teach systems integration in the Master on Libre Software during last year I decided to enrol me on it this year. I’m pretty sure it will offer me a stronger background to work in the FLOSS world (do not confuse floss with free software or open source software as you can see in the cartoon 😉
I only could attend to a couple of sessions of the first subject called “Introduction to libre software” where Jesús Barahona and Gregorio Robles introduced the key questions that will be developed during the rest of the course. For me the history lesson was really inspiring, I had never looked beyond the 80’s where the software was libre in its beginning . It was also very interesting to hear about the interaction between Stallman and Tanenbaum, when rms ask Tanenbaum to use its compiler as free software. He refused with “No, the university might be free, but the software they develop isn’t” and Stallman created gcc. Tanenbaum wasn’t also very lucky when he discouraged Torlvalds to create a new operating system based in Minix, a few months after he released Linux 0.02 , it was October 1991
One of the exercises we made during these sessions is recommendable for everyone that haven’t read very carefully the OSI and FSF definitions for OSS and free software. Create a Venn diagram with software categorized by license, you could start with: free software, open source software (OSS), open source, Free Open Source Software (FOSS), Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS), freeware, shareware, careware, *ware, libre software, software de fuentes abiertas (SFA, spanish definition), free redistributable software (FRS), ..
Finally the task for the students of this subject are not the typical ones in the university. We have to create the following content:
- collaborative notes of every session
- blog entries about the subject, indeed this is one of them!
- exercises in the forum about controversial cases
- specific report about one of the topic covered in the introduction
- video presentation
As you can see if you are interested in libre software you’ll find the exercises enjoyable.