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Bruce Perens To Answer Your Questions

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the ask-away dept.

Open Source 78

In the summer of 1999, Bruce Perens became our very first interview subject, answering questions about open source licensing. Almost 14 years later, Bruce is still one of the most influential programmers and advocates in the open source community. He's graciously agreed to answer all your questions about the state of things and what's changed in those 15 years. As with previous interviews, we'll send the best questions to Mr. Perens, and post his answers in a day or two. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please keep them to one per post.

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Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41659241)

Recently at Linux.conf.au 2012 [techrepublic.com] you gave the keynote and you said:

“Open source is the only credible producer of software and now hardware that isn’t bound to a single company’s economic interest,”

Well, where is this open source hardware? Every time something comes up on Slashdot reported to be "open source hardware" there's a whole slew of comments about how it's not truly open source. Anything from "where are the schematics" all the way down to the verilog/VHDL compilers and place/route algorithms being closed source. I've seen a 3D printer but not much else that meets the most stringent requirements. So tell me, where is this seemingly mythical "open source hardware" that will now free me from a single company's economic interest?

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659759)

DOA, my friend, DOA. Just like the rest of the open source garbage we hear about. Aside from Linux, Apache and The GIMP there really isn't much that's going on in the open source arena of any potential quality.

I'm sorry, but you're just not very observant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41660065)

Fedora 17 is a treat:
            Multi-headed monitors working out of the box
            Complicated scanners plug and play
            Virtualization for the asking
            Libre-office liked more by newbs than Microsoft Word
            Wifi, friendly out of the box
            Chrome and Firefox both quick and excellent
            PDFs that look right and are comfortable to read

The Linux desktop is a treat, and getting each of these things right, for free, took a lot of time and effort by a lot of people.

            And yes, I had to switch away from the Gnom-noyances to KDE recently, and yes, I have to paste titles from Gedit to Brasero when moving DVDs to my hard drive, and yes the first day of a new O/S install took a quite a bit of googling and tweaking....

            But we've come an enormous distance, and when I pivot 110 degrees in my chair and use the company-issued laptop, Excel is the only thing on it that isn't "standout inferior" to my Linux equivalents.

            Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go engage our 896-node Linux cluster to do a full table scan on half a petabyte of data. I'll be back in 30 minutes. If you're doing this on your Windows 8 box, perhaps you can re-post your question and your results on Bruce's next interview.

Re:I'm sorry, but you're just not very observant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41663135)

He said Linux, you wasted a lot of time typing that.

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41661571)

Yeah, that award winning BLENDER 3d system is a complete failure.
Or BSD.
Or that XBMC software package out there.

Oh yea VLC is also a failure.....

Do you even know what a computer is?

Best Open Source hardware licenses? (5, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#41659811)

On a related note: what are the best licenses for libre hardware designs, that:

  • Allow linking smaller projects as part of larger ones, possibly with different licensing on those other parts. Think HDL re-implementations of various chips in FPGA based designs that consist of a number of them (and many other things like that). I've seen the GPL slapped on a few smaller projects that are meant to combine with other (differently licensed) parts, where in legal sense this wouldn't even be allowed as everything is linked in the same binary (FPGA programming file).
  • Don't require an entire evening and/or a lawyer to read (especially for hobbyists). For this reason I personally like BSD style licenses, while at the same time I'm leaning towards (L)GPL when it comes to openness of a design.

Appreciated would be a short intro on pro's/con's of specific licenses, and make / break issues why a hardware designer would pick one over the other.

Re:Best Open Source hardware licenses? (1)

tamyrlin (51) | about 2 years ago | (#41661485)

I have been wondering about this myself. This situation is not really that well explored and I'd really like to see a license for HDL-like code with some high quality lawyering behind it.

One problem is that hardware such as ASICs are typically not protected by copyright. Instead it is protected by maskworks laws which are similar to, but not as strong as copyright. The intention is that ASIC-like hardware should be protected by patents. (Although I guess an exception would be made for ROMs where the layout itself would be protected by maskworks whereas the actual metal configuration of the ROM array would be protected by copyright.)

For FPGAs I have heard people claim that their lawyers consider the bitstream to fall under copyright law -> e.g., the GPL would be fully enforcable. Another interesting case in point is that SUN choose the GPLv3 as the license when releasing the source code for the Niagara processor. Personally I've used an MIT-style license when releasing open source hardware because I was more interested in getting the (fairly small) designs out there than to try to enforce the GPL license for something it wasn't really designed to protect.

Also note that the GNU FAQ has the following to say about hardware:

Any material that can be copyrighted can be licensed under the GPL. GPLv3 can also be used to license materials covered by other copyright-like laws, such as semiconductor masks. So, as an example, you can release a drawing of a physical object or circuit under the GPL.

In many situations, copyright does not cover making physical hardware from a drawing. In these situations, your license for the drawing simply can't exert any control over making or selling physical hardware, regardless of the license you use. When copyright does cover making hardware, for instance with IC masks, the GPL handles that case in a useful way.

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41660043)

From that sentence I'd say you comprehension my need some attention, as open source hardware was not mentioned.

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41661595)

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41662637)

So tell me, where is this seemingly mythical "open source hardware"

It's nowhere, is it? Because open source applies to software. Only cockheads use the phrase for other things.

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41663827)

Thank you! I've been shouting this for years and these bitches still ain't caught on to that fact.

Re:Where Is the Open Source Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41663997)

Bruce, what's your preferred tool to give eldavojohn the severe beating he so richly deserves?

My question for Bruce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41664653)

Why are you such a faggot?

WILL YOU HAVE GAY SEX WITH ME? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659267)

Please!

--timothy lord

Re:WILL YOU HAVE GAY SEX WITH ME? (1)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | about 2 years ago | (#41659455)

Please! --timothy lord

Say whhhaaaa? Did I nto have enough stamina for you ?
;)

-KD

MODERATORS!!!!!!!!111 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41661205)

Mod parent up! I cant believe what Im reading

Vs. 1999 (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 2 years ago | (#41659361)

Did you get better questions this time around?

(Also, who's your favorite Muppet?)

Re:Vs. 1999 (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41661427)

Did you get better questions this time around?

Apparently not...

Changes in licensing of open source projects (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#41659407)

At one point, my employer was considering open source software for a particular printing need. During their evaluation phase the producer of the software decided to close the source, and my employer got nervous and decided to back out of using the software. I assume that any version released under GPL is still perfectly valid to use even if later versions are no longer GPL, and that should anyone, be they my employer or anyone else, decide to fork the project from that last GPL-licensed release, they'd be free to do so, and that my employer's decision to no longer use the software was unnecessary.

I expect that I'm not the first person to see this occur with a company getting cold feet because of a license change. Have you been involved in this before, and how have other organizations handled it when software they were using stopped being open source or changed licenses in newer releases?

What has changed since 2001? (4, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 2 years ago | (#41659413)

Bruce - your interviews make up a large portion of the documentary "Revolution OS".

If a second part were to be made starting now in 2012 or early 2013, what changes do you think would be highlighted?

Re:What has changed since 2001? (0)

shakezula (842399) | about 2 years ago | (#41661127)

^^this is my question for Bruce too!

2 years in the planning? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659503)

In the summer of 1999 , Bruce Perens became our very first interview subject, answering questions about open source licensing. 15 years later , Bruce is still one of the most influential programmers...

Is Slashdot intending to gather questions for 2 more years?

Re:2 years in the planning? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41659621)

It will be released simply "when it's done". No official video of the question asking process has been shown for almost 13 years, until Slashdot released this new teaser trailer, but the event will "submerge" yet again soon afterwards.

Re:2 years in the planning? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41659829)

15 octal is 13 decimal. 1999 decimal + 13 decimal = 2012 decimal

Re:2 years in the planning? (1)

kasperd (592156) | about 2 years ago | (#41660371)

Is Slashdot intending to gather questions for 2 more years?

No, they are just pointing out that even two years from now, Bruce will still be one of the most influential. So why did they just say 15 and not some higher number? Maybe it will change before reaching 16, or maybe slashdot does not have access to information about the more distant future. We could check, if we knew their source of information about future events.

UserLinux vs. Android (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41659543)

Bruce, you were the founder of UserLinux which aimed to create binary compatibility for Linux, a simple VAR platform. Google with Android attempted something similar. How well do you believe Android fulfills the objectives you set out for UserLinux. And where they missed do you believe those misses were unavoidable given the changes in focus (desktop vs. handset) or something where a minor change of strategy could allow them to achieve those missed objectives?

Re:UserLinux vs. Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659589)

Android doesn't have any binaries, just Dalvik bytecode.

Re:UserLinux vs. Android (1)

Teckla (630646) | about 2 years ago | (#41660179)

Android doesn't have any binaries, just Dalvik bytecode.

This is just plain wrong. A lot of Android applications, especially games, contain some native (non-Dalvik) executable code.

Re:UserLinux vs. Android (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41664461)

Android doesn't have any binaries, just Dalvik bytecode.

Even if Android didn't have any native code, Dalvik bytecode files are still binaries (e.g., any computer file that isn't text.)

Re:UserLinux vs. Android (1)

Burz (138833) | about 2 years ago | (#41666581)

Though it would be interesting to also comment on the FOSS desktop and "Desktop Linux" movement in general vs. Android's relative success.

My own thinking is that the people who made the emergence of UserLinux or a less amorphous "Desktop Linux" impossible seem to have aged and not migrated to the mobile space as a dominant force. There was an unhealthy collusion between hacker and sysadmin cultures that sort of went to war with concepts that are central to personal computing:

  • Making interface commitments to novice users (e.g. standard GUI) and a defacto definition of "operation system" that Apple and Microsoft expanded to include GUIs. (Unfortunately, hackers are much more concerned with impressing -- and committing to -- other tech experts like themselves.)
  • Treating app developers as an esteemed part of the ecosystem and committing to interfaces that would allow them to easily target and distribute to desktops -- The goal being to make it easy for app developers to attract end users, with the 'platform' being a rich, accessible and familiar meeting ground for the two parties and preferably with zero middle-men (i.e. repository managers) getting between them.
  • Vertical integration: a tradition of making powerful/complex functionality standard and UI-accessible
  • Drawing a clear circle around stuff that is always expected to be present as opposed to stuff that is considered optional (GUIs and features that usually came with them were always in a sort of limbo in this respect, usually and unhelpfully referred to as "userspace applications" by hardcore hackers / system coders)
  • The expectation that consumer hardware is designed as a whole computer model to work with certain software (i.e. merely adding support for some large number of components is a scattershot and insufficient way to support PC hardware).

I would be honored if Bruce would expand the scope on what makes or breaks an open source platform and perhaps reply to my interpretation of what has held FOSS back on the desktop.

I would also like to hear his ideas on what could remedy the situation: Should the Linux Foundation provide more leadership? Make LSB Desktop more specific? Provide a comprehensive hardware compatibility list? Or should we wait for a major corporation like Google to make a push with hardware OEMs?

Does SaaS change everything? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659561)

Now that most interesting new software is delivered to us over the web or via other network protocols, does this marginalize the contributions of open source and free software? For example Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have had some involvement with open source software as both users and contributors, but for the most part their technology stacks above the OS level (Linux) are under lock and key.

Re:Does SaaS change everything? (1)

jdogalt (961241) | about 2 years ago | (#41663179)

Now that most interesting new software is delivered to us over the web or via other network protocols, does this marginalize the contributions of open source and free software? For example Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have had some involvement with open source software as both users and contributors, but for the most part their technology stacks above the OS level (Linux) are under lock and key.

This sounds like a good question to me. Trying to hype my own little unpopular cause of the moment, I'd add the obvious note that what is required for open source (top to bottom) solutions to compete with the Gang Of Four (Google/Amazon/Facebook/...) is the 'Right To Serve'. I.e. my legal theory all end users of the internet in the US, due to Network Neutrality (FCC-10-201, subparagraph13), have the right to host and run servers connected to their residential fixed broadband service. Any help or on the record comments that I can get from noteworthy thinkers will be greatly appreciated. Mr. Vint Cerf of Google claimed last week to be investigating the matter internally at Google. Mr Page of Google apparently, from an AC leak on slashdot is also "very annoyed with the no servers clause" of Google Fiber's (their new ISP to Kansas City) terms of service.

http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121007.pdf [cloudsession.com]
http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121007.txt [cloudsession.com]
http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121001.pdf [cloudsession.com]

http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3156485&cid=41516877 [slashdot.org]
http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3156485&cid=41530745 [slashdot.org]

Slashdot (5, Interesting)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 2 years ago | (#41659617)

I've seen you post in random threads over the years, including in some recent ones.

Why do you still visit (and comment on) Slashdot after all these years?

-l

Re:Slashdot (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 years ago | (#41661645)

I've been asking myself that same question, 15 years later and I'm still here as well.

Re:Slashdot (1)

silentcoder (1241496) | about 2 years ago | (#41668029)

There are a few of us around who were here when Bruce posted that first comment. My how the world has changed. I sometimes wonder why I come back (pay no attention to the high UID - I changed usernames a few years ago).
I can only put it down to a kind of nostalgia for the war we fought and, in a round-about-way, won.

When (3, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41659633)

When will be the year of Linux on the desktop?

Debian (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41659637)

Comments on Debian since you were the DPL? Biggest surprise? Retrospective comments on the 2004 era GRs?

Open Source Project Involvement (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41659647)

What steps would you recommend for a beginning programmer to get involved with an open source project?

Animation (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41659653)

Comment on the modern animation industry? You worked at Pixar for quite awhile.

Tablets/Phones (5, Interesting)

zoward (188110) | about 2 years ago | (#41659679)

Bruce, first off, thank you for everything you've done to advance the cause of FLOSS. My question: It's not hard to notice the shift in mass market computing away from the PC and toward the tablet and phone. While at its core Android runs the Linux kernel, it's hard for me to think of it with the same fondness that I have for my favorite FLOSS OS distributions. I can't just load up a new Linux distro on my Acer tablet, or in many cases even an updated version of Android, short of "jailbreaking" it. It's seems clear to me that such hardware is designed with the intent to replicate Apple's success with a vertical hardware/software stack.

Given this (or perhaps not given this, if you disagree with my statements above), what do you think the future of open source will be in the tablet and phone world? Android? Meego? WebOS? Something else? Will it be open source programs in a not-quite-completely open OS like Android?

What have you released recently? (2)

whatthef*ck (215929) | about 2 years ago | (#41659681)

What is the most recent code you've written that has been released in a production-ready state?

Ham radio (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41659685)

Comment on the relative popularity of open source hardware and software outside ham radio vs relative disinterest inside ham radio? Whats up with that?

Can the Open Source community work smarter? (4, Interesting)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 years ago | (#41659723)

The days of open collaboration between Linux developers has been hampered by binary incompatibility, and high hurdles to share software on popular software platforms like Debian and Fedora, and Gnome/GTK. We've seen hard feelings and fractures between groups like Ubuntu and Gnome, and lot's of unhappy users.

Are the days of freely sharing software on lists essentially in the past, or is there some way to once again pump life into that creative engine? Can we work smarter?

Re:Can the Open Source community work smarter? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41660321)

I don't know how Bruce will answer this, and it could be interesting given he took over from Ian one of the largest still ongoing collaborations.

But... when exactly do you think there was not binary incompatibility between distributions? When the system wasn't fragmented and fractured. Those have been constants.

binary incompatibility overblown (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 2 years ago | (#41661677)

It's not between distros, but between versions.

I can pull an RPM from a SuSE distribution, and as long as I meet the prerequisites it will install and run just fine on RHEL...or even on a roll-your-own distro.

Re:binary incompatibility overblown (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41665147)

You can't move RPMs that easily. You end up in more or less the pre RPM days of resolving library dependencies by hand. Sure I've used Fedora RPMs on RHEL. But you have to worry about same compiler, same library names, compatible versions.... You end up doing some hairy stuff.

Re:Can the Open Source community work smarter? (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 years ago | (#41664803)

Back in the days of sharing source code on lists, before the dominance of the pre-compiled package, there was no binary incompatibility. With the advent of pre-compiled packages, we also both the rise of binary incompatibility and the rise of the package sponsors, the people who decide what's good enough for the rest of us to share. It used to be a bazaar, where I could lay out my blanket and sell the crud I'd created. Now it's a temple, where we all download from the True Source.

I've got a second-hand story to share about the good old days. At Berkeley, a friend of mine who was a Ph. D. student actually drove to Palo Alto now and then to attend the Home Built Computer Club meetings. There was a guy there with his latest hack that he wanted to share. He was selling it literally on a blanket. He had an un-stuffed circuit board and a copy of what parts to buy to stuff it, and claimed that if you did it, you'd have a working computer. His big idea at the time seemed to be selling empty circuit boards on a blanket. My friend said, "What a loser," and never thought of him again until that guy, Woz, co-founded Apple and changed the world.

Re:Can the Open Source community work smarter? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#41665165)

The days of unshared code was rather common by the 70s. That's long before there was a Linux.

Favorite hack (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41659729)

Kick back and tell the tale of your favorite hack. For example, Linus had a good one in his interview. You define hack, and favorite. Hardware, software, legal, moral, ethical, financial whatever. Something you did, or something you saw someone else do. As long as its your story. The only requirement of the story is that it be a good story.

Re:Favorite hack (1)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#41664669)

You're a genius! I'm off to the Linus thread to pilfer some more +5 questions. :-)

Re:Favorite hack (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41667537)

You're a genius! I'm off to the Linus thread to pilfer some more +5 questions. :-)

The guy I stole that question from won't be complaining about me too much...

There should probably be a list of generic /. interview questions, everyone wants to hear about ur favorite hack, a couple others.

technocrat.net (2)

mcrbids (148650) | about 2 years ago | (#41659923)

What happened to Technocrat.net? That was one of my favorites when it was up.

the REAL Bruce Perens? (1)

GungaDan (195739) | about 2 years ago | (#41659997)

Cheers Mr. Perens - if that is your real name! I have enjoyed running across your posts on slashdot since late last century. So what's up with the "the REAL Bruce Perens" thing? Did someone else register your name as an account here before you found slashdot? Did you register it at some point and forget your password (be honest!)? Or do you own both accounts for some purpose possibly related to artistic trolling of slashdot for comedic value?

Re:the REAL Bruce Perens? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41662263)

Can I have your attention please ...
May I have your attention please?
Will the real Bruce Perens please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Bruce Perens please stand up?
(We're gonna have a problem here.)

Y'all act like you've never seen a great hacker before,
Jaws all on the floor like Ken or Linus just burst in the door
and started deleting lines that were worse than before
there first were bad cores, throwing buffer overflows
It's bad returns from the... "Ah, wait, no way, you're kidding,
he didn't just write what I think he did, did he?"
And dmr said... nothing you idiots!
dmr's dead, he's still locked in Bell Labs!

Re:the REAL Bruce Perens? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41662589)

Did you register it at some point and forget your password (be honest!)?

If that's the case he can get it back. I got my old UID back after someone suggested to me that I write help@slashdot.org. I wasn't even sure what my email address was back then, so I gave them the three it could have been (all long closed) and was mailed a new PW.

Ask these questions for a +5... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41660113)

Re:Ask these questions for a +5... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41660981)

Is not a bad approach. How changed things (and answers) since last interview. 13 years is a lot of time in computing and even cultural terms, what changed? What not? And what was the most surprising one of those changes or not of answers?

are you surprised at the state of HP? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41660147)

are you surprised at the state of HP?

What's out of scope? (3, Interesting)

Lev13than (581686) | about 2 years ago | (#41660201)

Almost anything you can do or use today has an open source option. You have open source options for everything from your operating system [linux.org] to your chat app [blueimp.net] . You can read open source textbooks, cookbooks [wikibooks.org] and encyclopedias [wikipedia.org] . You can even build an open source airplane [makerplane.org] or brew your own free beer [freebeer.org] (free beer as in free speech, not free beer as in free beer).

Given all these options, what part(s) of your life would you be unwilling to open source? Your children's education? Vaccines? A pacemaker? If so, what would your test be for deciding that a closed-source option is the only choice?

OpenOffice/LibreOffice (1)

twistedcubic (577194) | about 2 years ago | (#41660965)

Did Open/Libre-Office turn out to be as revolutionary as you may have expected?

What letter would you write to a newspaper? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41661181)

My kids are now in elementary school. So I've left my safe little enclave of the technologically educated and started dealing with people who are just staggeringly ignorant. It's just sickening. Budgets are tight. Taxes are high. Jobs are being cut left and right. Software is moving to "subscription" models to increase fees. But folks still keep paying for it all. Never mind how crappy the software is, how poorly designed, untested, etc. They keep paying for it.

What would you write, or could you point me in the right direction toward samples of letters to the editor of the local newspaper, to educate my fellow citizens as to the reliability and capability of open source software. That's it's not something to fear, but to be embraced. That FREE is, in many cases, equal if not superior to commercial software?

What's missing? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41662093)

F/OSS software meets almost all of my needs, but not all. For example, after all these years, there are no good CAD packages worth serious consideration. Where do you see the F/OSS ecosystem coming up short, and do you have any ideas about why these deficiencies exist?

Usability in open source software? (5, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | about 2 years ago | (#41662591)

Bruce, I'm doing a study of usability in open source software - how user interfaces can be designed in Free / open source programs so the program is easy to use by real people. So my question is twofold:

What Free / open source program really got it right with usability? What qualities make for good usability in Free / open source software?

Are we Doomed? (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | about 2 years ago | (#41663881)

Question: How optimist are you about the future of humanity?. (or in other words) Are we doomed?

That is my only question. Please I don't need random slashdotterss answering since we all have our own opinion. I just want to know Bruce's opinion becasue, well he's a celebrity who supposedly has got a clue.

Re:Are we Doomed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41664453)


$_ ~= s/mist/mistic/;

Concerning LGPL versus GPL and dynamic linking (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#41663891)

Consider this in the light of the recent lawsuit between Oracle and Google which declared that an API cannot be considered protected by copyright and consider that the GPL relies on Copyright Law. Also consider that the GPL does not diminish or extinguish the original copyright of the GPL licensed code. With all things being equal, it should not diminish the rights of the client code author either. Would not client software dynamically linked only contain references to the API and therefor be in the clear and make the separate LGPL license completely unnecessary for dynamic linking of libraries?

Consider this in technical terms and in the light of copyright law rather than the intentions or wishes of the author of the library.

Re:Concerning LGPL versus GPL and dynamic linking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669739)

The basic answer is that if you can use API headers that won't compile to derivative works using macros or other parts of the implementation (C++ member functions in the headers, for instance) then you're fine from a copyright perspective. If you look at most C/C++ headers you'll find enough macros to make software compiled using those headers derivative works. You can re-implement the macros or write a GPL interface layer like nVidia does. Some tools (gcc, for example) explicitly grant permission to un-GPL some portions of their output since they'd be fairly useless for closed-source projects otherwise.

Linux won. Now what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41664083)

I've spent 12 years waiting for Linux to win. That day finally came: 1.3 million GNU/Linux/Android phones are activated per day. 1.3 million locked phones that run a locked down version of Linux which can't be updated or upgraded, can't be seen, smelled, touched or tasted.

Is that winning, because I feel like a loser that just got gang-raped by Google, Verizon, ATT, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Impending death of GPL (2)

fatphil (181876) | about 2 years ago | (#41664357)

What is your reaction to the frequent stories in various media about people migrating away from the GPL and using less restrictive licenses, complete with predictions that the GPL will eventually become irrelevant? Do you believe that there's any truth to that - do you believe that the GPL is intrinsically moribund, or do you dismiss such stories as simply being partisan shillery?

Successful FOSS applications? (1)

Burz (138833) | about 2 years ago | (#41666621)

What consumer-oriented FOSS applications do you consider to have a broad appeal and to be highly successful? Firefox? LibreOffice? Others?

Are there any you think could be much more popular with some tweaking?

Are there any hidden gems we should know about?

NYIT (1)

DoctorBonzo (2646833) | about 2 years ago | (#41667559)

What do you remember most from your days at the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab?

Freedom Uber Alles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667645)

Not so long ago there was huge optimism about the future of free software. There were bold proclamations that it was the future. Now, here we are in the future. Apple and Microsoft are doing everything they can to build walls, and they are succeeding. Android is promising, but the majority of android devices are closed and require extra measures to "open" them up. This is not the future we believed in. What happened and is the dream still alive?

So...after 15 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667723)

Linux is still going to take over on the desktop, right?

open v closed languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669103)

C#, LabView, and other closed source languages have been closing in on my work enviroment because Linux continues to fragment and has failed to master the desktop. Engineers in this lab use asm, C or Python - but most of the company uses proprietary dev tools.

Comments? Can you get evangelical and go public for us working peons without any of the Stallman weirdness? Does the future belong to closed dev systems?

Re:open v closed languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679385)

C# is an Ecma and ISO standard. If you really care about freedom more than performance then you can use Mono.

Re:open v closed languages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41691585)

Assume you are referring to ECMA-334. Have you read it. No? Shut the fuck up. Yes? Tell me why you think this standard makes C# an open dev 'system'.

Has ECMA-376 and ECMA-388 kept documents stable and more available? No - MS docs are still revision/version hell.

I deal with, on a daily basis, over 300 various product safety, EMC, enviromental, and social "standards". These standards have not opened up one simple steaming pile of dog shit.

Now get the fuck off of my dirt.

Somebody has to ask... (1)

unitron (5733) | about 2 years ago | (#41670317)

What is the user ID number of the real Bruce Perens?

Feel free to express the answer in the form of a sig file.

: - )

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