about BerliOS

Gregorio Robles grex at scouts-es.org
Thu Jul 12 23:28:24 UTC 2001

	sorry, guys, but I can't sleep. Such uninformed postings as I've seen
aren't justified. I'll try to explain a little about BerliOS at least to
show you another point of view...

	First about me: I'm a Spanish exchange student at the TU-Berlin (I know
you already know that). I do my diploma thesis at BerliOS. I've been
"working" at BerliOS since April and I'll do it until October.

> They are founded by the German Ministry of Economics (a different
> department than the one which gave the GnuPG grants) and are
> run by
> the GMD and Fraunhofer (those with the MP3 patents).

	Yes, that's right. BerliOS is at the GMD.

	But I don't follow the relationships you want to make. I can only say:
		* BerliOS supports "Open Source"
		* BerliOS supports the propagation of "Open Source"

	Lutz Henckel, the BerliOS project manager, was invited to the expert
audition on software patents at the German Bundestag two weeks ago. I've
made a fast google search, but I didn't find the protocol, but I'm sure
there is one. Read it and see that BerliOS defended that software is
_not_ patentable! BerliOS has nothing to hide!

	oh, i found somehting:

The contradiction of BerliOS is that we are seen at the GMD as spies
because we are the mad ones of "Open Source"... and at the same time by
the community, because we come from the GMD. :-)

> One of the responsible persons there is attacking the GNU project
> everytime you mention the words GNU, EMACS or RMS, with total
> clueless and unfair accusations.

	Please, tell names: you're probably talking about Jörg Schilling.

	I can only say you're right. But then tell also the _whole_ truth.

	Schilly is the main maintainer of over 15 (fifteen) applications (the
most famous one is cdrecord)

	_All_ of them have been released under the GPL. (free software, not
Open Source)

	The point is that Schilly has its own editor (ved) and some other tools
(smake, star...) that "compete" directly with Emacs and the GNU tools.

	Schilly says his applications are better than RMS' and than GNU's.

	Is that a fault? I see more _personal_ aspects in your argumentation
than points talking about free software. Schilly's contribution to the
free software community is _very_ big. Please, take that in notice!

> basically these are people who received money from the German
> government.
> It appears they now spend the money on this and that related
> somehow to 'open source' (which is what they got the money for).

	"Open Source" is what BerliOS got the money for. Yes, it's a real
problem, that politicians get in panic when you tell them "free
software" :-(. I hope you're working hard at FSF-Europe to change this.

	But, if you don't trust BerliOS, I can only tell you what we do:

	BerliOS is doing a webbased platform to support its services. Some
already exist (SourceForge, PHP-Nuke). Others are done by BerliOS (that
is why I do my diploma thesis here).

	_All_ the components that BerliOS will make for its webbased services
will be released under the GPL and therefore be _free software_ (not
Open Source).

	For example, I've done SourceWell (the BerliOS software announcement
system) and it has been released under the GPL as you can see it in

	is Freshmeat GPL? and Icewalk.com and Appwatch and...??

	My diploma thesis is another piece of software and it will also be GPL.
Take it for sure!

	---> At BerliOS we do free software, because we believe in free
		Please, don't forget that!
> Personally I don't know any of these people. By now I haven't seen
> any serious contribution by GMD to the Free Software approach.
> GMD aims at creating spin-offs with proprietary products.

	You're right! BerliOS are the first ones... and I hope not the last
ones :-)

	The point is that you can be sure we aren't spies :-). If you're so
negative predisposed to BerliOS, I don't know what to do to make this
change. Come to meet us! Or give us time to show what BerliOS really
is... but, please, give us the opportunity!

> I also think this will be *far* from representative. You can also
> see it in the other berlios activities which have no representative
> free software projects in their sourceforge application.

	We've just begun!

> Furthermore they have a list of 'Linux-companies' with an
> 'importance  order' noone can really take seriously. Calling
> themselve the 'Open Source mediator' they advertise proprietary
> companies there.

	please mail us if you see such errors. Before criticize, please be

> The principle ideas of berlios are OK, but I just wonder why
> I don't see any of those 'OS mediators' experts around taking
> part in serious discussions about Free Software. I may be blind
> or in the wrong lists though.

	You're another time right! BerliOS has just began and has had a lot of
problems. At this point, there are three students, a fulltime person
(new in June) and the project manager. The point is that the BerliOS
team should be made out of five full-time working persons and few
	If you are looking for work in something related with free software, I
can only recommend you sending your CV to BerliOS :-)

	I also regret not having gone to the LinuxTag :-(. I'm the first one
interested in having been there. :-)... I'm sure you'll see BerliOS in
future community events.

	In short. I can only tell you, you Germans have the big luck that your
politicians are starting to support "Open Source" (read --> free
software). When I go back to Spain in three months, I don't know what
I'll find there. Oh, yes, I know... but I don't want to think about it. 

Please, throw away all your prejudging and give BerliOS the opportunity.
You'll see it isn't as bad as you've posted it in the last mails.

		thanx for your attention,

				Gregorio Robles

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