About widi.berlios.de -> the authors respond

Gregorio Robles grex at scouts-es.org
Fri Jul 13 13:07:37 UTC 2001

	Hi, Bernhard

> thanks for your resonse and the clarification about widi and BerliOS.
> The FSFE of course welcomes more research initiatives about Free Software.
> We support your effort and we also welcome any other efforts
> resulting in more Free Software and further the Free Software movement.

	thanx for your support. :-)

> There are serveral points BerliOS deliberatly does suboptimal.
> In joining them or using their service you agree with what they do.
> It is your decision and a political action.
> Right now I personally do not recommend the use of BerliOS.

	Widi != BerliOS

	We just use the BerliOS services.

> Let me show you a few points in your mail
> why Free Software developers are cautious.

	yes, I wonder, because there are more than 5200 developers that have
"trustes" in Widi ;-).

> >       * Widi is a study made by a research group at the Technical University
> > of Berlin. It is part of a research that takes place at the "Informatik
> > und Gesellschaft" (Computer Science and Society) Department headed by
> > Prof.Dr.iur.Lutterbeck at the Computer Science Faculty of that
> > university.
> >       http://ig.cs.tu-berlin.de
> The short study about software patents done by that department
> proposed a compromise which would have taken away the freedom of software,
> though the own conclusions of the study were that software patents
> are generally not good.

	This proposal is from de same Department, you're right. But I don't
know what it has got to do with Widi?
	If you don't trust our results, you can do it yourself as we give you
the tools :-).

> Personally I hope that universities will be able to support their researchers.
> You give up your independence to easily if you just use something
> that is _gratis_ without further reasons.

	I totally agree with you!

> >       * Widi and all the tools used in this study are free software:
> >           * CODD was started by Vipul Ved Prakash and we have restarted this
> > project to enhance this tool. It's GPL & Artistic:
> > http://codd.berlios.de
> From a short read of the license terms on the above webpage I am not
> even sure that it is free software. You take away the freedom to use the
> program for any purpose which does not make it a pure GPL.
> The Artistic license also has problems.

	Codds' author is Vipul Ved Prakash and he explicitly wanted Codd to
rely under the same licenses as Perl itself :-(. If you can change this
and make it GPL, I would be very thankful. We've already tried.

> > "There is plenty of literature dealing with the process of developing
> > Open Source and its economical significance.
> As you know we are with the Free Software movement.
> Just studying the effects of the "open source" movement
> might not really get to the point.

	I agree with you and I can say that we knew this in advance. That's why
we study Open Source / Free Software developers.

	You can see it in our questionary... we always talk about "Open Source
/ Free Software!"
	There is even a question at the end "Open Source or Free Software?"
where you can select "no entry", "Free Software" or "Open Source".

> > The data are statistically meaningful.
> I can't say without studing the applied methods, the press release
> made am impression as the studies was aimed at the politicians directly.

	The press release is not the study as the interpretations are not the
data. ;-)
	Our study provides scientific data. The interpretation of this data is
a point that should be made by others (f.ex. FSFE :-)...).

	If you think the press release was aimed at politicals, I think you
haven't read it correctly. I quote from the last paragraph: "Although
Widi is basically a scientific research, politicans got interested in
the last weeks." The point is that there was political interest with the
intermediate results. That means, somebody interpreted the data we got
and used it to fight against software patents. Nothing more.

	I can only encourage you to read the study once we have got it written
down. There you'll find out more about the applied methods (and compare
them or even improve them as our tools are free). I think our research
should be a _first step_ to have a better understanding about the
developers not the final one.

	Bernhard, thanx for your comments!

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