Web services and free software

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Thu Jul 19 11:07:18 UTC 2007

graham <graham at theseamans.net> wrote:
> [...] For example, we will not easily
> get an equivalent to google's massive datacentres.

We already have an equivalent to it (our workstations) - it's just not
very well-connected amongst itself.

I think open standards are useful even where free software does not
exist, because it leaves a door open for us.  We should ask the same
things of these web services that we ask of other computer users who
may or may not be using proprietary software.  Send us open standard
files not Word attachments, and so on.

Alex Hudson <home at alexhudson.com> wrote:
> At the end of the day, people running software privately don't have to
> share it. Someone who modifies a GPL'd web app and makes the improved
> version available for use doesn't have to share their private
> modifications - they have the rights to share it, they just don't want
> to, much as I might improve my server's copy of Apache and not give
> copies to the people who use that server.

We also need to develop open service models which can be implemented
in free software and are resistant against an attack of
embrace-extend-extinguish.  We have some of these, but we need more.

I feel that placing restrictions on the output of software, as seen in
Affero GPL, is an evolutionary dead-end and a way for FSF to defeat
itself.  The complications of GPLv3 are already a disturbance (it may
be more lawyer-friendly, but it's not nice to even
copyright-experienced hackers, let alone hackers who don't understand
copyright yet) and that may be a threat to free software.  I hope that
Affero GPL gets delayed, at least long enough to allow developers to
digest GPLv3 and to let FSF webmasters unbreak stet, or maybe forever.

MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Experienced webmaster-developers for hire http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Also: statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder, workers co-op.
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

More information about the Discussion mailing list