software suggestions; open source

John L Fjellstad john-ubuntu at
Fri Sep 14 07:53:42 UTC 2007

Knapp <magick.crow at> writes:

> Edges are always blurry in the real world. I guess the answer to your
> question would have to do with what you get under each license. For
> example with Firefox what would you get if you payed for it? If
> without paying you get something that is incomplete, is full of ads,
> or has limits, like you can not use it for profit or whatever, then I
> would call it cripple ware, ad ware or perhaps to be nice sample
> software. If you get everything and the software is totally free (as
> in speech, not beer) then I would think of it as open source. I don't
> think Linux would be were it is at today if there had been two
> versions of it.

I think you have a serious misunderstanding of what open source software
is.  Here are the definition

The question of open source is not whether it is dual-licensed.  The
question of open-source is whether the software you receive follows the
definition as laid out by OSI.  MS open source initiative doesn't fall
into the Open Source definition because you, as the receiver of the
software, are in seriously restricted how you use the code.  This
doesn't apply to MySQL.

With MySQL you have a choice of license.  You can either accept it under
GPL or under a propriatery license.  If you accept the software under
GPL, you get all the rights that GPL grants you.  There is no 'sorta'
open source about it.  Of course, getting a software under GPL means
that you (not being the copyright holder) have certain restrictions on
how you distribute the software you receive. You are required to
distribute the software under the GPL.  

Now, some companies can't distribute software under GPL for whatever
reason.  The copyright holders of MySQL have given these people another
option.  They can pay money to use the software under another license.
The software itself doesn't get suddenly less 'open source' because of
this.  The people who received the software under GPL doesn't suddenly
lose anything. 

In fact, any software can be relicensed by the copyright holder. It's
just a matter of negotiating with the copyright holder and meeting their

> I really don't want to spend my time paying 50 companies 5$ each to
> make their software save what I have written or work in some needed
> special way. LOL. For me the more whole, complete and open the better.

Lets say you make $50/hr.  To pay 50 companies $5, you would have to
work 5 hours to cover the cost of the software.  Let say you can get 50
equivalent software products for free, but it will take you 500 hours to
get them to work (during which time you are not doing you primary
business).  Which one do you honestly think is more cost effective?

> I have chosen to support PostgreSQL. Maybe I am wrong in not being
> into MySQL more. Have you read the wiki entry where it gets into the
> licensing Issues of MySQL? Did you see where they say that they could
> change the license but promise not to? What if I invest in their
> software and they drop the GPL license? Will the community pick it up?
> PostgreSQL works for me. It is totally free, well supported for free
> by the community and unowned.

You do realize PostgreSQL can change their license if their copyright
holders decide it?  You do realize any software can be relicensed if the
copyright holder decide it?  In fact, PostgreSQL being BSD means that
someone, somewhere can be using a propriatery extension to PostgreSQL
without sharing it with the community...  

If you want to argue for PostgreSQL, argue that it's better (for
different values of better), rather pointing to the license as the
deciding factor (when both licenses are open source by definition). 

John L. Fjellstad
web:          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

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