Searching \ for '[EE]: opinion on Willem programmer?' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devprogs.htm?key=programmer
Search entire site for: 'opinion on Willem programmer?'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[EE]: opinion on Willem programmer?'
2008\05\07@063922 by SM Ling

picon face
Usage: non production need, general R&D, repair and hacking purposes.

Is there another open source programmer around?  or better one with USB support?

I got 2 type of universal programmers.  The higher quality one is
normally quite expensive to maintain, I have 2 needhams basically
sitting idle now.  Their software update is also not as fast as the
Chinese made programmer I have (runfei.com.cn) .   But runfei website
is having some problem.

Along the way, I also made various type of programming adapters  for
different needs.  To protect the investments on future adapters, as
well as to benefit from the flexibility of an open source programmer,
I thought an open source programmer with its increasing library and
longer lifetime should be more useful.

Comments?

Cheers, Ling SM

2008\05\07@075513 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 6:38 PM, SM Ling <spam_OUTsm.ling11TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Usage: non production need, general R&D, repair and hacking purposes.
>
> Is there another open source programmer around?  or better one with USB support?
>
> I got 2 type of universal programmers.  The higher quality one is
> normally quite expensive to maintain, I have 2 needhams basically
> sitting idle now.

That is quite typical. Back in 1999 I was trying to update an
Data I/O (was Sprint) R&D programmer and they asked for
something like US$3000 for the software updates. In the end I
bought Promate II+PICC 7.85+ICE2000 for less. But for mass
production, the company maintain a contract with Data I/O
since there are many different types of programmable device,
including some legacy device.

> Their software update is also not as fast as the
> Chinese made programmer I have (runfei.com.cn) .   But runfei
> website is having some problem.

Try to call them. Maybe they forget to pay the bill. But maybe they
go bust.

Xeltek seems to be one of the best supported programmer
among main-land China programmer makers.

> Along the way, I also made various type of programming adapters  for
> different needs.  To protect the investments on future adapters, as
> well as to benefit from the flexibility of an open source programmer,
> I thought an open source programmer with its increasing library and
> longer lifetime should be more useful.
>
> Comments?
>

>From the Wellem website, I think it is not great after all. And
the support for PIC is even worse and it seems to rely on
WinPIC800 (closed source, non-free firmware now).

How many programmable device are you using? It seems to me
it is too costly to support a good universal programmer for an
indivisual or a small company. And now for new MCUs, the
vendors will tend to provide a good and relatively cheap
programmer.

And most of the new MCUs will support JTAG or some kind
of ICSP (or ISP) programming so you do not really need an
expensive adapter.

So I think universal programmers are now kind of obsoleted
except for mass-production.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@080648 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Alan B. Pearce <.....A.B.PearceKILLspamspam@spam@rl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >Is there another open source programmer around?  or better one with USB
> >support?
>
> Well Olin recently made his USB programmer source open for download, so if
> there is a specific requirement you have, then that would be eminently
> hackable.
>

Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
license limit. It is also not easy to hack as well. EasyProg's source
codes have been available for years and nobody has even write the
host software for it under Linux. The EmbedInc programming specification
is also available long ago and only one very old attempt was made to use
it with Wisp628 (http://www.philpem.me.uk/elec/pic/easyisp/).

PICkit 2's source codes are open as well. But it is not open source
either as the license limits the usages to Microchip product.
And hacking a programmer is actually difficult for PICs. Even though
PICkit 2's source codes are available, it is not really that easy to
understand it thanks to the complexity of Microchip programming
specifications. So far none of the alternative "open source" PIC
programmers can beat PICkit 2 with its host software (the console
version pk2cmd has been ported to Linux by Jeff Post).
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=331582
Even with the PICkit 2 source codes, the attempt to write a
pure GPLed host software has not been achieved Jeff Post's
pk2 and Nicolas Hadacek's piklab).

There are many open source programmers. But very few aims to be
an universal one. Avrdude is targeting for Atmel MCUs. Open_OCD
are mainly targeting ARM based MCUs.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@080826 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
The USBProg is "open source" in the sense that the schematic is
available, as is the firmware and host-side protocol:
<www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog/index.htm>
It's not an open-source license but I'd bet that you can't find a better
programmer for 80 USD.
-
Martin

SM Ling wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\05\07@081627 by Xiaofan Chen
face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM, Martin <martinspamKILLspamnnytech.net> wrote:
> The USBProg is "open source" in the sense that the schematic is
> available, as is the firmware and host-side protocol:
> <www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog/index.htm>
> It's not an open-source license but I'd bet that you can't find a better
> programmer for 80 USD.
> -

Better is subjective. To me PICkit 2 at US$35 is better than
USBprog since it supports more PICs. It even supports PIC32 that
I am now experimenting with.

Yes USBprog solved one problem for PICKit 2 (USB port voltage
can be low) so it is better in a way.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@092850 by SM Ling

picon face
>>   But runfei website is having some problem.
>
>  Try to call them. Maybe they forget to pay the bill. But maybe they
>  go bust.

I hope they can be still around.  They have been updating the software
for free for the last few years.

>  >From the Wellem website, I think it is not great after all. And
>  the support for PIC is even worse and it seems to rely on
>  WinPIC800 (closed source, non-free firmware now).

Not really focusing on PIC squarely.  Guess most here probably have
different kind of PIC programmers by now.

>  How many programmable device are you using? It seems to me
>  it is too costly to support a good universal programmer for an
>  indivisual or a small company. And now for new MCUs, the
>  vendors will tend to provide a good and relatively cheap
>  programmer.

For the stated purpose I cannot tell what device I shall meet.  Just
recently, Runfei has been versatile, let me reprogramed the 93C56
inside the Canon print head and recovered some of them.  As you know,
price of 1 Ink head = 1 printer.

Now I have a need to do some 28F008 flash from Intel.

Previously I checked, Willem was totally not usable.  While my
programmers and manufacturers are slowly dying out, my impression is
Willem programmer is growing stronger.  Neither am I religious about
the purity of the open-source concept, but having a little openness
here seem to be helpful in keeping this type of tool alive longer.

Cheers, Ling SM

2008\05\07@101550 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 9:28 PM, SM Ling <.....sm.ling11KILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> >  How many programmable device are you using? It seems to me
> >  it is too costly to support a good universal programmer for an
> >  indivisual or a small company. And now for new MCUs, the
> >  vendors will tend to provide a good and relatively cheap
> >  programmer.
>
> For the stated purpose I cannot tell what device I shall meet.  Just
> recently, Runfei has been versatile, let me reprogramed the 93C56
> inside the Canon print head and recovered some of them.  As you know,
> price of 1 Ink head = 1 printer.

I see. PICkit 2 support 93C56. It supports I2C/SPI/MicroWire EERPOMs
and many more.

> Now I have a need to do some 28F008 flash from Intel.

I see. I am not so sure about this one. PICKit 2 does not
support it and I am not so sure if someone will port it
to support those Flash memories.

> Previously I checked, Willem was totally not usable.  While my
> programmers and manufacturers are slowly dying out, my impression is
> Willem programmer is growing stronger.  Neither am I religious about
> the purity of the open-source concept, but having a little openness
> here seem to be helpful in keeping this type of tool alive longer.

That is true. Open source does give you one more possibility
to fix a dead product.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@104558 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
> license limit.

That's quite unfair.  Just about all "open" software has some usage
limitation.  People seem to consider GPL source "open", although its
restrictions can be rather onerous in some cases.  My restrictions are
different, but the important point is the code is open for all to see.  If
you require that "open" also means totally free to use for whatever you want
in any way you want, then most of what is commonly referred to as "open"
isn't, including everything from the Open Software Foundation.

If your goal is to make your own firmware for a USBProg, then my copyright
doesn't stop you.  Note that you could even sell your modified code without
having to disclose the source, which is something you couldn't do with GPL
code.

> It is also not easy to hack as well.

Sure it is.  The source code and build scripts are all there.  Once you
install the software according to the directions, have MPLAB installed
properly, and set the MPLABDIR environment variable according to the
directions, the build script BUILD_EUSB_EXPIC.BAT should just work.  Now you
can make incremental modifications to the firmware as you want.  I also
challenge you to find better documented PIC programmer source code anywhere.

Microchip has used several different programming algorithms with many
different flavors, so a PIC programmer that supports a wide range of PICs is
not going to be trivial.  I just checked, and the total USBProg firmware
source code is 13.5K lines of code.  However it is modularized, with the
largest module that implements a programming algorithm (24H, 30F, and 33F)
only being 1044 lines of code, and that is further broken up inside using
numerous subroutines and macros.

What exactly did you find "not easy to hack"?  Did you even try or look at
the source code?  I'm generally willing to help people with it.

> EasyProg's source
> codes have been available for years and nobody has even write the
> host software for it under Linux. The EmbedInc programming
> specification
> is also available long ago and only one very old attempt was made to
> use
> it with Wisp628 (http://www.philpem.me.uk/elec/pic/easyisp/).

And this is the fault of the code or the specification how exactly?

I think this mostly points out that open source is overrated.  Far too many
people make a big deal about whether code is open or not, but in the end
most people just want to get their job done and not have to screw with their
tools to do so.  However, I recognize that a small few do want to hack the
code, so I've made it available and am even willing to help.  What more
exactly do you want?

> And hacking a programmer is actually difficult for PICs. Even though
> PICkit 2's source codes are available, it is not really that easy to
> understand it thanks to the complexity of Microchip programming
> specifications.

Yes, the programming specifications are complex, and you shouldn't expect to
understand code that implements them without understanding the
specifications.  However, have you looked at my code?  I think you will find
its documentation to be above all others.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\07@113101 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM, Martin <EraseMEmartinspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTnnytech.net> wrote:
>> The USBProg is "open source" in the sense that the schematic is
>> available, as is the firmware and host-side protocol:
>> <www.embedinc.com/products/usbprog/index.htm>
>> It's not an open-source license but I'd bet that you can't find a better
>> programmer for 80 USD.
>> -
>
> Better is subjective. To me PICkit 2 at US$35 is better than
> USBprog since it supports more PICs. It even supports PIC32 that
> I am now experimenting with.
>
> Yes USBprog solved one problem for PICKit 2 (USB port voltage
> can be low) so it is better in a way.
>
> Xiaofan


I said $80, the PICkit is $35 ;)
The USBprog can write/verify at different voltages, Olin gives out the
host source code, that makes it a better programmer by my standard (yes
it's subjective... etc etc etc)


-
Martin

2008\05\07@114407 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On May 7, 2008, at 7:47 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:
>  Just about all "open" software has some usage limitation.  People  
> seem to consider GPL source "open", although its restrictions can  
> be rather onerous in some cases.  My restrictions are different,  
> but the important point is the code is open for all to see.

FWIW, I agree pretty exactly with Olin here.  The minimal requirement  
to be "open source" is that you can look at the source, make  
modifications and build it for your own personal or company-internal  
use.  Anything beyond that is extra, and the "standards" for open  
source (like GPL) are indeed onerous...

BillW

2008\05\07@120314 by A K

flavicon
face

I have used a programmer similar to willem
www.sivava.com/img-ebay/pcb4-5c_construction-EBay.jpg
but the software hasn't been updated in a while.  There is an excellent
PIC open source software that is available for it willem and other
programmers:
http://www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/winpicpr.html
I have updated this program once in a while when a new chip is
necessary.  Usually, all that is needed is a new definition in an INI
file to take care of the new chip type, no recompilation needed.  This
seems like an ideal solution because you don't need to wait for the
author to distribute a new program version when a new chip comes out,
you simply add the appropriate settings for the new chip in the chip
config file.




SM Ling wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\05\07@130031 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/7/08, SM Ling <sm.ling11spamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
> Usage: non production need, general R&D, repair and hacking purposes.
> Comments?
>
> Cheers, Ling SM

Pickit2 is so inexpensive than haking (very easy) is not worth a dime.
If you have available a serial port, then two-three transistors and
one MAX232 is enough for a proffesional prototyping programmer
supplied from the target board with only 5V.
An excellent upgradable free software is winpic.

2008\05\07@181826 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM, Martin <@spam@martinKILLspamspamnnytech.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

PICkit 2 can write and verify at different voltages, but not at
voltages greater than the USB voltage.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
RemoveMEmarkragesTakeThisOuTspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\07@182007 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 9:47 AM, Olin Lathrop <spamBeGoneolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>  > Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
>  > license limit.
>
>  That's quite unfair.  Just about all "open" software has some usage
>  limitation.  People seem to consider GPL source "open", although its
>  restrictions can be rather onerous in some cases.  My restrictions are
>  different, but the important point is the code is open for all to see.  If
>  you require that "open" also means totally free to use for whatever you want
>  in any way you want, then most of what is commonly referred to as "open"
>  isn't, including everything from the Open Software Foundation.

Your last sentence is incorrect.

Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
TakeThisOuTmarkragesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\07@192209 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 10:47 PM, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
> > license limit.
>
> That's quite unfair.  Just about all "open" software has some usage
> limitation.

I based on the popular definition of "open source".

> People seem to consider GPL source "open", although its
> restrictions can be rather onerous in some cases.

Agreed. Personally I believe Modified BSD license is actually
more "free" even according to FSF's meaning of "free".

**********************************************************************
Quoting:
www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html
"Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four freedoms
that every user should have:

the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors,
the freedom to change the software to suit your needs, and
the freedom to share the changes you make.
When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free software."
************************************************************************

To me GPL does not meet the 3rd condition of free. But in practical,
GPL is more successful than BSD (but BSD is also very successful)
and thus it is good to me as well.

> My restrictions are
> different, but the important point is the code is open for all to see.  If
> you require that "open" also means totally free to use for whatever you want
> in any way you want, then most of what is commonly referred to as "open"
> isn't, including everything from the Open Software Foundation.

You restriction is perfectly ok to me. I am a pracgmatist. I am not a
Linux fan boy or a GPL fan boy.

> If your goal is to make your own firmware for a USBProg, then my copyright
> doesn't stop you.  Note that you could even sell your modified code without
> having to disclose the source, which is something you couldn't do with GPL
> code.

No I do not have a USBprog and I have no plan with it. I was interested in
your USB firmware framework since it has some features that Microchip's
did not have. I still have some interests but less now that Microchip's USB
firmware is getting better.

> > It is also not easy to hack as well.
>
> Sure it is.  The source code and build scripts are all there.
> What exactly did you find "not easy to hack"?  Did you even try or look at
> the source code?  I'm generally willing to help people with it.

Yes I am looking at it but with low priority. I am more at home
with C18 than assembly.

>
> > EasyProg's source
> > codes have been available for years and nobody has even write the
> > host software for it under Linux. The EmbedInc programming
> > specification
> > is also available long ago and only one very old attempt was made to
> > use it with Wisp628 (http://www.philpem.me.uk/elec/pic/easyisp/).
>
> And this is the fault of the code or the specification how exactly?

No, it is not your fault. I just want to tell Alan Pearce that by
having the source and specification does not mean someone
can easily hack the things.

> I think this mostly points out that open source is overrated.  Far too many
> people make a big deal about whether code is open or not, but in the end
> most people just want to get their job done and not have to screw with their
> tools to do so.

I actually agree with you on the programmer part. It is a tool. It
is no fun reading the programming specifications. So it is better
to leave the jobs to experts like you.

I always recommend people to buy a proper programmer like
PICkit 2 and not mess with those simple programmers like
JDM or whatever it is called.

> However, I recognize that a small few do want to hack the
> code, so I've made it available and am even willing to help.  What more
> exactly do you want?

No more. I think your offering is very reasonable and good enough
for that small few. But I am just thinking that "small few" is
almost "zero" now.

> > And hacking a programmer is actually difficult for PICs. Even though
> > PICkit 2's source codes are available, it is not really that easy to
> > understand it thanks to the complexity of Microchip programming
> > specifications.
>
> Yes, the programming specifications are complex, and you shouldn't expect to
> understand code that implements them without understanding the
> specifications.  However, have you looked at my code?  I think you will find
> its documentation to be above all others.

I agree. But it is still complicated. I am more interested in the USB
part and not the programmer part.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@221829 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2008-05-07 at 20:06 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> On Wed, May 7, 2008 at 7:42 PM, Alan B. Pearce <A.B.PearceEraseMEspam.....rl.ac.uk> wrote:
> > >Is there another open source programmer around?  or better one with USB
> > >support?
> >
> > Well Olin recently made his USB programmer source open for download, so if
> > there is a specific requirement you have, then that would be eminently
> > hackable.
> >
>
> Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
> license limit.

Umm, sorry Xiaofan, but I think you are confusing terms. AFAIK, Olin has
released the source (which is ALWAYS appreciated in my world), and
allowed people to "play" with it for their own uses. By pretty much ANY
definition I can think of this is "open source".

Open source doesn't mean "free". Have a read of the GPL license (which
much of what is open source uses), it's pretty restrictive in certain
ways, not much less so then what Olin has stipulated.

> It is also not easy to hack as well.

That of course is your opinion. That said, have you ever actually looked
at some "open source" code out there? It's often VERY confusing to
decipher, made more so by the fact that it's rarely commented.

I haven't looked at Olin's code, but I would bet at least a donut that
it is VERY well documented. That alone makes it miles better then much
of what's open source. As for program structure, I'm sure some of the
"not niceness" is due way more to the insanity that is the MChip
programming specs then it is Olin's coding style.

On this topic I will say: way to go Olin. TTYL

2008\05\07@230522 by SM Ling

picon face
>  > > >Is there another open source programmer around?  or better one with USB
>  > > >support?
>  > >
>  > > Well Olin recently made his USB programmer source open for download, so if
>  > > there is a specific requirement you have, then that would be eminently
>  > > hackable.
>  > >
>  >
>  > Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
>  > license limit.

If we the focus on "catching rat" than the color of cat shall become
less important.  IMHO both pickits 2 and Olin's programmer are pretty
good cats.  If Olin's programmer can also ride on pickit 2 software
then it maybe a marriage match-in-heaven.

Lacking is one that can also do parallel devices which is in the same class.

Cheers, Ling SM

2008\05\07@233501 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 5/8/08, Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist4spamfarcite.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-05-07 at 20:06 +0800, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > Olin's programmer does not really belong to open source because of the
> > license limit.
>
> Umm, sorry Xiaofan, but I think you are confusing terms. AFAIK, Olin has
> released the source (which is ALWAYS appreciated in my world), and
> allowed people to "play" with it for their own uses. By pretty much ANY
> definition I can think of this is "open source".
>
> Open source doesn't mean "free". Have a read of the GPL license (which
> much of what is open source uses), it's pretty restrictive in certain
> ways, not much less so then what Olin has stipulated.
>
Just read my reply to Olin and you will know I was just talking
based on the popular definition of "open source".

I have no problems with Olin's license. It is good and fair enough.
Just like PICkit 2's license. It is fair enough for the license holder
to apply whatever license they like.

And for those open source license, I like GPL the least in
terms of "free" and I like modified BSD much better
than GPL. But in reality, Linux is better than FreeBSD
in many aspects. So GPL is very good to me as well.

I really do not care about license. I am also OS
neutral. I am not a Linux fan boy. I am not a
GPL fan boy. I am not a Microsoft apologist either
as described by Bob Blick at one time.

Xiaofan

2008\05\07@235214 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 5/8/08, SM Ling <RemoveMEsm.ling11EraseMEspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
> If we the focus on "catching rat" than the color of cat shall become
> less important.

I agree. I do not really care about the color of cats. But
modern cats do not really catch rats, at least in Singapore.
I've seen a cat ran away when seeing a big rat. ;-)

> IMHO both pickits 2 and Olin's programmer are pretty
> good cats.

Agreed.

> If Olin's programmer can also ride on pickit 2 software
> then it maybe a marriage match-in-heaven.

That is a bit strange suggestion and I think Olin will not
agree. Olin's software is good enough as far as I tried
last time.

Xiaofan

2008\05\08@042724 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>No, it is not your fault. I just want to tell Alan Pearce that
>by having the source and specification does not mean someone
>can easily hack the things.

But it does make it considerably easier - especially when you can determine
the original programmers intent by the comments in the code, and Olins code
is always well commented ...

2008\05\08@061836 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 5/8/08, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.Pearcespam_OUTspamKILLspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >No, it is not your fault. I just want to tell Alan Pearce that
> >by having the source and specification does not mean someone
> >can easily hack the things.
>
> But it does make it considerably easier - especially when you can determine
> the original programmers intent by the comments in the code, and Olins code
> is always well commented ...

And yet how many people are using his assembly based firmware
framework even though it is supposed to be better?

At least for me I would not want to use assembly for the things I
am interested now (USB, TCPIP, etc), even with Olin's "high level"
assembly. C18 is way easier.

I know and I have learned quite some assembly. I know
and I highly respect experts like Olin who can make assembly
working wonderfully. And there are even people who insisted on
using assmbly even with very complex projects.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=336190

But I would not want to waste the time to perfect
my assembly skills.

Xiaofan

2008\05\08@071220 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> I agree. But it is still complicated. I am more interested in the USB
> part and not the programmer part.

Is this for personal or commercial purposes?  If personal, then I'm not
trying to get in your way.  If you want to do something for personal use
that my copyright prevents, let me know and there's a good chance I can give
you explicit permission.

Basically I don't want to stop anyone that just wants to play around with
USB or make a USB device for their own use.  I don't even want to stop
someone from evaluating the USB framework to determine whether it is
suitable for their commercial use.  However, I spent some time and money
developing the framework, and I'd like to get something back if others use
my efforts to make a profit.

Drawing the line exactly between personal and commercial in a few sentences
of legal speak is impossible.  So I did it conservatively because I can
always grant permission for individual cases, whereas I can't go backwards
the other way.

So again, if you or anyone else wants to use the USB framework in a way you
think is non-commercial but you think the restrictions get in the way, send
me a note describing the project.  If you have a commercial project in mind,
you should also get in touch with me because I've done this a few times
already and can save you time and trouble, which saves $$ in the end.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@074629 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Just read my reply to Olin and you will know I was just talking
> based on the popular definition of "open source".

Then you misunderstand the popular definition.  I think the general
consensus of "open source" means you can look at it.  In most cases you can
do more, usually much more.  But some restrictions, like GPL or my
copyright, don't disqualify it from being "open source".

There are probably others listening in wondering what the fuss is about.
Here is the copyright notice of the source files that do not directly
implement a programming algorithm or are part of the USB framework:

***************************************************************
* Copyright (C) 2008, Embed Inc (http://www.embedinc.com)     *
*                                                             *
* Permission to copy this file is granted as long as this     *
* copyright notice is included in its entirety at the         *
* beginning of the file, whether the file is copied in whole  *
* or in part and regardless of whether other information is   *
* added to the copy.                                          *
*                                                             *
* The contents of this file may be used in any way,           *
* commercial or otherwise.  This file is provided "as is",    *
* and Embed Inc makes no claims of suitability for a          *
* particular purpose nor assumes any liability resulting from *
* its use.                                                    *
***************************************************************

Geesh guys, all I'm asking for is to be credited in the source, and you
don't even need to show it to your customers or anyone else.  This is a
*way* less restrictive than the GPL.  By the way, all my PIC development
environment (http://www.embedinc.com/pic) code either has this same
copyright or none at all.

The USBProg USB framework modules or modules that implement programming
algorithms are more restricted:

****************************************************************
* Copyright (C) 2008, Embed Inc (http://www.embedinc.com).     *
* All rights reserved except as explicitly noted here.         *
*                                                              *
* Permission to copy this file is granted as long as this      *
* copyright notice is included in its entirety at the          *
* beginning of the file, whether the file is copied in whole   *
* or in part and regardless of whether other information is    *
* added to the copy, and one of the following conditions is    *
* met:                                                         *
*                                                              *
*   1 - Any executable derived from the this file is only run  *
*       on a Embed Inc product.                                *
*                                                              *
*   2 - Any device that contains executable code derived from  *
*       this file is not sold, not distributed for commercial  *
*       advantage, and not more than 10 (ten) instances of the *
*       device are created.                                    *
*                                                              *
* To copy this file otherwise requires explicit permission     *
* from Embed Inc and may also require a fee.                   *
*                                                              *
* The information in this file is provided "as is".  Embed Inc *
* makes no claims of suitability for any particular purpose    *
* nor assumes any liability resulting from its use.            *
****************************************************************

Basically I don't want my hard work coming back and competing with me, and
if someone else is going to make a buck from it I want a make some too.  I'm
not trying to stop anyone that is truly doing personal projects, and note
that any hacking of a USBProg is explicitly allowed.  You could even add a
feature to the USBProg and sell your modified firmware for profit without
disclosing the code, which is something you couldn't do under the GPL.

But the main point is, restrictions or not, it's still "open source" by
common usage of that term.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@075831 by olin piclist

face picon face
Mark Rages wrote:
>> If you require that "open" also means totally free to use
>> for whatever you want in any way you want, then most of what is
>> commonly referred to as "open" isn't, including everything from the
>> Open Software Foundation.
>
> Your last sentence is incorrect.
>
> Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.

But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional restrictions.
Perhaps the Open Software Foundation has released totally free code, so the
last part of my sentence should have been "including everything under the
GPL."


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@093610 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 7:14 PM, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamspamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> I agree. But it is still complicated. I am more interested in the USB
>> part and not the programmer part.
>
> Is this for personal or commercial purposes?  If personal, then I'm not
> trying to get in your way.  If you want to do something for personal use
> that my copyright prevents, let me know and there's a good chance I can give
> you explicit permission.

I am learning USB for personal use. Your license is perfectly ok to
me and I have no problems with it.

Xiaofan

2008\05\08@093646 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 7:48 PM, Olin Lathrop <EraseMEolin_piclistspamspamspamBeGoneembedinc.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

This is open source. This is kind of modified BSD license.

> Geesh guys, all I'm asking for is to be credited in the source, and you
> don't even need to show it to your customers or anyone else.  This is a
> *way* less restrictive than the GPL.  By the way, all my PIC development
> environment (http://www.embedinc.com/pic) code either has this same
> copyright or none at all.

They are all considered as open source. I was talking about the USB
driver and the USBProg firmware.

{Quote hidden}

This is not. It is like the PICKit 2 source codes.

> Basically I don't want my hard work coming back and competing with me, and
> if someone else is going to make a buck from it I want a make some too.  I'm
> not trying to stop anyone that is truly doing personal projects, and note
> that any hacking of a USBProg is explicitly allowed.  You could even add a
> feature to the USBProg and sell your modified firmware for profit without
> disclosing the code, which is something you couldn't do under the GPL.

GPL is recognized as an Open Source license. But I have some
reservation about how free it is according to FSF's own definitions
of Free.

> But the main point is, restrictions or not, it's still "open source" by
> common usage of that term.
>

I do not agree on this one. But I agree that your license is very
reasonable and makes perfect sense.

Xiaofan

2008\05\08@094332 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
> Then you misunderstand the popular definition.  I think the general
> consensus of "open source" means you can look at it.  In most cases you
can
> do more, usually much more.  But some restrictions, like GPL or my
> copyright, don't disqualify it from being "open source".

Exactly! Open Source and Free Software are two different things. There are
some free software that are not open source and vica versa. Like Public
Domain is free software but the source in not necessarily open. But there
are other open source licences around than GPL, like LGPL, BSD, Apache and
even Microsoft Public License :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_software_licenses

Some of them has a meaning that the software has to be free of charge and
the company can charge only for services, some others are not even declares
the software as free, and there are some that only lets you peek into the
source without permitting you to modifying it or even recompiling it.
Personally I'd prefer those that I can recompile so I could prove that the
binary was generated from that particular source.

Anyway, is there any place where I could download the device scripts for
PicKit2 - or that is not open source?

Tamas



On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 12:48 PM, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com>
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\05\08@101807 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 9:43 PM, Tamas Rudnai <tamas.rudnaiSTOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:

> Anyway, is there any place where I could download the device scripts for
> PicKit2 - or that is not open source?
>

It is in the device data file.

Jeff Post has developed a simple utility to dump the data file.
I've enclosed the Windows build and the results in this
Microchip forum thread.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=331582 (post 27)

Regards,
Xiaofan

2008\05\08@105035 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
> spamBeGoneolin_piclistSTOPspamspamEraseMEembedinc.com (Olin Lathrop) wrote:
> Mark Rages wrote:
> > > If you require that "open" also means totally free to use
> > > for whatever you want in any way you want, then most of what is
> > > commonly referred to as "open" isn't, including everything from the
> > > Open Software Foundation.
> >
> > Your last sentence is incorrect.
> >
> > Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.
>
> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional restrictions.
> Perhaps the Open Software Foundation has released totally free code, so
> the last part of my sentence should have been "including everything under
> the GPL."

Olin, you keep saying "Open Software Foundation", but I think you mean
"Free Software Foundation". Two completely different things.

OSF was the old collaboration between Apollo, Bull, DEC, HP, IBM, Nixdorf
and Siemens that eventually became "The Open Group".

FSF is the GNU/Richard Stallman organization.

-- Dave Tweed

2008\05\08@121700 by olin piclist

face picon face
Dave Tweed wrote:
> Olin, you keep saying "Open Software Foundation", but I think you mean
> "Free Software Foundation". Two completely different things.
>
> OSF was the old collaboration between Apollo, Bull, DEC, HP, IBM,
> Nixdorf and Siemens that eventually became "The Open Group".
>
> FSF is the GNU/Richard Stallman organization.

Yup, I meant FSF, the GNU folks, who generally publish their software under
the GPL (GNU Public License).  Sorry for the confusion.

On a side note, I was at Apollo at the time OSF was started, as you were
too.  It sounded like a good idea at the time, but I didn't realize until
much later that it was essentially a deliberate smoke screen to give the
member companies a sales story against Sun and its open software while
continuing with their individual proprietary products as long as possible.
OSF wasn't really supposed to produce anything, only make it look like they
would.  This was not known at the time to the individual engineers who
thought they were working on the operating system of the future.

I wonder how different things would be today if they had been allowed to
finish.  I think a few scattered pieces of the OSF effort have made their
way into the main stream.  I sortof remember that some of today's time
synchronization of nodes on a network came from the OSF effort, but overall
it was largely a waste, as was intended.

I think things would be very different today if Apollo had embraced openness
instead of fighting it.  Aegis was a great operating system, and the Domain
network of 20 years ago was better than any Windows or Unix networking
today.  The only thing they screwed up was graphics accross the network, but
that wasn't inherent in the Domain network architecture.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@141613 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Olin Lathrop <KILLspamolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com> wrote:
> Mark Rages wrote:
>>> If you require that "open" also means totally free to use
>>> for whatever you want in any way you want, then most of what is
>>> commonly referred to as "open" isn't, including everything from the
>>> Open Software Foundation.
>>
>> Your last sentence is incorrect.
>>
>> Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.
>
> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional restrictions.
> Perhaps the Open Software Foundation has released totally free code, so the
> last part of my sentence should have been "including everything under the
> GPL."
>

There are no restrictions on running the software under the GPL.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
EraseMEmarkragesspamEraseMEmidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\08@152641 by olin piclist

face picon face
Mark Rages wrote:
> There are no restrictions on running the software under the GPL.

That may be true, but not relevant since we're talking about source code
which you can't run anyway.  Building the source and then running it is only
one of many things you might want to do with source code.

My original point was that much software that is generally considered "open
source" has restrictions on what you can do with it.  If software under the
GPL is "open source", then you have to allow that my USBProg software is
also open source.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@155300 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Olin Lathrop <@spam@olin_piclist@spam@spamspam_OUTembedinc.com> wrote:
> Mark Rages wrote:
>> There are no restrictions on running the software under the GPL.
>
> That may be true, but not relevant since we're talking about source code
> which you can't run anyway.  Building the source and then running it is only
> one of many things you might want to do with source code.

The GPL is only concerned with copying.  It doesn't address how you
use the software once you have it (compiling it, linking it against
other software, etc.)   It only addresses distribution.

>
> My original point was that much software that is generally considered "open
> source" has restrictions on what you can do with it.  If software under the
> GPL is "open source", then you have to allow that my USBProg software is
> also open source.
>

While your software is open source in the sense that the source code
is available for reading, it does not meet the Open Source
Initiative's definition: (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd) nor does
it embody the four freedoms of the FSF.
(http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).  Therefore is not "open
source" in the accepted usage of the term.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
spamBeGonemarkragesspamKILLspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\08@161430 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 5/8/08, Mark Rages <.....markragesspam_OUTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> While your software is open source in the sense that the source code
> is available for reading, it does not meet the Open Source
> Initiative's definition: (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd) nor does
> it embody the four freedoms of the FSF.
> (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).  Therefore is not "open
> source" in the accepted usage of the term.

It's true that some of his open source software does not meet the
criteria defined by these two groups.

That doesn't mean it's not open source.  It means that if they had
their way the term "Open Source" would be trademarked and owned by
either of them and they could prevent its usage outside of their
_very_ narrow definition.

Olin can call it open source all he wants.  He makes it clear in the
license what is open about his source and what is closed.  Even the
two organizations mentioned above encourage people to read and abide
by the license included with any software.

Unless someone has it trademarked and enforces it, then there's no
need to force everyone to adopt a particular definition, especially
when that definition is so narrow given that the words are merely
"open" and "source".  If they want to force a particular usage, they
need to get a trademark on a phrase they can control, use it, enforce
it, and settle down instead of telling everyone what open source is
and isn't.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\05\08@162631 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 3:14 PM, M. Adam Davis <TakeThisOuTstienman.....spamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/8/08, Mark Rages <TakeThisOuTmarkragesKILLspamspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
>  > While your software is open source in the sense that the source code
>  > is available for reading, it does not meet the Open Source
>  > Initiative's definition: (http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd) nor does
>  > it embody the four freedoms of the FSF.
>  > (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html).  Therefore is not "open
>  > source" in the accepted usage of the term.
>
>  It's true that some of his open source software does not meet the
>  criteria defined by these two groups.
>
>  That doesn't mean it's not open source.  It means that if they had
>  their way the term "Open Source" would be trademarked and owned by
>  either of them and they could prevent its usage outside of their
>  _very_ narrow definition.

Wikipedia: "Perens attempted to register 'open source' as a service
mark for the OSI, but that attempt was impractical by trademark
standards.
...
Although the OSI definition of "open source software" is widely
accepted, a small number of people and organizations use the term to
refer to software where the source is available for viewing, but which
may not legally be modified or redistributed. Such software is more
often referred to as source-available, or as shared source, a term
coined by Microsoft in opposition to open source."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_software

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
.....markragesspamRemoveMEmidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\08@170039 by olin piclist

face picon face
Mark Rages wrote:
> The GPL is only concerned with copying.  It doesn't address how you
> use the software once you have it (compiling it, linking it against
> other software, etc.)   It only addresses distribution.

But distribution is one of various uses of source code, so the GPL does
restrict how it can be used.

> While your software is open source in the sense that the source code
> is available for reading, it does not meet the Open Source
> Initiative's definition:

So?  I don't remember them getting ordained the Official Keeper of the Open
Source definition.  The Open Software Foundation puts restrictions on what
you can do with their source.  I think some of them are rather onerous and
actually hurt the wide accessibility of software for end users.  They do
this because they have a particular agenda they want to push.  The widest
accessibility of software for end users isn't their goal.  I agree they have
the right to put whatever restrictions on their software they want, as does
the owner of any software, but I totally disagree that they have some sort
of moral high ground and get to define what "open source" is.

> Therefore is not "open
> source" in the accepted usage of the term.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this.  I don't accept their definition of
"open source", nor do I agree that their exact definition is accepted usage.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\08@171323 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Unless someone has it trademarked and enforces it, then there's no
> need to force everyone to adopt a particular definition, especially
> when that definition is so narrow given that the words are merely
> "open" and "source".

I don't want to enforce anything, but IMO "open source" should at least
 imply that you are free to compile and use (including sell) the
unmodified software any way you want. This gets a bit hazy when the
software can't be used without associated hardware, but in my opinion
something should not be called "open source" when its use is limited by
proprietary hardware.

Everyone is free to use words in a way he want, but calling something
that uses magnetic levitation on a railroad-like track and uses rockets
for propulsion a "bike" is not very helpful in a conversation. But it is
legally allowed (at least in my country, in the USA it might be
un-american?).

I think Olin's license is similar is spirit to my Wisp648 firmware: Do
with it what you want if it is for your own use, or when used with
hardware bought from me (or him). But I call this "source available",
not "open source".

PS I am still looking for a good "open source" license that
- has the usual legal bullshit about the author not being responsible
for anything
- permits *all* use of the *compiled* version of the code (no need to
publish modified sources, mention contributors, etc)
- forces the use of that sane license for all distributions of the
source (modified or not, gratis or for a fee, etc).

I think I saw one once, but forgot where :(

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\05\08@173612 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 4:02 PM, Olin Lathrop <RemoveMEolin_piclistspamspamBeGoneembedinc.com> wrote:
> Mark Rages wrote:
>> The GPL is only concerned with copying.  It doesn't address how you
>> use the software once you have it (compiling it, linking it against
>> other software, etc.)   It only addresses distribution.
>
> But distribution is one of various uses of source code, so the GPL does
> restrict how it can be used.
>
>> While your software is open source in the sense that the source code
>> is available for reading, it does not meet the Open Source
>> Initiative's definition:
>
> So?  I don't remember them getting ordained the Official Keeper of the Open
> Source definition.  The Open Software Foundation puts restrictions on what
> you can do with their source.

You are confusing OSI ("open source" people), the FSF ("free software"
people), and the OSF (which isn't really "open" at all, like you
pointed out.)

I am not interested in arguments over the GPL.  I am just trying to
correct what I read as misleading statetments.

> I think some of them are rather onerous and
> actually hurt the wide accessibility of software for end users.  They do
> this because they have a particular agenda they want to push.  The widest
> accessibility of software for end users isn't their goal.  I agree they have
> the right to put whatever restrictions on their software they want, as does
> the owner of any software, but I totally disagree that they have some sort
> of moral high ground and get to define what "open source" is.

The FSF and Richard Stallman are quite clear in what they are trying
to achieve.  They are concerned with the freedom of the software user,
not the software itself.

>> Therefore is not "open
>> source" in the accepted usage of the term.
>
> We'll have to agree to disagree on this.  I don't accept their definition of
> "open source", nor do I agree that their exact definition is accepted usage.

Was the term in common use before the OSI was founded in 1998?  I
believe their PR popularized the term.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
spamBeGonemarkrages@spam@spamspam_OUTmidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\08@192047 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
"Open source software" is more like a "Public house" (also known as pub).
It's public, so you can go inside free, but it does not mean that you can do
whatever you want to do. There are certain rules you have to keep, otherwise
you "free" to go :-) For example here in Ireland you not supposed to smoke
inside. If you want to do that you have to go out - and as you not supposed
to drink outside we have the "Don't drink and smoke" rule. Other countries
have different rules with public houses, so if you go abroad you have to
study those if you do not want to be in trouble.

You have to study the license of the open source software as well. (Open as
you can see its source) You have to keep those rules in order to legally
using it. If you use Olin's code, you have to agree whatever he says. If he
let's you see the source, that software is definitely open, if does not,
it's called closed or proprietary. If he let's you use it free, then it's
free as well. But I doubt if you can do with that source whatever you want
to do - even GPL does not let you do that. Many people involved in
developing software for free of charge just because they learn a lot on
these, but they do not want you to "steal" their work. Other people like
Olin wants back some money for their time pushed into it, and for their
other costs - quite understandable, and still you can learn a lot from their
work, I really appreciate it!

Tamas



On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 10:36 PM, Mark Rages <TakeThisOuTmarkragesspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\05\08@214351 by Dave Tweed

face
flavicon
face
olin_piclist@embedinc.com (Olin Lathrop)
> I wonder how different things would be today if they had been allowed to
> finish.  I think a few scattered pieces of the OSF effort have made their
> way into the main stream.

According to the Wikipedia article, OSF's Unix, "OSF/1", became the basis
for "Tru64 Unix", developed by DEC, now owned by Compaq.

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Software_Foundation

> I sortof remember that some of today's time synchronization of nodes on a
> network came from the OSF effort, but overall it was largely a waste, as
> was intended.

NTP (if that's what you're referring to) was developed largely by David
Mills at the University of Delaware (my alma mater), and its roots predate
OSF/1 by a large margin. If there's any connection to OSF/1, I'm not aware
of it.

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_Time_Protocol

> I think things would be very different today if Apollo had embraced
> openness instead of fighting it.  Aegis was a great operating system, and
> the Domain network of 20 years ago was better than any Windows or Unix
> networking today.

Amen!

-- Dave Tweed

2008\05\09@001915 by Vasile Surducan

face picon face
On 5/8/08, Tamas Rudnai <@spam@tamas.rudnaiRemoveMEspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:

> You have to study the license of the open source software as well. (Open as
> you can see its source) You have to keep those rules in order to legally
> using it.


Just a thought: in this time when you've spent time and bandwith
discussing about differences between open source and free software,
1.000.000 of various clones left China to be sold worlwide. That is
real world and not what are you talking about here.
Open source or free softfare ? Who cares?

2008\05\09@065816 by olin piclist

face picon face
Dave Tweed wrote:
> NTP (if that's what you're referring to) was developed largely by
> David Mills at the University of Delaware (my alma mater), and its
> roots predate OSF/1 by a large margin. If there's any connection to
> OSF/1, I'm not aware of it.

It's definitely not NTP I'm thinking of.  As I said, I'm quite hazy on the
details, but I remember someone that had worked for OSF (Joe Commuzi?)
telling me about all the gotchas in synchronizing nodes on a network and how
they had developed some special software to deal with it (perhaps layered on
NTP?) and how that had lived on into some product, I think from DEC.  So
maybe that's related to the Tru64 Unix you mentioned.  Barry Perlman would
probably know much more.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\09@191032 by Jinx

face picon face
> open source

Gadgets threaten to unravel the world wide web, says expert

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10509015

Professor Jonathan Zittrain says the latest must-have devices are
sealed, "sterile" boxes that stifle creativity and turn consumers into
passive users of technology

The Future of the internet and How To Stop It, futureoftheinternet.org

2008\05\09@200541 by Peter Todd

flavicon
face
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 11:09:58AM +1200, Jinx wrote:
> > open source
>
> Gadgets threaten to unravel the world wide web, says expert
>
> www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10509015
>
> Professor Jonathan Zittrain says the latest must-have devices are
> sealed, "sterile" boxes that stifle creativity and turn consumers into
> passive users of technology

The readers of MAKE might disagree: http://makezine.com/

Frankly I think due to the internet, and the hugely increasing usage of
software in devices, the ability for people to become active users of
technology is far greater than ever before. Sure changing the hardware
side of, say, a cellphone is daunting, but the software is increasingly
hackable and the tools, and information resources, to make your own
hardware are more accessible than ever. Also I really think people in
general are more excited about the types of projects you can do these
days, electronics constrains you to the sort of things electronics is
good for, input and output. But software can do anything given an
appropriate IO device.

Electronic art for instance has exploded ever since microprocessors
became available to the general public, especially stuff like PICAXEs
and Arduino boards.

- --
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

iD8DBQFIJOaw3bMhDbI9xWQRAtqTAJ9rKk1AE/5zEvq13fKE5xEvaQpwgwCbB+eF
wHWWP9eAGae5Ip+g1xLCJ6k=
=y9F4
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

2008\05\09@231405 by Jinx

face picon face
> > Professor Jonathan Zittrain says the latest must-have devices are
> > sealed, "sterile" boxes that stifle creativity and turn consumers into
> > passive users of technology
>
> The readers of MAKE might disagree: http://makezine.com/

I'll keep an eye on that site, go back when I have more time

I see they have a piece there on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
The studio (under the name White Noise) album, An Electric Storm,
is just stunning. Even more so considering it was 'hand-made" and
predated many electronics and studio techniques that made it so
much easier for those who followed. My original copy was bought
at the time it was first released on vinyl, now I have it as CD and
MP3 and never get tired of hearing it. There are actual songs, as
opposed to the "mood" music of Wendy Carlos and Tangerine
Dream. And what songs they are

> Electronic art for instance has exploded ever since microprocessors
> became available to the general public, especially stuff like PICAXEs
> and Arduino boards.

I wish I had time to pursue my interest in kinetic art. Always plotting
and scheming but opportunity just isn't my friend lately

2008\05\10@071253 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 04:14:13PM -0400, M. Adam Davis wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Where's the license? I looked on EmbedInc's software page, and downloaded
the development software. The only license reference I found was in the
aspic files:

;   ***************************************************************
;   * The contents of this file may be used in any way,           *
;   * commercial or otherwise.  This file is provided "as is",    *
;   * and Embed Inc makes no claims of suitability for a          *
;   * particular purpose nor assumes any liability resulting from *
;   * its use.                                                    *
;   ***************************************************************

There was no separate license file that I could find and no such text in
the .pas files.

>
> Unless someone has it trademarked and enforces it, then there's no
> need to force everyone to adopt a particular definition, especially
> when that definition is so narrow given that the words are merely
> "open" and "source".  If they want to force a particular usage, they
> need to get a trademark on a phrase they can control, use it, enforce
> it, and settle down instead of telling everyone what open source is
> and isn't.

OSI did. They trademarked 'OSI certified' according to the Open Source
wikipedia entry. They attempted to get a service mark for "Open Source" but
failed in the effort.

BAJ

2008\05\10@074303 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 07:48:26AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > Just read my reply to Olin and you will know I was just talking
> > based on the popular definition of "open source".
>
> Then you misunderstand the popular definition.

(thought to self: Do I REALLY want to wade into this?)

> I think the general
> consensus of "open source" means you can look at it.

All common definitions of open source deals with modification and
redistribution. From the Wikipedia entry (emphesis mine):

----------------------------------------
Open source software is computer software for which the human-readable
source code is made available under a copyright license (or arrangement
such as the public domain) that meets the Open Source Definition. THIS
PERMITS USERS TO USE, CHANGE, AND IMPROVE THE SOFTWARE, AND TO REDISTRIBUTE
IT IN MODIFIED OR UNMODIFIED FORM. It is often developed in a public,
collaborative manner.
----------------------------------------

It's not about being able to read the source.

>  In most cases you can
> do more, usually much more.  But some restrictions, like GPL or my
> copyright, don't disqualify it from being "open source".

Again where is your license? I couldn't find it on this page:

http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/sw.htm

Also I downloaded the source bundle. While the aspic files had an "any use"
clause in it, I didn't see any licensing information with the .pas files.

{Quote hidden}

That's the one that I found on the top of the .aspic files. The .pas files
didn't have this notice.

>
> Geesh guys, all I'm asking for is to be credited in the source, and you
> don't even need to show it to your customers or anyone else.

The latter part is usually the tipping point between the "free software"
FSF style advocates and the "open source" advocates.

>  This is a
> *way* less restrictive than the GPL.  By the way, all my PIC development
> environment (http://www.embedinc.com/pic) code either has this same
> copyright or none at all.

It's the none at all that's the real problem. Without a license, no one has
any right to do anything with the source for your software. Definitely not
open source by any definition.

{Quote hidden}

But it fails the OSI definition of open source on several fronts:

http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

Now I feel the need to be very clear on a couple of points. The first and
most important, Olin, is that it's your code and you can license it any way
that you want. I think that your are very generous to give hackers an
opportunity and the code to hack on your programmers. More importantly IMO
is that you've given the specifications for the host protocols so that
others can develop software under other licenses if they so choose.

I know a lot of free software advocates feel that all software must in fact
be free. I'm not one of them.

> But the main point is, restrictions or not, it's still "open source" by
> common usage of that term.

The only point is that because your license above specifically limits
redistribution both in number of copies and the devices the code can be
used on, that it isn't open source by any common definition that the open
source community in general uses.

So it's not open source. But frankly that's a pendantic semantic point.

BAJ

2008\05\10@074625 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Thu, May 08, 2008 at 08:00:33AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Mark Rages wrote:
> >> If you require that "open" also means totally free to use
> >> for whatever you want in any way you want, then most of what is
> >> commonly referred to as "open" isn't, including everything from the
> >> Open Software Foundation.
> >
> > Your last sentence is incorrect.
> >
> > Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.
>
> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional restrictions.

It does. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the GPL only deals with
modification and redistribution of software. It can be used for any
purpose.

BAJ

2008\05\10@081134 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
> Where's the license? I looked on EmbedInc's software page, and
> downloaded the development software. The only license reference I
> found was in the aspic files:
>
> ;   ***************************************************************
> ;   * The contents of this file may be used in any way,           *
> ;   * commercial or otherwise.  This file is provided "as is",    *
> ;   * and Embed Inc makes no claims of suitability for a          *
> ;   * particular purpose nor assumes any liability resulting from *
> ;   * its use.                                                    *
> ;   ***************************************************************
>
> There was no separate license file that I could find and no such text
> in the .pas files.

The licenses are in the form of copyright notices in the individual files.
You must have found a really old one.  The one above isn't even a copyright.
The normal copyright for PIC source lets you use it any way you want but you
have to propagate the copyright notice at the start of the file unaltered.
In other words, I get credit in the source code, and any modified versions
fall under the copyright.

I'm not sure exactly what you downloaded, but to get the USBProg source go
to http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/sw.htm and download the Development
Software release.  The source files that are specific to the USBProg will be
in the SOURCE > PICPRG directory with names EUSB*.aspic and
PICPRG_*.INS.ASPIC.  For example, the EUSB_AD.ASPIC (A/D handler) module has
the normal copyright, and PICPRG_F30.INS.ASPIC (dsPIC programming algorithm)
module has the more restricted copyright.

The A/D handler is just general PIC code.  It's a nice example of how to do
interrupt driven A/D measurements, filtering, then reading the current value
and scaling it to fixed units on demand.  It's not a big deal, and I've
described the techniques in various places before.  Therefore I let people
use it any way they want as long as I retain the copyright and am thereby
credited in the source code.

The dsPIC programming algorithm module on the other hand took many hours of
reading the spec and experimenting to figure out how the parts really
worked.  I also developed my own techniques for handling a dsPIC which are
quite different from the brute force methods described in the programming
spec.  Creating a programmer for dsPICs is not trivial and thereby provides
a sortof barrier to entry into the market.  I don't want to see my code used
in someone else's product come back and compete with me, hence the more
restrictive copyright.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\10@081433 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:46 PM, Byron Jeff <@spam@byronjeffspam_OUTspam.....clayton.edu> wrote:
>> > Freedom 0 is the freedom to use the software for any purpose.
>>
>> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional restrictions.
>
> It does. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the GPL only deals with
> modification and redistribution of software. It can be used for any
> purpose.
>

******************************************************
>From http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html:

Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four
freedoms that every user should have:
the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors,
the freedom to change the software to suit your needs, and
the freedom to share the changes you make.
When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free software.
******************************************************

To me GPL itself does not meet the 3rd condtion. BSD and
Modified BSD does. So personally I like Modified BSD license
better than GPL.

On the other hand, from FSF's point of view, the agenda is
more important than the above "freedom". And imposing
limit of the modification and redistribution does help on
its agenda. On this perspective, it is more suitable for FSF.

In the end, it is perfectly right for the owner of the software
to use any license they see fit. So it is perfectly ok for
FSF to use GPL on the software that it oversees.

Olin's license on his software is very good and I think it is
Open Source (kind of modified BSD).

Olin's licnse on his USBprog firmware and USB host driver
is more restrictive than his other software. But it is still
perfectly ok and reasonable to me.

Xiaofan

2008\05\10@083341 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
> It's the none at all that's the real problem. Without a license, no
> one has any right to do anything with the source for your software.

Are you really sure?  I am not a lawyer, but if there are no restrictions
listed then it seems to me there are no restrictions.  Many things on the
internet have no explicit copyright and are routinely copied.  I don't
remember anyone claiming that something without a explicit copyright was
illegally copied.

In fact I remember a case around 1984 when I was at Raster Technologies.  We
made display controllers.  At the time these were 20K$ rack mounted boxes
that recieved commands over RS-232 or DR-11W and produced RGB video.  We had
a quick reference card that briefly listed all the commands.  A competitor,
Vermont Microsystems Inc, made a stripped down display controller and
decided to use our command set to claim "Raster compatible".  They even
produced a quick reference card that was clearly a copy of our card.  Then
someone looked at our card carefully and realized we had forgotten to put a
copyright notice on it anywhere.  VMI hadn't broken any laws.  All
subsequent cards we produced had a copyright notice on them though.


> The only point is that because your license above specifically limits
> redistribution both in number of copies and the devices the code can
> be
> used on, that it isn't open source by any common definition that the
> open source community in general uses.

Apparently there is wide variation on what people consider "open source".
Perhaps FSF is trying to push it in a restrictive (and self-serving)
direction, but that doesn't make it so.  These are two ordinary english
words they don't get to redefine.  To me, "open" means it is for all to see,
as in "open book".  If they want a label that means you can not only see the
code but can also do what you want with it (except for their own favorite
set of restrictions, of course) then they need to create a trademark or
something.  Note that they tried and failed to trademark "open source", so
apparently the government agrees they don't get to define what that means.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\10@084222 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
>> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional
>> restrictions.
>
> It does. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the GPL only deals with
> modification and redistribution of software. It can be used for any
> purpose.

So it doesn't have some kinds of restrictions but does have others.  The
point is that there are still restrictions.  It's funny how it's supposed to
be "open source" only with their set of freedoms and restrictions.

Again, "open source" means it's open for all to see.  If you call it "free
source", then I expect no restrictions.  Neither my source nor GPL source
qualifies for that.  If someone wants a label that allows for their own
favorite mix of freedoms and restrictions, then they need to come up with a
better and more descriptive term, and would also need to trademark it to
keep control over the definition.

I stand by my statement that the USBProg code is "open source".


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\10@085817 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> From http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html:
>
> Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four
> freedoms that every user should have:
> the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
> the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors,
> the freedom to change the software to suit your needs, and
> the freedom to share the changes you make.
> When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free
> software.

Note that they specifically left out the freedom to make changes and NOT
share the source.  Once again, they are trying to allocate common words to
their agenda.  "Free software" means exactly that.  If it's truly free then
you don't need to explicitly list the freedoms you have.  I agree that my
USBProg source is not free, but neither is GPL source.  However, much of my
Pascal host code has no restriction at all, and is "free source".

> On the other hand, from FSF's point of view, the agenda is
> more important than the above "freedom". And imposing
> limit of the modification and redistribution does help on
> its agenda. On this perspective, it is more suitable for FSF.

I see what they're doing and why, and agree they have every right to impose
whatever restriction they want on software they own.  What bugs me about the
FSF is that they are trying to appropriate common english words to their
narrow and self-serving meaning, and they tend to claim some sort of moral
superiority.  They've got a agenda, just like everyone else.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\10@104057 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 08:14:28AM -0400, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

We were talking about the first freedom, not the third.

There's no point in getting into another GPL vs. BSD debate. That debate
hinges on the rights of the developer vs. the rights of the user. If you
believe that the BSD license is better then you also believe that the
rights of the developer should superceed the rights of the downstream user.

That's a belief. I'm not going to bother trying to refute it.

> On the other hand, from FSF's point of view, the agenda is
> more important than the above "freedom". And imposing
> limit of the modification and redistribution does help on
> its agenda. On this perspective, it is more suitable for FSF.

That's also a belief. I'm not going to bother to refute it either.

> In the end, it is perfectly right for the owner of the software
> to use any license they see fit. So it is perfectly ok for
> FSF to use GPL on the software that it oversees.

That's probable the one thing we actuall agree on.

> Olin's license on his software is very good and I think it is
> Open Source (kind of modified BSD).

It doesn't meet the common definition of the community or the OSI tenant.
It doesn't mean that it isn't a good license.
It doesn't mean that Olin doesn't have the right to put any license he see
fit onto his software.
It doesn't mean that the GPL or BSD license is better or worse than other
licenses.

It only means that it doesn't fit the community definition of open source.
Nothing more, nothing less.

> Olin's licnse on his USBprog firmware and USB host driver
> is more restrictive than his other software. But it is still
> perfectly ok and reasonable to me.

It's OK and reasonable to me too. It's just not open source by the
community definition because of the restrictions that it places.

(thought to self: I KNEW it was a bad idea to wander into this thread!)

It's a pendantic point. One that's really not worth debating.

BAJ

2008\05\10@115241 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 6:40 PM, Byron Jeff <byronjeffspamBeGonespamclayton.edu> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

I just want to say that FSF's own GPL does not meet its
own definition of "free". In this aspect I think BSD meets
FSF's definition of "free" better than GPL.

On the practical side, BSD is very successful. On the other
hand you can say GPL is even more successful. So in the
end both have its places. And proprietary software has
their places as well. I do not believe that Open Source
is the only future for software. But it is certainly good since
it provides one more choice for people. To have one more
choice is always good to me.

> That's a belief. I'm not going to bother trying to refute it.

I agree with you. There is no point saying which license
is better.

As I said before, I am a pragmatist. I do not really care about
which OS is better, which license is better. But I do have
my own opinions on them.

To me all things in existent must have their reason of existence.
So even though I may or may not agree with them, I would think
they must have some reasons to exist.


Xiaofan

2008\05\10@144040 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 7:14 AM, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofanc@spam@spamspamBeGonegmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change the software
to suit your needs?

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
.....markragesRemoveMEspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\10@145456 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 13:40 -0500, Mark Rages wrote:
> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change the software
> to suit your needs?

I suppose it depends what your needs are.

GPL has often been considered very "virus" like, it's presence in your
project effects much more then just the chunk of GPL code you're using.

If your needs are keeping your projects' code closed (i.e. a very common
situation is NDA agreements restricting how open you can be with your
code), there are very few ways you can make use of any GPL code.

TTYL

2008\05\10@160152 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Herbert Graf <.....mailinglist4STOPspamspam@spam@farcite.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 13:40 -0500, Mark Rages wrote:
>> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change the software
>> to suit your needs?
>
> I suppose it depends what your needs are.
>
> GPL has often been considered very "virus" like, it's presence in your
> project effects much more then just the chunk of GPL code you're using.
>
> If your needs are keeping your projects' code closed (i.e. a very common
> situation is NDA agreements restricting how open you can be with your
> code), there are very few ways you can make use of any GPL code.
>
> TTYL

You are talking about distribution.  You are still free to change the
GPL software to suit your needs.  You are required to provide source
code only if you distribute derived works.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesEraseMEspam@spam@midwesttelecine.com

2008\05\10@165855 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
> the software to suit your needs?

"My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open  
source material proprietary when I distribute the software."  "I need  
to keep distribution difficulties in check, and cannot afford to  
distribute my embedded product in a form where it can be re-built  
with modified versions of the open-source libraries that it uses."

GPL advocates may claim that these are not VALID needs, or argue  
about the difficulty of meeting them within GPL, but it tends to get  
my hackles up whenever someone else is ready to tell me what *I* need.

And I don't want FSF to be able to define what "open source" means,  
any more than I want RIAA to define what "fair use" means...

BillW

2008\05\10@181333 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM, William Chops Westfield <RemoveMEwestfwspamspamBeGonemac.com> wrote:
>
> On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
>> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
>> the software to suit your needs?
>
> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."  "I need
> to keep distribution difficulties in check, and cannot afford to
> distribute my embedded product in a form where it can be re-built
> with modified versions of the open-source libraries that it uses."
>
> GPL advocates may claim that these are not VALID needs, or argue
> about the difficulty of meeting them within GPL, but it tends to get
> my hackles up whenever someone else is ready to tell me what *I* need.
>

The GPL is concerned with the software users' rights, not progammers.

> And I don't want FSF to be able to define what "open source" means,
> any more than I want RIAA to define what "fair use" means...
>

For the record, the FSF does not like or use the term "open source".

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
spamBeGonemarkragesKILLspamspam@spam@midwesttelecine.com

2008\05\10@195725 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 08:35:43AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> > It's the none at all that's the real problem. Without a license, no
> > one has any right to do anything with the source for your software.
>
> Are you really sure?
>  I am not a lawyer, but if there are no restrictions
> listed then it seems to me there are no restrictions.  

IANAL for sure, but yes. If there is no license granted then one is held to
copyright law. And that gives the copyright holder exclusive rights to
copy.

> Many things on the
> internet have no explicit copyright and are routinely copied.  I don't
> remember anyone claiming that something without a explicit copyright was
> illegally copied.

It was illegally copied. It's just that with no one to enforce the
copyright violation, nothing gets done.

{Quote hidden}

Copyright is granted as soon as it is expressed, copyright notice or not.
The problem is proving when the expression occurs. That's really what
copyright notices are about.

> > The only point is that because your license above specifically limits
> > redistribution both in number of copies and the devices the code can
> > be
> > used on, that it isn't open source by any common definition that the
> > open source community in general uses.
>
> Apparently there is wide variation on what people consider "open source".

There really isn't. Generally open source arguments surround whether or not
users that are downstream from developers have the right to gain access to
open source work.

> Perhaps FSF is trying to push it in a restrictive (and self-serving)
> direction, but that doesn't make it so.

This isn't the FSF. The general tenants of what constitutes open source
comes from OSI, which often is in opposition to the FSF and the GPL.

>  These are two ordinary english words they don't get to redefine.
>  To me, "open" means it is for all to see,
> as in "open book".  If they want a label that means you can not only see the
> code but can also do what you want with it (except for their own favorite
> set of restrictions, of course) then they need to create a trademark or
> something.  Note that they tried and failed to trademark "open source", so
> apparently the government agrees they don't get to define what that means.

I wasn't dealing with the service mark, which I stated failed. The
trademark that OSI has is "OSI Certified".

I knew that walking in here and saying that your license wasn't open source
was going to somehow intimate that the license is not good or not fair. I'm
not saying that. It's yours. It's good. It's fair. It makes sense.

But when you have a term that has been used in a specific way in a large
community for over 10 years, and you attempt to redefine it, you're going
to run into problems not because what your are redefining is not good in
some way, but simply because of inertia, everyone has a specific perception
of what it means.

It's the same kind of issue that occurs in the US when soccer fans talk
about "football". To Americans the term "football" has a very specific
meaning that runs counter to everyone else in the world. It's not an
indictment of either sport, just that after all this time, in the American
context, the word has a specific meaning.

This page describes the history of the coinage of the term "Open Source"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_terms_for_free_software

Any to close up shop on this one: your software license limits commercial
use, and limits use on non EmbedInc products. So there are issues with
points 1, 8 , and 10 of the OSI definition. Each are major points on what's
considered Open Source software.

But to quite Jerry Seinfeld: "There's nothing wrong with that!"

BAJ

2008\05\10@201405 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 08:44:24AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> >> But the GPL doesn't give you that freedom without additional
> >> restrictions.
> >
> > It does. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the GPL only deals with
> > modification and redistribution of software. It can be used for any
> > purpose.
>
> So it doesn't have some kinds of restrictions but does have others.

All software licenses have restrictions.

>  The
> point is that there are still restrictions.  It's funny how it's supposed to
> be "open source" only with their set of freedoms and restrictions.

Each open source license have differing sets of restrictions. However, they
all grant a common set of rights. You can review them in:

http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd

>
> Again, "open source" means it's open for all to see.

Your definition. However if you pop "open source" into any search engine,
you're simply not going to get any document that has that definition.
You're going to get a point to opensource.org, or to the wikipedia, both
which have the definition and tenants I outlined above.

>  If you call it "free source", then I expect no restrictions.

Again you're going to run counter to a community that's nearly 25 years in
the making. Specifically "free software" will lead you to the FSF and the
GPL.

And as we all well know the GPL imposes significant restrictions.

The only term that has no restritions for software is "public domain".
Public domain software has had its copyright lapse or specifically recinded
by the copyright holder. There are truly no restrictions.

>  Neither my source nor GPL source qualifies for that.

You and Xiaofan have been talking about the GPL and the FSF. It really
doesn't fit into this discussion except that the GPL does fit the Open
Source definition while your license does not.

It seems like you're trying to bait me into saying that your software
should be open source, or under the GPL, or whatever. I firmly disagree. As
I have stated in at least 3 prior posts today, your license makes a lot of
sense. It's helpful for those who wish to hack on EmbedInc programmers or
learn about doing USB stuff on a PIC. It's thoughtfully and generously
thought out. I have absolutely no problem with it.

But trying to change the definition of Open Source is like trying to stop
the tide from coming in: No matter who much you want to do it, you're going
to have a tough time pulling it off.

>  If someone wants a label that allows for their own
> favorite mix of freedoms and restrictions, then they need to come up with a
> better and more descriptive term, and would also need to trademark it to
> keep control over the definition.

I'm not going there. I'm not even saying that you don't have the right to
label your license as open source. But it certainly isn't what everyone
else in that community thinks of as open source.

I think it's time for me to go back to lurking. I'm pretty sure I can't
make my point any plainer.

BAJ

2008\05\10@201830 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On May 10, 2008, at 5:35 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> I don't remember anyone claiming that something without
> a explicit copyright was illegally copied.

This actually happens relatively frequently with "artistic" works.  
You can get lots of complaints about photos and videos be copied  
inappropriately...

BillW

2008\05\10@203252 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 04:58:33PM -0400, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
> > Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
> > the software to suit your needs?
>
> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."

Yup. That's a tough one. It's real difficult to balance that against the
fact that a large base of incoming software was freely given you, yet you
want to restrict the outflow of changes to others.

I don't think there's any viable resolution to this one. The right answer
is that if you need to keep your software proprietary, then you need to
write is all yourself.

>  "I need
> to keep distribution difficulties in check, and cannot afford to
> distribute my embedded product in a form where it can be re-built
> with modified versions of the open-source libraries that it uses."

Now this one has some merit. I don't think that the perfect embedded
open source license has been developed yet. I think that it's the LGPL
without the relink requirement, but I'm unsure if it takes away too many
rights from the downstream user.

> GPL advocates may claim that these are not VALID needs, or argue
> about the difficulty of meeting them within GPL, but it tends to get
> my hackles up whenever someone else is ready to tell me what *I* need.

The GPL and to a lesser extent the LGPL are licenses targeted to protect
the end user, not the developer. They are both really unabashed about that.

If you need a license that protects your rights as a developer you have to
look elsewhere. The challenge is that with lots of developers willing to
give up their rights and developing with the GPL/LGPL you get a software
base that's tantailizing to use, but simply doesn't meet your needs.

The problem is that if you change the license significantly, and end users
get screwed, with very limited access to source, and little or no ability
to use that source in any productive way.

Software commerce is about the value add with enforced scarcity. Licenses
enforce the scarcity. I just don't think there's anyway to make it balanced
because someone out there will take advantage of a loophole.
>
> And I don't want FSF to be able to define what "open source" means,
> any more than I want RIAA to define what "fair use" means...

The FSF doesn't like the term "open source". When the term was coined in
1998, Richard Stallman wasn't there. And he and the FSF have railed against
it ever since.

BAJ

2008\05\10@204259 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 09:00:18AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> >> From www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/quick-guide-gplv3.html:
> >
> > Nobody should be restricted by the software they use. There are four
> > freedoms that every user should have:
> > the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
> > the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors,
> > the freedom to change the software to suit your needs, and
> > the freedom to share the changes you make.
> > When a program offers users all of these freedoms, we call it free
> > software.
>
> Note that they specifically left out the freedom to make changes and NOT
> share the source.

Actually it's a two parter. You don't have the freedom to make changes,
distribute the result, and NOT share the source.

If you make the changes for yourself, you don't have to share them with
anyone.

>  Once again, they are trying to allocate common words to
> their agenda.  "Free software" means exactly that.  If it's truly free then
> you don't need to explicitly list the freedoms you have.  I agree that my
> USBProg source is not free, but neither is GPL source.  However, much of my
> Pascal host code has no restriction at all, and is "free source".

Olin, nothing is truly "free" because there are always rights boundaries.
It's the classic "the right to swing my fist ends at your nose" type
argument.

The GPL is quite unrelenting in protecting the freedoms of end users. To do
so the license impinges on the freedoms of developers and distributors of
software. It's a zero sum game: you give to one, you have to take from the
other.

The type of freedom that you keep referring to takes away rights from the
end user. If you have the right to make modifications, distribute the
product but not the source, then every user that you distribute to lose the
ability to make further changes and share those changes.

Zero sum game.

Xiaofan likes the BSD because it allows for precisely that. But end users
and downstream developers lose when modifications are suppressed.

{Quote hidden}

That they do.

BAJ

2008\05\10@213509 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 6:13 AM, Mark Rages <markragesspam_OUTspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:58 PM, William Chops Westfield <spamBeGonewestfw@spam@spammac.com> wrote:
>>
>> On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
>>> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
>>> the software to suit your needs?
>>
>> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
>> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."  "I need
>> to keep distribution difficulties in check, and cannot afford to
>> distribute my embedded product in a form where it can be re-built
>> with modified versions of the open-source libraries that it uses."
>>
>> GPL advocates may claim that these are not VALID needs, or argue
>> about the difficulty of meeting them within GPL, but it tends to get
>> my hackles up whenever someone else is ready to tell me what *I* need.
>>
>
> The GPL is concerned with the software users' rights, not progammers.
>

Ok, let's talk about the end user. On the PC software side, I think
GPL is quite good. The end users are in general happy. The
programmers are in general happy. GPL V3 changed a bit so that
some end user are happier and some are less happy (eg: TiVo).

My main problem with GPL/LGPL comes when I consider the use of
embedded software in a MCU. This has been discussed before and
even BAJ think this GPL/LGPL do not suit that well. In that end, you
can not incorporate GPLed software easily into your project without
exposing your own codes unless you only use your device in-house.
So you, as an end user, can not change the GPLed software to suit
your needs in a way. So in the end you do not use it even though
technically it may be quite suitable.

So in the end, you do not really see GPLed firmware pieces in
small MCUs like PIC. You do see that embedded Linux being
used by bigger MCUs where it is easier to seperate the kernel
space and user space. Even there, the end user need to be
very careful about seperating the kernel and the user codes.

By the way, to me GPL is a very good ballancing protecting
the rights of the developer and the end user. I think it is not
true that it only concerns the end user.

For example, Linux kernel developers have a weapon to
wipe out the possibility of in-kernel proprietory driver by export
EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL symbol.


Xiaofan

2008\05\10@214350 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 9:35 AM, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancEraseMEspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> So in the end, you do not really see GPLed firmware pieces in
> small MCUs like PIC. You do see that embedded Linux being
> used by bigger MCUs where it is easier to seperate the kernel
> space and user space. Even there, the end user need to be
> very careful about seperating the kernel and the user codes.
>

But GPL with an exception clause can be used.

For example, GPL+LE - (GPL plus Library/Runtime Exception)
is considered good by many sdcc developers.
http://sdcc.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php?page=Library+License+Selection


Xiaofan

2008\05\10@215809 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamRemoveMEmit.edu On Behalf Of Olin Lathrop
> Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2008 8:36 AM
>
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> > It's the none at all that's the real problem. Without a license, no
> > one has any right to do anything with the source for your software.
>
> Are you really sure?  I am not a lawyer, but if there are no restrictions
> listed then it seems to me there are no restrictions.  Many things on the
> internet have no explicit copyright and are routinely copied.  I don't
> remember anyone claiming that something without a explicit copyright was
> illegally copied.

IANAL either but, my employer's IP legal firm went over it in detail with
me. This was back in 1991, the first time we wanted copyright protection. We
had patents and trademarks but hadn't needed copyrights until then. Here's
what I learned from the IP lawyers.

Without an explicit license all works automatically receive complete
copyright protection. This even applies to a finger painting by a three year
old child. The moment the child creates the finger painting it acquires full
copyright protection that lasts until 70 years after the death of the child.

This is not how the laws worked in the USA prior to 1978 when I entered the
work force. Back then the default status was public domain, you had to
explicitly request copyright protection if you wanted it. Starting in 1978
the default changed to full copyright protection which harmonized the US
laws with most of the rest of the world. In 1989 the requirement of placing
identifying marks on a work was removed so, anything distributed after 1989
receives full protection without even identifying marks. AFAIK, no-one has
yet won a copyright suit without having identifying marks and you must
explicitly file with the copyright office if you want to get statutory
damages from an infringement lawsuit.

So, if you copy something from the internet that does not have an explicit
public domain release statement or a license granting you rights, it is
likely a violation of copyright law to distribute it in any way. If the work
you copied and distributed has no identifying mark you won't be sued for
damages but you can be made to stop distributing it. There is a concept of
fair use but it is an inadequately defined legal concept generally subject
to interpretation by the courts on a case by case basis.

A few reference pages on US copyright:
http://www.templetons.com/brad/copyright.html
http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html
This is Brad Templeton's personal site, he's Chairman of the Board of the
EFF.

http://www.copyright.gov/
library.findlaw.com/1999/Jan/1/241476.html
www.eff.org/issues/intellectual-property
http://creativecommons.org/

Paul Hutch
Proud EFF Member, join us at http://www.eff.org/

<snip>

2008\05\10@230535 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On May 10, 2008, at 1:32 PM, Byron Jeff wrote:
>> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
>> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."
>
> I don't think there's any viable resolution to this one. The right  
> answer
> is that if you need to keep your software proprietary, then you  
> need to
> write is all yourself.

Nonsense.  I just need software with a different license.  There are  
open source licenses that allow this, and there are LOTS of people  
selling proprietary software libraries that allow me to re-distribute  
their code in MY proprietary product.  Usually it's pretty expensive,  
and sometimes the license terms are unattractive in other ways  
(royalties can be a real pain to calculate.)   But these alternatives  
DO exist.


> The GPL and to a lesser extent the LGPL are licenses targeted to  
> protect
> the end user, not the developer. They are both really unabashed  
> about that.


I have trouble thinking of a developer as anything other than a  
"user" of a library-like piece of software.  I guess LGPL tries to  
make that distinction, and doesn't do TOO badly except for embedded  
systems.


> The problem is that if you change the license significantly, and  
> end users
> get screwed, with very limited access to source, and little or no  
> ability
> to use that source in any productive way.


This assumes "end users" and "software" such that source is useful to  
the end user.  In particular, it assumes end users than are  
programmmers.  See the comment earlier about Olin's "open source" not  
being too useful cause it was too hard to do anything with anyway  
(being written in odd-looking assembly language, after all.)  And in  
many cases, the end user is "less screwed" by needing to pay for a  
supported proprietary piece of software than they would be by needing  
to support free source software themselves.  It is nearly insulting  
to equate "needs to pay for something" with "screwed." Perhaps it  
made more sense when so many "computer users" were starving college  
students.

BillW

2008\05\11@092032 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
> The problem is that if you change the license significantly, and end
> users get screwed, with very limited access to source, and little or
> no ability to use that source in any productive way.

Now you're arguing what a good license should be.  "Good" depends on your
goals and measures.  The FSF wants to see executable software with no
restrictions.  That can be useful, but they ignore or usually not even
acknowledge that enforcing that decreases the choices of the end users.

If you really wanted to do something "good" for the end users then I think
using the GPL is not the right approach.  The GPL does force source of any
software that is derived from it to be open.  However to many that
restriction is too costly, so they don't use GPL code.  In the end the goal
of better and lower cost choices for the end users has not been served as
well as it could have been.

I was going to stop replying on this thread, but what made me respond was
your implicit statement that not having source to a program means you're
screwed.  This is of course totally rediculous.  A very tiny minority of end
users might derive some additional advantage from having access to the
source code for a app they are using, but the vast majority wouldn't know
what to do with it, and most of the ones that do have things to get on with
and don't want to bother messing with it.  Source code accessibility is way
overrated.

If you really want to make things as good as possible for end users, you
need to allow people to make a buck by doing so.  Most developers just don't
have the luxury like Richard Stallman has of forgoing compensation for
creating software.  If you want to harness their power, then you need to let
them make a buck in the process.  I'd much rather see five commercial apps
for a given task than one free one created by university students and
midnight hackers.  The competition between the five commercial apps will
keep them on their toes, and because they can afford to pay software
developers, there are far more people working on creating the software you
want.  Of course none of this prevent those who want to do it on the side
for free from doing it.  If the commercial apps are reasonably priced and
serve the need well, then there is no incentive to create a free app and no
need anyway.

Developing software costs resources.  Ultimately the end users of the
software need to pay for those resources somehow.  In Richard Stallman's
model, it is difficult to force the end users to pay, so there is less
development with GPL code because the people doing the developing can't
afford it.

If someone really wanted to take the moral high ground and try to provide
the best possible situation for end users of software, he'd let people use
his code any way they want.  This is basically what I try to do with my
source except in cases where I fear it will cost me compared to not making
it free.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\11@092353 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
> The type of freedom that you keep referring to takes away rights from
> the
> end user. If you have the right to make modifications, distribute the
> product but not the source, then every user that you distribute to
> lose the ability to make further changes and share those changes.
>
> Zero sum game.

Not at all.  The two don't add up to zero by a long shot as I see it.  See
my previous message.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\11@093104 by olin piclist

face picon face
Paul Hutchinson wrote:
> So, if you copy something from the internet that does not have an
> explicit public domain release statement or a license granting you
> rights, it is likely a violation of copyright law to distribute it in
> any way. If the work you copied and distributed has no identifying
> mark you won't be sued for damages but you can be made to stop
> distributing it. There is a concept of fair use but it is an
> inadequately defined legal concept generally subject to
> interpretation by the courts on a case by case basis.

So does that mean the various sites that carry copies of the PIClist traffic
are in violation of the copyrights of the individual posters, of the
"PIClist" whatever that is, of MIT?  These sites to real harm because they
make it easy to mine for email addresses, whereas James' site tries to be
careful about that.  I don't remember agreeing to give up my copyrights to
anything I write here, so who owns the rights to messages I post?


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\11@100528 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Mark Rages wrote:

> You are talking about distribution.  You are still free to change the
> GPL software to suit your needs.  You are required to provide source
> code only if you distribute derived works.

Isn't distribution a frequent need for those who try to live from writing
software? :)

Gerhard

2008\05\11@105805 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>> The problem is that if you change the license significantly, and end
>> users get screwed, with very limited access to source, and little or no
>> ability to use that source in any productive way.
>
> This assumes "end users" and "software" such that source is useful to
> the end user.  In particular, it assumes end users than are
> programmmers.  

In a way, they always are or can hire some. The problem is when they can't
do that to modify the sources, they are at the mercy of the one who wrote
the software. I am still using CodeWright, a quite nice universal code
editor originally written by Premia. Over the years it went through some
hands, to end up with Borland and being scrapped by them a while ago. Now
basically all users are "screwed"; if it were an open source product with
the appropriate license, they wouldn't be. (This is a programmer's editor,
but it could be anything else, not related to programming.) It still works
for me, but the effect of my experience with it is that when I switch, I'm
very likely switching to an open source editor -- even if I should find a
commercial one that's more attractive. It may be more attractive now, but I
may get "screwed" again without recourse.

> And in many cases, the end user is "less screwed" by needing to pay for a
> supported proprietary piece of software than they would be by needing to
> support free source software themselves.  

Of course. But then that user wouldn't have to worry about open source
licenses, so the "screwed" WRT that doesn't really apply to them. They can
get "screwed" in other forms (like the users of CodeWright).

> It is nearly insulting to equate "needs to pay for something" with
> "screwed."

I think the "screwed" means that the chain of being able to make use of
derivated works of the original software is broken. Say there is an open
source web server. Someone makes some changes to it and doesn't distribute
the source code. Now say that changed server becomes some kind of standard
-- the users of that server can't change that server to fit their needs,
not even the authors of the original software; the chain has been broken,
which in this sense may be called "they're screwed" by some :)  To me it
seems it is the maintenance of this chain that's the objective for much of
the open source movement.

Gerhard

2008\05\11@112427 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 10:57 PM, Gerhard Fiedler
<.....listsspamRemoveMEconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> > And in many cases, the end user is "less screwed" by needing to pay for a
> > supported proprietary piece of software than they would be by needing to
> > support free source software themselves.
>
> Of course. But then that user wouldn't have to worry about open source
> licenses, so the "screwed" WRT that doesn't really apply to them. They can
> get "screwed" in other forms (like the users of CodeWright).
>
> > It is nearly insulting to equate "needs to pay for something" with
> > "screwed."

Take note often you still need to pay for open source software
companies for support or packaging. Redhat and Novell charge
quite high cost for their client Linux workstation software.

So paying for something is not the discussion topic here.

{Quote hidden}

That is a good objective. Availability of source code (no need to be using
an official endorsed open source license)  does have an edge here.

Example (post 34 and 36)
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=336190&mpage=2

Even though AVIX seems to be a good RTOS, I will think twice
using it since it is from a small company and no source codes
are available.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2008\05\11@145029 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspam@spam@mit.edu On Behalf Of Olin Lathrop
> Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2008 9:33 AM
>
> Paul Hutchinson wrote:
> > So, if you copy something from the internet that does not have an
<snip>
>
> So does that mean the various sites that carry copies of the
> PIClist traffic are in violation of the copyrights of the
> individual posters, of the "PIClist" whatever that is, of MIT?

PICLIST and MIT can not claim copyright on an individual's posts so, no for
them.

For individual posters, it is possibly a copyright violation. Courts have
not had an opportunity to rule on this issue. Currently there are two
popular schools of thought on this. One is that by posting you are
implicitly granting a license with broad copying and redistribution rights.
The other is that you are commanding, not consenting, to create a number of
copies without an implied license for further copying. Until a court has an
opportunity to rule on this issue it is uncertain whether or not this would
qualify as a violation of copyright. In addition to this, there is the whole
issue of fair use rights that also have not been ruled on in this context in
the courts.

> These sites to real harm because they make it easy to mine for
> email addresses, whereas James' site tries to be careful about
> that. I don't remember agreeing to give up my copyrights to
> anything I write here, so who owns the rights to messages I
> post?

You absolutely retain the copyright on all messages you post that do not
explicitly place the information into the public domain.

AFAIK, trying to use copyright as a way to stop some of the bad archives has
not been brought to a court. It is possible that this strategy could work
but there are a number of large hurdles to overcome. An email address, or
any other non-creative work, is not covered under copyright so even if you
pursued this there is no way to stop them from publishing the email address,
you could only get the message content removed under copyright law.

A major hurdle that has prevented this issue from ending up in court for a
ruling is the cost to bring this to court. If the author did not receive
copyright registration on their post from the copyright office before
posting they can not receive statutory damages or reimbursement of legal
costs. So, even if they win they are not guaranteed to receive money to
cover the expenses. The poster could receive some money if they can prove to
the court that the copyright infringement caused a loss of revenue from the
copyrighted work. In the context of email list and usenet archives this
would be nearly impossible to prove in a court. This leaves the only remedy
from the court of having the post but not the email address and other
non-creative portions of the post removed from the archive.

Paul Hutch


2008\05\11@183933 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 09:22:23AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Byron Jeff wrote:
> > The problem is that if you change the license significantly, and end
> > users get screwed, with very limited access to source, and little or
> > no ability to use that source in any productive way.
>
> Now you're arguing what a good license should be.  "Good" depends on your
> goals and measures.  The FSF wants to see executable software with no
> restrictions.  That can be useful, but they ignore or usually not even
> acknowledge that enforcing that decreases the choices of the end users.

No I'm arguing that licensing is a zero sum game when it comes to rights.
Every right that you grant to one group of folks in a transaction takes
away a right from another group.

> If you really wanted to do something "good" for the end users then I think
> using the GPL is not the right approach.  The GPL does force source of any
> software that is derived from it to be open.  However to many that
> restriction is too costly, so they don't use GPL code.  In the end the goal
> of better and lower cost choices for the end users has not been served as
> well as it could have been.

I'm usually not a fan of the GPL precisely for this reason. The GPL works
OK when you're talking about an application, but it fails miserably on
infrastructure code (libraries, OSes, etc) for precisely the reasons you
outline.

In general the LGPL is closer to the right mark for infrastructure. It
mandates that changes to the infrastructure have to be propagated, but that
use of the infrastructure is unrestricted.

It's only failure is in embedded systems where application and
infrastructure are comingled as it reverts back to the GPL in that
instance.

> I was going to stop replying on this thread, but what made me respond was
> your implicit statement that not having source to a program means you're
> screwed.  This is of course totally rediculous.  A very tiny minority of end
> users might derive some additional advantage from having access to the
> source code for a app they are using, but the vast majority wouldn't know
> what to do with it, and most of the ones that do have things to get on with
> and don't want to bother messing with it.  Source code accessibility is way
> overrated.

It's way overrated until the vendor disappears and something is broken. Or
when something is broken and the vendor won't fix it. Or when you need a
feature that the vendor isn't interested in implementing. While there may
only be a small segment of the user community that falls into those
situations, without the source, they have no recourse except to start over
with another vendor, or to pony up dollars to try to entice the vendor to
help them solve their problem, if they are still around to do it.

Everyone isn't you Olin. EmbedInc is clearly a competent, well run,
customer oriented company. But unfortunately for every one of you, there
are a ton of folks who simply want to get the end users' money and walk
away.

And my original comment was directed to software that started its life
marked as open source. I'm a big believer in the fact if you wrote the
software, you can do anything you like with it. The issue always arises
when the two cultures clash, because always in the middle of that clash is
a developer that wants to take software that has an other or community that
wants it freely available and wants to somehow encumber it.

That's the change in license I'm talking about. And that's when the end
user get screwed.

{Quote hidden}

You may be right. But that means I have to trust those developers to meet
my needs. And while the vast majority of the population has no choice in
the matter, there are enough of us out there to fix and augment what we
need if necessary, without having to continually pay for the priviege.

And the commercial apps are rarely reasonably priced. The happens because
of the reverse flow of screwing. End users will simply steal the software
that they need and not pay for it. It's wrong. It's awful. It's unfair. And
it happens every day. So to compensate commercial developers jack up the
price of the legit sales to cover for the stolen copies.

> Developing software costs resources.  Ultimately the end users of the
> software need to pay for those resources somehow.  In Richard Stallman's
> model, it is difficult to force the end users to pay, so there is less
> development with GPL code because the people doing the developing can't
> afford it.

Actually what happens is that the development is spread over a larger pool
of developers each of whom contribute less than full effort to the project.

What you miss is that these developers will develop the software regardless
of being paid or not, because the software meets their own needs. By
sharing the source, they can share the work required to get the development
off the ground. It works because the genesis of the software was never
based in money, it's based in need.

> If someone really wanted to take the moral high ground and try to provide
> the best possible situation for end users of software, he'd let people use
> his code any way they want.  This is basically what I try to do with my
> source except in cases where I fear it will cost me compared to not making
> it free.

The problem with your high moral ground is that virtually instantaneously
someone unscrupulous will take your code and embrace, extend, and suppress
the modification for their own benefit. What better way to make a profit
than to take something you get for free, value add, then sell it through
artificial scarcity? Then no one but them gets the benefit of the
modifications.

That's why the LGPL is nearly the correct middle ground. Any developer can
use LGPL infrastructure to build new stuff. They code they add to the
infrastructure is shared with everyone downstream, but code that just uses
the infrastructure does not have to be. That's equity for both the
developer who contributes the LGPL code, and the developer that uses the
LGPL code to build their own projects.

There's no right answer in a philosphy discussion, simply points of view.
If users trusts the developers, then simply buying the product is the right
way to go. However, there are several levels of costs associated with that
decision. Same with using open source infrastructure, including the quality
of code issue you raised above.

BAJ
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
> -

2008\05\11@184307 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 09:33:07AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Paul Hutchinson wrote:
> > So, if you copy something from the internet that does not have an
> > explicit public domain release statement or a license granting you
> > rights, it is likely a violation of copyright law to distribute it in
> > any way. If the work you copied and distributed has no identifying
> > mark you won't be sued for damages but you can be made to stop
> > distributing it. There is a concept of fair use but it is an
> > inadequately defined legal concept generally subject to
> > interpretation by the courts on a case by case basis.
>
> So does that mean the various sites that carry copies of the PIClist traffic
> are in violation of the copyrights of the individual posters, of the
> "PIClist" whatever that is, of MIT?

Yup. Every post you write is copyrighted. I probably could get away with
fair use because I'm commenting on your post. But technically unauthorized
copies are a copyright violation.

>  These sites to real harm because they
> make it easy to mine for email addresses, whereas James' site tries to be
> careful about that.  I don't remember agreeing to give up my copyrights to
> anything I write here, so who owns the rights to messages I post?

You do. Say for the sake of argument that James wanted to publish a PicList
Book with selected writings from all of us. He'd have to go negotiate
copyright assignments for that material from each of us. Otherwise we could
sue for copyright infringement and damages.

BAJ

2008\05\11@185352 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 15:01 -0500, Mark Rages wrote:
> On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 1:54 PM, Herbert Graf <EraseMEmailinglist4RemoveMEspamSTOPspamfarcite.net> wrote:
> > On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 13:40 -0500, Mark Rages wrote:
> >> Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change the software
> >> to suit your needs?
> >
> > I suppose it depends what your needs are.
> >
> > GPL has often been considered very "virus" like, it's presence in your
> > project effects much more then just the chunk of GPL code you're using.
> >
> > If your needs are keeping your projects' code closed (i.e. a very common
> > situation is NDA agreements restricting how open you can be with your
> > code), there are very few ways you can make use of any GPL code.
> >
> > TTYL
>
> You are talking about distribution.  You are still free to change the
> GPL software to suit your needs.  You are required to provide source
> code only if you distribute derived works.

Umm, ya. Basically if you want to distribute/sell your product, and it
has ANY GPL code in it, you have to release the source. For many this is
a perfect example of not being able to change the source to suit your
needs.

FWIW, I'm a BIG fan of open source, but I've NEVER liked the GPL, that's
just my personal opinion though.

TTYL

2008\05\11@185811 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 20:32 +0000, Byron Jeff wrote:
> On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 04:58:33PM -0400, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> >
> > On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
> > > Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
> > > the software to suit your needs?
> >
> > "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
> > source material proprietary when I distribute the software."
>
> Yup. That's a tough one. It's real difficult to balance that against the
> fact that a large base of incoming software was freely given you, yet you
> want to restrict the outflow of changes to others.

More often then not the person DOESN'T want to restrict the outflow, but
they are forced to by NDAs.

Perfect example of this is many chips out there require an NDA to access
the programming spec, and in many specific areas there are NO chips that
don't require an NDA. As a result, ALL code that uses information from
that spec MUST remain closed. So basically, if you want to create a
product in a certain area, you CAN'T use GPL at all, and I find this to
be a shame.

FWIW I've had to pass on GPL code because of these sorts of issues.

TTYL

2008\05\11@195235 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
> If you really wanted to do something "good" for the end users then I think
> using the GPL is not the right approach.  The GPL does force source of any
> software that is derived from it to be open.  However to many that
> restriction is too costly, so they don't use GPL code.  In the end the
> goal
> of better and lower cost choices for the end users has not been served as
> well as it could have been.

Amen, amen, and again I say amen!

GPL and similar licenses are, in the long run, inhibitory. They prevent the
development and distribution of much useful software.

Example:

I am a company and I want to develop a really cool program that does "X". My
business model/planning tells me that the only way I can make money off this
program is to keep it closed (which, IMNSHO is _very_ often the case).

Now there very conveniently already exists GPLed code that does 90% of X, so
I can develop my product for Z dollars and sell each copy for (Z/100)
dollars. Except of course, I can't use this route because an open source
distribution model just won't work.

On the other hand, I could develop the whole product from scratch for 10Z
dollars, but now I'd have to sell it for $Z/10 dollars, 10 times as much. Of
course, the market won't support that price because end-users can get a 90%
solution for 1/10 the price.

So, as a result I don't build the product, and the end-users' lose the
ability to get a better solution to their problem at a reasonable cost. And
of course, I lose out on the opportunity to make a reasonable profit
building and selling the product.


-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems







-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2008\05\11@195254 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
To me the most important aspect of 'open source', using whatever definition,
is that I can look at it. This is important for several reasons (in no
particular order):

1) Assessing the quality of the software. For example, are potential errors
handled well, is the program well structured.

2) Finding out what it really does. Even the best of documentation is never
complete and completely accurate.

3) Debugging a problem.

4) Learning new techniques/technologies.

Thus to me the term 'open source' does *not* carry the connotation of
'free' in all the FSF senses or follow the OSI definition of 'open' either.
By my personal definition, Olin's license is absolutely an 'open source'
license.

Just one person's opinion on what the words mean.

Beauty (and meaning) is in the eye (and ear/mind) of the beholder(s).

-- Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2008\05\11@195254 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
>> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
>> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."
>
> Yup. That's a tough one. It's real difficult to balance that against the
> fact that a large base of incoming software was freely given you, yet you
> want to restrict the outflow of changes to others.
>
> I don't think there's any viable resolution to this one. The right answer
> is that if you need to keep your software proprietary, then you need to
> write is all yourself.

I strongly disagree with this. A truly 'altruistic' upstream provider of
software can (should?) be willing to allow people the freedom (!) to use
their software, expand on it, and not have to open up the result.

For example: let's say I use an open-source implementation of a web-server,
but then add in a lot of my own code to built the content that is served
out. Why should my efforts be _required_ to be released to others?

[But I don't say that an upstream provider _must_ allow this, only that they
_can_ (and maybe should)].

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems


2008\05\11@195257 by Robert Ammerman

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Simple: I need to make my changes 'closed'.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2008\05\11@220118 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 3:57 PM, Byron Jeff <RemoveMEbyronjeffKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTclayton.edu> wrote:
>> Apparently there is wide variation on what people consider "open source".
>
> There really isn't.

I, and many others, have a very liberal definition of "open source".
I'm sorry that you and so many others have such a closed mind about
what those two words together mean.

If you go out to the general population with a simple survey to
determined what "open source" means, you'll find an extraordinary
range of opinions.  If you go out to generic software developers in
the world - all of them, not just "open source" or "free software"
developers you'll get a _very_ similar reaction.  Of the world's
programmers, only a fraction use open or free software, a smaller
percentage ever see or work with the code, and a vanishingly small
number actually understand the difference betweem, for example, the
BSD and GPL, and  OSI and FSF, and in particular this sort of
discussion.

Only the people who have a hand in this (FSF, OSI, etc) actually care
about the subject, and to the other 95% of the programmers in the
world they couldn't care less.  The develop proprietary programs for
their companies.  They see that there's SW examples on the internet,
but all they know is they aren't allowed to use them because of the
company lawyer - they don't know that people care about the definition
of the phrase "open source."  They simply know that it's anathema.

Only those that have been involved in such discussions as this, and
those who have spent a great deal of time in the software community
even know that there's a discussion about what "open source" is and
isn't.

So please don't expect me to take at face value your insistence that
for 10 years the world community at large has an accepted set-in-stone
definition, and that by not adopting it I am flying in the face of
history.  This is nowhere near the scale of the definition of
"football," and for the most part people know there's a difference,
and navigate discussions about either sport accordingly.

Why must every discussion of "open source" include someone claiming
that we should all use such a closed definition of that term and
pushing the OSI's agenda...

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\05\11@232635 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
I can't help with the questions/debate but I do have a question of my own:

If you USE GPL'ed software libraries in your code, you do not need to
release the whole code under GPL, do you?

Am I correct that the only time you must release your code is when it
is actually a modified version of the GPL'ed code itself?

Sean


On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 7:30 PM, Robert Ammerman <spamBeGonerammermanspam@spam@verizon.net> wrote:
>  I am a company and I want to develop a really cool program that does "X". My
>  business model/planning tells me that the only way I can make money off this
>  program is to keep it closed (which, IMNSHO is _very_ often the case).
>
>  Now there very conveniently already exists GPLed code that does 90% of X, so
>  I can develop my product for Z dollars and sell each copy for (Z/100)
>  dollars. Except of course, I can't use this route because an open source
>  distribution model just won't work.
>

2008\05\11@235835 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 10:26 PM, Sean Breheny <RemoveMEshb7spam_OUTspamcornell.edu> wrote:
> I can't help with the questions/debate but I do have a question of my own:
>
>  If you USE GPL'ed software libraries in your code, you do not need to
>  release the whole code under GPL, do you?
>
>  Am I correct that the only time you must release your code is when it
>  is actually a modified version of the GPL'ed code itself?
>
>  Sean

You are incorrect.  Linking against GPL is considered making a
derivative work.  The full source of the derivative work must be made
available to recipients of the binary code.

You may distribute binaries linked against LGPL libraries without
offering source.  (But I don't know of any dynamic linker for PICs.)

Regards,
Mark
markrages@gmail
--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesspamspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\05\12@040509 by Peter

picon face
I have seen this debate here and elsewhere over and over again.

Closed source applications are one thing, and closed source drivers and
toolchains are another. In the small company context one's livelihood depends on
the functionality of the toolchains one uses. Closed source drivers and
compilers from small companies or one man shops are often bad news for users,
who are also small companies. One does not have the resources to sue, insure or
otherwise protect against the toolchain or driver maker going out of business,
selling out, or simply dropping dead. How many of the developers and engineers
on this list own thousands of dollars worth of development tools, programmer
boxes and libraries that no-one can use anymore because they are closed source
and the original small businesses that created them no longer exist or no longer
support them? To me, the need to be able to 'put a screwdriver and a soldering
iron' to my uninsured tools it vital, in case (and that happens rather often),
they don't do something or they need to do something new. That means that I have
a strong need for open source drivers and toolchains. This is not about
politics, it's real life.

Politics is where one needs to choose which kind of open source model to adopt,
not whether one needs it. BSD (free as in free beer and you keep the glass), GPL
(free forever), LGPL or 'freeware', I only care about that when the time comes
to 'release' a patch or an application. Not before. Because, even the GPL
permits anything to be done to it as long as it is not distributed. And I am not
into that. I need my patches for myself ... although I share them freely if they
are needed.

So one can talk politics *after* the usability angle is covered properly. I am
not saying that closed source drivers and toolchains from small developers are
bad, I am saying that the open source version of the same is better, and that it
has saved my day many times.

Peter


2008\05\12@072206 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:
>> If someone really wanted to take the moral high ground and try to
>> provide the best possible situation for end users of software, he'd
>> let people use his code any way they want.  This is basically what I
>> try to do with my source except in cases where I fear it will cost
>> me compared to not making it free.
>
> The problem with your high moral ground is that virtually
> instantaneously someone unscrupulous will take your code and embrace,
> extend, and suppress the modification for their own benefit.

There you go again.  If I specifically allow this kind of use, which I do
for the majority of my code, then there is nothing wrong, immoral, illegal,
or unscrupulous about it.  You certainly have the right not to like it, but
it's rather arrogant to call it unscrupulous just because it doesn't fit
into your narrow idea of how things should work.

I might even encourage such a endeavor.  Nobody is any worse off than
before.  If you think the modified software isn't worth the price, then you
don't have to buy it.  If you think you can do better, you are free to do
so.  But this new software exists only because the developer could make a
business case for it.  If he was forced to open the code and this was deemed
to make the project unprofitable, then the new software would never have
been created and nobody would be any better off.  At least this way, those
end users who think the price is worth what they get are better off and
nobody else is worse off.  Just the existance of this new software alone may
spur competitors into providing more value.

Note that this situtation regulates itself to ensure this second person adds
real value.  My original code will still be there.  Anyone else can start at
the same point the second person did.  This is no different than someone
having a idea for a app and starting from scratch.  Either way, they started
from the same point everyone else was at, and invested in some development
with the expectation of eventually getting a return.  This is basic
economics at work providing most of the goods and services available to you.

If this second party didn't do much to my code (or started from scratch, it
doesn't matter) and charges too high a price, someone else will either do
the same and charge less or possibly others will create a similar app for
free.  If the modifications are in fact substantial, then this won't be
easy, and the second party deserves to get some compenstation.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\05\12@074153 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 11:26:13PM -0400, Sean Breheny wrote:
> I can't help with the questions/debate but I do have a question of my own:
>
> If you USE GPL'ed software libraries in your code, you do not need to
> release the whole code under GPL, do you?

Yes you do. That's why there are very few libraries that actually fall
under the GPL. Most are LGPL which does not have that requirement.

> Am I correct that the only time you must release your code is when it
> is actually a modified version of the GPL'ed code itself?

Nope. If your code uses a GPL library, then the combined work falls under
the GPL for distribution. This means the entire codebase, including your
source code must be distributed to anyone that you distribute the product
to.

With the LGPL, as long as your code only uses the library, and does not
change it, then the requirement is that you release your code in a form so
that an end user can link a newer version of the library to your code. On
desktops this really isn't a problem because generally the library is
dynamically linked. However with embedded systems where the library and the
code that uses it are comingled, that means that it reverts to the GPL.

There is no widespread license that addresses the final issue outlined
above. So in general for embedded projects, neither license is used unless
the developer is willing to release their source along with their product.

BAJ

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\05\12@075647 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 07:04:53PM -0400, Robert Ammerman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

And you can, just as long as do not distribute them.

Why is it OK for you to accept a codebase that you can modify, change it,
then not offer the same rights to those that you distribute to?

I can't figure out why that's OK.

BAJ

2008\05\12@081555 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 06:53:30PM -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

We're living on an embedded development list, yes? Presumably the objective
is to produce embedded products with firmware. So you sell a physical box
with software packed into it.

So what if you release the source? In order for it to be used effectively,
someone would need the box. And where would they get it from. Um... you.

So open source or closed source, you still sell the product. However with
open source, your prodcut becomes a platform that end users can use to suit
their needs.

A perfect example is the Linksys WRT54G wireless router with the OpenWRT
firmware. The firmware is open source, but without the router it isn't very
bloody userful.

I've purchased 3 Hauppauge Media MVP TV settops because there is open
downloadable firmware that facilitates connecting the boxes to a MythTV
server on a network. Do I plan to hack that firmware? No. But simply
knowing that the source is out there make me feel better about purchasing
the product.

Software isn't a product. All the anti Open Source developers are so
concerned about protecting their development investment. Guess what? If
your software is really useful, then many users are going to obtain it without
paying you anyway. It's wrong. It's awful. But that's the fact.

And GPL is a straw man anyway. No significant library or OS out there is
released under the GPL, but under the LGPL, BSD, ZPL, or some other less
restrictive Open Source license.

But even if your embedded product were GPL, it would protect you as the
original developer. You now have access to all the code that everyone else
generates and can leverage it in your product.

We all buy products every day. Rarely do we choose a product or vendor
because of exclusivity, because they are the only purveryor. Often products
are choosen because of customer service, or because we have a relationship
and trust with the vendor. Often it's because of price.

In an Open Source world, software is a service. You sell your product
literally by being more responsive and nicer to your customers than the
other guy, not because you're the only one who has the product I want.

Stop worring about if some other guy is going to undercut your price. Make
sure you present the best product with the best service, and being Open
Source will attract more business than it'll reject because as I and others
have pointed out in this thread, being open source engenders trust.

> FWIW, I'm a BIG fan of open source, but I've NEVER liked the GPL, that's
> just my personal opinion though.

Straw man. It really is.

BAJ

2008\05\12@081908 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 07:17:26PM -0400, Robert Ammerman wrote:
> >> "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
> >> source material proprietary when I distribute the software."
> >
> > Yup. That's a tough one. It's real difficult to balance that against the
> > fact that a large base of incoming software was freely given you, yet you
> > want to restrict the outflow of changes to others.
> >
> > I don't think there's any viable resolution to this one. The right answer
> > is that if you need to keep your software proprietary, then you need to
> > write is all yourself.
>
> I strongly disagree with this. A truly 'altruistic' upstream provider of
> software can (should?) be willing to allow people the freedom (!) to use
> their software, expand on it, and not have to open up the result.
>
> For example: let's say I use an open-source implementation of a web-server,
> but then add in a lot of my own code to built the content that is served
> out. Why should my efforts be _required_ to be released to others?

Are you the only user? Then you don't have to release anything. But once
you start releasing those changes downstream, then not releasing your
changes denies those folks downstream the rights that you received in order
to make those changes.

The GPL and other are distributions licenses. If you don't distribute
anything, you don't have to release anything.

BAJ
> [But I don't say that an upstream provider _must_ allow this, only that they
> _can_ (and maybe should)].
>
> Bob Ammerman
> RAm Systems
>
>
> -

2008\05\12@082218 by Byron Jeff

flavicon
face
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 06:57:49PM -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-05-10 at 20:32 +0000, Byron Jeff wrote:
> > On Sat, May 10, 2008 at 04:58:33PM -0400, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > >
> > > On May 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM, Mark Rages wrote:
> > > > Can you explain how the GPL does not allow you to change
> > > > the software to suit your needs?
> > >
> > > "My needs include being able to keep my modifications to the open
> > > source material proprietary when I distribute the software."
> >
> > Yup. That's a tough one. It's real difficult to balance that against the
> > fact that a large base of incoming software was freely given you, yet you
> > want to restrict the outflow of changes to others.
>
> More often then not the person DOESN'T want to restrict the outflow, but
> they are forced to by NDAs.

I understand. But there's actually a solution to that. Simply get anyone
you release the product to to sign an NDA.

There's a misconception with the GPL/LGPL that you have to release your
code to everyone. You only have to release the code to those you distrubute
the product to. And you can have them sign an NDA so that they cannot
further release that code to anyone else because of the NDA.

End user means end user, not all users.

BAJ

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\05\12@090514 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Byron Jeff wrote:

>> These sites to real harm because they make it easy to mine for email
>> addresses, whereas James' site tries to be careful about that.  I don't
>> remember agreeing to give up my copyrights to anything I write here, so
>> who owns the rights to messages I post?
>
> You do.

I think there can be made a case that by posting on the piclist, one
implicitly agrees that the post is published on all mirrors that are
currently in existence. After all, if I didn't want this, I wouldn't post,
would I?

Gerhard

2008\05\12@091035 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> I don't think there's any viable resolution to this one.
>> The right answer
>> is that if you need to keep your software proprietary,
>> then you need to
>> write is all yourself.

OR combine only PD source into your creations.

> I strongly disagree with this. A truly 'altruistic'
> upstream provider of
> software can (should?) be willing to allow people the
> freedom (!) to use
> their software, expand on it, and not have to open up the
> result.

Debating "truly altruistic" could keep this thread going
'for a while'.
Each true altruist probably needs to decide for themselves
what constitutes true altruism. One may decide that this is
best served by making a gift of their product to the
invisible hand to do with it as it will. Which is your
desire. Others may decide that the invisible hand tarnishes
and resticts and that the ultimate altruism is to give their
bounties to all who will give the derivatives to all. Such
is their right, should they choose, unless you are able to
compell others to behave the way that you want them to.

> For example: let's say I use an open-source implementation
> of a web-server,
> but then add in a lot of my own code to built the content
> that is served
> out. Why should my efforts be _required_ to be released to
> others?

Just because!

ie Because it is widely albeit not universally held that the
owner of something of value has the right to decide how to
utilise it.
Many hold that there is no other reason needed.
The counter argument is that "you" have a right to decide
how others may use their property or how you may use their
property, regardless of their wishes. In the absence of
absolute moral or even enforceable legal rights you MAY be
able to do this - but only by going against the wishes of
the "owner" of said property.

You may as well ask eg "If I use a car which I found by the
roadside as the basis for my latest hotrod why should my
creation be_required_to be released to others?" (Local
Sheriff and original owner come to mind).

> [But I don't say that an upstream provider _must_ allow
> this, only that they
> _can_ (and maybe should)].

PD and similar is an available option, and some use it.



       Russell

2008\05\12@093353 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 5/12/08, Byron Jeff <RemoveMEbyronjeffKILLspamspam@spam@clayton.edu> wrote:
> There's a misconception with the GPL/LGPL that you have to release your
> code to everyone. You only have to release the code to those you distrubute
> the product to. And you can have them sign an NDA so that they cannot
> further release that code to anyone else because of the NDA.
>
> End user means end user, not all users.

Then I am misadvised.

I've been told that once I distribute the GPL'ed code to my end users
with the GPL license intact, then that license gives them the right to
re-distribute the GPL'ed code.

Since I have made changes, and released my changes to them under the
same GPL license that I received the code under, then they have the
same rights to modify, use, and distribute all the code that has the
GPL license applied which I delivered to them.

Are you saying that there are legal insturments at my disposal which
allow me to override clause 1 of the GPL (V2):

"1.  You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's
source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you
conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate
copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the
notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty;
and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License
along with the Program.

You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and
you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a
fee. "

If so, I would like more information on this.

-Adam

--
EARTH DAY 2008
Tuesday April 22
Save Money * Save Oil * Save Lives * Save the Planet
http://www.driveslowly.org

2008\05\12@120516 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2008-05-12 at 08:15 +0000, Byron Jeff wrote:
> >
> > Umm, ya. Basically if you want to distribute/sell your product, and it
> > has ANY GPL code in it, you have to release the source. For many this is
> > a perfect example of not being able to change the source to suit your
> > needs.
>
> We're living on an embedded development list, yes? Presumably the objective
> is to produce embedded products with firmware. So you sell a physical box
> with software packed into it.
>
> So what if you release the source? In order for it to be used effectively,
> someone would need the box. And where would they get it from. Um... you.

Because I CAN'T. It's often NOT my choice. Either the client doesn't
WANT the source released, or I'm using information to create my product
that precludes me from releasing the source (information under NDA).

It appears that for many here that's never an issue. Unfortunately for
me it's often been an issue.

TTYL

2008\05\12@120853 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Mon, 2008-05-12 at 08:22 +0000, Byron Jeff wrote:

> I understand. But there's actually a solution to that. Simply get anyone
> you release the product to to sign an NDA.
>
> There's a misconception with the GPL/LGPL that you have to release your
> code to everyone. You only have to release the code to those you distrubute
> the product to. And you can have them sign an NDA so that they cannot
> further release that code to anyone else because of the NDA.
>
> End user means end user, not all users.

While an interesting angle, considering the end user for me is the
general public, I don't think getting every single one out there to sign
an NDA (and getting the company I'm signing the NDA with to agree to
this) is going to happen.

Obviously I'm a pretty specific case, I suppose for most people out
there the GPL is wonderful.

TTYL

2008\05\12@144649 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Are you really sure?  I am not a lawyer, but if there are no restrictions
> listed then it seems to me there are no restrictions.

This might vary by country, but at least in my country (Netherlands)
everything that is

1. made public
2. falls under the set of things that is subject to copyright law

*is* copyrighted (or more precise: subject to copyright law). No (c)
needed, AFAIK not even an option not to be subjec t to copyright law.
(Declaring it 'free for all' does not remove the copyright; it just
gives a license to everyone, which might be the same in practice but
definitely not to a lawyer). And for those who think that Dutch law is
irrelevant to for instance a USA resident: AFAIK by international treaty
nearly all countries respect their individual copyright laws.

So far the law theory. Whether this is enforceable in practice is
something very different...

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\05\12@145734 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> If someone really wanted to take the moral high ground and try to provide
> the best possible situation for end users of software, he'd let people use
> his code any way they want.  

That might be perfectly true for you, but not for everyone in the world.

Personally I am really glad GCC is GPLed. If it were let's say BSDed or
under a license similar to yours I most probably would not have free GCC
compilers for almost all CPU's I want to use, and the ability to make
one for most others. (OK, PICs are an prime exception :( )

GPL (/LGPL) is not the perfect license for all software, but neither is
any other license. But from my perspective it is definitely the perfect
license for *some* software.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\05\12@150019 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I don't remember agreeing to give up my copyrights to
> anything I write here, so who owns the rights to messages I post?

That is an interesting question, but I doubt you will get the final
answer to that within a few 10s of years and/or without spending $$ on
lawyers. There is a borderline between copyright and "freedom of
gathering news" (the english term is probably a bit different), and
newsgroups might be somewhere near that borderline.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

2008\05\12@151437 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> So, as a result I don't build the product, and the end-users' lose the
> ability to get a better solution to their problem at a reasonable cost. And
> of course, I lose out on the opportunity to make a reasonable profit
> building and selling the product.

IMO what you are missing in your reasoning is that if the difference
between this new product and an existing GPLed product is not too large,
it won't take long for someone to write the extra part anyway. So end
users win both ways: the 90% product was already free, so it probably
had a lot of users, and the 100% product will probably appear soon.

If fact they might win a third way too: you will spend your effort on an
area that is not yet covered by GPLed products, so the range of
available software will grow, more that when you had spent your effort
on the 10% part.

Note that this works best for tools that are (often) used by
programmers, because then the users are also potential writers of new parts.

So I see the various license as more or less complementing each other:
newer areas are 'explored' by commercial licenses, well-trotten areas
are secured by free software.

--

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2008 , 2009 only
- Today
- New search...