If we’d been worrying about principle instead of open source

It seems that it’s not hot just in Milano but also in Portland. At least the debate between Eben Moglen and Tim O’Reilly at the OSCon seems to have heated up.  While giving a speech there, Moglen invited O’Reilly to join the conversation about freedom that he has been avoiding.  From what I read, Eben used his direct (warning: euphemism) style and Tim interpreted it as an attack.  But, all things considered, Eben is right: it’s time to grow up and face the real issues.

Moglen took O’Reilly to task over supporting "open source" rather than
free software. "If we’d been worrying about principle instead of open
source … You guys were wasting time talking about open source…. We
still have serious problems to correct in public policies made by
people propping up business models that were dying and wasting time
promoting commercial products." 

I couldn’t find the recordings of the speech: are there any?

links for 2007-07-24

Parlando di free/libre GIS

Mi sono preso una piccola soddisfazione recentemente completando un’attività  di ricerca con il Politecnico di Milano: sono riuscito a far digerire all’erogatore dei fondi di usare un webgis libero invece di un altro noto prodotto proprietario.’  Grande onore al merito va agli sviluppatori di ka-map, gli Ominiverdi che letteralmente in poche ore hanno agganciato il mio database di edifici storici veneziani al mapserver costruendo una bella interfaccia (da provare la.’  L’esperienza con l’alternativa proprietaria invece è stata solo frustrante, e non solo dal punto di vista tecnico: gestire l’acquisto di una licenza per un solo progetto, per di più a fine finanziamento, era un’idiozia per un’università .’  Il software libero ha vinto anche in questo caso (NB: è un proof-of-concept, la macchina non sempre risponde).
Sono contento di leggere che Autodesk è soddisfatta dei risultati raggiunti rilasciando Mapguide. Ora gli altri che non sono ESRI (il leader indiscusso del settore) dovranno seriamente riconsiderare le proprie politiche commerciali.

Autodesk’s first year as a member of the open source community has been a successful one.

Commercial Open Source Software » Open Source GIS: Autodesk’s first year in review

links for 2007-07-19

Free Software acquisition by governments

It’s recent news that the Italian Camera dei Deputati (the lower
chamber of the Parliament) has started a project to offer support for
GNU/Linux on desktops for those that ask it. I hope to see Pietro Folena‘s
laptop equipped with Free Sw next time I meet him 🙂 From what I
understood also the backend infrastructure of the chamber will also
migrate to GNU/Linux.

The big news, IMHO, is that the
technical helpdesk has been prepared to support GNU/Linux, which is an important achievement. I’m one of those that believe that Free/Libre Software
shouldn’t need laws that mandate it. What is most needed IMHO, is that
CIO of public administrations are trained and prepared to deal with
Free Software acquisition. Tenders to “buy” software often contain
provisions that cut out Free Software based solutions (as it was the case
fought and won by Assoli).

We need leadership (as Matt says) but we also need lobbyists
and think tanks that are strong and credible to support those leaders
because it’s a war out there, as Massachusetts demonstrated. FSFE’s Freedom Task Force training goes in that direction, but more more more is needed and should be done. I think that good-will, as Roberto puts it, is the same thing as leadership in this case.

BTW: DoD (Naval Research Lab) does and did “C”. At least one example is the project TOR, The Onion Router. Oddly enough, DoD shared development costs with those liberals of EFF 🙂

FakeSteveJobs to Gates: you’ve become the Grinch

Boy, FakeSteveJobs is so funny, even when he calls us ‘freetards‘.  This post is not about rms not getting an iphone, but it’s aimed directly at Gates and about Vista. It’s an interesting read because it could be a post that one of us could have written (and probably did).  I love the advice to get rid of Ballmer: I think that most of the bad in Microsoft comes from him, too 🙂

Because you know what you’ve become? You’ve become the Grinch.
You’ve become a tax collector. You’re the guy people hide from when you
ride into town. It’s not good. You need to do something about that. 

GPLv3, Microsoft e Novell ballano

Ballano sui carboni ardenti, mi pare. Ci sono un po’ di commenti in giro su come l’accordo MS/Novell sia in difficoltà .’  Leggo su ArsTechnica:

Microsoft has decided that the Novell support certificates that we distribute to customers will not entitle the recipient to receive from Novell, or any other party, any subscription for support and updates relating to any code licensed under GPLv3

Infatti, che senso avrebbe ora per Microsoft distribuire i voucher se non comprendono il supporto alla glibc?’  Anche su Groklaw se lo chiede Pamela, ricordando anche che i voucher distribuiti da Novell sono senza data di scadenza.’  Microsoft e Novell si sono messe in un ginepraio da cui usciranno solo rispettando veramente i loro clienti.