Stuff we've discussed on IRC.
Posted by ats at 2007-05-31 23:08
Dechump now has an index page of all articles.
It seems that Google hasn't indexed all the pages on log.us-lot.org.
This should make it a bit easier for crawlers to find everything on the site, and also provide a page you can search yourself.
Posted by ats at 2007-05-31 21:50
The FSF have published a new draft of the GPLv3.
This looks like a saner license than the earlier drafts, but I'm still not very happy with it.
The rules about peer-to-peer distribution seem tacked-on and not very well thought out.
If I transfer GPLv3-licensed software because I'm part of a peer-to-peer network I don't need to accept the GPLv3.
But if I transfer GPLv3-licensed software because I'm running an HTTP proxy server I do?
"You may charge any price or no price for each copy that you convey, and you may offer support or warranty protection for a fee."
So I can't offer support or warranty protection for free?
"A "User Product" is either (1) a "consumer product," which means any tangible personal property which is normally used for personal, family, or household purposes, or [...]"
Why do consumer products deserve more protection than "commercial, industrial or non-consumer" products? The GPL used not to make this sort of distinction.
(That is, if Linksys sell me a WRT54G, they have to tell me how to update the firmware. If they sell me a rackmount device with the same board in, they don't.)
"... unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to 28 March 2007."
Great: so now we have a clause in the license written to apply to precisely one company that made a deal with Microsoft.
Let's look back at the comments we had on the first draft.
The DRM silliness has gone.
The license has got even longer, though; it's now 5,684 words, nearly twice as long as the GPLv2.
The restrictions on running the program have been removed, or at least reworded in a nicer way.
The "prominent notices" clause is still there.
... but the complicated rules about notices in user interfaces are gone.
6c remains the same. I still don't know what it means.
Section 7 has been cleaned up considerably -- it's now explicit that you can only add additional permissions and that you can remove them. That's better.
The warranty disclaimer is BACK IN CAPITAL LETTERS again. Hrmph.
But it's still clearly a very different license from the GPLv2.
I think that in a few years' time, the GPLv3 is going to feel much more like a product of its time than the GPLv2 ever did -- doubtless by 2012 people will have thought up new ways of abusing it, and we'll need a GPLv4...