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open source

"In a surprising announcement the Open Source Initiative said it had approved two of Microsoft's licences as being acceptable for licensing open source software.

While many within the open source community will view this as tantamount to allowing a wolf into sheep's clothing, the OSI board (which did not a approve a less permissive third licence) appears to be happy with these two.

OSI president Michael Tiemann wrote that the OSI board had approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL)." -- Read more

"There has been a heated battle for sometime now between what the proper name for software that is free of cost and open for people to modify the source code should be called. "Free Software" or "Open Source Software." In the geek realm everyone understands which is which most have chosen sides and have their flame throwers primed. Both of these terms have their merits. However neither provide a clear and concise idea as to what it means to people in their everyday life." -- Read more

This is the beginning of the first article posted on a just-opened, a web site which should serve to promote this new brand for all Free Software or Open Source Software, whichever way you must call it.

A very interesting blog entry is coming from one of the unlikely places, a CNet blog. A lot of what the author of this article, Matt Asay, says strikes incredibly close to what we have been writing about right here and here.

So by all means let's hear him out:

"Once upon a time, the term "open source" was coined to save the free-software world from itself--or, rather, from the free-software zealots, as you can read on the Open Source Initiative's Web site.

Is Microsoft joining "Open Source"? That still sounds alarmingly suspicious indeed, but.. let's see..

Tectonic writes: "Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft, announced last week at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), that the company was submitting its shared licences, which include the permissive license, community license and reference licence, to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) for certification as true open source licences."

So, "Shared Source" licenses, previously known as *not* adhering to the Open Source definition and for that matter the Free Software definition are submitted for approval as such. Weren't these a "see but don't touch" kind of licenses?

There is a very good article on Free Software Magazine encouraging for those who stand up for Free Software. I'll quote one of the best parts: "Let's not get off the freedom train so soon. The Free Software Foundation has been nurturing this vision along for so many years, and a little commercial success doesn't change the ultimate goal. I'm unable to articulate very well what I see as the problem here: that this vision of free software and a free society has grown steadily for so many years, but because we've gone through a spurt of rapid growth thanks to corporations realizing one aspect of the value of free software (its low cost and power), suddenly people want to say the FSF's approach is no longer relevant.