[Ilugc] GPL, bread and butter
ramanraj at md4.vsnl.net.in
Wed, 02 Jun 2004 11:48:38 +0530
,----[ firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on 2004-5-30 ]
| I wish to release my modified version of a GPL'ed program that I am
| using as an addon in my commerical app, but not my entire app. Here
| for an module i used GPL source code all other modules are developed
| by my own. The GPL modules is an addon module (It is not the part of
| base module). Being this the case i should disclose the whole source
| code or the Add on source code only. If i do not release the source
| code am i voilating GPL license?
Generally, an `addon' is an independent and separate work in itself,
and therefore, if you modify and redistribute a separate `addon'
computer program released under the GPL, you should release your
modified version of the separate `addon' computer program along with
the source code under the GPL, to avoid violating the GPL.
Though it may not be needed in your case, disclosing the whole source
code is good practice, and doing so under the GPL or a like free
license would be a lot better.
,----[ email@example.com wrote on the Bread and Butter Perspective ]
| In my view three caterogy of people support Linux/GPL
| 1. Researchers - Reason: They get it free of cost
| 2. Students - Reason: They are seeing what is happening inside ...
| 3. Commerial people - Reason: They make easy money (PARASITE)
| What all the first two category of people do for this community will
| end up in the hand of so called PARASITE finally. Anyway, I see this
| happening in what all work environment i've been in. Iam sure it will
| be the same in your work environment too. .....
I will assume that all software developers can write very complex and
highly useful code, but how do you value the money worth of your code?
By counting the number of lines, bytes, hours spent, or by judging
utility and demand? Exactly, how much bread and butter do you expect
for your code? GPL gives a tidy solution that makes the code
priceless and invaluable for all, allows collective pooling of
resources making it possible for all to use and earn from the
Take the PHP project - there are 800-900 people round the globe
contributing, with more than half of them writing the documentation.
The core is maintained by just 9 people. Ramsus Ledorf has worked
with Bell and IBM, RedHat gave enough stock to buy a car, and Ledorf
is now with Yahoo. Most of the 900 people are employed by companies or
universities that inturn get to use not only the collective work of
several hundred people but the collective stock of free software.
This is a familiar pattern in many of the successful free software
projects. Brian said at an ILUGC meet that they have even directly
paid employees working on subversion.
This is so much like natural life, with a continuous flow of code,
feedback and resources between users, developers and distributors.
The free software movement has provided a framework for a free society
based on free economy and there are no reasons to call commercial
people, who also undertake development efforts, as parasites.
Darwin's `survival of the fittest' is most visibly seen in the free
software community. The `bread and butter' would come only if one
takes care to figure out where he fits in this framework. If one had
studied key source code and felt `what lousy code - I can do better'
then even if one had to live life as a last grade Onyx worker, he
would still find a way to contribute code and make his presence felt.
If one feels that distributors are making more money than they
deserve, he can start competing with them. Users can help themselves
and also others by bringing in others into the framework, sending
feedback or with other contributions. With daily builds, the whole
process is highly dynamic offering never ending opportunities for
those who act in time in a fitting way to make their `bread and
 `the hidden connections' by fritjof capra [Harper Collins],
analyses the recent findings in microbiology, and the author extends
the framework found at cellular level to the social domain. The free
software web of life very much looks like the way Life [that includes
DNA code] appears to evolve naturally. Reading the whole book might
help to see the hidden connections better :)