The trunk

Archive for July, 2005

Free software has its own defenders

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

In my previous post, I was telling you a story about a, so called, “bad guy” who ran into troubles when the community around his “open source” project recognised it as a fake.

I’ve notified that odd behaviour to the SourceForge team. They’ve found that some “unwanted” posts from the project forum have been deleted. Well, actually you cannot delete forum posts from sourceforge, you can only hide them. This makes them available to the sourceforge team, if you forward them an inquiry, as I have done.

They’ve agreed and now the “bad guy” (actually, his work) has been deleted. That guy still has time to make the source code available, and, therefore, to have back his project. I hope he will.

This time the words “open source” have been used as an advertisement strategy.

In my own experience, I understand I have to think about using “open source” or “free software” as the way to describe something to my colleagues. “Open source” is sometimes mistaken as “gratis”, but when I talk about “free as in freedom”, I know what I’m saying and when the others do not, they ask me and I can explain them. I’m not a guru at all, but we can talk about it.

Have fun

Is “Open Source” a way to be advertised?

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Some days ago I was looking for something related to AJAX and I was, as always, looking for it on SourceForge.

The Ajax.NET project came up to my eyes: reading something in the forum, it seemed to be a good work but suddenly I read THIS.
It seems that the developers have built a library for integrating the AJAX method to their web projects and that they released the BINARY on SourceForge.
Wait a moment: the binary? Only the binary? And the source? Well, no, there is no source code… and even no license at all.
They say they are having trouble with the CVS and so the small community around the project suggested the simple upload of a zip archive, together with the binary version.


Someone decompiled it (CLI, as well as Java, is a bytecode and so can be easily decompiled to an understandable code) and put a link to a zip.
The authors thanked him.

I was wondering: should I (or someone else) open a new project and create a fork of this one, license it under a LGPL and care to make it usable both with the free Mono and M$ implementation of the CLI? Is that legal?

Anyway, this is probably the latest demonstration of the hype around “open source” and the way it makes focus away from free software.

What’s your answer? For me, it is: no, not always, but sometimes it is.

I admit I repeatedly asked the developers for advice about the missing source code: the developers reacted in quite an interesting way that you can read HERE.
They tried to play the community for a fool and they are now searching for “legal advice”: too bad, another cheater has been shut down. Bye bye!