[LINK] GPL .. good or bad?
dlochrin at d2.net.au
Fri May 1 10:38:21 AEST 2009
On Thursday 30 April 2009 21:40, Tom Koltai wrote:
>> It's possible to base proprietary work on GPL code. I have a
>> marvellous device: a TomTom. It runs linux, and it is rock
>> solid and stable and TomTom publishes the source etc to
>> comply with the GPL but the main navigation application and
>> data are proprietary and closed. All legal and in compliance
>> with the GPL.
> An example of a successful software marriage returning a
> dividend to shareholders and keeping the public happy.
> 50/50 solutions like the TomTom are rare - but preferred.
Perhaps they're not so rare.
Many or most ADSL modem/routers use embedded Linux, and if Telnet access from the LAN side is enabled one can log in (e.g. # telnet 192.168.0.1). However some manufacturers don't publish the GPL code as a matter of course; Netcomm will apparently supply it if asked - http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/902351.html - and code modified by users is sometimes available for their modems.
The best example is the Apple MAC. I believe Apple publish the OS BSD operating system, but the GUI is closed & proprietary.
I personally use a Linux distribution because it's rock solid, it does the things I want reliably, it doesn't get in my way with "rich user experience", and it's more secure. But if I look deep into my soul, I ~do~ like using something created by people who cared rather than something churned out by a giant marketing organisation. Maybe it's just a defect in my character (:-).
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