[Koha] Koha in the news

MJ Ray mjr at dsl.pipex.com
Sat Nov 8 00:36:24 NZDT 2003

On 2003-11-07 01:55:19 +0000 Owen Leonard 
<oleonard at athenscounty.lib.oh.us> wrote:

> Part of 'Open Source Month' at WebJunction, an online publication of 
> (Online Computer Library Center)

Can someone with a personal contact at this publication help me, 
please? The article "What is Open Source Software?" contains many 
grave errors and misleading phrases. That is unusual, because the OSI 
OSD included at the end of the text corrects most of these. The most 
worrying are:

"any modifications to the source code that is distributed must be 
shared openly with the open source community"

This is completely untrue. If you distribute code under an "Open 
Source" or "Free Software" (I will write "open/free software") 
licence, then you must offer distribution of source code to those you 
distribute the object code to. The licence may not force you to 
release modifications to parties who you did not distribute to. If you 
make modifications for your own private use, then I think you are not 
obliged to share them at all, although most would consider it polite 
to do so if asked. In some cases (BSD-style licences), you may even 
distribute modified versions without giving users the source code.

"Open source software is free"

Only if you mean free as in freedom. I sell some of my open/free 
software, thank you.

"Open source software technology is equal to or better than commercial 

Open/free software *is* commercial software sometimes. If you forbid 
software from being used in commerce (SuSE YaST for example), then it 
is not open/free software, according to OSI and FSF. This error is 
repeated again later in the text.

"Is free software really any good? Quality and price often have 
nothing to do with each other."

This is confusing the meanings of "free" without good reason. Nothing 
obliges open/free software to be zero-cost, although I think it 
probably tends to that limit over time.

If these errors can be corrected, I think it would be very beneficial 
for all. As it stands, it gives libraries a false impression of 
open/free software which may harm independent suppliers. If no-one has 
a personal contact, I will approach them directly.

MJR/slef     My Opinion Only and possibly not of any group I know.
Please http://remember.to/edit_messages on lists to be sure I read
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