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Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
September 13, 2001
From: dps@io, firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Linux and the education market... Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 17:33:03 +0100 Linux will not make the eductaion desktop anytime soon, primarily because certain very specific programs are only aviale on M$ l#paltofrms. For a long tiem M$ was locked out of the educational desktop market of exactly this reason. To win the educational desktop market we do not need to defeat M$ office---the M$ prices are doing that already. We need a convincing way to run those specific applications. Given that and a large number of free or very cheap educational programs linux can tarke the education desktop market. The eudctaional server market is mich easier---I know of one place with a web proxy server that runs linux and mail on a box running sendmail and amilstudio @message (700 user licence, which is moderately expensive). I might contribute something as I have a very popular program for solving linear equations of a single variable, which nobody has replaced yet. (This is a small program which would be very inexpensive at most). Ph, and I forgot to mentuin the sam,e shcool uses squid as a web proxy, and recntly upgraded to a newer box with 10Gb of cache (on U160 SCSI 10K rpm disc). The boxen just sit their and nobody notices that they are not using M$ software.
From: Don Waugaman <dpw@CS.Arizona.EDU> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: VA Linux and selling free software Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 11:06:49 -0700 Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Dear LWN: In your latest edition, you ran a pair of letters, one by Michael Carniello and one by Jacob Navia, which showed a lack of understanding of the concept of free software. Both of these letters claimed, in paraphrase, that it is impossible to sell something that is free. This would be a great shock to such organizations as Gannett, The Washington Post Co., the New York Times, and the like, all of whom make quite a bit of money by selling the product of a free press. "Free" in English of course has two separate definitions; and free software naturally focuses on the definition having to do with the liberty of use, rather than the definition of no-cost. Sincerely, -- - Don Waugaman (email@example.com) O- _|_ Will pun Web Page: http://www.cs.arizona.edu/people/dpw/ | for food In the Sonoran Desert, where we say: "It's a dry heat..." | <>< I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean. -- G. K. Chesterton
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Moles) To: email@example.com Subject: Jacob Navia's "Selling free software" comment Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 03:10:35 +0900 (JST) On 1 Sep 2001, jacob navia <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > I would like to point you to this sentence in your magazine: > > "According to Eric, VA is not changing its focus as an open > source company in any way, it's just finding a way to more > readily sell its free software" > > Excuse me but if it's free of charge it can't be sold, and if it > is sold, int can't be free of charge. I am sorry but I think > logic should at least play a part in this discussion. VA Linux is > beginning to fail financially, because there is no way around > logic, no matter how many lengthy explanations you come up with. I would never have thought it would take an American to explain the difference between "libre" and "gratis" to a Frenchman, but apparently it does. No one said "free of charge", M. Navia. They just said "free". http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.fr.html Sincerely, David Moles
From: Richard Corfield <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Would LiVid be safe from the DMCA Date: Fri, 07 Sep 2001 13:35:05 +0100 A couple of articles I've just read would imply that the copyright circumvention clauses of the DMCA are not applicable if the defendant is not making a profit from their work. This appears on both the Anit-DMCA site and the US Department of Justice press release concering Elcomsoft. In this case, would projects such as LiViD and the DeCSS code be immune from the DMCA as, being GPLed code, they are quite clearly not for profit? As much as I'd like to see the DMCA gone, and wonder how in the future people will look back on things like this, I'd also like to see more of LiViD and DeCSS and similar research. - Richard -- _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ Richard Corfield <Richard@Littondale.freeserve.co.uk> _/ _/ _/ _/ Web Page: http://www.littondale.freeserve.co.uk _/_/ _/ _/ Dance (Ballroom, RnR), Hiking, SJA, Linux, ... [ENfP] _/ _/ _/_/ _/_/_/ PGP2.6 Key ID:0x0FB084B1 GPG/PGP5 Key ID:0xFA139DA7
From: LucFrench@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: In Defense of SourceForge the Site Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 06:30:27 EDT Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Torsten Howard wrote: > Sourceforge has hidden all communication to its projects behind > a "login." It is the attempt to control communication, mailing lists, > and access to emails which is an abuse of power. It is this very > communication which is the lifeblood of open-source contributive > projects. Now we see the insanity of repetition, and failure to > change the way things are done. This is flat out wrong. I can access just about everything on SourceForge anonymously, including the mail archives, CVS, bugs, etc. Without logging in, I can subscribe to mailing lists (with, admittedly, the requirement that you submit your email address (huge surprise there) and go through the usual contortions associated with GNU Mailman), submit bug reports, and reply to bug reports. In fact, the only thing I can't do without a login are things that *should* require a login from a security standpoint; i.e., uploading files, changing a CVS repository, submitting news, creating a project, and posting anything as a registered user. The only thing I could really ask further from an anonymous standpoint is for a raw text version of the mailing list traffic, and the HTML versions of Mailing list items to include the real email address, and I can understand why these are not done (spammers). In other words, have you ever actually *used* SourceForge? Thanks Luc "Fact Checking Department, Ho!" French
From: LucFrench@aol.com To: email@example.com Subject: Re: In Defense of SourceForge the Site Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 03:02:46 EDT Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org [CCed to letters@LWN.net] In a message dated 9/7/01 1:48:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time, email@example.com writes: > I have been unable to access sourceforge-based mailing lists without first > being required to have a login. I have also been unable to view email > addresses > for other developers wihthout a login. Our experiences here are very > different, > would you mind explaining to me how to access this information - as well as > post notes to lists, without a login? You don't *need* a full SourceForge login. Go to whatever project you're interested in. Click on mailing lists. Click on Subscribe/Unsubscribe/Prefrences for the mailing list you're interested in. You should see a page wherein you are asked to provide an email and a password. Yes, this is a login, but it's associated with the mailing software, rather then the rest of SourceForge. If you don't understand why a login of some kind is necessary to subscribe, I have just two phrases for you: Forged email addresses; email bombing. (The password is necessary for simple security; would you want someone posting a forged "unsubscribe" note for your favorite mailing list?) >From there, it's like any other mailing list. Follow the instructions in the message you receive from the Mailman software, and you'll be a full subscriber, able to send and receive messages. Thanks Luc "Simpleton" French
From: "Joe \"piman\" Wreschnig" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: VP3.2 is not "open source" Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 12:09:43 -0500 Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Editors at LWN, Your news article concerning On2's new "open source" codec is incorrect, as is all the information on On2's site. Specifically, sections 2.1(e) and 2.2(e) of the license do *not* permit modification of the code to make it anything but VP3, or VP3 plus something else. This type of clause has been found in violation of the Debian Free Software Guidelines, upon which the Open Source definition is based. Most often cited are OSD sections 3 and 6, concerning derived works and discrimination against fields of endeavor. 2.1 and 2.2(e) make the code useless for people that do not wish to write video codecs. Although IANAL, and I may be misinterpreting the license, I strongly believe that this license is neither open source nor free software. I am CCing this letter to On2, with the hope that they will either a) help me understand why this license is free/open, b) change their website and remove "open source", or c) preferrably, change the license so it does comply with the Open Source Definition. -- - Joe "piman" Wreschnig <email@example.com> - http://www.sacredchao.net "What I did was justified because I had a policy of my own... It's okay to be different, to not conform to society." -- Chen Kenichi, Iron Chef Chinese