This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- To work. It seems there is some debate about the suitability
of the GPL for OO.o (again). It seems to me that the use of the GPL for
OO.o is deeply unwise for at least the following reasons:
- The SISSL with it's invideous terms - allowing
(antisocial) people/companies to develop their own changes to the
OO.o code without sharing them, and working together with us.
Anyhow the SISSL is now dead, which is great. The LGPL means that
any changes or fixes to the existing code by others in future
-must- be published as they are shipped. This is a huge improvement
to my mind.
- Re-usable components - OO.o contains many pieces (eg.
chart2) that have the potential for re-use across Linux (and
other) desktops. GPLing OO.o, would enfeeble the platform by
not allowing this in many cases. The LGPL allows re-use from
any number of other projects / tools. While this is admittedly
not a common use-case now, in future, I'd love to see UNO more
widely deployed [as part of the system], and OO.o's components
- The Linux Kernel is a world unto itself. People point
to Linux as a great example of the general applicability of the GPL.
However - this is an unreasonable comparison: the kernel 'links' to
almost nothing. No-one contends that the GNU C library should be
GPL (instead of LGPL) because it interacts directly with the kernel.
OO.o by contrast is a massive linking consumer & producer with
bindings for many languages etc. no problem while LGPLd.
- Competing vs. MS Office - there are a large number of
(small) companies making a living by selling proprietary
plugins, macros, and re-using Office as a component of their
solution. Encouraging these people to not only add support for OO.o
(and hence Free software platforms) - but also to GPL their
(entire) product, seems an unwise disadvantage for Free software.
The LGPL avoids this problem.
- If an end-user is writing macros in eg. Java (ie. a
compiled language), or wishes to password-protect their StarBasic
macros; then if OO.o is GPL'd - (IANAL) - it
appears clear (last sentence) that they infringe the license,
unless they also supply the full source for all their macros. This
is not the case with the LGPL.
Personally, and Corporately, I have no particular axe to grind
here, ( Groupwise/ODMA/COM/Win32 ? ). However, I am concerned about the long
term attractivenes of, and re-use of OO.o. As Fred Brooks infers - if there
is a silver bullet out there, it is code re-use. Thus I applaud Sun's wisdom
in sticking with the LGPL.
Of course - in terms of actually working together with Sun, (and/or
the collab.net infrastructure) life can be incredibly painful, turgid, littered
with (seemingly) arbitrary barriers, conflict and so on, all of which need
fixing (and in many areas things are improving), but licensing is (currently)
the least of my concerns
- Admin work / wiki page massage. Hacked a little on the SourceView
settings - the default font size (10) is ridiculous. Mikhail pointed me at
the docs for STL, Google not helpful
there; and after all those days of tangled, template header reading.
- Dug at Win32 machine to try and do some builds there to eliminate
(potential) warnings that can't be seen on Linux. It strikes me that while the
concept of warning free builds is a wonderful idea - raising the barrier to
entry by another 20 feet: warning free builds on 3 platforms is (perhaps) not
the most brilliant plan wrt. encouraging external contributions.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (email@example.com)