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[LUG] Android 3.x+ is non-free


"[T]he release of some Android versions as free software may have been a temporary ploy to get community assistance in improving a proprietary software product."

Caveat hacker! "Lax" or "liberal" licenses are traps for the unwary. Go GPL.

True story: I was part of a globally-distributed group of coders who were tricked by Dave Winer (co-creator of RSS) in this way with (what turned out to be) "his" UserLand Frontier product. All our code was taken and closed-sourced, without attribution or payment, but more to the point (at least for me), we as users no longer had access to, let alone influence over, the code. I'm kind of glad to see Frontier is now dead, and kind of sad; Winer deserved that, but Frontier didn't. It was a great product, well designed and well implemented. (Dynamic high-level OOP scripting environment with built-in transparent object database, all built around the outlining metaphor). It was always 95%+ by Winer, to be clear, and his code was ruthlessly good, but Frontier was still missing essential stuff. For instance, before I started contributing, the generated HTML pages simply had no HEAD tag section at all, never mind the really smart (IISSM) META, LINK, STYLE and SCRIPT tagging I added. Pulling it made no technical or commercial sense that I could see; the quality, quantity and speed of growth of community contributions were all increasing. I think he pulled it for reasons of injured pride rather than greed. Apple turned it down as a with-the-OS bundle as a second scripting alternative to the then shambolic and unmaintained AppleScript.


Phil Hudson                  http://hudson-it.no-ip.biz
@UWascalWabbit                 PGP/GnuPG ID: 0x887DCA63
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