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Thread: Copyleft is being minimized by Microsoft-related companies.

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Copyleft is being minimized by Microsoft-related companies.

    The FSF did a look at the number of packages in Debian that were licensed under the GPL.

    It is growing.

    A number of companies that have their roots at Microsoft, like Black Duck Software, have been spewing fud about the GPL, suggesting it is shrinking.

    A look at Debian (which has more or less the same mix of software as any distribution), we see that some form of the GPL (Including the LGPL and the AGPL) accounted for 77% of total packages in Sarge (May 2005) and that number has been going up ever since. In Squeeze (February 2011), 93% of all software in Debian is under some form of the GPL.

    Makes you wonder how Black Duck is figuring their numbers. (But I'd lean towards the idea that they make up whatever sounds the most anti-free software.)

    Apple's so-called push to rid Mac OS and the FreeBSD push (Apple more or less runs FreeBSD) is overstated. FreeBSD can never come close to eliminating the GPL licensed software and remain a viable system. Apple only shipped a handful of packages under the GPL in OS X.

    Apple's primary hate for the GPL 3 is that they can't distribute code under it then sue people for using that code. That's causing the quality of OS X to deteriorate as to avoid the GPL 3, they're now 4 (almost 5) major released behind GCC and still shipping a release of bash from 2007. (Among other examples.)

    Mac users get a less useful operating system full of components with missing features and bug fixes because Apple is afraid they may lose the chance to litigate against someone.

    Edit: Before anyone suggest Apple should replace bash, or the GCC, they should look at what the alternatives are. LLVM is nowhere near as mature or optimized as GCC, it doesn't support as many languages and that's unlikely to change soon. There's other problems but those are the main ones.

    As for replacement shells, yeah there's a lot of options, it's a shame that most of them are only good for interactive use -OR- scripting. Bash is the only shell I've used that is good for both. Apple would end up needing to ship several shells to replace bash. One for the user to interact with, one for scripts to run on, and then they'll either break older OS X software that includes scripts that expect to be ran on bash or continue shipping an old version of bash with bugs and missing features to make sure nothing breaks (but breaking users software every few years is what Apple does, so they might just yank it out). You could end up with two shells to replace bash AND still end up with an old copy of bash.
    Last edited by DaemonFC; 02-18-2012 at 02:21 PM.

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