Trying to ban clever hacks in an open source licence is not OK.
A correspondent asks about the Open Source Definition (OSD):
“Does OSD 6 mean I can’t include a clause in a new open source license that prohibits hacking?”
Yes, you are correct – that’s called a “field of use restriction” (FoU) and copyright licenses that contain field of use restrictions are not approved as open source. Open source licenses are for guaranteeing software freedom, nothing more or less. Continue reading
A key value of open source is the ability to switch to a different supplier if your first becomes unavailable or unattractive. Forgerock is apparently withdrawing that value, on which it relied itself for its inception.
After leaving Sun I was pleased that a group of former employees and partners chose to start a new company. Their idea was to pick up the Sun identity management software Oracle was abandoning and continue to sustain and evolve it. Open source made this possible. Continue reading
Whilst many may long for a truly open source OS that meets all of their needs, the reality has always been that compromise has a role to play whenever it comes to picking your operating system. Despite the availability and increasing ease of installation of purer open source systems, there remains a trade-off to be made. Systems with a high level of software freedom and an intuitively usable interface seem to require high levels of maintenance to keep them alive. Where a system with high software freedom’s been designed to require less maintenance, the usability seems to suffer. Of course, this triangle has a third point to it too: where a system is both easy to use and maintaining it doesn’t consume too much of your time, it’s software freedom that takes the hit.
What sort of system you choose should depend on which of those three factors you prioritise. Read the details about this theory, along with some pointers for recognising systems that value software freedom in Simon’s InfoWorld Article.