Free licensing problems

There is little doubt that GNU General Public License (GPL) is not only the most used but also the most controversial Free Software license. While it gives users the freedom to use and study programs, it does not give them freedom to do whatever they want with derivative works. In fact, GPL is incombatible with many Open Source licenses.

Now MySQL has published a solution to GPL-incompatibility problems. Basically they have added an exception saying that code under GPL can be combined with code under any other Open Source compliant license. Technically speaking, MySQL users have an option to choose either a “plain GPL” or the amended, more Open Source friendly, version. Free Software Foundation currently classifies Free Software licenses according to their GPL compatibility, which in my opinion just confuses people. MySQL’s new policy is an example of an attempt to make information, and software in particular, available to all with no artificial (whether they be commercial or ideological) constraints.

Attack

“When the enemy troops are in high spirits, and, although facing you, do not join the battle for a long time, nor leave, you must thoroughly investigate the situation.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter IX, section 44.

Bombings in Madrid made me browse through the classics again. Why don’t we read these anymore? United States wages war on terror. Others follow. Most probably, it seems to me, they are so wrong on the cure. What we are facing are men on mission who cannot be stopped with force alone. They don’t wage war, they have just created it.

First post

Finally got this thing flying… installing and configuring Movable Type took an hour, figuring out how it really works took a few more. This is actually my second post. The very first MySQL table is already history.

Note added in July 2005: I have changed my blogging software from Movable Type to WordPress and all these early posts from Movable Type are “hand-lifted” into WordPress – without changing a word.