Archive for the ‘Free Software’ tag
If you’ve been holding out for that golden opportunity, now’s a great time to get involved in Maatkit.
Until now I haven’t really made a conscious effort to open-source the decision process and get people involved; Maatkit has been largely driven by so-called “real-world needs,” as perceived through my little lens on the world (and emails from the whole Percona team telling me when something’s wrong). I guess I am likely to remain some kind of benevolent dictator, because I created Maatkit and historically I’m the main hacker. But it doesn’t have to stay that way, and the project and users will be better off if it doesn’t.
So I’ve been trying to break out of the rut of just having some little email exchange with people using the tools, and bring things onto the Maatkit mailing list for discussion and voting. Two mailing lists I’m lurking on (Drizzle and PostgreSQL hackers) have inspired me to do this. And the person who jumped into innotop maintenance set up a whole slew of mailing lists right away, which was also educational for me — it really is beneficial.
Right now if you jump on the mailing list, you can vote on topics such as breaking backwards compatibility with command-line options for the purpose of consistent and easy-to-learn options for the future.
And I have honestly gotten intolerant about the volume of email I deal with, so when someone emails me personally I usually tell them bluntly to take it to the list, so others can learn and contribute, instead of making me the single point of contention in the knowledge-sharing system, and denying others the opportunity to learn.
So — my point is, go participate, and let’s make Maatkit more Open Source, not just Free Software.
As you may know, MySQL has a dual-licensing model. You can get the source under the GPL version 2, or you can buy a commercial license.
I’ve recently been hearing a lot of confusion about when you have to buy a commercial license. People I’ve spoken to wrongly believe that they’re required to purchase a license if they’re going to use MySQL in anything but a not-for-profit business, for example. I don’t know how these notions get started, but they do.
So when are you required to buy a commercial license? It’s very simple: when you want to do something with MySQL that the GPL doesn’t permit.Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a new year, and Free Software is more ubiquitous and important than ever. At the same time, the work is far from over. Here’s something inspiring you can read to stimulate some deep thoughts about the nature of Free Software: an essay from 1958, “I, Pencil.”
I first read this essay at my father’s suggestion, long before I was involved with computers. He told me it was the best defense of free enterprise and free markets that he’d ever read.
Here’s a quote I think is particularly interesting to think about in the context of software:
The above is what I meant when writing, “If you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing.” For, if one is aware that these know-hows will naturally, yes, automatically, arrange themselves into creative and productive patterns in response to human necessity and demandâ€”that is, in the absence of governmental or any other coercive mastermindingâ€”then one will possess an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people. Freedom is impossible without this faith.
Among all the ancestors the pencil lists, it would today be obliged to list an incredible diversity of Free Software programmers and the software they write, which controls everything from the ship navigation systems to the telephone switches to the fuel injection systems in the diesel engines. And even more interesting, any given piece of Free Software should list a simple pencil amongst its ancestors. I know I used a lot of pencils in my studies.
Happy New Year! Long live Free Software!