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Re: [school-discuss] Developer Requesting Feedback Please

On 12/5/07, Michael Shigorin <mike@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 11:59:59PM -0700, Charles Coss? wrote:
> > > The code isn't currently open sourced.  I was hoping to get
> > > some feedback from this discussion group as to the advantages
> > > and disadvantages of making such educational games open
> > > source (I am new to the idea).
> > All licensing issues are super-simplified if you are just
> > giving stuff away, basically.  Then might as well  just use the
> > GPL-v2.
> Using well-known license also helps to get the process running;
> but it's wise to consider the initial release license well.
> E.g. a single release under *BSD license would effectively put
> the software in almost public domain (these permit closing the
> source of derivatives); a single release under any free software
> license means that the source is out in the wild, irrevocably.
> I personally would recommend "GPL v2 or later" as a safe default
> (and a sane one, usually).
> BTW did you look at GCompris framework?  Participating in
> existing project (and probably changing the framework as well)
> might be more rewarding than doing everything by hand.
> > And, if you are just giving something away, then one advantage
> > to making it opensource is that you can use all these great
> > toolkits and not have to worry about licensing headaches.
> Well, if the code is in place then this might only matter for
> next-gen... but code reuse (in library form, particularly) is
> great time-saver.
> Another thing is that opening up the project might (but is not
> guaranteed to) help with that next-gen: cleaning up what was
> a quick hack, introducing features or infrastructure that were
> thought of but never got the time, and so on.
> There's at least one significant moment that needs to be
> considered before: just dropping the tarball or zip with sources
> somewhere isn't going to make it a real opensource/free software
> project, it's involvement and, well, project management that
> does.
> Basically, some online storage space, a web site, a mailing list
> (all of these can be obtained at sf.net although their list
> archives are bitter -- why not use plain pipermail?..).
> One could learn something from major projects that took ages to
> take off like Mozilla, OpenOffice.org, or even from XaraLX what
> might be missing in an otherwise incredible decision: a large
> and undocumented source tree with only a few of those who
> actually know it enough to work on it (and who would rather solve
> issues in cafe rather than in public); or even a closed-source
> part that was hard to part with (in terms of control).
> Of course, learning on mistakes should help avoiding them,
> not repeating.
> > A friend once told me, and i've never found an exception:
> > The Best Software is Free.
> I know an awful lot of "exceptions", being Linux user since 1998
> and doing some consultancy on migration since ca. 2002.
> That just doesn't mean I stop to look for the better pieces
> and improve what I can ;-)
> PS: is anyone interested in yet-another-LTSP-out-of-box announce?
> Our firm participates in Russian school project to some extent --
> that is, we have integrated LTSP5 into ALT Linux and by October
> we made an installation CD.  Last week I've built beta2, and it's
> going to be merged with school distribution.
> It has enough difference from Edubuntu both in base distro and
> LTSP implementation that it well can be either better or worse,
> but it's also different (e.g. I couldn't boot our terminals with
> Edubuntu 7.10beta5 while ALTSP5 boots them just fine).
> --
>  ---- WBR, Michael Shigorin <mike@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>  ------ Linux.Kiev http://www.linux.kiev.ua/


Thank you very much for your insight and feedback.  I appreciate your
clarification on BSD vs GPLv2 since I am a little fuzzy on this.  It
sounds like GPLv2 or v3 provides more protection and BSD is more like
Public Domain.

Yea, the GCompris framework looks great.  Thanks for the suggestion.
I will do a little more research into this.

You make some very good points.  Keep up the good work.