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Re: [seul-edu] SEUL Licensing (was: Our presence at trade shows)

Doug Loss writes:
 > Roger Dingledine wrote:
 > > If I had to pick,
 > > I would much rather have a free Linux (kernel, libs, etc) than a free
 > > suite of educational programs. This is precisely because the core can
 > > be (re)used to support a wide variety of other endeavors, whereas the
 > > educational software suite is relatively limited in scope.
 > >
 > I agree with this, particularly because educational software _is_ limited in
 > scope.  More below.

Wrong. In education they are the main scope.

 > > The motivation for trying to get any high-quality software available is
 > > a short-term solution. The overall thinking is that if we demonstrate
 > > that it's useful, then truly free software will spring up to replace it
 > > (particularly if we maintain an environment that encourages that).
 > >
 > I don't know if this will happen, although I'd be happy to see it.  The
 > problem is that as Bill said, there's little incentive for anyone not deeply
 > philosophically committed to free software to develop and more importantly
 > maintain free software in a small niche.  Most of the GPLed software from
 > large companies are things that they can sell maintenance and support
 > contracts for, gaining a revenue stream thereby.  For games, educational
 > software, most home applications, and the like, once the program is installed
 > there's little or no contact with the producer.  Hence no incentive other
 > than personal interest in maintaining the programs.
It's a matter of imagination and creativity to create viable economic
model for such development. 

 > We can all point to outstanding exceptions to this idea, but they are just
 > that--exceptions.  I'd much rather see reasonably priced commercial
 > educational software for Linux than poorly or not-at-all maintained free
 > equivalents.  Of course, I'd like to see well-maintained, innovative, useful
 > free educational software most of all, but I'm not going to refuse evrything
 > else while waiting for it.
You are doing more than not refusing, you are advocating for
commercial port. This is a big difference. In our school network we
have some non free software for GNU/Linux but I will not ask to Corel
about a Corel Draw, instead I will prefer to contact the Sketch author
and ask what kind of help he needs.

 > I think that if we're thinking about "courseware" (pedagogical software) we
 > may want to investigate creating one (or a few) lesson presentation engine(s)
 > and GPLing it (them), then creating the lessons ourselves or allowing
 > teachers or companies to create and sell such.  This would make the software
 > free, but the content negotiable, in much the same way that Apache are MySQL
 > free but the information they store and server are proprietary.
This one way to think about alternative financial resource.

 > >
 > > Of course, it does have the drawback that it compromises some of our
 > > principles -- it doesn't push licensing arguments onto people, and it
 > > doesn't make clear enough to people the importance of having all of their
 > > software free. In short, it doesn't educate users as directly about some
 > > of the most basic aspects of the free software community. I agree, this
 > > is poor. (This is the fundamental difference between the free software
 > > and opensource movements.)
 > There's an axis between total pragmatism and total idealism.  At one end, any
 > means justify the end; at the other, the means _define_ the end.  We all
 > exist at some point along this axis.  For me, the end is using Linux to
 > enhance education (a vague goal, I know).  The means include being inclusive
 > of anyone or any group that sincerely and honorably wants to work toward a
 > similar end.

Do you think Linux, GCC, GDB, Gnome, Kde, Gimp will have come true if
RMS didn't push so hard for 16 years ?