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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 ?