First Post^M^M^M^M GPLv3 Relicense

To celebrate today’s release of the GPLv3, I’ve released updates of my two ODP-related programs, dumpcheck and odp2db under the GPLv3 license.

GPLv2 – Where the future begins tomorrow

My one complaint about the new license is the changed wording in the How-To section. The GPLv2 How-To section had a neat Thomas Pynchon / Buckaroo Banzai reference to Yoyodyne in the example copyright disclaimer. The GPLv3 How-To section drops the example disclaimer altogether. They also removed the reference to version 69 of the Gnomovision program in the example interactive mode copyright. Whatever happened to Gnomovision anyway?

Random News from the Month of May

Yesterday Susan and I braved the scattered rain to attend Dallas Artfest 2005. It turned out to be overcast and cool but only a tiny bit of rain fell. Susan found some interesting jewellery and it made a nice break from work.

I’ve been working with David Anderson in porting his robotics library for the MRM board to gcc 3.4.3. I’ve added a little code of my own in the process and I’m using Doxygen to produce pretty web-based documentation for the whole thing. We still have a ways to go but I’m hoping to release the completed library as a DPRG project in a month or two (under GPL of course).

We saw Hitchhiker’s earlier this month and found it sadly disappointing. It appears to have been adapted to the big screen by people who had no clear understanding of Douglas Adams brand of humor (or British humor in general). It almost appears they didn’t understand it was supposed to be a funny story and tried very hard to turn it into an action movie by excising anything remotely amusing from the script. Even worse, they frequently removed the setup for jokes but left in the punch line or left in the setup and removed the punchline, making the story incomprehensible (or at least very non-funny) for those who hadn’t read the book, heard the radio version, or seen the TV adaptation. The one redeeming moment was when the real Marvin made brief cameo appearance. I suspect everyone reading this has seen the movie by now but if you haven’t, save your money and buy the very nice DVD of the BBC television version which is a lot more fun.

We also saw Revenge of the Sith. What can I say. At least it’s finally over. It was better than the last two but I’m afraid the original version of the first movie is the only one that was really fun as a stand-alone story.

I’ve had some time to start working on mod_virgule again. My highest priority is porting it to the Apache 2 module API so I can finally ditch Red Hat 7.3 on the box. I’ve almost got a clean compile but it’s going to take a little while to get it debugged and stable before I switch over.

NEdit GPL’d

I’ve been using NEdit for a while – it’s one of the best, easiest to use editors available on Unix. I just noticed today that it’s been GPL’d which is very good news – hopefully we’ll see it become more widely adopted and maybe even included in some of the standard Linux distributions. Now, if someone will just port it to GTK and finally free it up from the ugly Motif/Lesstif look! I downloaded the latest beta but it looks like it has a ways to go, the make bombed off on the first source file. In the meantime, though, you can always download a static binary of the latest stable build.

A Copyleft License for Artistic Works?

Not much happened over the weekend. The weather is warming up again. Susan and I attended our weekly symphony at the DSO. I ran across a new web site called Project Magnus that’s archiving interesting image tiles for use as desktop backgrounds. I dug up a copy of our Web Wrangler CD-ROM, sucked off about 30 of the more interesting tiles we created for it, converted them to PNG format and uploaded them to the Project Magnus site.

The other thing I’ve been pondering lately is a solution to the intellectual property problems that are cropping up as a result of the clash between the old way of doing business in the movie and music industries and the new way of doing business in the open source and Internet world. I think the solution is a new type of license for intellectual property that does what the GNU GPL license has done for software. Imagine a license which would make movies, recorded music, printed music, artwork, etc. freely distributable and usable by everyone. I’ve written a first draft of such a license. Once I get it a little more refined, I’ll make it available for comments. In the meantime, if anyone has any comments or suggestions on this idea, I’d love to get some feedback.