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blur xc
August 31st, 2009, 10:20 PM
I understand how a piece of open source software is developed (like the Linux Kernel for example). 1000's of contributors send code on and on upwards through a hierarchy of maintainers and it approved or rejected by some one on top, and at some point a new version is released. As I've read, w/o this control, there would be chaos.

But- if the code is open source, what prevents someone from taking the kernel code, modifying it, and re-releasing at as their own? Same thing with Open Office, or anything from Mozilla? What makes it so people send their code to one person rather than re-releasing it as their own?

BM

lisati
August 31st, 2009, 10:24 PM
Short "standard" answer: when something is open source and available for review by potentially thousands of developers and users, there's a reasonable chance that problems will be spotted and fixed fairly quickly.

shadylookin
August 31st, 2009, 10:28 PM
I understand how a piece of open source software is developed (like the Linux Kernel for example). 1000's of contributors send code on and on upwards through a hierarchy of maintainers and it approved or rejected by some one on top, and at some point a new version is released. As I've read, w/o this control, there would be chaos.

But- if the code is open source, what prevents someone from taking the kernel code, modifying it, and re-releasing at as their own? Same thing with Open Office, or anything from Mozilla? What makes it so people send their code to one person rather than re-releasing it as their own?

BM

Nothing legally speaking, but unless you can convince developers to jump ship and join your forked project it will probably just die out. Plus I imagine there's a lot of hassle to being a project leader as opposed to just a contributor so most people don't want to fork.

EDIT: I assume you meant rereleasing it as your own open source project. If you rerelease it close source it depends on the license whether or not it is legal.

Xzallion
August 31st, 2009, 10:38 PM
since Lisati didn't quite answer your question, it comes down to the software license. The GPL license covers most open source software, but should any individual just take it without following the procedures outlined in the GPL they have violated the license terms, and it would be taken to the courts.

The code in FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) is meant to be shared, so this is not a big concern unless someone is not sharing the things they made with it.

Paqman
August 31st, 2009, 10:44 PM
what prevents someone from taking the kernel code, modifying it, and re-releasing at as their own?

Absolutely nothing, that's the beauty of it. The code base belongs to everybody and nobody.

madjr
August 31st, 2009, 10:44 PM
http://www.go-oo.org/

it's a better version of openoffice IMO

sometimes forks are necessary to compete with the original and create an eye opener (read on the go-oo site why they did it)

when things calm down and take the best course again, most of the time, (depending on the size of the proyect) they negotiate and merge back (i.e compiz) and drop the fork

this is great in the sense that if some corporation suddenly grabbed control of a proyect or even decided to stop development, then the community (or other corporation) can decide to keep it alive and improve upon it

but yeah, sometimes is lame to fork for dumb reasons or just to add 1 feature, i think we're controlling this better now

earthpigg
August 31st, 2009, 11:44 PM
but yeah, sometimes is lame to fork for dumb reasons or just to add 1 feature, i think we're controlling this better now

http://www.blackbirdhome.com/index.html

example of a silly fork of FF.


But- if the code is open source, what prevents someone from taking the kernel code, modifying it, and re-releasing at as their own? Same thing with Open Office, or anything from Mozilla? What makes it so people send their code to one person rather than re-releasing it as their own?

people do it all the time :D

if you feel like it, go for it.

hanzomon4
August 31st, 2009, 11:52 PM
http://www.blackbirdhome.com/index.html

example of a silly fork of FF.



people do it all the time :D

if you feel like it, go for it.

That's as "silly" as all the Ubuntu {insert religious group}Editions. I'd never use it but I could see some organizations with a cultural empowerment mandate for youth using something like this. Nothing wrong with wanting something that focuses on your group. Frankly I'm a free bird I want to see the world through an unfiltered lens

sydbat
August 31st, 2009, 11:54 PM
Frankly I'm a free bird...Like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkTQUtx818w ?

hanzomon4
August 31st, 2009, 11:59 PM
Like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkTQUtx818w ?

OH!! Classic song... Classic band... Great Performance. A friend of mine saw them in Michigan last year.

madjr
September 1st, 2009, 12:13 AM
http://www.blackbirdhome.com/index.html

example of a silly fork of FF.



people do it all the time :D

if you feel like it, go for it.


actually is not so silly since it's targeted to a specific niche/group who are looking for african-american content and a different browsing experience

i think silly were all the compiz forks, but at least now they managed to merge back

also silly is when you make your own distro just to add 1 extra piece of software or change the wallpaper >.>. I don't mind doing it for yourself, but why distribute it? anyway those die out soon (specially their torrents)

earthpigg
September 1st, 2009, 12:15 AM
That's as "silly" as all the Ubuntu {insert religious group}Editions. I'd never use it but I could see some organizations with a cultural empowerment mandate for youth using something like this. Nothing wrong with wanting something that focuses on your group. Frankly I'm a free bird I want to see the world through an unfiltered lens

fair enough. i will recant and say it is silly from my point of view. if i use a web search engine, then that search engine will find and filter my results. i dont want my web browser to add an extra level of filtering - adblock plus, and noscript (while being aware of OpenDNS and proxies if/when my tin foil hat tingles) is all the content filtering i need, thank you very much :D

edit:


also silly is when you make your own distro just to add 1 extra piece of software or change the wallpaper >.>. I don't mind doing it for yourself, but why distribute it? anyway those die out soon (specially their torrents)

i mostly took software away, and i didn't bother changing the wallpaper, lol :D

JC Cheloven
September 1st, 2009, 12:20 AM
...
But- if the code is open source, what prevents someone from taking the kernel code, modifying it, and re-releasing at as their own? Same thing with Open Office, or anything from Mozilla? What makes it so people send their code to one person rather than re-releasing it as their own?

BM

What's your concern?
1) If someone violates the gpl lisence (eg. closing the source), some instance as the free software foundation could sue him, as happened recently with cisco (lately things arrived to an agreement in this case).
2) If someone wants some "medals" claiming that he made the code, it would be ridiculous, as projects and code are at the public domain all the time, and everyone is watching. Liyng about the authory is also a violation of the gpl lisence.
3) If someone wants to fork, it's fine. The community may find the fork interesting, or may not. In the last case, the forker has a nice fork to eat spaghetti ;-)

The most dangerous is point 1. So the need of organizations and individuals who care about the problem, and are able of bringing the cases to court when needed.

BuffaloX
September 1st, 2009, 12:53 AM
What makes it so people send their code to one person rather than re-releasing it as their own?
BM

1: You have to observe the terms of the license, and use a compatible license. If the license is GPL you cannot release it as "your own", you have to offer access to the source code, and anyone can re-release your re-release too.

2: If you choose to re-release you effectively become the maintainer of a "fork".

If your fork has no improvements over the original, it will interest nobody.

The original project can as easily use your improvements, as you can use theirs.

If you fork a project instead of contributing through existing channels, you will most likely not have the same level of communication and support from the original team.

Being the maintainer of a fork is a lot of work, so you have to consider if it's really worth it.

Most forks don't catch on, development deteriorate and they become obsolete.