[even more OT] Talking Heads

Peter Alcibiades palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 24 04:02:40 CDT 2009

Richmond, they were probably right.  The essence of open source is that you
have access to the source code and the ability to modify it.  If your stuff
had been written in (say) Python, this would be true, anyone can get Python
on OSS terms and conditions.  Written in Rev, even if you distribute your
source, they have no access to it without agreeing to the non-open source
terms and conditions of the Rev license.  

Probably Richard Gaskin is mistaken for a similar reason in saying that "All
open source applications that run on Windows, Mac, or any other non-FOSS OS
are just as "proprietary" as any Rev project released under similar

No, not really.  If its OSS, you have the source, and you have free access
(not financially, but as in speech) to any tools required.  And indeed to
the source code of those tools.  So you can port it to any OS you like,
including non-free ones. The fact that if so ported it then runs on a
non-free OS however does not say anything about whether the app itself is
free. It is free in virtue of having been written in OSS tools and in virtue
of the fact that users have the OSS rights.

I'm not doctrinaire about the use of non-OSS apps and tools (obviously,
being a Rev licensee!).  Use them all we want.  But it is quite important to
see things for what they are, and it is fair enough, stuff written in Rev
cannot be OSS.  Whether this matters is a different issue.

Richmond Mathewson wrote:
> A while ago I wrote a message to one of the high-ups at Ubuntu offering
> to let them have FREE linux versions of a couple of programs I made about
> 6 years ago about Phonetics using RR.
> They were refused on the grounds that, while I was entitled to distribute
> standalones free, they were built using proprietary software.
> Personally I thought they were being a bit silly.

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