[Mediawiki-l] Please convince me to make my software open source (2)

Madison Kelly linux at alteeve.com
Wed Jan 20 19:25:52 UTC 2010

Bernard at bernardHulsman.nl wrote:
> Thank you for all your responce on my previous thread. There were very 
> valuable to me. Most of all I do like you all respected my conditions.
> There was even a responce to warn me I should not make my propriety 
> software Open Source because then I could not earn any money
> from my extension. That kind of responce within a Open Source community 
> is really altruism.

The best way to promote anything, including the open source community, 
is to make sure you are honest about what you will get. If you mislead 
someone, you will generate ill feelings. So yes, it's partly altruism, 
but it's also just wise for the future of the community itself. It 
serves no one when anyone is unhappy.

> So its boils down to me :
> *Is a Open Source license solid, reliable.

There are many, many "open source" licenses out there beyond the usual 
GPL. Perhaps you would benefit from looking into the various licenses to 
see if one fits you best? Start by looking at the open source licenses 
used by Sun, Red Hat or other major commercial entities.

Once you settle on a given license, or have narrowed down your choices 
to a smaller set, then you can properly ask the question above. Also, 
you will need to ask "solid, reliable" from which view point? The GPL 
has been tested in court and passed. So for the model it fits, it is 
solid and reliable.

> *Do I really get the credits.

You can always trademark the name and logo associated with your product. 
This is the case, for example, with "Tux", the Linux penguin, and the 
name "Linux" itself. The creators maintain rights and their names are 
associated with those marks. Perhaps you can approach this the same way? 
Like above, the more immediate question is; What kind of credit are you 
looking to protect?

 From a simple historical view; You will always be the creator. 
Likewise, contributors will always be known as the contributor of 
feature X or bugfix Y. How prominently do you want this credit? Do you 
desire it be affix to any derivative, for example?

> If you can convince me for these two items then I am totally convinced.
> With regards Bernard

At the end of the day, it is not up to us to convince you, however much 
we may wish to do so. It is for you to understand the open source 
options open to you and then to decide if one fits. We can help by 
sharing what we know of the various options and communities only. 
Further, and final decision must be vetted by your lawyer.

So then, ask the questions you need to in order to feel comfortable with 
whatever decision you think of making. There, we will do our best to help.



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