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Author Topic: How the Ripple is going?  (Read 1701 times)
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September 15, 2013, 06:57:11 PM

or look here:

“OpenCoin,” “Ripple,”, the OpenCoin logos and any other OpenCoin product or service name, logo or slogan contained in the Site are trademarks or service marks of OpenCoin (the “OpenCoin Marks”) and may not be copied, imitated or used, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or on the Site or with the prior written permission of OpenCoin.

Is RedHat open source? Yes.

Can you copy the RedHat distribution and release a new version called "RedHat," "Fedora," "Red Hat Enterprise Linux," "RHEL," or use the Red Hat logos? NO!

Why not? Because even though Red Hat is an open source distribution, they have built a brand and trust around what they produce. People are free to modify or repackage the distribution as they see fit, but they need to build their own reputation instead of sliding by on RedHat's. CentOS, Oracle Linux and Yellow Dog Linux have all gotten the benefit of RedHat's work, but had to build their own reputations based on their own execution.

The same goes for OpenCoin's branch of Ripple. The value in the payment network isn't really being able to run a node. The value comes from the access to the gateways and community of users that create a viable distributed exchange and payment system. If OpenCoin builds out a good ecosystem, and they have hired a lot of people and are building many partnerships to make this happen, it isn't right for random forks of the code to trade off of Ripple's name to deceive people into using a backwater fork when they're actually looking for the real thing. 

New users' real money and real value will be at stake, and people should not be confused into using something other than what they're looking for if the Alt-Ripples are all called Ripple, too, and branded like the real thing.

So, yes, it is possible to be open source while trademarking the names and logos most commonly associated with the master branch of the code. I will address the current open source status below.


    “Ripple is truly open. No one owns it. Anyone can use it. It’s open source, so anyone can build on top of it.”

- “How Ripple Works”, accessed April 2013.

Ripple is not open source. No server source code has being released, with the paid developers behind Ripple admitting that it is to prevent others from using building something better than Ripple in true open source fashion. You pay to build on top of Ripple, the same way you can build on top of PayPal or Visa. You, Joe Q Coder who want to contribute to Ripple, cannot because it is not open source.

A large amount of the non-server code has already been open sourced and placed on github. This includes the ripple client, JS API library and other useful bits.

Want to contribute to an open source currency exchange that interfaces with Ripple? The Justcoin gateway server code is on github, too.

Every single Ripple nodes is controlled by a private for profit company. It is centralized, like a bank or PayPal. Not a decentralized currency.

If you look at the Ripple wiki, it is very clear that extremely important features have not yet been completely implemented. Contracts are an especially powerful capability that is still missing.

It seems perfectly reasonable for the original designers of Ripple to realize their vision before open sourcing it. Ripple works now, but it certainly is not complete. There is likely very rapid change happening under the surface from both a protocol and capabilities standpoint. Being open source and having a ton of nodes on the network at this point would make it very hard or slow to reach the planned capabilities of the system.   

For most open source software, it does not slow development to open it early. When new capabilities are added, a new version is simply relased. However, activating new capabilities in Ripple requires participating nodes to buy into the changes. The more nodes in the system, the longer this takes, or the less likely it is to happen.

It makes sense to have slow and deliberate upgrades once the system has reached a certain level of feature completeness, but to do this while the planned capabilities are only partially implemented is a recipe for disaster.

I agree that if OpenCoin doesn't open source Ripple once it reaches feature completion, then that will be a very bad thing. Since OpenCoin wants Ripple to succeed, then they will honor their promises to go open source. For now, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.
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September 23, 2013, 01:52:20 PM

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