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Author Topic: cbitcoin - Bitcoin implementation in C. Currently in development.  (Read 18451 times)
jgarzik
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October 02, 2012, 07:54:03 PM
 #161

Well grondilu pointed out the linux kernel. That's not exactly "small, niche and useless to a vast portion of the community that would use it".

Irrelevant example, comparing apples and oranges.  The Linux kernel is not a library.

Applications do not link directly with the Linux kernel, therefore applications (obviously!) may be any license.

Not so, with cbitcoin.


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grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 08:00:31 PM
 #162

Well grondilu pointed out the linux kernel. That's not exactly "small, niche and useless to a vast portion of the community that would use it".

Irrelevant example, comparing apples and oranges.  The Linux kernel is not a library.

Applications do not link directly with the Linux kernel, therefore applications (obviously!) may be any license.

I'm must say I'm quite surprised by this GPL hate.

Fair enough.  If MatthewLM wants to stick with GPL (I really hope he will), then cbitcoin will only be linked with GPL applications, which is totally fine imho.

In long term, I think bitcoin will need at least one GPL implementation, for reasons too long to explain.  It does not matter if not everyone uses it.
MatthewLM
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October 02, 2012, 08:10:40 PM
 #163

I'll come back to this issue at a later date. Once again I said I'm thinking through cbitcoin over the next few weeks. This is one thing I will look at and consider what license is best. So you just have to stay tuned. I do think the GPL has got problems, so yes I will figure this out. The LGPL might not be perfect either, so we will see.

Was there this discussion with the AGPL with Armory? I'm not using the AGPL before anyone is scared.

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grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 08:16:49 PM
 #164

I'll come back to this issue at a later date. Once again I said I'm thinking through cbitcoin over the next few weeks. This is one thing I will look at and consider what license is best. So you just have to stay tuned. I do think the GPL has got problems, so yes I will figure this out. The LGPL might not be perfect either, so we will see.

I gave my opinion but as you might have understood, I'm not a professional programmer, not even an experienced or talented one.  So maybe indeed GPL is not a good fit for a library.  The only example of a GPL library I know is the GNU libc library itself.

I suggest that during those few weeks you seek wisdom in the FSF community, on IRC or something.   Hell, maybe you can send an email to RMS himself  (I'm serious, I think this is an important enough topic, and we now know that RMS is aware of bitcoin).
jgarzik
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October 02, 2012, 08:17:09 PM
 #165

Well grondilu pointed out the linux kernel. That's not exactly "small, niche and useless to a vast portion of the community that would use it".

Irrelevant example, comparing apples and oranges.  The Linux kernel is not a library.

Applications do not link directly with the Linux kernel, therefore applications (obviously!) may be any license.

I'm must say I'm quite surprised by this GPL hate.

Where is the hate, in my message?  I am simply stating facts.  Linux kernel developers have been deeply involved in the arcane legal issues of licenses and linking for well over a decade.

And even excluding my kernel work, you will see that many of my projects are GPL license: https://github.com/jgarzik    (basically all the non-python projects are GPL'd)

The Linux kernel example is simply not applicable to the cbitcoin licensing situation, because it is not a library against which people directly link their end user applications.

The facts are:

1) If cbitcoin is LGPL, an application using cbitcoin may be any license.
2) If cbitcoin is GPL, an application using cbitcoin must be GPL.
3) Linux kernel is not a library against which user applications directly link.  The kernel is GPL, but applications using the kernel's system call interface may be any license.


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MatthewLM
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October 02, 2012, 08:28:12 PM
 #166

Quote
If cbitcoin is LGPL, an application using cbitcoin may be any license.

You see I don't want that. People will come and make their proprietary software using my free software. I'd be benefiting them with free software when they are not willing to make their software free. If I could have a license which allows for linking with anything providing that the derivative work (using the library) allows for certain freedoms for users including right to copy and distribute without limitation, but would allow for some limitations of the non-GPL compatible licenses, then that would be good I think.

It's all very nasty to think about which is why I'm saying give me a few weeks alongside everything else and I'll come back with a plan for cbitcoin.

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grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 08:37:45 PM
 #167


Just so you know, I've just sent an email to RMS about this.  As I said, I think it's an important enough issue to bother him.
MatthewLM
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October 02, 2012, 08:40:38 PM
 #168

Alright, thanks. Would be interesting to get an answer.

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deadserious
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October 02, 2012, 08:59:56 PM
 #169

Well grondilu pointed out the linux kernel. That's not exactly "small, niche and useless to a vast portion of the community that would use it".

The linux kernel is not a library.  I can create closed source software that runs on the linux kernel.

However, a vast number of the libraries that make up linux are LGPL, so that just proves my point.
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October 02, 2012, 09:02:39 PM
 #170

The only example of a GPL library I know is the GNU libc library itself.

GNU libc is not GPL.  It's LGPL.
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October 02, 2012, 09:03:47 PM
 #171

You see I don't want that. People will come and make their proprietary software using my free software. I'd be benefiting them with free software when they are not willing to make their software free. If I could have a license which

Just because something is closed source doesn't mean it isn't free.
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October 02, 2012, 09:07:11 PM
 #172

You see I don't want that. People will come and make their proprietary software using my free software. I'd be benefiting them with free software when they are not willing to make their software free. If I could have a license which

Just because something is closed source doesn't mean it isn't free.
free as in free speech, not free beer.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
jgarzik
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October 02, 2012, 09:09:22 PM
 #173


On a practical level, it is doubtful that the user community would trust a closed source implementation with their money, when so many open source implementations exist.


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notme
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October 02, 2012, 09:10:48 PM
 #174

You see I don't want that. People will come and make their proprietary software using my free software. I'd be benefiting them with free software when they are not willing to make their software free. If I could have a license which

Just because something is closed source doesn't mean it isn't free.

When you use RMS's definition of freedom it does.

Closed source means your handing over your computer power to the programmer without being able to audit what he does with it.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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grondilu
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October 02, 2012, 09:12:38 PM
 #175

The only example of a GPL library I know is the GNU libc library itself.

GNU libc is not GPL.  It's LGPL.

Is it?  Oh shit it is.  I really thought it was GPL.   My bad.   I guess you guys win.
misterbigg
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October 02, 2012, 10:10:01 PM
 #176

People will come and make their proprietary software using my free software. I'd be benefiting them with free software when they are not willing to make their software free.

My opinion is that the benefit of having moneyed commercial interests invest energy into the Bitcoin ecosystem outweighs the disadvantage of having more proprietary software.

You only need to compare the success of OS X and iOS to the success of Linux to see how proprietary software can be superior for end users.

deadserious
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October 02, 2012, 10:15:40 PM
 #177

On a practical level, it is doubtful that the user community would trust a closed source implementation with their money, when so many open source implementations exist.

If you are talking about wallet ripoffs, then you are probably right.  But what about POS systems, ATM firmware, ERP applications, all which could use some bitcoin integration but are unable to open source for one reason or another.  Maybe the codebase uses other third-party closed source code... maybe there are corporate license restrictions to conform to a specific industry law... maybe there are security implications for open sourcing the code.

The point is that there are so many untold reasons why someone may want to use the cbitcoin library in their code to further bitcoin adoption.  Pigeonholing it with GPL unnecessarily limits it, especially considering that the LGPL was designed specifically with libraries in mind to fix this issue.

I think the main question is what is the end goal.  To expand the uptake of bitcoin?  Or make sure that developers of open source software have a competitive advantage over the corporations?  If we were further along with bitcoin, I think you could make an argument for a GPL library. Unfortunately, unless those with closed source interests have an easy and cheap way into bitcoin, they aren't going to spend their money.  Bitcoin isn't big enough.

If LGPL is going to be a no go... let me make a suggestion.  How about a dual license.  GPL and a closed source license where the closed source licensee pays some fee to use the library how they see fit.
MatthewLM
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October 02, 2012, 11:51:18 PM
 #178

I do notice now there are some things I misunderstood about the GPL license, despite reading it several times. It maybe that a custom license will be required for cbitcoin to solve issues with the GPL but also protect against proprietary software also.

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misterbigg
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October 03, 2012, 12:08:08 AM
 #179

protect against proprietary software also.

What exactly is it that you want to "protect" against?

Check out this article:
The GPL Family of Licenses Sees a Decline in Adoption

grondilu
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October 03, 2012, 08:18:43 AM
 #180

My opinion is that the benefit of having moneyed commercial interests invest energy into the Bitcoin ecosystem outweighs the disadvantage of having more proprietary software.

You only need to compare the success of OS X and iOS to the success of Linux to see how proprietary software can be superior for end users.

If the benefit you're talking about is only about mass adoption, I do not care.  Even if it means a "better quality", I do not care either.  I prefer to use a Free Software rather than a proprietary software, even if it has a lower quality.
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