[Libreoffice] Minor translation, commented code removal
hunteke at earlham.edu
Mon Oct 25 07:48:47 PDT 2010
At 9:03am -0400 Mon, 25 Oct 2010, Michael Meeks wrote:
> On Tue, 2010-10-19 at 02:08 -0400, Kevin Hunter wrote:
>> Oh, forever more, unless I explicitly say otherwise, it is safe to
>> assume that my patches are all LGPLv3. (That's v3, not v3+.) But I'll
>> try to remember to say it as well.
> We prefer LGPLv3+ with an open-ness to an MPL dual-license there too -
> in general plus licenses are preferred for future re-licensing
> flexibility, so it is a shame Sun chose to use an LGPLv3 only.
> Are you really scared of the + ? :-)
The short answer is no, I'm not scared of "all future versions", but on
principal, I will not blindly trust a document that I (no one!) have yet
I understand the need for flexibility and some sense of ownership by a
project governing group. However so far, no one has provided me with a
convincing argument for why licensing under "all future versions" of a
license is acceptable. (Because everyone else is doing it is not an
While I personally trust that Richard Stallman (or more generally the
FSF folks) is *way* smarter than myself, more aware of the issues
involved, and will evermore continue to be more up-to-date with the
issues involved in Free software and the background philosophy, I
believe it to be foolhardy to blindly accept what I have not read -- in
this case *can't* read because it does not yet exist. I have read the
GPL and MPL, and agree with about 98% of their wording. The final 2
percent is me quibbling, but probably not understanding the necessity of
certain legalese. I see no way that the code could become less free
than how I have currently licensed it, especially in light of the
afforementioned time, intelligence, and interest of the fine folks at
FSF. But the fact remains that the future is an uncertain beast.
The most compelling reason I've read to trust all future versions of
specifically the GPL is from Richard Stallman himself back in 2007:
But the argument "One way to do this is to release..." still boils down
to "trust us, we'll do the right thing." The FSF folks are most
excellent people, do excellent work, and I admire, support, and advocate
for them wherever I believe it appropriate, but that particular
statement is a request, not a proof to me that nothing could go wrong.
When the time comes, I'll absolutely read GPL v4+ and update the license
as requested and necessary for any of the projects with which I'm involved.
In the mean time, the project suffers from idiots like myself who don't
get it. The best I'm willing to do (without a more convincing argument
of why I should blindly trust "all future versions" of the L/GPL
licenses) is the same that Stallman is able to do for me: say "trust
me." I wrote the code -- or in this case *minor* code comment
translations -- for the LibreOffice project and that will not change.
The only way it could change (in my mind) is if an entity snarfs it up
and tries to do exactly what many of us fear Oracle is soon to do with
many of the FOSS projects it acquired through Sun.
In the shorter term, if that does not work for the LO project, let me
point out that I am hardly a major contributor. The only "code" I have
written for LO is so generic that it is arguable whether I could
possibly even guarantee that I wrote it, as compared to say, 10 monkeys
typing randomly on the keyboard. If deemed necessary, my guess is that
it would take somebody less than 30 minutes to retranslate and or
re-remove the code I removed, and LO could move on. If this were deemed
necessary, I would understand. My interest is in the long-term success
of the LO project, not in any agenda or misgivings I may have.
Sometimes contributors and contributees do not see eye-to-eye, and that
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