GPL Project Watch List for Week of 09/12

The Space Shuttle Endeavour lifts off on its final mission May 16, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

The GPL v3 Watch List is intended to give you a snapshot of the GPLv3/LGPLv3 adoption for August 29th through September 12th, 2008.

September 12, 1992 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.
This Week:

  • Week Summary
  • New Projects
  • FOSS issues and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race
  • User Contributions

3000 Project Milestone

After over a year of tracking GPL3 adoption, we would like to announce that 3000 projects have adopted version 3 of the GNU GPL License. The strong adoption rate represented by this milestone shows the continued acceptance of this license by the Open Source and Free Software communities. We’d like to thank everyone that has been involved with this project. Without your hard work, none of this would’ve been possible.

This week our GPL v3 count is at
GPL v3 projects, an increase of 69 GPL v3 projects. The AGPL v3 count is at 130 AGPL v3 projects. The LGPL v3 number is at 286 LGPL v3 projects, an increase of 13 LGPL v3 projects.

New project conversions this week include:

    • MLE – Mobile Learning Engine: MLE – The Mobile Learning Engine is a learning application for mobile phones written in Java (J2ME). It enables you to use your phone at anytime and at anyplace for computer-aided, multimedia-based learning. It is a content independent engine.

    • DataSync Suite: DataSync Suite is an open source platform for integrating tools like Zimbra, SugarCRM, Joomla, and KnowledgeTree. The tool is focused on a single sign-on, application data integration, and fast, flexible deployment.

  • EPG Record: This is a perl-gtk application to get a channel list from a dvb card, display it, and allow complex filtering of view. It also has extensive multi-channel recording capabilities based on the EPG display shown

FOSS issues and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race

There are many important issues in this presidential race. This is not a politically oriented blog, so we take no position and will leave the heated discussions for others, but we are interested in technology and software, so seeing as how technology is an “issue” in this political race, we thought we’d attempt to summarize where the candidates appear to stand on various technology issues related to software and code.

Neither candidate specifically mentions open source on his web page, but several prominent technology-related issues are common to both that can have an impact on software: Net neutrality, intellectual property protection and open standards with respect to online access to government services.

Net Neutrality
This issue deals with equal access to the Internet (no restrictions on types of devices or platforms) and equal opportunity to utilize the Internet once accessed. The availability of these two types of equality and openness provided by the original architecture the Internet is the primary reason so much innovation has occurred in technology and software over the last 30 to 40 years. Imagine if new, innovative devices had to be “approved” before being able to access the Internet, or if two software developers in a garage somewhere had a small web site that could never be found on the net because “prioritized” traffic bought by large media or existing commercial software companies drowns out the smaller players.

Both candidates appear to promote the idea of net neutrality, but take different approaches. John McCain does not support prescriptive regulation that would require net neutrality, preferring to allow a more “open marketplace” environment to provide a variety of choices to consumers. Barack Obama supports some type of legislation to protect the concepts embodied by net neutrality, namely to prevent network access providers from discriminating against those who won’t or can’t pay for “premium” access.

Intellectual Property Protection
This type of protection was originally intended to promote innovation and protect inventors and creators. It seems that more and more, our intellectual property laws are being used by content owners offensively to restrict others instead of to promote innovation and creative uses of existing ideas. However, some form of intellectual property protection is necessary to allow inventors and creators to profit from their work, so this is a delicate balance that must be managed.

Both candidates state they want to protect the IP rights of inventors and creators, both domestically and internationally. Both appear to recognize the balance between the extremes of content protection and the promotion of innovation, and that may be the extent of what we will hear about this issue.

Open Access to Government Services
This issue is pretty straightforward, but its implementation could say a lot about the attitude of each candidate toward technology. Most every government agency now has a web site that provides information to anyone who visits. Both candidates support this, and support expanding this type of access and increasing the participation of the citizenry in the process of government through increased access to broadband services.

Barack Obama’s web site mentions the phrase “universally accessible formats” when it describes making government data available online. This is a critically important phrase, and is how open source can tie into this, as well as other technology issues. A “universally accessible format” is not necessarily an “open source” one, but by definition, open source formats should be universally accessible. The advantage of the open source philosophy here is that anyone can see the parameters and requirements of a particular format, and the particular format itself does not need to be tied to any particular entity, company or developer. A “format” that is “closed source” and proprietary is not available for scrutiny, customization or interpretation, and may be available only to developers within a single entity or company.

When handling the data of a government entity that will presumably continue operating for many generations to come, the ideal way to provide such data is in a format that is open and available to everyone. This includes backwards compatibility for older formats. Proprietary closed formats created by one entity or company create a disadvantage for those wishing to read data in a particular format that was discontinued years ago when the company that created the format went out of business.

While technology is one of the issues on the table for both candidates, other bigger issues will likely overshadow it this election. However, keep the ideas of equal access, the balancing of protection and innovation, and open standards in mind in the coming months when evaluating your candidate.

-Kevin Howard


We appreciate all the contributions that have been made, either through our form on our web page or by email, and we also like to hear why you are changing your project’s license as in the email above. It gives us more insight into which direction license trends are moving. We will continue to post up user contributions to our blog each week, and we may quote parts of your emails. If you wish the email to remain private, just mention so and we will not disclose any part of it.

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Notable Mentionspaceshuttle_endeavor

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