Thursday, July 02, 2009

Those Jerks At the Vegan Restaurant Wouldn't Serve Me a Simple Egg Cream!

Posts like this one, elucidating the inconveniences of the GPL, are like listening to someone gripe about not being able to get eggs at a vegan restaurant, and/or helpfully pointing out that limiting yourself to vegan ingredients is not the best way to make money running a restaurant.

The GPL is a radical political statement, and as radical political statements go, a damned successful one. If you didn't figure that out immediately, you need to work on your reading comprehension. If you want to eat eggs, go eat eggs, griping at the hippies shouldn't impress anyone.


Daniel Jalkut said...

Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time to read my post, and for linking to it!

I can relate to the vegan analogy pretty well, because I have been a fairly strict vegetarian for over half of my life. You're right, I wouldn't want anybody barging in to my vegetarian meal and hyping up the virtues of a meat diet.

Analogies are always tough when it comes to this kind of thing, but I take your point. In particular, an analogy involving consumption is interesting, because GPL is relatively unrestrictive in its diet. As I conveyed in the post, GPL projects can "consume" MIT/BSD/etc projects (so long as they are GPL-compatible). It's actually the non-GPL projects that are being put on a diet.

But I relate to your point that GPL is a radical movement, and to the extent that people who are truly passionate about "free software" as defined by FSF and the GPL, I commend them for pursuing that dream.

But I don't think it's the most pragmatic choice for lots of projects, where uncertainty about license choice, rather than any radical idealism, might be the rationale for choosing GPL. Going back to your analogy for one last though, it can be a real shame when somebody who is not a passionate vegan books reservations at a popular restaurant, just because it's popular, before discovering that the menu isn't actually all that compatible with their tastes.

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, but egg creams actually have no egg in them. Just an FYI. :-) But I get your analogy.

Tom Hoffman said...

They do have milk in them though?