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Re: Slashdot article SQL-Ledger license change


Hi All,
	As you may (or may not) be aware, with the release of SQL-Ledger 2.8.0 DWS
has changed the license from the GPL to a new, bespoke license which
appears aimed at preventing others from re-using his code.


Well it seems that the risk of having the wider community find out about the 
subversive license change has caused a strategic shift, with a new release 
just posted of SQL-Ledger 2.8.1 and a return to the GPL for the license.

This did not come without some venom however, some of which can be seen in the 
update on the story above, and also directly on the "Terms and Conditions" 
and "What's Ahead" pages at sql-ledger.org.

I've dealt with people like this before - they have a blind spot and it won't do you any good whatsoever belabouring the point.  Look at the bright side: this may still hit the IT sites like Slashdot and The Register after the weekend (El Reg generally falls asleep in the weekend) and it will serve beautifully to create awareness of LedgerSMB.  You may get your Slashdotting after all.

I read the text in the 'new' license and I don't think this will enhance the possibility of more SQL Ledger users, for a couple of reasons:

(1) it's unprofessional.  I can see why he thinks he has a grief, but AFAIK he dug that hole for himself.  You can't build a project with community help and then all of a sudden dig a moat around it and call it exclusively yours.  It is either proprietary or community, there's no halfway house (even with creative definitions of "Open Source").  And disputes are not solved publicly, I've seen that mistake made over and over again.  Golden rule: praise in public, argue privately.

(2) I have been exposed to underhand dealings, and this license change was underhand IMHO.  My experience tell me that this tends to be the result of a personality trait (in other words, there is a potential for a repeat), not an accident.  I'm not risking my business that way.

(3) Security, security, security (no, I don't work for Microsoft :) ).  This code deals with key financial business information, and is likely to be exposed to the Net by the average SME.  There is NO excuse for not implementing security improvements if they are offered.  Security issues are also a risk most of us can do without.

(4) It makes it appear SQL Ledger is a one man band development.  I've counted 3 people involved so far with Ledger SMB, which provides a feeling of good reduncancy and longetivity to the project.  Not the mention the almost hyperactive support (grin) which has left me wondering if I should wait a bit more before I upgrade a clean 1.2.0 install.  At this rate there will be a 1.2.5 by the time I've downloaded 1.2.3 :-).  So, again, from a business risk perspective this feels much safer - especially in the light of the original reasons for the fork.  I am nothing but impressed by the almost instantaneous responses - do you guys ever sleep?

I consider it very unlikely that I'll be the only one with this train of thought..

/// P ///