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Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced

From: Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Another application using FluidSynth announced
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:38:46 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.13.5 (Linux/; KDE/4.4.4; i686; ; )

On Monday 12 September 2011, David Henningsson wrote:
> On 09/11/2011 09:28 PM, Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas wrote:
> > On Sunday 11 September 2011, David Henningsson wrote:
> >> On 09/07/2011 10:38 PM, David Henningsson wrote:
> >>> I'm unfamiliar with exactly how development for iPhone works here. If I
> >>> develop for iPhone, how do I put my own software on there? I mean, even
> >>> Apple would think there should be a way to test your software on the
> >>> real thing before publishing? Is that a legitimate path for distributing
> >>> source code to e g FluidSynth?
> >>
> >>    From what I can understand the development tools are free to download
> >> and use, but testing your software on the iPhone or iPad costs $99 per
> >> year. [1] Interestingly enough, this is a relatively low fee compared to
> >> buying an iPhone/iPad.
> >
> > This is true, latest Xcode release is available for download in the Mac 
> > Store at no charge:
> > http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/xcode/id448457090?mt=12
> >
> > Older releases where in the second DVD, named "Mac OS X Install Disc 2"
> > distributed with the Macs, like mine. I've downloaded also some version 
> > Apple as well, and I'm not a member of the iOS Developer Program.
> >
> > But as I've said, if the compiler and developer tools are "freeware" or 
not is
> > irrelevant from the license point of view, in my opinion.
> Do you consider the $99 fee part of the compiler in this case?

No. It is the annual membership fee of a private club. This is how Apple 
wanted to organize his community, around the maximum values of greed and 
selfishness. They have the right to do so, no matter how unethical this looks 
to people with a very different set of values. Don't be fooled by things like 
this: http://www.opensource.apple.com , they are evil.

Because this ethical distance, it seems to be unfair that their broad  
community, including all their users, can enjoy our work. And we may find some 
legal argument to deny them that right, even if to do so we need to bend a 
little or force the letter of our legal documents, because it is clear in our 
soul what is the true spirit. [This was a bit sarcastic, of course; more 

> >>> As for my own opinion, I tend to be pragmatic in the sense that I look
> >>> for practical possibilities rather than the letter of the law.
> >>
> >> Let me clarify this a bit. LGPL contains a lot of rules and regulations,
> >> but let me point out the two types of freedom, that the end user is
> >> given, and that are important to me:
> >>
> >> 1) Available source code. I e, if the developer fixes a bug in
> >> FluidSynth and makes that version of FluidSynth publicly available, we
> >> should be able to take that fix and incorporate it into the next
> >> FluidSynth release, and release that version under LGPL.
> >>
> >> In this case, Rouet can fulfil that requirement by publishing their
> >> FluidSynth source code changes, or publicly state that they haven't done
> >> any changes.
> >>
> >> 2) Updating FluidSynth. If the end user finds a bug in FluidSynth by
> >> playing around with "Slide control", he/she should be able to fix it and
> >> run the fixed version on the same hardware. The question is if Apple
> >> fulfils its part of this deal by the $99 developer program [1]. On one
> >> hand, the program is widely available and relatively cheap, on the other
> >> hand, it's still a cost, and Apple can probably choose to deny this
> >> program on an individual basis. So I'm not really sure what to think
> >> about it at this point.
> >>
> >> Anyway, Rouet can fulfil that requirement by publishing the entire
> >> source code to "Slide control". I don't know if they can also choose to
> >> supply some kind of linkable object code, that depends on what you can
> >> and can't do with XCode.
> >
> > No objection. I think that documenting a clarification about this
> > interpretation of the license would be enough,not requiring a license
> > addition explicitly accepting exceptions, or license changes.
> Note that the above is not a full interpretation of the license, I'm 
> just pointing out what is important to me. There might be other problems 
> with the App Store distribution channel, which are important to someone 
> else of FluidSynth's copyright holders. (Especially taking into account 
> the code already present when I got involved with the project.)

Likewise, for me it is not only important the letter of the LGPL license, but 
the ethical principles inspiring the libre software movement. For instance, 
the principle of no discrimination that is not part of the LGPL, but is 
included in the Open Source Definition, the Debian Social Contract ("No 
Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor") and the free software definition: 
"freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0)".

Forbidding FluidSynth in the App Store means to deny all the iPxxx users even 
the knowledge that this project exists, not to mention the right to use the 
program. In the long run, this means more harm than good for us.

Finally, I'm absolutely against the feeling of moral superiority, of 
fanaticism and radicalism.


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