Tag Archive for 'software'

Supertux dev says “Freeware” term OK

Recently, I discovered that Apple makes Supertux available on the website as a free download. That’s pretty cool. Problem is that they say the license is “Freeware” instead of “Free software” or specifying the GPL.

Sure, “freeware” is not incorrect (if you’ll excuse the double negative), but it’s not quite correct either. It’s leaving out the most important component of the software, it’s free license.

It’s available for no charge (freeware) because the license that it has, enables others to distribute it for free. The license is the reason that it is able to be freeware, so it’s that’s the more important aspect.

Of course, Apple can say whatever they want, but a requirement of the GPL is to make the source code available and license clearly visible.

Nevertheless, I contacted the development team informing them, just in case they took exception. However, they didn’t care, with Ryan Flegel saying:

“Freeware” isn’t incorrect, and it’s also a term that everybody understands. I think it’s fine the way it is.

And that’s fine, because it’s their choice. I just wanted to make sure that they are happy with it :-)

-c

A call for the Government to use Free software

It has just been revealed that the Australian Government spends “over half a billion dollars each year” on proprietary software licenses. That’s somewhere over $500,000,000.

The Greens are heading a call for the Government to use free software and for the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with them.

Greens communication spokesman Scott Ludlam said:

“We know [software] costs are sky high and governments are a huge revenue source for companies like Microsoft, but there are also very strong public policy grounds for using open-source software. And one is to make sure that government information is accessible to the largest number of people as possible at no cost to them.”

It was on the front page of the Canberra Times yesterday.

If the PM wants to save money, here’s a great way to do it. In fact, for the cost of licenses for a single year, the Government could hire 5000 full time highly paid open source developers. By leveraging existing free software it wouldn’t be too hard to build anything and everything that the Government uses for it and the Educational sectors.

-c