Saturday, July 07, 2007

GPL version 3

Recently Free Software Foundation released the final GNU General Public License version 3. What that does really mean?

First of all many software says it uses version 2 or NEWER. The key word is the later one because user may choose which version to use. Is there going to be two branches of one software, one for version 2 and one for the 3rd one? Ok, that might be a problem. However there's still some software which insist to use version 2 only. On of these are the Linux kernel. It will be version 2 unless something else is decided...

Also version 3 defines that some vendors can't any more lock their devices to use only the official binary provided by them. Vendors must now allow customized code to be flashed or uploaded to the device and not to lock it on any way. Sounds fair.

Secondly software patents are not allowed. This prevents deals which Microsoft has made lately with some Linux providers. It will be interesting to see the real affect. For now on we must only speculate.

Generally the GPL version 3 is good thing, but people should take a little bit careful with it at first. The future will tell what comes.

P.S. First developer versions of OpenMoko based phone Neo1973 will be available since 9th of July. I'll be waiting for it...

No comments: