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Akopia Buys Minivend 63

Posted by Hemos
from the making-a-better-product dept.
David Adams of Akopia e-mailed me to let me know that Akopia has bought Minivend. Minivend is an open source project, and the creator along with several top developers will be joining Akopia. Akopia has Tallyman, which is also an e-commerce package, with different strengths. Why does this matter? The license is the GPL, and this is one of those situations where the open source project beats the closed source hands down. Congrats to Akopia.
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Akopia Buys Minivend

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  • Unless the development stalls BECAUSE it must remain free... the special case that GPL boosters always skip.

    Well, because it is free (as in speech; see the GNU site [gnu.org]), any user can modify it. Thus, development need never stall, because, since every use has the right to see the source code, and the right to modify it and incorporate it in other GPL software packages, development should never stall.

    In other words, it is really owned by the community. Worst-case scenario: the company does nothing with it. Then, hackers across the globe will say, "Hey, what a cool program!" and pick it up and submit patches.

    Then, everyone benefits. This is the true power of the GNU General Public License.
  • Btw, "ASD" = "Average Slashdot Drone". ASMs are a subset of ASDs, sadly.

    ---------///----------

  • As already pointed out, Freetrade in an excellent package. FishCart is a second (http://www.fishcart.org) and there are a few more minor ones you'll find floating about on Freshmeat.
    Amongst other things, there's a project floating about to move OpenMerchant to PHP. The homepage is here [hklc.com].

    Cheers,
    Graeme
  • Try the same stunt with "Gee-Pee-El".

    - Steeltoe
  • I think a licence like that would be more in the spirit of the GPL.

    While one can debate the merits of a license of the kind you propose, I don't think it is necessarily "in the spirit of the GPL". As I understand RMS, his point with the GPL was to ensure that programmers can obtain and modify the source code to the software they depend on. Linking source distribution to binary distribution, rather than use in for-profit applications, was a deliberate decision.

    I would also be surprised if RMS didn't explicitly consider this when designing the GPL. After all, around MIT, Internet-based servers and services, distributed computation, mobile code, remote procedure calls, and all that were not exactly a new thing even in the 1980's. (The amazing thing to people coming out of that environment is that it is 2000 and the world still hasn't even caught up with a fraction of the technology developed and in use back then.)

  • Alan Knowles, an independent developer, is working on a PHP port of our OpenMerchant project. You can find information on OpenMerchant-PHP at http://www.hklc.com/projects/ [hklc.com].

    Me -- I work for OpenSales [opensales.org].

    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Scope out Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org]

  • by TheDullBlade (28998) on Thursday June 15, 2000 @10:04PM (#998696)
    Making sure that the source modifications always comes back to the originators is not the purpose of the GPL.

    The purpose of the GPL is to make sure that people never get stuck with these black-box binaries that are the only way to access their data, so if something goes wrong (like a bug pops up or the source owner goes under), they can still deal with the problem and access their own data, and get it out to their friends. It's a very serious threat in the long term; how much data was lost from the early days because it was on non-standard storage media? Now we've learned to transfer everything from computer to computer before it is lost, but losing access to the software access mechanisms could be as harmful as losing access to the hardware access mechanisms was back then.

    That is the freedom the GPL is about: the freedom to access your own work, and to share it with your friends, without following the terms of a distant gatekeeper. It's the freedom to write a program, and let people run it without having to buy an operating system. It's the freedom to write a document, and let people read it without buying a special program for it. It's the freedom to make a movie, and let people watch it without having to buy a special player approved and taxed by a consortium.

    All software defines a standard of some sort. It might be a data standard or a usage standard, but it's something that people have to invest in, and their investment should not be controlled by the creator of the software. Seperating the standards from the source is impractical, except under unusual conditions where the standards are built first, and the programs are mere implementations of it (in that case, though, why not simply compile the standard? if it's rigorous enough to fully define compliant systems, a computer program should be able to implement it). In general, for the standards to be libre, the source must be libre.

    That is why it is important that embraced and extended versions of GPL software not be proprietary. It is better that they not be created at all, no matter how much more useful and valuable they are to the end user. The infection of the system with proprietary softare (and therefore, proprietary standards) is an attack on our individual freedoms (you can't hear what another says without buying the same software they use, you can't offer them your work without forcing them to pay a third party), and must be prevented, if possible. Offering a tool to make proprietary software is like paying taxes that will be used to enslave others.

    The "in-house use" loophole has always been there. It's never been a big deal. If some company has your data locked up in their servers, it doesn't matter whether you have access to the source they use, you still can't access your own work without their co-operation. For you to bother with them in the first place, they must offer it back to you in a useable form. There's no cure for it, and none is needed.

    [BTW, I don't really agree with all this rubbish; I believe in public domain software. But, for that matter, I'm not entirely against censorship or even slavery. In a world where every bite you eat could go into the mouth of a starving child (of which there will never be a shortage; people who rein in their breeding will inevitably be displaced by those who don't), a morality based on egalitarian concepts like universal freedom inevitably either contradicts itself or amounts to a collective suicide. Either way, if you follow such a morality to its logical end, you will just make room for someone with less fastidious (or utterly unrelated) moral standards. All I know for sure is that I see starving children on TV every day, and I still take second helpings at dinner. After all, they're not my children.]
  • But it's a good troll, please moderate it up!

  • And, to quote the Colonel in A Few Good Men:

    Well, don't I feel like a fucking idiot.

    :)

  • You are right, but perhaps it's not such a big deal. If a company wants to create a proprietary fork, all they need to do is get a license from the copyright-holder (assuming IP was not transferred to FSF). Of course, you would have to start at the earliest version again + owner's own modifications, because the public "owns" their own changes. I'm not sure in what way though, could a company ask each individual for a license to their patches too?

    Then again, who is stupid enough to run code noone knows what is doing? Oh, yeah, I forgot, the whole world...

    - Steeltoe
  • Assuming that you were honest: what you're looking for is impossible. You can either have a prefabricated, eays-to-set-up solution, but then you won't be able to design anything. The more configurability you want, the more deep-down knowledge you need. And Frontpage is nearly certain to break any dynamically generated page.
  • Thanks. I was wondering if there is a Linux equivalent of the \con\con thingy. Somewere else I found /dev/mouse, but it didn work with me. I'll try this as soon as I go home.

    BTW, while I can imagine how the /dev/random trick works, I havent the faintest idea of why reading a non-existing \con\con crashes the FAT. Do you ?

  • I developed one or two sites in Minivend. I found it to be mind-numbingly slow, and its in-page markup/scripting language was worse than anything I've seen before or since, and that's including Net.Data. Minivend's scripting language is a series of hacks piled upon hacks piled upon hacks. Getting it to do even the simplest of things is an exercise in pain-endurance.

    If it's a choice between Minivend and nothing, I'd probably go with nothing. All you really need to replace the vast majority of its 'features' is an in-page scripting language with decent session support.

    I'm afraid, in this case, saying that it beats the closed-source solutions is just demonstrating that you've never compared its features or performance with what's being sold at the moment.

    Charles Miller
    --
  • How is that the beauty of the *GPL*? The BSD license is the same as are other open source licences.

    Nope. You can get BSD-licensed code, make your proprietary extension, and release the result under non-BSD license (even without releasing the source.

    -Yenya


    --

  • No. Soaking up BSD licensed code and producing proprietary software with it does not make the original BSD licensed code vanish. And someone could still take that code and spawn a new project.

    There's nothing magical about the GPL that makes it superior to BSD or any other open source license in this respect. Thus the fallacy of the statement by Anonymous Coward in post #40.

    --

  • They could just shut down support on the open source version. Why not? Companies shut down support on even their own proprietary "technology" all the time..

    "To serve our paying customers with the highest quality service we can possibly offer, we have decided to not support a few obsolete hardware/software solutions. We are sorry for this inconvinience to many former customers, but we already got your money so you don't count anymore. Bye!

    With the best regards from,

    Evil Corp."

    - Steeltoe
  • It is just you, or, more specifically, your obvious total lock of knwledge about what real security is. Real security is methods that don't depend on the bad guys not knowing them. This concept, known as "security through obscurity" is in fact no security at all, since there are always leaks, and you even can find holes by simple random prodding in many cases (buffer overflows). Real security relies on widely known algorithms that have been tested for years and found to be without holes. Real security is when the key is the only thing that needs to be secret, not the algorithm.
  • by Frodo (1221)
    So, does this mean Minivend is going to have decent documentation and installation process at last? Or, they are going to charge money for it?
  • www.theexchangeproject.com is currently under development. Looks good.
  • Open Source is there to avoid you getting shafted by a discontinued product, it's not an in-perpetuity licence to a free lunch.

    If I write an on-line app, it costs me money. Who is going to pay for that ? If I'm selling it, or selling services based on it as an Open Source app, then that's a business and revenue model I can work with. OTOH, the point about the "online" apps that you complain are a "breach" of the GPL is that because they're never distributed, there's no opportunity to generate revenue from them.

    Altruism is all very well, and many geeks will happily code for free, but would you like to explain it to my landlord and my catfood supplier too ?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sorry but you are dead wrong about copyright law. The chairman of the board of the EFF, Brad Templeton, has written 10 Big Myths about copyright explained [templetons.com]. And I quote:

    "If I make up my own stories, but base them on another work, my new work belongs to me." False. Copyright law is quite explicit that the making of what are called "derivative works" -- works based or derived from another copyrighted work -- is the exclusive province of the owner of the original work. This is true even though the making of these new works is a highly creative process. If you write a story using settings or characters from somebody else's work, you need that author's permission.

    Yes, that means almost all "fan fiction" is a copyright violation. If you want to write a story about Jim Kirk and Mr. Spock, you need Paramount's permission, plain and simple. Now, as it turns out, many, but not all holders of popular copyrights turn a blind eye to "fan fiction" or even subtly encourage it because it helps them. Make no mistake, however, that it is entirely up to them whether to do that.

    There is one major exception -- parody. The fair use provision says that if you want to make fun of something like Star Trek, you don't need their permission to include Mr. Spock. This is not a loophole; you can't just take a non-parody and claim it is one on a technicality. The way "fair use" works is you get sued for copyright infringement, and you admit you did infringe, but that your infringement was a fair use. A subjective judgment is then made.

    Probably I just broke copyright law by posting that excerpt.

    This comes up on Slashdot every now and then and people like you always yell loudest and don't do your homework. YOU HAVE NO CLUE SO SHUT UP AND DON'T ACT AS IF YOU DO.

  • Hemos meant that the Tallyman/Minivend combination is of higher qulaity than the commercial ecommerce systems that they compete against in the marketplace. And they'll only continue to improve, and at a faster pace than the closed source systems.
  • Thats not entirely correct. This is the reason that the GPL on the Linux kernel could never be revoked. There are too many authors.
  • The key in my previous response is make your proprietary extension. If the closed-source vendor does this and the extension gets popular, you are out of luck and have to re-implement the same extension. This way GPL is superior in terms that it prevents unnecessary project forking and duplicating of work.

    See also a discussion [slashdot.org] on slashdot on this topic from November 18.

    Of course, it depends on what is your primary goal. If you develop the software for yourself and for fun, BSD license can be appropriate, because you don't care on what will happen with your code. OTOH, when you develop software for others, you may want to ensure they will have the same rights as you and that the project can continue without you with the same terms. Thus GPL is more about protection of users (as opposed to programmers).

    The above text is not meant to start a license flame war, it is just my opinion.

    -Yenya
    --

  • umm wtf is wrong with you people???
  • I'd like to know how Openmerchant compares to Minivend. And how those 2 compare to a commercial product like Intershop. Has anyone got any experience with them. I'm trying to make up my mind which one to use.
  • "If I make up my own stories, but base them on another work, my new work belongs to me." False. Copyright law is quite explicit that the making of what are called "derivative works" -- works based or derived from another copyrighted work -- is the exclusive province of the owner of the original work.
    That distributing unauthorized derivative works is a copyright violation in no way means that the owner of the original work owns copyright over any derivative works produced. Just because I can't legally sell you my "Star Trek" story doesn't mean that Paramount can legally use it without my permission. This is, for instance, why series producers (such as Babylon 5's Straczynski, who made a fuss of it on USENET) try to avoid reading any fanfic for their series -- because if they later produced an episode similar to a fanfic story they read, they could be accused of copyright violation.

    In any event, your screed has zero bearing on GPLed code, which was the subject under discussion. Why? Well, GPL authorizes the production and distribution of derivative works, under the condition that the derivative works be GPLed as well, and that source be made available.

    Summary: Yes, copyright permits the original work's owner to forbid others from distributing derivative works. No, copyright does not grant the owner the copyright over derivative works. In any case, it doesn't matter for GPLed works, so quit flaming.

  • Isn't that what MS is trying to do with kerberos? Only they won't even purchase it. THeir plan is a subversion, not a purchase, of the open source code which hopes to give MS the defacto control of the other people's product.

    In order for any software to be widely successful it has to run on Windows. By adding a proprietary, closed-source component to the kerberose package, MS hopes gain de facto control of the whole project. A kerberos that can't deal with MS Kerberos is a moribund kerberos, and the only kerberos that will work on native Windows platforms will be MS Kerberos. Basicly they seem to hope to acquire the entire intellecual property embodied in kerberos via assimilation.

    An interesting busines model. Time will tell if they succeed.

  • by / (33804)
    This isn't anything new -- it's been the same for years with compilers and other programs whose output is being sold rather than the program itself. Fortunately it hasn't prevented most people from contributing source, and even if it did, I'd challenge you to write a liscense that would require as much and still be enforceable -- It's hard enough to find GPL violations when you have the actual binary, so how the heck are you going to do it remotely with someone's website?
  • I ran two or three sites on Minivend during the
    past five years. I found performance to be quite good, even for the most popular of the sites, the UCI Anime Store. I was running Minivend with six catalogs on a Pentium Pro 180 with 128 Mb RAM using RedHat 5.2, and I did not experience the performance degradations that others have reported. The Minivend page language was admittedly a bit difficult to learn straight from the manual, but it offered a great deal of flexibility which offset its cryptic character. (Hmm... sounds like a certain OS...)

    Minivend helped my educational organization to avoid complex contraptions like the Netscape Commerce Server and InterShop, which might have done the same thing at a cost of many thousands of dollars.

    Mike Heins was personally very good to work with, and the couple of times when I needed his consulting help, he was quick, accurate, and right on the money. I hope that the no-cost interactions with him via the Minivend mailing list will continue under the new corporate structure, and that ordinary Minivend site owners will continue to have influence over the development process.
  • I agree, but for different reasons. I think the design of Minivend is sound, but if you get too complicated with the Minivend Markup language it slows to a snails pace. I've always attributed it to a slow parser.

    Although I have heard the new version of Minivend is a total rewrite. I've wondered if it's gotten better.
  • I imagine they could release new versions under a different license, couldn't they? But their support department would hate them, because they would effectivally have two user and code bases to support.
  • Then, everyone benefits. This is the true power of the GNU General Public License.

    Perhaps so. Another possible scenario is that a company sees a potential enhancement for a product but chooses not to create it because it would require giving their software away.. corporations exist to generate profit. For good or ill, that is their function.

    There are only so many hackers who have the foresight to see problems beyond technical ones to be resolved. Even fewer of those have the desire to solve them. Useful but technically uninteresting enhancements may never be created.
  • Check out FreeTrade:

    http://www.working-dogs.com/freetrade/ [working-dogs.com]

    It's a GREAT e-commerce solution written in PHP.

    - Isaac =)
  • by Dacta (24628) on Thursday June 15, 2000 @08:54PM (#998724)

    The GPL is meaningless for online apps.

    A company can download your app, modify it, and then never contribute the source back to you if they choose, because the source only has to be distibuted with the binaries, and the binaries are never distributed.

    While most people understand this now, I feel it is time for a new licence to be created. It should say something like:

    If this code is ever used in a publically accessible service, then the source for it and all your modifications must be easily available.

    Of course, we would need to define "source-code" as including database schemes, but not data, and including HTML templates, but not orginal artwork etc.

    "Publically accessible" also needs to be defined. If someone has to register for the site, does that make it publically accessible, for instance? I think it should in most cases.

    I think a licence like that would be more in the spirit of the GPL.

    On the other hand, maybe there is little need for it, because there is little competitve advantage in keeping your modifications private - it is cheaper to let everyone debug them, and compete on branding.

    I believe the SourceForge people have been considering these issues in some depth.

  • by 575 (195442)
    Unknown free software
    Bought by unknown for-profit
    Slashdot: News for Nerds
  • It was an honest question. I seriously would like to know if such a product exists. If you know of one, please contact me.

  • I normally don't make complaints like this, but... your post was utterly without content or intelligence, and is about as perfect an example of a "Karma Whore" as can be. Did you really think that you were contributing anything to this discussion? Hmmm, OSS cheerleading, and a reference to one of the few books that 99% of this site's readers have heard of. Hey, while you're at it, why don't you tell everyone about that great new "Linux" software you found?

    If your post is modded up I will vomit all over my keyboard. It will mean that the Average Slashdot Moderator (ASM) has crossed the threshold into the "dumber than a motherfucking animal" category. I thought that the ASD wouldn't sink much lower after firmly wedging himself in the "clueless retard, randomly moderating down because of some bizarre sexual pleasure he receives by hurting others" category, but as public forums such as this prove time and time again, never underestimate how stupid people really are.

    I'm going back to my hole now. "Moderators, do your duty."

    ---------///----------

  • Can someone buy a GPL program and then change the license agreement?
    Only on the code written by the person from whom they bought it.

    If I were to (for instance) buy Perl from Larry Wall, I would only have the right to change the license on the lines of code which he actually wrote -- because only those are his to sell me. He doesn't own, and therefore cannot sell, the copyright on any lines of code someone else wrote. Therefore, the other people's lines (which probably equal the vast majority of the code, in the case of Perl!) would remain licensed to me only under GPL and/or the Perl Artistic License -- and I would not be able to change the license on them.

    Furthermore, I would not be able to revoke GPL/Artistic on any of the code, even Larry's, from anyone who already has it or who receives it from someone who already has it. They already have the irrevocable right to redistribute it under the current license's terms. If they don't like me, they can fork it off and do their own thing, regardless of what I say.

    Effectively, this means that once a GPLed project has a good number of contributors other than the original author, the license can't be changed without going around and getting consent from everyone who ever submitted a patch.

    Therefore, it seems to me rather disingenuous to "sell" a GPLed project. What's being sold? Only the right to relicense the seller's code (and the seller's code only) under different (non-GPL) terms. However, in a free-software project with outside contributors, that code may no longer constitute a working product or even a useful codebase.


    (By the way: The GPL is not a "license agreement". A "license agreement" is a work of deception perpetrated by software companies who claim you need a "license to use" something you obtained legitimately. You do not; you already have the right to use what is yours. You only need a license to do something which would, lacking a license, violate copyright: in other words, to copy and redistribute. (Giving a copy of W2K to your friend is a copyright violation simply because of Microsoft's copyright, not because of any "agreement".)

    GPL grants you the right to copy and redistribute GPLed software under certain terms -- rights which you would not otherwise have. You do not need to "accept" GPL in order to receive these rights. If you redistribute GPLed software in violation of the GPL's terms, you are not breaking an "agreement" with the author; you're simply breaking copyright law, because you were not licensed to redistribute the software in such a way. That's all.)

  • I don't think it'd be possible to run it under mod_perl. The CGI component of minivend is a C program (vlink?) that just forwards the http request to the Perl daemon running as the back-end. I pretty much came to the conclusion that the whole thing is a kludge. I was running it on a PII w/ 256Meg, and the delay was noticeable with a single client requesting pages. I shudder to think what sort of response serious customers are getting. (I don't work at that company any more). I'd seriously recommend trialling the software before committing yourself to implementing it anywhere. My recommendation is that if you're going the free software route, write your own implementation specifically for the site you're developing, in whatever language you're comfortable with. You won't lose nearly as much development time as you think, because the Minivend markup language is so evil, and your site won't run like a dog. Charles Miller
    --

  • Isn't that what MS is trying to do with kerberos? Only they won't even purchase it. THeir plan is a subversion, not a purchase, of the open source code...

    I have tried and failed to find out what license Kerberos is distributed under. Does anyone know? I don't think it's any kind of open-source license because it isn't on Freshmeat.

    ------

  • To tell you the truth, what you're saying sounds a lot like commonplace FUD.

    Apparently you did something wrong when you installed minivend. Maybe you were using an outdated version or something, I don't know. But every time I've tested it, it keeps getting better.

    You're right that it's a bunch of hacks, well, scripts. But there's nothing about that statement that says that it's slow. Minivend is capable of running 25-50,000 item catalogs with ease. According to the site, that scales with computing power. I don't know, I haven't run more than 26,000 items on it, but it seems to do well for me.

    If you'd like to see a great example of a Minivend site, try Brian's Books [briansbooks.com]. (No affiliation)

    To those that are now questioning Minivend, just give it a try. Most likely, those that don't like it haven't put enough effort into configuring it. Minivend is very hard to use, I'll say that up front. It could stand to have some type of good graphical config tool, and maybe now that they have commercial backing we'll see it. But once you understand it, and how to get the most out of it, it's quite a nice system.

    Not to mention, you'll look awfully good to those that write the checks. :)

  • This story:

    > ...Akopia has bought Minivend

    and from Akopia's web page:

    > Akopia Acquires Minivend eCommerce Platform

    The software is GPL'd and there doesn't appear to have been a Minivend company. Or perhaps I missed it.

    As far as I can tell, the only thing that happened here is that they hired the principal developers.

    "Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world..."
  • Wow, it's really nice to see a Minivend post on Slashdot...

    I work full time creating catalogs and database driven web pages using Minivend (and it's admin system, Minimate.) It's really a great program with lots of potential, and I encourage everyone to take a look.

    It is, however, very powerful. With power comes complexity, with flexibility a steep learning curve. It's taken me about a year to really get my mind wrapped around Minivend, but now that I have, I'm a much happier web programmer.

    Don't give up because its hard. If I can figure it out, so can you.

    nameless

  • Altruism is all very well, and many geeks will happily code for free, but would you like
    to explain it to my landlord and my catfood supplier too ?


    Forget about catfood supplier; try explaining it (or anything) to a cat:

    "Sorry kitty. I am out of food for you."

    Meow.

    "Really. I have no money to buy you food."

    Meow.

    "Stop looking at me like that. It won't get you any food."

    Meow. Meow.

    "I said stop it!!! I was not able to make enough money to buy both of us food, so
    you will just have to catch a mouse or something."

    MEOW. MEOW. MEOW. MEOW. MEOW. ...
  • "All output of this program is a derivative work of this program" would work in some cases. I don't really think it works well in the case of the GIMP, without other modifiers.

    Maybe "All output of this program is a derivative work of this program. If you release any modifications to the program that you have made, you are granted copyright over the derivative works."


    -Dave Turner.
  • Akopia bought the company Internet Robotics which is/was run by the creator of minivend. Now the creator of minivend will be able to spend much more of his time developing minivend (and it WILL stay GPL) and less time working on the mechanics of running a consulting business.
  • Not quite. If the company purchased the copyright to ALL the code in the program, they could release future versions under different licenses than the GPL -- even commercial ones.

    That will not affect older versions though. Once GPL'ed, always GPL'ed.
  • I can imagine pretty much any strange device would would (probably /dev/null too). I guess, in both cases (windows and linux), it causes strange responses in the browser from looking at a device instead of a file (since \con\con is just the dos equivalant of /dev/console). This would freak out software (ie Netscape) out that isn't designed to handle it.
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...

  • Well said in your comments about the GPL but your "BTW" parenthetical remark at the end is college boy relativism that dilutes the sensibleness of your preceeding comments. It's the ol', "murder doesn't _really_ matter because we all suffer and then eventually die anyway" disassociated notion. I only say this because I hate to see good comments swiped away by their author. Some things _do_ matter and affect us all. Now that I'm warmed up, though, I'd like people to question the popular use of the terms "moral" and "immoral" (they've been used in the mp3 debate extensively, for example) and consider using the terms "ethical" and "unethical" instead. The word "moral" refers to the Latin word for "custom" and has a status quo, even religious connotation to it in general use whereas "ethical" comes from the Greek word for character (ethos) and has more of a self-reflective connotation and encourage individuals to deliberately decide for themselves. Just because something is against the law doesn't make it wrong... or right, after all. We should decide for ourselves, but with a sense of social responsibility, how to conduct ourselves in the world. My point is this: aren't we trying to create a better future with different standards and practices than we now have? This has to address the real concerns of real people which aren't always about needing more "E" in their lives. How do we carry ourselves in the world; how do we treat each other; how do we formulate a sense of ourselves; what kind of world do we really want? One of the reasons why I like to read the forums on slashdot is because so many of you are asking these questions because you know that some things do matter. I really enjoy how often exactly that happens in forums like in slashdot and just want to encourage more of it. I hope my words are a useful drop in the ol' ocean.
  • What closed source software are your refering to? According to the Akopia web site - http://www.akopia.com/tallyman/get.html ------ Tallyman is released under the GPL. ------ Guess preview is there for a reason..
  • >>closed source hand's down. >
    Tallyman is released under the GPL.
  • I give up... :(
  • What about Apache, BIND, Sendmail (and Postfix, recently), and other open-source programs that are almost monopolies? It's a good thing we can't break up the Apache Group! They do have ~70% of HTTP server space, and Sendmail has ~80% of SMTP server market share, and BIND. Well, BIND has even more!

    And the GNU utilities!?! Where would you be without ls, cp, rm, mv, grep, and other such programs? Probably stuck using Windows(R)!

    Go read this file [cconcon] if you're stuck in Windows without a clue!

  • This will only benefit everyone involved, as there is no worry about the package staying free --- it must, or else we sue! ;-)

    Unless the development stalls BECAUSE it must remain free... the special case that GPL boosters always skip.

  • He was complaining about the inaccuracy in hemos' article, where he assumed that because Tallyman was commercial, therefore it == closed source.
  • Well, maybe right now, but you have to look to the future. Once Natalie Portman has been open-sourced, businesses will come in droves in order to do legitimate (well, mostly illegitimate, but there's bound to be some legitimate) business.

    BTW anyone know what licence Natalie Portman will be released under? Since there's only one of her (for the time being), this should be decided very carefully. Personally I'd vote for her being released into the public domain, but there are many consequences to consider.
  • Hmph... i think your link must be slashdotted... it keeps freezing up.

    I set up a mirror of it (for Linux users) here [devrandom].
    -legolas

    i've looked at love from both sides now. from win and lose, and still somehow...

  • Minivend is very cool. It's a daemon that creates dynamic web pages (especially shopping carts) from databases. It's written completely in perl which allows it to access virtually any popular database thanks to perl/DBI. Also, LDAP support is currently being integrated.

    Minivend is also very powerful. You can easily embed perl code direcly into a web page (ya I know you can do that with this-that-and-other.4.2 web package) but minivend also integrates that with a web based database editor and nearly every feature an ecommerce site would use. Things like automatic order routing, user accounts, integration with credit card verification services, support for discounts, coupons and quantity pricing, plus lots more (see the product info page [akopia.com]).

    Best of all, minivend is open source and will remain open source and will soon be merged with the tallyman site management interface.
  • Can someone buy a GPL program and then change the license agreement? Could someone close an open source project? Obviously the older source would be out, but can someone refuse to submit the newer stuff? Just wondering.
  • Weird. I've just spent the last few hours checking out various e-commerce solutions for various projects, and then this article pops up on Slashdot. Cool!

    I've been playing with OpenSales (www.opensales.org) this evening - but both MiniVend and OpenSales are Perl-based projects.

    Does anyone have any pointers for similarly-powerful e-commerce systems that are based on PHP? The reason I ask is that this would be easier for me to implement than a Perl-based system, given that I've already got a lot of PHP code for my catalogs and such.

    On a separate note, it's really cool to see these sorts of systems being built and released under the GPL. Definitely the way for a new economy and new industry to expand unhindered, imho.
  • by The_Messenger (110966) on Thursday June 15, 2000 @08:03PM (#998751) Homepage Journal
    Slashdot.org: Got a product? Have a press release? Can you type "open" and "source" in the same paragraph? Then get your free publicity at http://slashdot.org [slashdot.org]. Remember, Slashdot: because no one wants to have to pay for marketing!

    ----------///------------
    [phone rings, Hemos answers]

    Hemos: Hello?

    Joe Random Executive: Hi, is this Slashdot? I want some of this free publicity!

    Hemos: Well, you know our policy. Do you have a press release?

    Joe Random Executive: Yep!

    Hemos: Does it contain the words "open" and "source?"

    Joe Random Executive: Yep!

    Hemos: Fine. Just e-mail me the name of your company and your website URL. I'll have it up tomorrow morning, under a random topic.

    Joe Random Executive: Fine, just don't put it in the BSD section! No one reads that!

    Hemos: Yeah, alright. BSD sure sucks, huh?

    Joe Random Executive: It sure does!

    Hemos: What a bunch of losers...

    Joe Random Executive: Yeah, yeah... gotta run, m'kay? Thanks for the advertis -- I mean, Open Source announcements. Ciao!

    Hemos: Whatever. Later.

    [hangs up phone]

    [time passes...]

    [the next morning...]

    Slashdot, top story, under the "Linux" icon:

    Open-Source Annoucement!
    Posted by Hemos on Friday, June 16 @6:30AM
    from the blah-blah-blah dept

    Hey, ESR just told me about this great new product, from Microsoft! Here's a quote from their website: "Microsoft is your source for products which open up new doors for your business." Wow, sounds cool! Check out their website [microsoft.com] .

    CmdrTaco (voice of Ricky Ricardo): Heemooooooooos!!!

    Hemos: Oh, shit... I forget the Golden Rule: never mix a poor editorial decision-making process with grain alcohol!

    ---------///----------

  • Actualy, he was replying to his own post due to formatting issues.

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