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SugarCRM 6 Released, But Is It Open Source? 357

Posted by kdawson
from the depends-what-the-meaning-of-open-is dept.
darthcamaro writes "SugarCRM markets itself as a professional open source company and this week released version 6 of its Sugar platform. But the main new feature is a new user interface that isn't available to users of the community version — it's only available to paying users. No they don't claim to be open core either, they claim it's all open source, even if you have to pay for it. '"Open source doesn't mean free and was never really meant to mean free," Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM, said. "Open source runs through everything we do, it enables us to be transparent and gives customers more power. We are an open source company and it's why we're better than proprietary companies."'"
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SugarCRM 6 Released, But Is It Open Source?

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  • He's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iplayfast (166447) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:58AM (#32896356)

    There's nothing about open source that means no cost.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178)

      Not directly.
      But (AFAIK) if you pay for an open source (as OSI defines it) product, you are allowed to copy and give it away at no cost.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        Not directly.
        But (AFAIK) if you pay for an open source (as OSI defines it) product, you are allowed to copy and give it away at no cost.

        That depends upon the license used. With the GPL and BSD, then you're absolutely right.

        However, there could be an open source license that doesn't allow this. Find a counter-example is left as a problem for the reader.

        • Re:He's right (Score:4, Insightful)

          by shaitand (626655) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:44AM (#32896548) Journal

          If there were it wouldn't be open source. Anything that would prevent this would prevent you from modifying and distributing your modified version. That is the core of open source and without that ability a license isn't open source.

          • by BigDXLT (1218924)
            I think the trouble is in overloading the term "open". It's certainly not closed source. Someone witty from marketing should come up with a name for these semi-open source licenses. Paid source, perhaps?
          • Re:He's right (Score:5, Informative)

            by h4rm0ny (722443) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:20AM (#32896692) Journal

            Has anyone here actually read the article (I know, stupid assumption). SugarCRM has a dual licence. There's a "Community Edition" and a "Professional Edition" (also an Enterprise Edition, but that's not different from Professional - it's just the support offers sort of thing as far as I recall).

            Now the Professional Version is obviously not "closed source" because it's a great sprawling PHP application so they have to give you the source. But that doesn't make it "Free Software". It requires a licence on a per user basis. In contrast, the Community Version is what we call "Badgeware". You can download it free, you can deploy it free with whatever users you like and you're free to make and distribute plugins and such for it. But you can't remove the SugarCRM logo and weblink for example. (In fact, there are some amusing little attempts to prevent people from doing that in the code, e.g. the legal notice that comes up if you alter the SugarCRM image doesn't appear as text in the files, but encoded as base64).

            Anyway, there's an open sourcish community around the Community Edition that write tools for it. But, IMO, the whole thing doesn't feel very open sourcey. What it comes down to is not an issue of programming, so much as it comes down to business needs. SugarCRM has a system of "modules" - pluggable business entities such as Contacts, Product Lists, Accounts, etc. The great big difference between the Community and Professional versions is that the Professional version comes with additional modules. And for most businesses (I would say), they're modules that you really need. There are various other bits and pieces like the Professional Edition supports workflows whereas the Community Edition does not.

            What it comes down to, is that SugarCRM has a community edition which serves as a good bit of PR, a hook to get in new users and a source of occasional free bug-fixes. But most serious businesses - the ones who actually are potential customers - will end up needing the features of the non-Free Professional Edition. There are attempts to replicate some of what the Professional Edition does in the Community one, but from what I've seen they don't really compare and of course the company itself isn't helping much because primarily they want people to buy the Professional Edition to get those features. Their forums are also littered with unanswered technical questions. If you're a paying customer and you file a support request with them, you get fixes (in my limited experience with them), but if you're a Community type asking questions on the forums, you take your chances. It would also be pretty difficult to make any substantial changes to the code base because you're always tailing the Professional Edition which SugarCRM control. So if you write a wonderful new thing for it (the do-it-yourself Open Source way), expect there to be a good chance that it will be incompatible shortly.

            I actually quite like the model of a free version of software and then a paid-for pro version with extra coolness. It's a model that works well. But when you combine that with Open Source, it becomes a little more dubious (maybe) because there's the possibility that you use the name of Open Source but create a system where in practice, people can't meaningfully participate and it's primarily a hook into the paid version. This is where I feel SugarCRM are. I have no doubt that there are people using the Community Edition for business purposes, but I think what I describe is the bird's eye view of the situation.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by AlXtreme (223728)

              ie. they use the "open core" model like what the submitter hinted at: have an open source portion of your system but for any practical use you need to buy the 'professional edition'.

              El reg had a small discussion about this a while back due to in part this blog post [ebb.org].

              IMHO this is a business/marketing decision that will alienate open source fans. I have had to use similarly-licensed software in the past, don't think I'll actively pitch in with new features or submit bugreports for either the open or licensed v

            • I actually quite like the model of a free version of software and then a paid-for pro version with extra coolness. It's a model that works well. But when you combine that with Open Source, it becomes a little more dubious (maybe) because there's the possibility that you use the name of Open Source but create a system where in practice, people can't meaningfully participate and it's primarily a hook into the paid version. This is where I feel SugarCRM are. I have no doubt that there are people using the Community Edition for business purposes, but I think what I describe is the bird's eye view of the situation.

              Although I agree with you about the model of a free version of software and then a paid-for pro version, it never works out in practice. Just look at Star Office and the mess it caused when people tried to commit patches to Open Office. Sun would require the patchers to give them copyright on the code, and very few would do that, hence go-oo was born. Oracle is making an even bigger mess of it, even though Star Office has been dropped and is now part of Open Office.

              About the only good implementation is Red

            • Re:He's right (Score:5, Insightful)

              by hey! (33014) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @08:32AM (#32898340) Homepage Journal

              I actually installed the community edition of SugarCRM a few years ago. My take on it is that it's got the right problem (a big, big, big part of creating a great piece of software), but that the system design and implementation is painfully amateurish. The database schema was an incoherent joke, the code meandering, verbose and inarticulate. There's no reason for code (even PHP) to be that bad.

              Obviously a huge amount of work went into the thing. The kind of work you do when you've got a poorly thought out system and real customers to satisfy. The thing about that kind of work is that if you hack away at a system long enough *in response to customer needs*, eventually it will fill those needs fairly well. Being badly engineered doesn't preclude providing value to users. We certainly found it useful, but whenever I had to fix a bug or tweak something, I was constantly amazed that the system worked at all.

              Now we all know there are two schools of thought about software development: the incrementalist (make the software work even if it is ugly) and the purist (make it elegant even if you have to rewrite it). The reason these two schools persist is that they are both right in different situations. There are times you have to live with less than elegant, and times when you have to bite the bullet and do major rewrites. I think most successful programmers balance these impulses, tidying up and refactoring as they fix bugs and meet customer's needs. The sign of a skillful programmer is that the more he works on a body of code, the simpler and more elegant it becomes. But when you have a gawdawful mess like SugarCRM, it makes no sense to invest anything more than occasional trivial effort unless you're willing to commit to a complete fork. You'd have to do major refactoring unless you were willing to spend all your time hacking your way through cruft, and the SugarCRM folks probably wouldn't because they actually understand all that unnecessary complexity.

              Overall I'd say that SugarCRM is a useful, but mediocre piece of software. If you can live with its limitations, it is an asset, particularly in a small business where you have to introduce management to the novel concept of CRM before getting them to part with money. SugarCRM is not much of an asset to F/OSS, because it's not likely to attract many talented contributors to the core system, yet discourages them from developing competing solutions because it is "good enough" for not-too-demanding users.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by rsborg (111459)

                Overall I'd say that SugarCRM is a useful, but mediocre piece of software. If you can live with its limitations, it is an asset, particularly in a small business

                Quite an insightful and valid assessment, as I have worked on it. The major work I ended up doing aside from configuring the basic objects involved lots and LOTS of jQuery to make the UI more responsive and add in non-Sugar JS widgets (which were fed json with a seperate data model layer I wrote myself). Overall, this suite really pales in compar

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by RoFLKOPTr (1294290)

            If there were it wouldn't be open source. Anything that would prevent this would prevent you from modifying and distributing your modified version. That is the core of open source and without that ability a license isn't open source.

            The term "open" means the source is open for you to view and perhaps compile for yourself. That's it. The problem with today's open source movement is that people now automatically assume that because something is open source, it must be free. There's more benefit to being open source than just being free. You can view the source and see exactly what's powering the program, run your own audits, find your own bugs, and make sure that what's running on your machine is exactly and only what you want running on

            • Wrong. "Open Source" is defined by the OSI and besides letting you view the source, it must let you distribute it for free.

              http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd [opensource.org]

        • by Eivind (15695)

          There cannot be a counterexample, not if you use the conventional definition of "Open Source". The two common definitions for that, is the one from the Open Source Initiative, which states as one of the 4 freedoms that must be guaranteed for a license to qualify as open source that: (and I quote)

          "The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not requi

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            Note my above comments that have all been unfortunately marked "troll" or more accurately should have been marked "rules lawyer".

            I can produce a license that the OSI would approve that does not allow for the immediate action that I objected to right here: buying the original, taking the source code, and redistributing it singularly... without any modification or derivative work.

            • I can produce a license that the OSI would approve that does not allow for the immediate action that I objected to right here: buying the original, taking the source code, and redistributing it singularly... without any modification or derivative work.

              I don't think you can. Feel free to try though. OSI is not bound to your reading of their definition - or any other outsider's reading of it for that matter, and they can ignore obviously unintentional loopholes, or amend the definition to close them if they choose.

  • Well.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ak_hepcat (468765) <leif@d[ ]li.net ['ena' in gap]> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:00AM (#32896362) Homepage Journal

    Sure, if it's open source, then one paying customer can take the source and fork it back out to everybody else for gratis.

    That's what open source means.

    Trying to disguise commercially licensed software as open source is setting yourself up for failure.

    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      Yes, the community edition is AGPL, but they dont say anything about what license the Pro/Enterprise versions are.

    • by glob (23034)
      > Sure, if it's open source, then one paying customer can take the source and fork it back out to everybody else for gratis

      correct; mysql have the same business model, and there are places [provenscaling.com] where you can legally grab the enterprise editions.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Sort of. MySQL has a really interesting clause in the community edition, you are not allowed to bundle the database with 3rd party applications. If we wanted to use MySQL and package it with our Point of Sale software, the cost is $500 per install last time I checked. (That was with Sun, god only knows with Oracle). Hence this was one of many reasons we elected to go with PostgreSQL as part of our installation.

        • by statusbar (314703)

          So does that mean that mysql is not open source as per the osi definition clause 1!

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by vrt3 (62368)

            As I understand it, the problem is not with the database but with the client library. That library is dual-licensed GPL and something proprietary. There's no problem if you use that library in a GPL application, but otherwise you have to use the proprietary-licensed version. Which costs money.

            If I'm right, you could work around the problem by writing your own client library (I have no idea how difficult that would be) and using that instead of theirs.

      • by molecular (311632)

        that's why monty eventually quit sun and made MariaDB

    • Re:Well.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:05AM (#32896638)

      Depends, things like PA-DSS and HIPPA suddenly can throw a monkey wrench into things. We forked an opensource project with the goal of getting it PA-DSS certified so we could use it to continue processing credit cards after July 1st of this year. We've done the audit and now just waiting for the paperwork to go through to get it listed as "certified" software. However, only versions signed and distributed by our organization is certified. Like SugarCRM, we only give out the code to customers who are paying for support contracts.

      They are free to download the code and they could even compile and use the code in house and be okay under PCI-DSS. However the monkey wrench comes if they decided to compile the application and then distribute their version to other parties. Technically those 3rd parties would not be able to use the software to process credit cards since the version would not be "PA-DSS certified". And while the software would still be functional, if you used the uncertified version to process credit cards, then one could lose their merchant account. And processing credit cards is a MAJOR feature of the product and too risky for a lot of businesses to consider using it without that certification.

      So while one could have all the source code, the source code without the "PA-DSS Certification" certificate doesn't do folks much good in practice.

      Magento is doing something similar. Only their "Enterprise" version is PA-DSS certified. The Community Edition is not. And I suspect we're going to start to see more of this as time goes forward. I'm not saying it will be impossible to do it, but it is extremely hard. PA-DSS certification requires a lot of documentation and about $25k up front to pay for auditing, the PCI-SSC, and the best part is the validation is only good for 3 years. That's either a lot of community donations or someone bank rolling the operation.

    • No, that's if it's GPL. If it's Open Source, it means that each customer can dick around with the source themselves, and don't have to rely on their vendor to do it. That's what Open Source is - you get the product, you get the code too. IIRC, that's what started Stallman's crusade - he got a binary blob of a printer driver that sucked, and he couldn't fix it 'cause he didn't have the code.

      Now, the most popular Open Source licenses (GPL, BSD, etc) don't work that way. BSD puts no restrictions on distributio

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gbjbaanb (229885)

      then one paying customer can take the source and fork it back out to everybody else for gratis.

      And that's vTiger [vtiger.com], see a comparative review [taragana.com] between the two.

  • Open source (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Eric Smith (4379) <<moc.ahahuorb> <ta> <cire>> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:00AM (#32896368) Homepage Journal
    They only give the source to paying customers. But do they prevent those paying customers from redistributing the source? If not, then it really is open source. Nothing about open source requires that owner of the code give it out to everyone, but if there are restrictions on redistribution, it's not open source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by emurphy42 (631808)
      A bit of poking around indicates that the community edition is released under GPL v3 and the paid edition is released under this [sugarcrm.com] variation of the Mozilla PL. Someone want to dig through it and work it out?
      • Re:Open source (Score:4, Interesting)

        by snowgirl (978879) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:48AM (#32896570) Journal

        A bit of poking around indicates that the community edition is released under GPL v3 and the paid edition is released under this [sugarcrm.com] variation of the Mozilla PL. Someone want to dig through it and work it out?

        *reads reads reads*

        Section 2.1, and Section 2.2 pretty much say you can distribute the original code with or without modification indiscriminately. ... So... yeah, one should be able to simply buy it once and then "fork" it from the original and provide it free.

        • You maybe able to fork it, but you can't call it SugarCRM or use their artwork. Same thing with FireFox, OpenbravoERP, or anything else using a Mozilla style license.

          • by snowgirl (978879)

            You maybe able to fork it, but you can't call it SugarCRM or use their artwork. Same thing with FireFox, OpenbravoERP, or anything else using a Mozilla style license.

            That's typically trademark issues, etc. If there is no modification involved at all, there's no actionable offense for a trademark claim... you're simply redistributing their product. Their trademark is still being applied solely to their product, nothing more, nothing less.

          • by jimicus (737525)

            I don't see how that's drastically different from CentOS.

            Sure, you can use the free version of a "popular mainstream distro" (as the CentOS project describes it) but enough people are prepared to pay for support that CentOS hasn't yet driven RedHat out of business.

            • by lakeland (218447)

              Right, from what I read it's exactly like CentOS vs RHEL. Whether that's open source or open core comes down to definitions more than anything.

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          It's what Bruce Shneider terms "Badgeware" (afaik, the term originates with him). You're not entirely free to do what you want with it. You have to keep the SugarCRM logo and link in there unaltered and unadjusted. In practice this means you have to stick with their UI and you'll always have a big old footer at the bottom with their logo.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hweimer (709734)

        A bit of poking around indicates that the community edition is released under GPL v3 and the paid edition is released under this [sugarcrm.com] variation of the Mozilla PL. Someone want to dig through it and work it out?

        The Pro edition is being licensed under a proprietary EULA [sugarcrm.com], which even contains Bitkeeper-like non-competition clauses regarding the community edition. It that sense it is even worse than MS-EULA, which at least allows you to mess around with the few open source components Microsoft has released.

    • Re:Open source (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jamesh (87723) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:38AM (#32896530)

      "open source" is one of those terms made up of two words who's meaning appears to be redefinable to suit the needs of any given agenda. That's why terms like 'GPL' and 'BSD' are more useful as they define what the terms of the 'openness" are. On slashdot "open source" and "GPL" are mostly synonymous but not necessarily in some industries.

      but if there are restrictions on redistribution, it's not open source.

      Well even GPL fails at that. It places the restriction that if you distribute the binary then you must make the source available too. That's kind of the opposite kind of restriction to what you were saying but it's still a restriction in that it limits your freedom to do what you want with the code, but only in as far as you can't deny others the freedom you were granted, which is widely considered to be a good restriction.

      Even Microsoft open their source to various organisations (academic mostly). I think they don't ever refer to it as "open source" though but "shared source" instead, so I guess they are off the hook.

  • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte@drunksnipe r s .com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:22AM (#32896476) Homepage

    Can we please stop using "free" when we mean "gratis". You know, when something doesn't cost anything. "free" is too ambiguous.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by iamnobody2 (859379)
      or how 'bout we use "open" instead of free. "free" is too ambiguous. (i'd much rather use free as gratis then free as in open)
      • i'd much rather use free as gratis then free as in open

        FYI, "Free Tibet" doesn't mean what you think it means.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      "free" is too ambiguous.

      And therein lies the fun :)

    • The problem is that English (at least as it's commonly spoken) doesn't have different words so as to distinguish between "libre" and "gratis". So while "gratis" does have English origins (IIRC), no one uses it.

      Put more simply, it would be like expecting the French to have an equivalent for "entrepreneur".

    • Not funny, he has a point. There is Libre and Gratis. Libre is generally what people think in terms of GPL (sorta) or BSD licensed software (more BSD/MIT) that you are free to modify and do what you want with the source code. Gratis would be free in terms of no money needed. It's free as in Frankly GPL probably falls under the Gratis category the more I think about it because there are restrictions.

      Or in simple terms: Libre = Free as in speech/do what you want, Gratis = free as in beer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      Can we please stop using "free" when we mean "gratis". You know, when something doesn't cost anything. "free" is too ambiguous.

      How about we stop using "free" to mean "restricted by a particular set of rules that I happen to agree with", since that's a vastly less honest equation ?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dotancohen (1015143)

        Who modding this as troll? It is exactly what I intended to post. "Free" means "without cost" no matter who has hijacked the term or what contingencies they associate with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by leenks (906881)

          "You are free to go" / "You are free to duplicate this"
          "This item is free"

          All have similar meanings, ie there is not "cost" involved (of whatever kind - monetary, legal, ...), but the currency of "cost" is different in each case.

          Nobody hijacked anything. English has been this way for a long time.

  • "Open source doesn't mean free and was never really meant to mean free," Martin Schneider, senior director of communications at SugarCRM, said. "Open source runs through everything we do, it enables us to be transparent and gives customers more power. We are an open source company and it's why we're better than proprietary companies."

    Translation: What "open source" apparently means to the Martin Schneiders of the world is freely given code and other contributions to THEIR product from others for which they

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:26AM (#32896494)

    Strong advocates of "open source" always talk about how having access to the source is a kind of freedom, and that's true. Personally, I would prefer if all software that I purchased came with the source code (and the means to rebuild it) - because this gives me the freedom to fix bugs or make enhancements myself (and also to pay someone else to do it, i.e. to avoid vendor lock-in). It's an important freedom to have, **but** it's a big jump to then say that not only should I have the freedom to see and modify the source, but I should be able to share the whole source - even the parts I didn't write myself - with anyone I want to, without permission from or kickbacks to the original author(s). That is certainly nice, but it's not a "freedom" so much as it is a privilege.

    Is the source "open" just because I have access to it along with the software...? I say it is. If I can also give it away to others then it's also "free", but that would be in the as-in-beer sense, not the as-in-speech sense.

    The main reason I often prefer "open source" software is because I, personally, get access to the source code - not because it's free in cost, but not either because everyone else "in the wild" can get it too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Requiem18th (742389)

      Wrong, to put it bluntly. You miss the point of software freedom/openness. Basically it's freedom from lock-in.

      Software freedom means freedom from lock-in. As long as the original vendor retains control about who runs the software, how the software is run and what the software can do then it lacks that *freedom*.

      Software openness is about distributed development/ownership of the software. Everybody is considered an author of the software even just potentially so and everyone can use it as they see fit, incl

  • It's not about the code, which looks to be covered under GPLv3. The artwork is probably just covered by copyright. Only paying customers get to use this. This is actually not that uncommon. With some other products you are required to buy a license if you want to change the branding/artwork. Doom/quake are open source, but you still need to pay for the content. Does the new GUI provide functionality the old one does not have?

  • Want open source? (Score:5, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:34AM (#32896516) Homepage Journal

    Check out vtiger [vtiger.com]

    SugarCRM has been guilty of decepting customers with their "open source" claims in the past. They originally released under a modified Mozilla public license (the Sugar Public License), with requirements that derivatives remove any and all SugarCRM branding. A few enterprising folks forked it to form vtiger, which supposedly led to SugarCRM threatening to file suit for actually exercising their rights outlined under the license, and the CEO publicly lambasting the vtiger folks for actually taking SugarCRM up on their offer extended by the original SPL.

    http://forums.vtiger.com/viewtopic.php?t=11 [vtiger.com]
    http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/rich-tehrani/crm/sugarcrm-vs-vtiger.html [tmcnet.com]
    http://developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=188554&cid=15541264 [slashdot.org]
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/is-sugarcrm-open-source/867 [zdnet.com]

    I've posted previously about sugar vs. vtiger before:
    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=223770&cid=18118754 [slashdot.org] (which drew out anti-F/OSS zealots and folks who didn't bother to read the licenses fully and obviously did not compare it to the previous SPL as it was originally written and released)

    Now, the SugarCRM folks may have updated their licensing to remove the restrictions about moving to the free/community edition after having used the "enterprise" edition but honestly those folks were so scummy when they threw a fit after folks actually exercised their rights to create a derivative project that I can't be bothered to check.

    Does vtiger functionality stack up well against SugarCRM's enterprise version? Not exactly. However, reverse is also true; vtiger offers some bells and whistles you don't get with Sugar - but in any event, vtiger does not use a license to try to restrict using your own data in another product.

    Don't get me wrong: SugarCRM is a pretty good product, but I don't like to use products made by companies which engage in deceptive practices, even when some of the product editions may be "free."

    • by bigsteve@dstc (140392) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:01AM (#32896620)
      Here's an excerpt from the current Evaluation License, copied from the SugarCRM website.

      Licensee shall not bifurcate the source code for any SugarCRM open source licensed products into a separately maintained source code repository so that development done on the original code requires manual work to be transferred to the forked software or so that the forked software starts to have features not present in the original software.

      That smells of "not open source" to me.

  • Just checked out the Wikipedia page for SugarCRM to find out what it is - the whole page is written like a marketing pamphlet where the drone that went and put the page together sat down with a thesaurus and changed literally every other word just to make the Wikipedia article sound fancier.
  • by ksandom (718283)
    that open source is simply that users have access to the source code. The license then defines what you are allowed/obligated to do with it. Making it freely available/redistributable to everyone works very well with open source since it's very hard to control who can use it and who can't. But as far as I'm aware, open source does not actually define what people can do with it. It's just saying that the source code is available to its users.
  • by Rsriram (51832) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:32AM (#32896994)

    Many commercial software developers provide their software along with the source code. But they do not qualify as "open source". If there is a restriction on forking the source code or maintaining it yourself, it is not open source.

    "Open Source" Software is different from "Source Available" software.

  • Free software is where you can take source and do mostly anything with it, including forking, releasing for free, incorporating in your commercial product and so on. (restrictions being often that it can't be made "not free", but little beyond that)

    Open Source is where you have access to the source code. Little is guaranteed beyond that. It may be only so that you are allowed to audit the code and nothing else. It may be that it's expensive add-on to inexpensive binary, and you are not allowed to redistribu

  • They should call it "visible source" in this case, because they only meet one of the two criteria generally associated with "open source":
    1.) source code is accessible (visible) CHECK
    2.) source code may be changed and redistributed NOCHECK
    "visible source" is still a lot better than "closed source"

    take Microsoft letting Russian authorities view (some of?) the Windows sources. That's not opensourcing windows, that's selectively visible-sourcing it.

  • You buy the product, you get all the code. All who have paid for the code can enjoy that access.
    Spread the code outside their closed community and its MS like lawyer time for you?
    Could it be called it a "source included company"? Your just seem to getting more more long term code support for your $ from day one.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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