GPLv3: Alive and Kicking!
By barton808 on Jun 29, 2007
Today at 12:00 noon (EDT), Richard Stallman and the Free Software
Foundation unleashed the GNU Public License version 3 to the world.
This license, the first update to the GPL since version two was
released over 15 years ago, represents 18 months of work and the input
of a multitude of individuals and organizations.
Input came from four committees or constituents:
Committee A: Industry Luminaries, B: Hight Tech companies (which Sun
was a part of), C: Public/Private users and D: the general public.
This input would then be reviewed by Richard Stallman, a revision was
drafted and a new version was released to the committees for
review. This loop was repeated three times with a little extra
tweaking at the end.
Visualize Whirled Peas
The transparency of this process was visually rendered on the web by overlaying color to the verbiage in the actual contract. Yellow represented areas that received relatively few comments and on the other end of the spectrum, red showed those areas where most people were adding input. This was further detailed with roll-over annotations that provided the actual comments.
Comments on draft 2
The GPLv3 process has been an impressive and inclusive one, intended on protecting the freedom of software by clarifying and updating the principles of Richard Stallman and the FSF. What will now be fascinating to watch is who adopts it, when and for what. As Simon says, there is no doubt that Sun will use GPLv3, but the questions that we still need to answer are for what and when. For those communities that Sun acts as the steward, such as Open JDK and OpenSolaris, the decision can not be rendered by fiat but must involve discussion by the communities themselves. This will take time.
But for now a big congratulations to Richard Stallman, Eben Moglen, Peter Brown and to everyone else who participated in the process of birthing the GNU Public License version 3. A toast to community, transparency and Free as in Freedom.
Pau for now...