30 Jul 2005

Towards a standard of Freedom

Facinating article by Benjamin Mako Hill. It makes cristal clear why I have been feeling a bit uneasy about the Creative Commons. It is clearly a very good things to have. But something was missing. In Towards a Standard of Freedom: Creative Commons and the Free Software Movement Mako explains what that missing thing is:

Free software advocates have been able to use the free software definition as the rallying point for a powerful social movement. Free software, like the concept of freedom in any freedom movement, is something that one can demand, something that one can protest for, and something that one can work toward. Working toward these goals, Free and Open Source Software movements have created the GNU/Linux operating system and billions of lines of freely available computer code.

For the CC founders and many of CC’s advocates, FOSS’s success is a source of inspiration. However, despite CC’s stated desire to learn from and build upon the example of the free software movement, CC sets no defined limits and promises no freedoms, no rights, and no fixed qualities. Free software’s success is built upon an ethical position. CC sets no such standard.


Just ran into mod_gcj by Hannes Wallnoefer. “mod_gcj aims to provide a way to serve dynamic java Web content that is closer to the Apache Httpd and the platform it runs on.” And it was originally based on some code from mod_mono:

Thanks go to the authors of mod_mono, Daniel Lopez Ridruejo and Gonzalo Paniagua Javuer, for allowing me to use their work to get started with mod_gcj. This has allowed me to get some useful code much faster than it would have been otherwise.

Who said there was no harmony between hackers? :)

I liked this explanation from their webpage:

The GCC compiler suite treats java as just another language that is compiled down to native code. Static compilation obviously is a nice fit for server applications, where code can immediately optimized for the platform without going through the intermediate bytecode level and than compiling the code at runtime.

Another benefit is that java code compiled with GCJ can be easily linked with other native resources and thus becomes much less isolated than java traditionally is, and more of an equal citizen of the platform it runs on. GCJ provides its own interface for coupling java code with C++ called CNI. In contrast to JNI, CNI is very sleek, performs well and is suiteble for use by ordinary people.