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Welcome to the LinuxFocus September/October 2004 issue

Is the GPL always the right license?
For software the GPL works well because it forces you to give back any changes and enhancements. In other words the software is free and you are free to change it but the price you pay is that you must make your improvements available. This causes the software to grow and improve over time.

For documentation that comes directly with the GPL software the FDL (Free documentation license) is the right license because it does the same things to documentation that the GPL does to software.

What about documentation that does usually not get updated? Well, there the GPL trick does not work because the feedback chain that brings back any enhancements does not exist.

LinuxFocus was distributed for several years under the FDL but the times are changing. As Linux becomes more and more important it attracts also the bad guys who try to abuse the system and make money without giving anything back. All you have to do is print the articles, tell everybody how good you are to help the open source community... and the money runs into your pocket. The real work is done by others. You only take and give nothing back. No new articles and no updates.

We like to have maximum freedom but we must stop those guys especially when they send you their "happy open source promotion mails" via MS-outlook.

creativecommons.org has a number of licenses which are designed to stop such exploits. They are still very free licenses but it is not the GPL. We have therefore changed our license. For almost all our readers there will be no change but anybody who tries to make profit will have to give something back.

-- Guido Socher

LinuxFocus.org Articles


Unix basics


System Administration

The LinuxFocus Tip

xv color editor
Replacing colors in the color-map of an indexed image

Gimp is one of the most powerful image editing programs but there is one thing that it can not do: Direct editing of the color map. You can do this with the good old xv program (http://www.trilon.com/xv/ and http://www.trilon.com/xv/downloads.html) Save your image as a gif file and open it with xv. Go to Windows->Color Editor. Now you can easily replace one color with any other color. Just select the color in the color-map and change it. In the example on the right we replace the blue window of this little house with a black one. Editing of the color-map is usually more exact than selections in gimp. In cases where the pixels in question are not next to each other it is the only way to change the color. Using selections in those cases would be almost impossible.

© 2004 LinuxFocus
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