Google has made it clear that it wants a faster web. Faster web means more indexing, more data for them, but everyone benefits (even if there's a don't-be-evil to contend with)
Google has open sourced an Apache server module designed to speed website performance. Presumably, the module is based on the mystery Google Web Server the company uses to serve its own pages. Known as "mod_pagespeed," the Apache module speeds performance "on the fly" in 15 separate ways, which include optimizing page caching …
Isn't Apache licensed under the GPL? And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL software must also be released under the GPL? So - does this mean that Google were in violation of the licence by not releasing the source code to the modification?
Technically this point is moot now that they have actually released the source, but one wonders what other GPL software they've made changes to and aren't releasing the source in violation of the licence.
Has the GPL actually been tested in court yet? I wonder if the FSF has the cash and stones to tackle a company as big as Google on this issue...
Whilst thankfully not a lawyer, I think the GPL release requirement only applies if they sell a product containing it, and I guess they are careful to only provide services using it. (So I wonder what they use in the Google Search Appliance - that surely is a product - 'Tivo' anyone?)
the specific phrasing is "distribute" which includes free distribution of said code. But as you noted, they haven't distributed the code outside their organization, so it would be in compliance with the license. The code they are distributing has been released as required under the license.
Basically you just described the main push behind GPL version 3 which would basically require any public web software as a service source code to be released (as well as stop Novell patent protection grabs). Google has exploited the loophole in GPL version 2 that doesn't require them to release their software because technically they are not distributing their software to the public just allowing the public to run it on Googles servers.
The gpl license requires that you provide source code with any binary, and allow further modifications.
Since any binaries stay firmly within Google-land, there is no requirement to distribute the source to anyone.
And in any case, Apache HTTPD use the _Apache_ license, which has no modified source distribution clauses.
So Google can do whatever the hell they want with it.
I rose to the trolling..... am I going to hell?
Isn't Apache licensed under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL software must also be released under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
So - does this mean that Google were in violation of the licence by not releasing the source code to the modification? - Not by a long shot.
what other GPL software they've made changes to and aren't releasing the source in violation of the licence. - Not by a long shot.
Has the GPL actually been tested in court yet? - Several times over.
I wonder if the FSF has the cash and stones to tackle a company as big as Google on this issue -- Does it need to? I mean, according to someone who actually knows at least a tiny tiny tiny bit about this subject?
This is the most entertaining post I've read in weeks. Incredibly misinformed person using charmingly assertive and confident tone, almost fooling the unalert. You must be an Oracle salesperson.
> And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL
> software must also be released under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
He was wrong on this ( technically ), but he wasn't wrong by a long shot. He was wrong in that modifications to GPL software don't have to be distributed, which paved the way for the ASP loophole.
He was kinda right though, in that any releases, or redistribution made can only be done under the terms of the GPL.
Short version: NO It's not GPL licenced, it's GPL _compatible_ they are not the same thing.
Long version: jees, kids today, I modded you down because the licence for apache is a very easy thing to find if you use google.
it wouldn't have hurt you to look......
The source is right there on the googlecode page for it. However, what end users care about is that they don't need to compile it for their OS, but just download the mod and drop it somewhere that apache can see it, and immediately get to use it.
"I suppose the source code is there if you look very hard but certainly not on the downloads page."
Click link in article. Three tabs across from "Downloads" (which you presumably clicked first) is "Source", including a public, open svn repo that you can download the source from. Downloads generally means "user downloads" which means binaries. Source is ALWAYS somewhere slightly different and I don't think the bog-standard Google-code tab for "Source" is hard to find even if you've never been there before.
My google-code projects look identical, for example, and nobody's ever complained that they couldn't find the source.
> Can't wait to use the new mod. Will it spy on me ? Steal my passwords ? Will it tell Google when I am having a poo ? That seems to be the main thrust of Google these days. You almost expect any Google product to have some built in surveillance function. All your privacy belong to us.
This is a mod for a web server, what privacy is there when you're hosting a public website anyway?
"what privacy is there when you're hosting a public website anyway?"
Website visitor statistics and monitoring.
Something that Google has been keen to find out as much as possible about in the past, what with monitoring clicks on its search engine, adsense on websites, offering google analytics to websites, offering the google toolbar to users, offering the Chrome browser to users, etc - all of which help google monitor who is visiting what website. That's the privacy area that is worth checking with this new release of code.
> Will it spy on me ? Steal my passwords?
Why don't you take a look and find out?
This is one of the major strengths of Open Source software - if you have concerns, you have both the right and the capability to inspect the source code. If it doesn't do exactly what you want, Free Software (which this is) gives you the right to change it so that it does.
> You almost expect any Google product to have some built in surveillance function.
If it does - take it out.
> All your privacy belong to us.
All your privacy belong to whomever you give it to. If you look after it yourself, that could be you...
Yes, I know how open source works. I was using humour to say something about the evolving nature of Google. They want to be seen as a benevolent provider of free info toys. But like any other company, they simply want to maximize profit. And their profit depends on targeted advertizing, and for that they need a very big, very accurate database. What's in the database ? You are. Their main business driver is to find out more about you and your family. And many of the free toys help them do that.
This mod seems good and I might use it. If it sends covert messages to Google about me, I would be annoyed but not actually surprised.
LOL, the download page says:
"Web developers that would like to evaluate the performance of their web page to improve them should download the extension.
Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and higher: download from Mozilla
Firebug Firefox Add-on 1.5.3 and higher: download from Mozilla"
Erm, so there's no Chromium extension from Google? Instead go download their competitor's browser.
I tried the apache mod on my test server and it does seem to make a significant difference.
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