Humble Bundle goes Open Source

The Humble Bundle of Indie games I mentioned before has raised over US$1m for the developers and charities involved. I read on Ars that the source code to several of the games will be open sourced. Doesn’t look World of Goo will follow suit but that game is available on Wiiware so it probably has proprietary extensions that might be too difficult to remove.

I’m not sure under what license each game will be released under but at least Lagaru is now GPLed which is a good thing IMO. I wonder if the original developer will attempt to monetize this in any way? That will make an interesting case study.

WordPress MU Catchup: big merge, wpmudev goes gpl and MU support

Exciting times in the world of WordPress and WordPress MU. Last weekend’s announcement by Matt that WordPress MU would merge into WordPress caused a flurry of activity and questions on twitter and on blogs, most notably with speculation that WordPress.org would run on MU and by jeffr0 who asked me on IRC what was happening.

Basically, the thin layer of code that allows WordPress MU to host multiple WordPress blogs will be merged into WordPress. I expect the WordPress MU project itself will come to an end because it won’t be needed any more (which saddens me), but on the other hand many more people will be working on that very same MU code which means more features and more bugfixes and faster too. It also means no more marathon code merging sessions. I certainly won’t miss that.

Meanwhile in the real world, there’s more merging to be done. WordPress 2.8 is expected next Wednesday and it has introduced fancy new stuff I haven’t finished fixing yet in WordPress MU. Expect an MU 2.8 beta sometime next week I hope.

In what I first thought was fabulous news, James Farmer has announced that WPMU DEV Premium has been relaunched. The site offered premium support for WordPress MU for a very long time. It also sold proprietary plugins which I’ve never agreed with (because of the conflict with WordPress) but now all plugins are GPL licensed.
Then I found out that you need to signup and pay a subscription fee to download them. I’m conflicted about it, because if I’m honest, while they’re sticking to the letter of the GPL, the spirit may be lacking.
So, should you signup there for a month, download all their plugins and upload them to WordPress.org? It’s tempting isn’t it? But no, you shouldn’t. This is real income for James, Andrew and company. If their plugins are uploaded elsewhere will they be updated? Will you signup for another month and grab them all again and upload each and every one to separate Subversion repositories? Will you provide support when things go wrong? I didn’t think so.
If it really bothers you that GPLed plugins are not available “free as in beer” then write your own and support it. It’s not something to be done lightly.

When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for this service if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs; and that you know you can do these things.

(GNU GPL v2.0)

Of course, WPMU DEV aren’t the only MU support people in town. Check out Ron & Andrea’s musupport.net and of course I recommend the Automattic Support Network where you’ll find me and the rest of Automattic.

Donncha's Tuesday Links

  • Senator David Norris reveals who his first crush was. Warning! graphic images! :) Yes, people do get paid to write such guff, and we lap it up!
  • European Consumer Centre Dublin launched Howard, a cute wide eyed owl who will help you shop online this year. Simply enter the url of the site you’ll be shopping at and they will present the following:
    1. When the website was registered/updated.
    2. The results of an Archive.org search.
    3. Official Company Register information about the company.
    4. The results of a Google search.
    5. If the website is a member of an e-commerce trustmark scheme.
    6. Trustmarks to look for in the country in question.
    7. The general limitation period in the country in question.
    8. The general cancellation period in the country in question.
    9. Examples of price comparison sites to look for in the country in question.
    10. Contact information to your national European Consumer Centre.

    I entered 7dayshop.com because of my previous experience with them but the only negative result was the lack of a Trustmark certificate. I’m glad the first link of the Google search points at my 7dayshop.com post. :)

  • Fellow Automatticer Alex Shiels talking at WordCamp Melbourne.
  • Want to see inside a datacenter? CIX Open Day on the 29th! Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll make it.
  • A really simple way of generating a thumbnail of your site. Finally, a use for Snap!
  • FSF release GNU Affero GPL to address using GPLed software on public servers. The GPL requires code to be distributed if the software is made public, but there’s a loophole. Code running on a web server is more like a service. The code stays on the server and therefore code does not have to be made public. GNU Affero GPL rectifies that problem. However, if WordPress was licensed under such a license anyone who uses it would have to release any modifications they make. Read the post for more details about why the loophole still exists in GPL 3.
  • <@J^raxis> Some people have some weird fetishes. Which is fine. Then they take photos of them, which is not.

    bash.org