spread: bad example of open source

The Spread toolkit is one of examples, where opensource project should better not exist. It is reliable multicast, it has APIs in multiple programming languages, and can provide message queueing facility you can run and forget. There’s even MySQL Message API based on it – you can use sync and async messaging between bunch of MySQL servers. Using Spread may give you lots of possibilities in deploying distributed system.

At Wikipedia’s content cluster we could use lots of synchronization based on Spread, but…

3. All advertising materials (including web pages) mentioning features or use
   of this software, or software that uses this software, must display the following
   acknowledgment:

   "This product uses software developed by Spread Concepts LLC for use in the Spread toolkit.
    For more information about Spread see http://www.spread.org"

That would mean that if we used Spread somewhere in cluster, we’d be showing adds for university project on every page (or at least that is what ‘must display’ sounds like). Of course, as some university project, it might want some advertisement, but I think it would get far more of it, if it was without viral advertisement clause – it is still the only framework of a kind out there.

Additional problem in such situation is that being half-free (or.. adware) it half-fills the need of proper messaging toolkit for community. Starting similar project when there’s Spread might not look attractive.. Of course, there’s always bunch of IRC servers – you would find lots of systems messaging needs efficiently implemented there, just without reliability and guarantees. But probably the best way would be simply asking Spread authors to release it under GPL or any other proper open source license? :)

3 thoughts on “spread: bad example of open source”

  1. There is nothing saying you need to use it.

    Just remember that spread is a old product, created when open source was still in it’s infancy. Hence the obscure licence.

    Spread is pretty innovative and fills a gap. If they chose not to release their work, the gap would still be there. So I am happy to have it out there, however oneurus the licencing is.

    and once again.. there is nothing stopping you writing your own,and imitaing spread if it displeases you so much.

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