I am new to Moodle, as you all know. My previous life included working with a couple of other LMSs, including Bb, over a long period of time.
Now, I research a lot, as you will also know...tis my job. I find it fascinating when I come across something....I am still working it all out...called Moodlerooms.
Moodlerooms.....I thought it meant chat rooms using Moodle...honestly now...I kid you not.
Then I read a bit more.....and my understanding is this:
Blackboard bought two previous Moodle partners....who remain quasi-partners with Moodle in my view...can't remember the names...as they have no relevance to me or the circles I engage with-globally.
However, my understanding is, that when I used to use Bb....it looked and performed differently to that of what is being 'sold' now (UI, UX TO SAY THE LEAST-I avoid detail at this juncture).
So it goes....if Moodlerooms have access to all of the Moodle Git and whatever else still-as Moodle quasi- partners....this informs Bb reign business plan-right?
Well.... I concur...from the evidence on the net...and there is plenty of it...and from others across the globe...that Moodle and its innovative impact also feeds a private enterprise that makes money off the back of others' inventive and innovative ideas and hard work...now I may sound like a
Indeed, I think, quite often, I should have joined the circus....but, am I the only one seeing this?
The time is now right to present a demarcation between Moodle as an OS project and its affordances for educational development in view of the research I have stumbled across about Bb, I think, and what I have boldly outlined above.
I could be wrong....that is a rare thing by the way....
Mod-on and peace!
sorry, I struggle with passwords, names, and other simple stuff...can tell you about the intricacies of theory...but I must add...I am aware that staff from MR frequent these forums, such as Mr Jason Hardhead...and I want to say, my views are based on logic...
that is all.
crumbs! Sorry for seeing things differently.
Dawn, I definitely agree
that Moodle and its innovative impact also feeds a private enterprise that makes money off the back of others' inventive and innovative ideas and hard work.
is certainly the way it has been for centuries now. It is called "progress". Ever read "Jurassic Park"? Ian Malcolm describes it perfectly, "It is attained without discipline, you stand on the backs of giants and accomplish something quickly. You patent it and sell it to get rich quick and you don't even know what you have done." (I am quoting from memory, so please forgive me it won't be entirely accurate but the sentiment is true.) Everything we have built is a layer on top of what has gone before. There is a lot that is innovative, but very little that is original.
Have a look at how Ardrenna has done it, even more blatantly and they are not even honest enough to admit it even though their web site screams of it.
How you would go about making a demarcation point between products, mmm I have no idea. Also, if we were to trace Moodle back, how much of it could someone from WebCT for example say "Oh that idea is from WebCT". I have often remarked myself that the Moodle UI is still a reflection of PHP Nuke and/or PostNuke, which, I suspect, forms the conceptual base of both Joomla and Drupal.
Having said that, the discussion about the future of YUI, to which you have contributed as well, suggests it is possible to modularize in a manner that would make it clear where the source code came from in any project. Really though, I don't know enough to make that actually work.
In the end though, that is the nature of Open Source. Think also about this, 1912 saw Michel Duchamps' "Nude Descending a Staircase
No. 2" publicly exhibited and some sixty-seventy years later, Coca Cola are using the same concept in a rather successful ad campaign for them. Duchamps probably never considered how he would influence the future of advertising, so it is unlikely there is ever anything really new and original.
"that Moodle and its innovative impact also feeds a private enterprise that makes money off the back of others' inventive and innovative ideas and hard work."
My view is that if people can make money of the inventive and innovative ideas of others while not restricting the four freedoms that are the basis of the GPL License
- the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
- the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
- the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
- the freedom to share the changes you make.
Then congratulations to them. If I see Mr Dougiamas driving a Bently up the drive of his mansion, smoking a big cigar and wearing a top hat then well done him (this is an unlikely scenario by the way).
In summary, it is important to understand the GPL license was never designed to prevent other people making money from your code (or its maintenance).
Remember also that as an 'official' partner, Moodlerooms puts 10% of the company profits back into moodle HQ. And having had a very detailed quote from them when we were asked to look at the cost of moving our moodle offsite, plus knowing they have big customers with similar user base sizes to ours, I'm pretty sure their contribution to moodle HQ is hefty.
And there's other moodle partners who flash up on this website, a couple of whom I've had sales calls from.
I see. Well it is clear now. I must say, it all appeared somewhat baffling though. GPL, OK....makes sense too.
I think it was worth raising the confusion though, certainly in terms of the user, you know info on the web can be interpreted in many ways. So, now it is crystal clear.
re: Bentley driving....the last time I saw one of those was on a visit in LA. And guess what....the private plate stated.....Johnny1-0mates.
everyone needs to eat and pay bills.
to put a different spin on open source. a lot of folks / companies spinning there wheels re-inventing the wheel over and over again. and instead of wasting a bunch of time and money re-inventing it all over again for each company. folks came together. instead of a full design team that cost more than business. now a business puts out a little bit a cash with a bunch of other businesses and they work together for a common cause. and share the work load. that may work for some common things. but there is more to it than that... as things get more and more complex... having scattered stuff all over the place does not help but at times hinder issues. having a centralized set of folks keeps things moving along. and creating a better how do i want to say it. cleaner mess and gives order to it... but there is yet another issue... in order for things to keep growing. how do you let others in, to allow things to grow... open source code. with GPL. it gives ability for things to grow.
open source is a business model. it is not "free" but rather what makes sense. granted now that i have said that... i have a bad taste in my mouth. but *shrugs*. and i would much rather go with what other's have said. they give a much better lime light to it all.
on another note. just because it is open source. does not mean folks need training, a person to call up and ask questions and get direct feedback on time. and have issues fixed, along with dealing with hardware and operating system software, someone that speaks local language. someone that knows the software. i would imagine a moodle partner has a much bigger plate to deal with, going into a school and dealing with multi type of software. does not matter if LMS or operating systems, to database software to other. if there clients have the software they need to be able to know it and deal with it.
mmmm.....I think I see what you are saying Ryan.
So, we have chocolate bar A and chocolate bar B, two products.
The business surrounding Chocolate bar A is designed and informed by open source stuff. The business surrounding Chocolate bar B can be designed with the same open source stuff. In the making of Chocolate bar A, a lot of stuff is shared by putting that stuff into the OS git hub.....and in the making of Chocolate bar B GPL says stuff can be used from that same Git. Now, in the making of Chocolate bar B, stuff from that also goes into GIT? No. That is the bit I was confused about-got that bit now. So, the other way is the 10% contribution to the makers of chocolate bar A, and the sharing of Chocolate bar A's GIT stuff.
Well that is clear to me, yes. I understand.
Business models are not one of my strong-points.... How on earth did we get to this.....drained brain now!
To me, Dawn, this seems to me to be a very common misinterpretation of some fundamental concepts around the Western Business Models. Traditionally, the WBM has profit at its core, The Open Source Model is, to me, not the antithesis of that, but it places product and costs at core, and profit is displaced. We are all used to the cost+ of the WBM and Open Source, which is very different, is something confusing to us. Richard Stallman takes that one step further and says there is a difference between Open Source and Free Software that is just as great. Open Source is, and never has been, free. Stallman's definition of Free Software is precisely that, unencumbered with even the GPL. The problem with that idea is that one of the main structures of Western economic structure, intellectual property rights, are non-existent. This is the old Chinese approach, everyone keeps everything to themselves until they are undermined by their own success, not a good model I suggest. Stallman's approach sounds good, but it is a nightmare in waiting I suspect. But even in his evangelical ardor, Stallman still acknowledges that someone can still make money out of Free Software, as long as they do not deny others the ability to do the same.
Free software (as defined by the GPL) is inherently Open Source, but Open Source is not necessarily Free (as in Libre or Liberty defined in the GPL).
I believe Mr Stallman has never been interested in restricting the ability to make money from software, just in ensuring the freedoms of the user. Most software is written "in house" and the issue of its sale using restrictive copyright licenses never arises.
The difference between Free Software as defined by the GPL and Open Source Software as defined by the Open Source Initiative is hair splitting for the non-ideologist aka pragmatist. But exactly those people get entangled in this debate and miss the big picture.
Well, I myself have spent too much time in this discussion. Recently I took a different approach: I tried to summarize the story of Free and Open Source Software and the story of Unix/Linux for the future pragmatic Linuxers. Naturally, it was done in Moodle and supposed to be an example of certain features of Moodle. If anybody is interested, its first trial is open for guest access till 1 March at https://feels.pdn.ac.lk/course/view.php?id=345. (You can't participate, nor open the assignments 2 and 3, the course is for a closed group.)
Just wondering, can anyone help me to understand this:
- http://www.moodlerooms.com -> personalized learning designer (exclusive to moodlerooms)
- TIP: google **moodlerooms personalized learning designer** for images, manual, and other info on it.
in view of the discussions across this thread.
*bump*...anyone?....PLD.....on Git...where? Still looking.....wandering aimlessly....should I contact Bb? Would they know do you think? mmmmmmmm
Moodlerooms aren't required to publish their code on git anywhere publicly - the GPL rules don't require this. This is common practice with a number of "distributions" of Moodle for example Totara only recently publishing their seedlings release publicly. (although the code has always been completely available directly to Moodle HQ if they wanted to borrow anything in the past)
I expect the PLD code is very custom and could even be tied to MR's hosting architecture so even if they released the code it may not be very simple to re-use.
Moodlerooms has released a number of different plugins from their "Joule" distribution of Moodle.
If you are seriously interested in a demo of the PLD or possibly the code you would probably be best contacting them directly.
thanks for taking the time to respond. Am involved in a couple of projects, and yes I would like to know how I can express my interest in 'seriously' accessing the code for PLD and my considerations for moodle development-from an academic stance in the first instance.
I am not interested in a demo of the PLD. Under GPL rules...butterflies-aside....I can have access to the code-right? Contacting them directly...Who?
under the GPL rules they are not required to share the source code with you. It is also possible that the PLD may not even contain complete GPL code and may be based on an external product that reads data from the Moodle database.
Lots of other FAQ's there that you might find interesting.
The GPL also allows you to set up a cloud based site using the GPL code and sell hosted services to clients without providing them with the actual source code.
Another example - Moodle HQ isn't required to give you access to the code that runs moodle.org (and they don't for a number of reasons)
I presume MoodleRooms have a contact form on their website.
yes, I see Dan. Oh do forgive me, playing Devil's advocate.
Thanks for the links, will have a read.
I suppose, the way I see it....and I am probably knitting with spaghetti here.....is in the following way:
1. moodle git
2. moodle partners share this freely
3. moodle partners owned by Bb can share it too
4. moodle partners (specifically MR-can have their own code that is not shared)
5. Bb therefore have access to both sets of code... hence PLD....which to me...is apparent in the Bb learn merchandise
As I say....spaghetti!
And another type of Moodle release (and I can't remember who does this) is to only release beta versions (and hence the buggy version)s.
As Marcus said, a lot comes back to costing money.
Hasn't this been an interesting thread?
So, onwards and upwards then folks. Teaching with moodle mooc code-wise.....put somewhere safe I hope!
All in good jest, and I have learned a great deal from this thread....including musical interludes for winged creatures!
Hi Dan -
You said, "Totara only recently publishing their seedlings release publicly". Thanks for that, and you mean here, right? Will that repository be updated on some schedule? Right now, the last update was in November 2014. Just curious.
I'm not sure on the details as I don't work for Totara*. I'll fire Richard Wyles an e-mail and point him here.
* The company I work for (Catalyst) is a Totara Partner but my personal involvement with Totara is pretty limited to helping Totara and their clients with the occasional SCORM related problem. Totara is a completely separate company to Catalyst with it's own development and support team but happens to have an office in the same building as our Wellington office (I work from Christchurch)
As per my email reply to this same question. Totara Learning updates the Seedlings codebase when there is a major version release. Version 2.7 is our last major release. We don't publically publish all our maintenance releases or incremental improvements in real time. The product maintenance and software update service is part of our subscription offering. To paraphrase an old cliche "No-one ever got fired for buying software support and maintenance". If you think of a traditional set of scales that is where most of our costs lie and hence that is the value that we sell. In my view it is good to be explicit about where your value sits and manage your P&L accordingly otherwise your open source offering won't be sustainable.
See http://www.totaralms.com/solutions/totara-seedlings for more details.
PS. Unless I'm looking in the wrong place the last update to ELIS was May 28, 2014 which is longer ago than November...
Hi Richard -
Regarding ELIS, you must be looking in the wrong place. ELIS is broken up into a number of plug-ins, and some have changed names, but you can always find the latest in our Github repo here https://github.com/remotelearner. Here is the core plug-in https://github.com/remotelearner/moodle-local_eliscore
As noted, we released the latest versions of the 2.7 and 2.8 branches last week.
Thanks for your response.
I'll give an example why the difference between Free as covered by the GPL and Open Source matters to me and I do not consider it an issue of hair splitting.
If Moodle code and its contributions were made available under an Open Source License such as BSD or the Apache Artistic license, other people could take code I had written tweak it, derive a new product and then sell it to people who would not have the same rights to use that code as I had given when I made my code available. That matters to me which is why I would chose the GPL for its advocacy of the four freedoms.
I see Marcus.
GPL. Yes I see that too. So, logic leads me to wanting the code for this:
- http://www.moodlerooms.com -> personalized learning designer (exclusive to moodlerooms)
- TIP: google **moodlerooms personalized learning designer** for images, manual, and other info on it.
Can you guide me about that please? It sounds interesting. Which GIT hub? Where can I find it please? I don't think it is a matter of splitting hairs....under GPL License crystal clear to me....or am I on the wrong end of a punchline here? Freedom....what does that mean in this context? I am really struggling here, sorry.
Not up for chit-chat Marcus....long day...onus not on you...pledging some questions to the thread:
1. who creates GPL?
2. who oversees its policy update?
3. which country (ies) does it stem from?
4. when was the last time quality assurance was undertaken in a robust manner?
5. where are the policy docs?
6. who are the members of the working group?
we are in 2015....we are not engaging with neanderthals in this era.
Does anyone know answers to those questions please?
once I have those answers...and I will get them! I will then gather a team of experts to respond to the current working practices of GPL. The focal point of that document will be based on reciprocity, in the first instance.
All help with those answers is much appreciated. GPL really need to consider (re-cognise) their role for education for all.
amen folks (have put my soap-box away for now.....for now!)
Sorry, been busy.
Dawn, GPL is the GNU General Public License. It is [issued, overseen, created, maintained, controlled], place your favourite adjective or verb there, by the GNU Project, of which Richard Stallman was the leader and head developer and chief cook and bottle washer. It grew and broadened its reach. Now, you need a law degree to be able to follow the convoluted language of the license, but it essentially says that your work is your own and if you chose a GPL then you can claim intellectual rights, but you agree to allow others to see what you have done. Inherently, it then allows others to copy your work and sell it if they wish, but they cannot sell it as what you called it. I can acknowledge Moodle if I create a site and sell space to you on my server for you to use Moodle I set up, and allow you to use and configure what way you like. There is nothing to stop you from rebadging the Moodle and then onsell that, I would think. There is no onus on me to pay Moodle anything, if I have it right, all I am doing is selling space on my server, just using Moodle to do it. I understand that under GPL, if I added functionality, remade the GUI, dropped some activities say, I could then market that as Muddle, as long as I have a badge at the bottom of each page that says "Powered by Moodle".
GPL is basically a copyleft agreement and while the restrictions are few, they really need to be adhered to, which is why MD is serious about infringements.
re: which is why MD is serious about infringements. Well yes-and so he should be!
re: my questions
So Q1. Q2. =by the GNU Project, of which Richard Stallman was the leader and head developer and chief cook and bottle washer. WAS OR STILL IS????? ANY OTHER NAME PLEASE?
And....across this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Stallman
I see nothing about reciprocity in playing the sharing game.
And the chap has a lot to say here too:
and I still do not find the words free software-gnu-open source-RECIPROCITY WHEN PLAYING THE SHARING GAME.....
Q3. New York/I think.....doesn't matter contact is this I believe: rms at gnu period org
Q4, Q5, Q6 are still not answered, I shall do the work for that.
And now I am trying to keep a straight face here, please, I am...but I do not know what this actually means, of which I found on Mr Stallman's website :
You can copy and redistribute the photo ofme playing music to the butterflyunder theCreative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0or later.
I am going to lie down for a little while.
IMHO it the latest public gesture of Microsoft's love for Linux:
But this love only send chills in the spine of any old-generation Linuxer. A shy, soft-spoken gorilla whisperd to their ears that Linux is cancer!
If you are a developer and plan to publish your work under an open/free licence, of course you need to know the differences. Yes, my statement "hair splitting for the non-ideologist aka pragmatist" should be corrected to something like "hair splitting for a non-creator".
Glad to know that you prefer GPL. Version 2 or 3? I saw that Moodle 1 is GPL v2 whereas Moodle 2 is GPL v3.
answers to Q4, Q5, and Q6
So, the loophole is this:
§Free software principle 1. : the freedom to use the software for any purpose, has been interpreted across the OS context under the guise of GPL.
On that note,
'After a year and a half of public consultation, thousands of comments, and four drafts, version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv3) was finally published on June 29, 2007.' This info was updated (Updated:$Date: 2014/11/08 15:04:00 $).
So, that was 8 years ago. Now, GNU/GPL consider the major difference between free software and that of OS in the following way....
Given its prominence in cloud computing, open source software is burrowing deeper and spreading wider in enterprise IT, as large enterprises put more of their infrastructure, operations, application development and deployment in the cloud. - See more at: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/Open-Source-Is-Woven-Into-the-Latest-Hottest-Trends-78937.html#sthash.cYExbuSn.dpuf
But, if we are talking about enterprise, and OS....and the feeling of being strangled by free software principle 1....what I mean is, that the apparent blurred policy about how principle 1. works for OS....this creates a potentially unethical, unfair system whereby any enterprise in terms of OS....or any free-loader of free software can take...take...take.....and never give or share anything because of the ****ery of GNU/GPL....now, 8 years on...there is a need for change...where policy supports reciprocity across the board whether free-loading others' ideas and hard work, OS or free software.....8 years ago folks....the policy is out of date and out of touch.
Essentially, reciprocity is at the heart of it yes. If I do something, then you change that, and as long as you use the GPL, I can then use what you changed myself, and I have to acknowledge your input. I agree, the intent may be noble but far too many people are not, so that suggests an overwhelming belief in the potential goodness of people, or an incredibly naive assessment of how much of a license this gives the psychopaths, unethical, and just plain selfish people in our society. [Personally, I prefer the former, but then, I doubt I could ever claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Robert Hare, psychiatrist, once said that he would have been better off studying psychopathy on Wall Street than in prisons - but that is a different story.]
In a world where the main function of society is supposed to be economic functionality, the GPL is just out of place, isn't it?