Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Questions on FOSS Licenses

Q1. Can I really use open source software for commercial product development ?
  • Well the real answer is absolutely you can use it without fault. 
  • The company that uses the software needs to adhere to the license given provided with the open source software. 
Q2. Can I really use open source software for distribution under a commercial license ?
  • Now that depends on the license of the open software that you would use.
  • Non-copyleft licenses or Permissive licenses permit you to re-distribute the software with the new changes. 
  • They play well with commercial licenses as long as you adhere to the open source license
Q3. Do I have to pay anything to the company that released the open source software ?
  • If the software is provided with source code under any of the open source compatible
  • licenses then there is no payment to the parent company. 
  • The companies usually maintain 2 versions of their software - Open source and Commercial version.
Q4. Which license permits me to modify the open source code and keep the changes closed ?

Non-Copyleft licenses : 
  • Apache 2.0 License
  • Berkley Sockets Distribution (BSD) License 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) License
  • Other Compatible licenses
These licenses are usually compatible with other permissive Non-copyleft licenses and commercial licenses.

Q5. Which license requires me to submit the changes done back to the community ?
  • GNU General Public License (GPL)
  • GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)
  • GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL)
  • Mozilla Public License  (MPL)
  • Other Compatible Licenses
Reference : 
  1. Licensing HOW-TO by Eric R. Raymond
Unreferenced Articles :
  1. Businessmans' Guide to Open source Licenses by Kristof Kovacs (new - good read)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mou Markdown


Mou icon

Mou, the missing Markdown editor for web developers.

An excellent tool that converts your markdown into HTML if required. Its a wonderful open source tool for OSX which can be used as a Weblog tool.

Its wonderful to writer's tool to create well formatted articles for online publishing.


A simple table looks like this:

Blog Name Description Url
Techie Hacks Software, DIY Stuff, Hacks etc.
Pyscho Foodie Recipes, Reviews, Restaurants etc.

Finally I'm through having to use the browser plugin's or other some-times-works-sometimes-not type of blog tools for OSX. Mou embeds links, creates cool tables & more than anything, gives me the cleanest html possible !

Customize the CSS to ensure your blog theme is not disrupted.

Written using Mou

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bossa Nova Robotics & Mobi

Ball Bot (aka Eva)
Just been reading about Bossa Nova Robotics & Mobi at Tech Crunch Makers. Its been awhile since I got excited about a new robotics company. The company is getting ready to roll out their first commercial ball-bot. An innovative design for a self-balancing robot. The video shows the demos of their existing prototypes.

Its also neat to note that they have put to use the scientific bot behaviors within toys for children (4+ years). The productization of the robotic toys may turn out to be a big hit with kids for Christmas (2013) & New year (2014) this year ?

Spherical Drive System (aka Bat Mobile)
Some time in the middle of 2012, I also happened to meet the people ( a team of San Jose Masters Students), behind a self-balancing motor bike called - "Spherical Drive System". It was inspiring to understand how the concept was developed and implemented with high-level guidance from their professors at the university. Check out their videos here.

Previous Posts on Robotics :
1. Robotics Thoughts Prius with a Mind
2. Java Script : Controlling Robots with Java Script