Joined: July 2004
||Posted: July 10 2006,18:55
1) The term "freeware", as I understand it, is a general term for any software that is available at no cost. In this definition, open source would fall into that category. Usually open source software is set apart from freeware, however, since it is always open source but not necessarily always free of cost. Also, freeware does not always allow redistribution.
The GPL is just one of several ways to licence open source software. The only thing that is shared by all is the fact that the source code is available to the general public. Depending on its license, the code may be limited in what you are allowed to do with it...you might only be able to modify it for personal use, or you may be able to modify and redistribute with certain other limitations (as with GPL), or you may be able to do whatever you want with it.
All of the binary programs in DSL are released under GPL or GPL-compatible license. You can find out whatever you need to know about their licenses by visiting the websites of the various programs' developers.
2) As the DSL distribution has been released under GPL, you are allowed to modify and redistribute, as long as the redistributed product abides by and remains under GPL license. Some distros include shareware, but DSL does not...it contains NOTHING that cannot be redistributed.
3) I don't believe there is anything wrong or contrary with supporting open source software on proprietary operating systems. I may have misunderstood the purpose of the win98 thread, but i was under the impression that it concerned support of Windows and Windows users by Linux software....in that respect I think it's a waste of time and resources to cater to people who want a windows-like environment just because they don't want to have to learn anything new.