The point is that no one is asserting control over someone else’s work. You don’t magically get total control over vague things like “ideas” and words just because you were (possibly) the first person to put it on the Internet. Namespaces and ideaspaces are limited resources and childishly hogging them is harmful for the world. This is precisely why we use law to remove ambiguity and subjectivity from this, and allow people to exert a limited form of control over the thing they’ve created if they have a practical use case in mind that requires it.
This is not just about ownership of an eight-letter word, or about “ideaspaces” or whatever. It’s about that word as it relates to a specific kind of project, one that Jeff has made clear over the years that he wishes he had stewardship of.
John has made it clear many times that he is perfectly okay with people forking Markdown. Jeff chose to do it in a way that was obviously a power move. You can waffle over the legality all day long but that’s not how a good, necessary project begins its life.
Don’t feed the trolls.
I do not want stewardship over Markdown. I want it to be a viable, community maintained open source project since millions of people rely on it. That is what open source is supposed to mean.
Well it would seem that was never Gruber’s intent.
Strange to open source something you don’t view as a community effort.
insert popular supermarket here represents Millions of users Charmin, but that doesn’t give them the right to tell people they’re standardizing how you put it on the roll.
What you believe, doesn’t make it fact. If you want to use Open Source Software, you have to abide by the wishes of the creators. The whole idea of open and shared software relies on this being respected, and you’re basically saying “I’m so big, I don’t have to respect it”.
If everyone with a user-base did the same thing, it would kill the open-source community, and the rapid advancement in the development world we’ve been seeing these last few years as a result.
You should apologize sincerely, and follow the creator’s wishes.
I agree that what you want would be great. Unfortunately the old shall not be used for evil situation seems to be repeating itself here. For the best interest of Open Source Software development in general, it’s best to let these things go sometimes, despite the obvious value a simple change in direction or support would make.
He did that so people could fork it if they wanted without fear of legal action. It wasn’t an invitation for everyone to tell him how he should run the original project, or worse, try to assert control over it. It’s the difference between “here’s an idea, do cool things with it” and “this belongs to everyone”.
Markdown belongs to no one but John, contrary to assertions you’ve made and despite its large user base (none of whom were forced to use it in the first place).
If CommonMark somehow surpasses Markdown in popularity, then more power to you! But don’t pretend it would ever be okay to take the original project out of John’s hands, whatever your feelings about his stewardship.
I think you are using that sentence a bit too freely. Its very hard to make an argument that “abandonware” is somehow running a project.
Except it’s not abandonware. Making a very considered decision not to add features is not the same as abandonment, and you don’t get to make any claim otherwise, whatever your feelings about that decision.
Download: Markdown 1.0.1 (18 KB) — 17 Dec 2004
To me this is abandonware.
I am actually delighted with the name change, I think this will tremendously help the project, people have connotation that Markdown is a “pot luck” thing when it comes to rendering of Markdown. A new name here is needed to properly communicate that something predictable can come out of the other end.
To me this is abandonware.
Like I said, your feelings about this are irrelevant.
By the way, are you this way about everything in the world? Would you call a classic film that hasn’t been retouched in decades “abandonware”? Why can’t software just be finished if that’s what the creator wants?
Are you in the feeling police?
What I’m saying is, the only one who gets to decide if a project is abandoned is its creator. If it makes you feel better, my feelings on the matter are also irrelevant as far as John’s concerned.
I like “Common MD”…
To lighten up the mood a bit:
Well, too bad for him. If he didn’t want it to be used, he shouldn’t have told people about it. Useful ideas have a nasty habit of spreading and, thankfully, it still isn’t practically possible to interefere with this.
Because there are flaws in it that can be fixed? Authors of software can enforce this sillyness via copyright, but they can’t stop people from writing new software that does a similar thing better.
It seems to me that you are consistently mixing up Markdown.pl (which is a software project that no one uses anymore) and Markdown the language. Yes, Markdown.pl “belongs” to Gruber (in the copyleft sense, since it has a free software licence), but Markdown the language doesn’t. He’s the one who originally devised the syntax, but that doesn’t mean he gets to rule over all similar syntaxes in the future. Your final paragraph then makes me think this is all about the word “Markdown”, but as I already said, it’s silly to think some eight-letter word is off-limits just because someone else thought of it first. Yes, protecting words is sometimes useful for various reasons, but that’s why you have to go out of your way to defend your use of it. As I mentioned, names are scarce and we’d run out of them pretty quickly if we were to allow people to bully other people out of using them willy-nilly.
Calling it “Markdown” benefits Gruber, not you
I know this has been beaten to death, but I really think it would be best to use a name that doesn’t include the word “Markdown” at all.
Gruber mentions that traffic on his Markdown page keeps growing and that he could monetize that. He seems to think that you’re stealing mindshare.
In reality, I think SO, Github, etc, are the reason for his traffic. If your syntax didn’t include the word “Markdown” at all, he wouldn’t get that traffic.
As long as you call it “Markdown”, Gruber will think you’re benefitting from his success, but actually he’ll be benefitting from yours.
So call it something else entirely. I suggest “Hypertype”.