Talk:Source-available software

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Poor definition[edit]

Sorry, but I think the definition of “shared source” as given by this article is really crappy. Wikipedia defines it as some kind of “arrangement” which could be any license between proprietary and open-source, and something something Microsoft. You should realize how absurdly broad this definition actually is, it could basically mean just almost any software. I think this definition is not really useful.

A good definition should answer this simple question: Is software / software license XYZ shared source (yes/no)? Using this article, I really have no idea to classify pretty much any software. I think the entire lede and Overview section must be rewritten and maybe the article must be renamed.

Also, is the term “shared source” even used actually? Give sources/examples Is there any official or well-defined definition of the term (like for open source or free software?). If not, this sounds a bit like original research.

As the article stands right now, it looks like this is actually about the Shared Source Initiative by Microsoft, and a number or licenses and softwares which came out of it. This is quite clear. What is not clear at all is the meaning of the term “shared source” itself.

--Wiki-Wuzzy (talk) 13:02, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Quote: “A shared source or source available software source code distribution model includes arrangements where the source can be viewed, and in some cases modified, but without necessarily meeting the criteria to be called open source.”
This definition in the lede is broad and unsourced. I have the feeling the whole term “shared source” itself is complete BS and an invention of Wikipedia. It really looks like a confusion with the Shared Source Initiative. I cannot find usage of the term “shared source” even by Microsoft itself. A quick web search only yields results on Wikipedia and a few other encyclopedias (also unsourced), but nothing else. Given the lack of official definitions of the term, and given this article is mostly about Microsoft, I suggest to rename it to “Shared Source Initiative”. --Wiki-Wuzzy (talk) 13:17, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Synonymous to “source available”?[edit]

Is the term really synonymous to “source available”? In common usage, source available is a simple term which means exactly what it says on the tin: The source code of the software is available. That's it, there are no further complex implications embedded in this term.

But from the definitions of the article, “shared source” sounds more like a MS-specific thing to refer to a broad range of licenses which may or may not be also free/open source software. This doesn't seem to be the same as “shared source”.

Can someone who understands more about the term “shared source” please give insight? I am a bit confused right now.

--Wiki-Wuzzy (talk) 13:07, 27 May 2018 (UTC)

Source available appears to be the generic term, as cited by the Department of Defense. I can't find any pages from the Free Software Foundation or the Open Source Initiative that mention both "source available" and "shared source" in the same page. Since this article treats both terms equivalently, I plan to request that this article be moved to Source available after adding additional content to make this article less focused on Microsoft's intiative. So far, I've moved the etymology of shared source to the Origin section and I'm adding sections about TrueCrypt, GitLab, and Mega. Feel free to comment or revise my changes if you feel that this is incorrect. — Newslinger talk 19:28, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 23 July 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Moved. See good arguments for this proposal without any overt opposition. Been three weeks and two relistings, so it's time to close. Have a Great Day and Happy Publishing! (nac by page mover)  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  14:58, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


Shared sourceSource-available softwareSource available appears to be the generic term, as cited by the Department of Defense. This makes "Source available" the most vendor-neutral article title (WP:NPOVTITLE), as most occurrences of the term shared source relate specifically to Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative. This article describes a generic term, not a Microsoft program. If needed, another article for the Microsoft program could be created, but it should be called "Microsoft Shared Source Initiative," not "Shared source." — Newslinger talk 21:55, 23 July 2018 (UTC)--Relisting.usernamekiran(talk) 19:06, 4 August 2018 (UTC) --Relisting. Dreamy Jazz talk | contribs 19:51, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

— Newslinger talk 22:22, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
The header in the February 2016 version of the article was much clearer, but it was mudled after subsequent edits: "Shared source" is an umbrella term covering some of Microsoft's legal mechanisms for software source code distribution. Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative, launched in May 2001. Hervegirod (talk) 11:51, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Avoiding unreliable sources (like blogs), here are some instances of source-available and source available being used as a grammatical modifier in academic publications:
The search query was "source available" code on Google Scholar. — Newslinger talk 12:27, 7 August 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

About the requested move discussion[edit]

I continue to think that changing the title was not a good idea. About the references from the discussion above:

  • In the first reference, the author uses the term but to explain it he references FSF and Stallman, so his subject is really Open Source,
  • the subject of the second one is explictly Open Source,
  • The Visual Proxy reference does not contain the term,
  • the reference about Nutch is also only about Open Source,
  • the last reference does not contain the term.

The reason why the term itself can be found is mainly IMO because it can appear in a sentence without having any specific meaning (this is the case for all the articles you mention which are in fact dealing about Open Source software). Mainly when people use the term, I think that they refer to Open Source. The article initial name was "Shared Source" because it dealt with the specific Microsoft effort and the name they gave to it. It is telling that the "Distinction from free software and open-source software" chapter has no reference to support it. To wrap it, I don't think that we will be able to find much examples except from Microsoft software. Hervegirod (talk) 01:36, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Two days ago, Redis relicensed some of their modules to be under the Commons Clause License, which is described as a "source-availability licensing scheme." Ironically, the word "source-availability" in the license's website links to this Wikipedia article.
From what I can see, source-available software is a superset of open-source software, and the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative is a vendor implementation of source-available software that is not open-source. Since all open-source software is also source-available, it wouldn't make sense for this article to focus on implementations that are both source-available and open-source, as "open-source" is a more specific description for those licenses.
I think the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative should get its own article, since it has received significant coverage from reliable sources, and the "Free and open-source licenses" section (Ms-PL and Ms-RL) of this article should be moved there. The restricted Microsoft licenses (Ms-LPL, Ms-LRL, and Ms-RSL) should also be detailed in the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative article, but the source-available software article should still retain summaries of these licenses since they are not open-source. — Newslinger talk 18:23, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Finished splitting the relevant information to the Shared Source Initiative article, and created Microsoft Shared Source Initiative as a redirect. I'll add information regarding the Commons Clause License later. — Newslinger talk 19:32, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Finished adding information on the Commons Clause. — Newslinger talk 22:56, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Shared source and Shared-source software now redirect to Shared Source Initiative. — Newslinger talk 19:50, 25 August 2018 (UTC)