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Author Topic: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem  (Read 5950 times)

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malcolmbebb

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2011, 07:26:56 AM »

At 15M it's a bit big to be emailing to people, but if somebody can suggest a suitable files area I could maybe upload the installer on night this week.
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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2011, 10:00:07 AM »

I tried several links - the last one said the site had expired. What a shame - this looks just what I need!
Looks like all the files for abcedit and melodeon (trekzak) are deleted. The directory structure is still there.
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Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2011, 11:54:15 AM »

OK, I've not mentioned this before since a couple of simple and discreet emails to Mr Coolegem should suffice, certainly not any sort of "public crucifixion". However, people are now considering redistributing this programme themselves, so here we go.

It's a rather complex tale to tell so please bear with me, this is all relevant.

Sharing to help your friends and neighbours is generally a good and positive thing. It's at the heart of much of our culture and certainly our folk music culture (as we all experience on this website of course). It is also at the heart of the Free Software Movement.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to say to a friend "look, here's this great bit of software" and have them be able to install and use it without any artificial restrictions; with no-one stipulating, for example in long "End User Agreements" or crippled features, when and where and how they are allowed to run it or what they must do to enable certain features.

More than that, what if your friend notices something they'd like to change in the software, like in ABCEdit as discussed on this thread? What if they were able to do it themselves, or maybe get together with you and others to do it. Or even pay someone else to do it for you?

After adapting the software wouldn't it be great if you were allowed to tell others about it and give them copies?

Many people aren't aware of this, but this is not a fantasy. This software exists and is used by millions of people every day.

However, there is a problem. If I simply put a piece of software into the public domain with no restrictions at all then there is nothing stopping someone else from taking that software, maybe also changing it, but then redistributing it in a form that means no-one else down the line is able to study or adapt it. They may also build in artificial restrictions on when, where and how you may use or redistribute the software, or cripple certain functions like printing on a whim.

There is a process called "compiling" that most software goes through. This is when the software code that is written by people (known as the "source code") is taken and converted into something that a computer can use to run the software. Since the computers that we have use the binary system (everything is distilled by a computer to switches, ie. on/off or ones and zeroes), these files are called "binaries". These binary files are not reabable by humans.

So, how do we address that problem and keep software that was meant to be fully shared by the whole community, in the community? This was an issue addressed back in the early 1980's by the Free Software Foundation and it's founder Richard Stallman. He came up with the "Free Software definition" to show what the aims were and the "GNU General Public Licence" to protect those aims in software.

The Free Software definition is as follows:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.


Essentially, the way that the GNU General Public Licence (GNU GPL) protects the freedom of the software user is by stipulating the conditions under which software covered by it may be redistributed (shared). These conditions are enforced through copyright law.

If you use the software on your own computer, then you are not restricted in what you are allowed to do with it. However, it says that if you redistribute software covered by the GNU GPL then people receiving it must be informed of their rights (along with receiving a copy of the GNU GPL) and it must either be accompanied by the source code or a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code. This is to be done at cost and in the usual way that software is distributed on physical media. eg. on a CD rather than written on the side of a camel or printed out on reams of paper.

This is a simplification of the rights the GNU GPL offers of course. The GNU GPL is eminently readable, it's meant to be read by "normal" people so it is not full of inpenetrable legalese.

OK (phew!), on to ABCEdit.

ABCEdit uses code from at least two free software projects. Namely abcm2ps and Ghostscript. Their code is covered by the GNU GPL. The use of the code is clear from the installed files, though it is difficult to tell exactly how these programmes have been incorporated into ABCEdit.

The right to take code from either of these projects and do whatever you like on your own computer is explicitly allowed by the GNU GPL. However, if you redistribute that code then you are not allowed to deny other people their rights under the GNU GPL.

If the redistributer does not comply with the GNU GPL then they must stop redistributing the software since is it the GNU GPL alone that gives them this right. Deny others their rights under the GNU GPL and it will defend Free Software.

However!!!!

There were no lawyers "cease and desist letters" or silly threats, just a couple of emails to Mr Coolegem informing him of the rights that he is denying users of ABCEdit and the fact that he should be complying with the terms of the GNU GPL. The aim is education, not litigation. We want to make friends not enemies.

What Mr Coolegem wishes to do next is up to him. You cannot force people to share their own code, that's not a thing that the GNU GPL can do even if it were desirable. He ought to do the decent thing by the community (and the free software developers whos code he adapted and redistributed) and release the source code covered by the GNU GPL.

Sharing is good. Once won, lets keep that freedom.

---
Some links for further reading:

- Why software should not have owners
- Other articles on the philosophy of Free Software
- The Free Software Foundation
- The GNU operating system (the heart of GNU/Linux)

malcolmbebb

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2011, 09:15:30 PM »

At 15M it's a bit big to be emailing to people, but if somebody can suggest a suitable files area I could maybe upload the installer on night this week.
There is of course a difference between software that's not available because of a technical hitch, and software that has been deliberately taken down.
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Martin J

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2011, 02:04:53 PM »

Andrew, thank you your very composite and informative contribution.  However one sentence has caused me alarm and I quote "just a couple of emails to Mr Coolegem informing him of the rights that he is denying users of ABCEdit and the fact that he should be complying with the terms of the GNU GP".  The inference is that based on information gained on melnet, you or an organisation you belong to, has sent these emails causing Mr Coolegem to close his website and deny the rest of melnetters the opportunity to even evaluate his melodeon friendly implementation.

As I understand from your post, Mr Coolegem had in some way protected his code thereby breaking the GNU GP rules.  If it is just compiling, and at 15meg it needs it, then is he willing to supply source to those who ask?  I fully agree with and support the aims of the Free Software Foundation and melnetters could and should have been informed of his infringement.   The question arises whether information gained on a membership forum has any moral confidentiality with at least the obligation to consult or inform before taking action detrimental to other forum users.

Hopefully Mr Coolegem will offer an acceptable version of his implementation so that more of us may evaluate his contribution to melodeon playing.  I also hope that those who already have his software and are able to get in touch with him will convey the support of some of us here on melnet for his efforts.  He may chose to join us and to put his side of events.  I do hope so.
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Simon

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2011, 03:14:46 PM »

If it is just compiling, and at 15meg it needs it, then is he willing to supply source to those who ask?
The program requires a registration key, which kind of contradicts source code distribution.
The gzipped source code is probably much smaller than 15 meg.
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Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2011, 03:38:03 PM »

It's quite simple really. The copyright holders of the software have asked that he comply with the terms of the licence. ie. in this case, share the code (including any adaptations of it) with others in the way that it was shared with him.

Taking down the website was somewhat precipitate, there's no embarrassment needed on his part if it was (as I suspect and hope) a simple misunderstanding.

I find it strange to mention "moral confidentiality" here. Apart from there being no "confidentiality" (it was a programme being offered to the general public on a public website), I don't consider my actions to have been "detrimental to other forum users" in any case.

Without the free access to and free sharing of software like abcm2ps and Ghostscript then all that ABC software and those ABC web services that people like so much wouldn't exist in the free and accessible way that they do now. Just look at the number of pieces of software that use abcm2ps, in fact I think it would be fair to guess that every ABC programme that includes printing uses abcm2ps and abc2midi for playing.

The very reason that abcm2ps exists is because the original developer of abc2ps used a free software licence. That enabled another developer to pick it up (without having to ask for any further permission), continue to develop it and share it with everyone.  If you now try to look up the original abc2ps software it is not easy to find. In fact, in the future it may only exist on the hard drives of those it has been shared with.

Not offering the source code and not informing people of their rights under the GNU GPL means that ABCEdit breaks the virtuous chain of sharing. It is not a boon for society, but a retrograde step.

Martin J

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2011, 05:35:08 PM »

Thank you Andrew, we are once again obliged to you for bringing some clarity to what is a murky pool to software outsiders.  From a user point of view (my own) I was disappointed in not being able to a least view the software and if there was an issue with it's structure I failed to see why this couldn't have been put right retrospectively.  Microsoft's flawed and failing offerings in the past have always needed upgrades and maintenance but they, of course, charge for their wares.

Thank you Simon regarding the key, yes that does put it well outside of being freeware or shareware, whichever the term should be.

I concur with you Andrew and sincerely hope this is a simple misunderstanding and that we shall see the software appear again in the future.
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Andrew Wigglesworth

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2011, 06:16:12 PM »

btw. it is a murky pool for all of us. There are plenty of people who would vociferously disagree with my personal stance for all sorts of reasons.

I too hope that ABCEdit does reappear. Maybe some supportive and friendly emails from users and interested people would help.

Pete Dunk

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2011, 07:27:48 PM »

Maybe some supportive and friendly emails from users and interested people would help.

I would send a supportive email if I could find an address to write to. I'm sure this is a simple misunderstanding as demonstrated by the OTT knee jerk reaction of an innocent person who thinks they have done something terrible when it's purely an error of omission rather than commission. I think it very proper that Joop has been made aware of the issues but hope to see the software back up and running before too long.

Pete.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2011, 07:29:53 PM »

abcedit@quicknet.nl

Quote:
ABCedit (music editor) version :  4.22b
Date    : 20/08/2011
To get a license number, please send this Email.
You will automatic receive a license in a few days.
With the license code you have an unlimited use of the ABCedit (music editor) programme.
Without a license printing and making a pdf file is not possible.

The receive of the license is free !!

This Email will help me to detect how many people are using the programme.
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Pete Dunk

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2011, 07:35:42 PM »

Thanks Malcolm, I'll compose a suitably supportive message.  ;D
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Kyusho

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2011, 10:17:00 PM »

Hi. Just noticed this thread..

But the mail doesn't work  :-\

Any sugestions?
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Kyusho

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2011, 02:25:47 AM »

The mail is MEFA@hotmail.nl
I asked if it's possible to buy this program (serial) but until now i got no answer.
I hope that Joop reply to my email.
I had to install windows xp on VMware just to get MEFA working.
I use Mac so i only use barfly.

Abel.
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Simon

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2011, 08:00:53 AM »

MEFA is the successor of abcedit, and only online since a couple of days. According to the web page ghostscript is removed from the installation package, but it still seems to contain some other GPL licensed like abcm2ps. I doubt if this solves the license issues.
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Kyusho

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2011, 06:41:06 PM »

Still no answer..
Maybe he went on vacations..  :D

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Pete Dunk

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »

I use Mac so i only use barfly.

Abel.

Hello Abel,

Easy ABC works for Mac OSX as well as Windows and is a good bit of software, download here.
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Kyusho

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2011, 01:25:19 AM »

Joop is a really nice person.. :)
Talked to him by mail and the program is really great.. :)
:)
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nemethmik

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Re: ABCEdit by Joop Coolegem
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2012, 09:58:51 AM »

The new name is MEFA (Music Editor for ABC)
http://members.quicknet.nl/j.coolegem/mefa/mefa_eng.html
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Miklos
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