Servers

DIY: PageKite allows you to host a site from your desktop

Interested in serving up web content from your desktop, without having to have an dedicated IP address or passing traffic through a router brings up some pretty cool possibilities? Here's a way to do that.

It's not everyone's cup of tea, but the idea of serving up web content from your desktop, without having to have an dedicated IP address or passing traffic through a router brings up some pretty cool possibilities. Such as, you ask? What if you work in a small company where you want each of your departments to have its own site or blog, but you can't afford to host multiple sites or you don't have the skill necessary to host virtual sites? Or what if you just want to make a quick blog available from your desktop, without having to worry about routing IP addresses or signing up for more costly static IP's through your host?

Where there is a will, there is a way. One of those ways is with the new service PageKite. With this tool you can run web servers on machines without a direct connection to the Internet, such as mobile devices or computers behind restrictive firewalls. You do have to sign up for an account (which is free), at which point you name your site (such as jack.pagekite.me), and download the necessary software. But how complicated is this to set up? Let's take a look and see if this is just what the DIY IT Guy ordered.

Requirements

  • Since PageKite does not yet have a built-in server, you will need a working web server on the machine that is to host the site. This web server can be of any type, so long as it serves up content.
  • You will need Python >= 2.2 installed on the machine to host the PageKite page.
  • You will need the pagekite.py package, downloaded from the PageKite download page.
  • As I mentioned earlier, you need an account on PageKite. When you sign up for this account it will ask you what you want your page to be named. That name will be the url you use to access your site.

That's it. Once you have all of that, you are ready to go.

Setup

I am going to demonstrate how to set up PageKite on a Ubuntu 10.10 desktop machine (PageKite can be installed on Linux, Windows, or Mac.) This machine already had Apache installed and running so there was no need to install the web server. With this out of the way, and your account on PageKite created, download the pagekite.py file and do the following:

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Change to the directory pagekite.py was saved to.
  3. Issue the command sudo mv pagekite.py /usr/local/bin.
  4. Issue the command sudo chmod 0775 /usr/local/bin/pagekite.py.
  5. From your account page you will also find a settings file specific to the OS you are using. Download that file.
  6. Create the directory /etc/pagekite with the command sudo mkdir /etc/pagekite and move the pagekite.rc file into the newly created directory.

That is all you need for the "installation" of PageKite. Now, it's time to run the service.

Running PageKite

From that same terminal window you will issue the command:

pagekite.py --defaults -backend=http:YOURNAME:localhost:80:SECRET

Where YOURNAME is the name you used for your PageKite URL (during sign up) and SECRET is the shared secret key you will find on your account page.

Once the service is started, point your browser to the URL you created at setup and you should be able to see the web page your web server (on your desktop) is serving up. How you serve up your web page is completely up to you. You could use any given tool (such as WordPress, Drupal, etc) or you could hand-code your web site. Naturally, if you journey outside your document root you are looking at a much more complex setup. For more information on running PageKit as a backend/frontend server check out the This Documentation Page. Either way, PageKite is ready to serve up your newly created web site without having to route internal addresses, purchase a static IP address, or deal with a hosting provider.

If you are looking for more complex ways to run PageKite, issue the command pagekite.py - -help (that's two dashes) and you will be presented with a comprehensive listing of all the available options as well as examples for how to run PageKite with frontends and more.

Final thoughts

Understand that PageKite is very new, so even the documentation leaves a bit to be desired. But in the short time I have been making use of this service, I have noticed significant strides forward to making the PageKite experience as user-friendly as possible. I have started using PageKite for machines on internal networks that I want to be able to serve up to the public, an invited audience, or for small mom and pop shops looking for a quick way to allow a few employees to use an internal web-based tool (without breaking the bank). Give this tool and try and see how you can use it within your small business.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

48 comments
Peconet Tietokoneet
Peconet Tietokoneet

In layman-terms.. I:E, put more simply. As you wrote > People who modify the program itself must take care to abide by the license. So if i do not abide by the licence and just use the modified version on a server, then what?

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

I have clarified the licensing of PageKite and related files to prevent misunderstandings. As before, pagkeite.py is distributed under the AGPL and people who use it unmodified have no particular obligations. People who modify the program itself must take care to abide by the license. People who wish to do things which the AGPL can not accommodate, are encourage to get in touch and negotiate alternate terms. PageKite documentation is made available under the CC-BY-SA license. Again, if this causes concrete problems for anyone, we are happy to listen. PageKite configuration samples and smaller shell scripts are placed in the Public Domain. These changes are all live in the GitHub code repository, people who downloaded from pagekite.net received each file separately anyway so there should not have been any confusion there. Cheers!

apotheon
apotheon

This is a pretty nifty tool. On the other hand . . . Be very, very careful with this. In addition to the potential dangers of running a Web server on your desktop or laptop to share Webpages on the big bad Internet, there's another really big potential problem with this: It's distributed under the terms of the Affero General Public License. While the GPL is usually pretty "safe" to use for services, the AGPL forces you to adhere to its copyleft policy with regard to people who just use your service, without having to run or even possess your software themselves at all. Thus, by having someone visit the site you're serving with Pagekite, the GPL's copyleft requirements to maintain an archive of source code for others to access immediately kick in. This might be interpreted to mean that, while your Pagekite site can be running or not at whim, you have to ensure there is a persistent, more traditional server somewhere storing the Pagekite code and making it available to others at all times so they can get downloads if need be. Simply providing a download link with your Pagekite site is almost certainly not sufficient, given that if you have to suspend your laptop or shut off your desktop it is possible someone might have viewed a page you're serving for half a second and not had the opportunity to download the code if he or she wanted it. Even if offering a download link on your Pagekite site was shown in court to somehow satisfy that need (and you don't want to be the person who tests this usage of the AGPL), you would still need to set up that download option, which many potential users of Pagekite are unlikely to do (thus violating the terms of the license) because of their ignorance of how the AGPL works, and because of the substantial overhead imposed on their administration of an "easy" local Webserver. Unless you fully understand all of the implications of using the AGPL and like doing extra work for no productive purpose -- and you should definitely consult with a lawyer before setting up a service of any kind running AGPL software -- you should stay away from Pagekite. edit: typo

bonedog73
bonedog73

The Opera web browser can do this as well. In a few clicks you're in business.

Oskar Omarsson
Oskar Omarsson

I just used this few hours ago and I must say I'm impressed. I was doing a homework assignment in web development class at my university (on campus actually) and I wanted to get a second opinion on my site, I had seen PageKite the day before but didn't have an account or anything. So I signed up, downloaded the python app and the config file. Changed the port number in the config file to the port that the ASP.NET Development Server was using and started the python app. Just like that, in less then 10minutes, my not-even-close-to-complete-site was online and accessable to everyone able to listen to port 80... quite impressive I must say.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I'm sure that some may find it useful, though the extra On Time required may be a killer for most people. Col

Justin James
Justin James

You can go get a low end Web host for $5 a month, and it will even have a domain name for a little bit extra. Why would you put yourself in a position to have your desktop be forced to be on all the time, let alone deal with installing this (no matter how easy it is)? J.Ja

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

Sure, I can try! Note that I am not a lawyer though, and this is written from memory. If in doubt, please seek advice from someone who is. Software licenses generally work in such a way that IF you willfully violate the license, then you are violating copyright. So any of the copyright holders may take you to court and, assuming you lose, you will lose the right to use/distribute the software at all (if you build a product depending on the code, that would obviously be quite unfortunate). There may also be monetary fines for copyright violation, but in the case of open source, they would almost certainly be very low as it can be hard to argue financial damage if you are giving the product away for free. Generally I think these disputes are settled out of court and the person violating the copyright just publishes the infringing source code (complies with the license) and that's the end of it. A large part of the "punishment" in this case would be the resulting bad press; being caught stealing isn't exactly something to be proud of. How great your risk is therefore depends largely on how litigious the copyright holders are, whether your violation shows up on their radar, and of course how important the software (and your infringing use of it) is to you. Make sense? This is one of the reasons I find it quite silly to be spreading such fear of the *GPL licenses as was done in the comments on this thread. The risks, and penalties, are just not that high. And complying with the license is usually ridiculously easy - just publish your modifications and you're off the hook. Obviously I hope you don't read this as an endorsement saying you are in practice free to violate all the open source licenses willy-nilly. Those of us who freely share our code do so in good faith and hope people will return the favor. Did that answer your question?

apotheon
apotheon

Thanks for that. I still think the AGPL is a bad idea, but this at least removes some of the potential legal issues for unsophisticated users.

lmorchard
lmorchard

You only need to provide access to your source if you've modified the original application. Re-read the license, clause 13: "...if you modify the Program, your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version..." So, if you're just running plain vanilla PageKite with your own config file, nothing you just ranted on about is true. Besides, even if you do run a modified version, my interpretation is that if your server's down, no one's interacting with it - and so you don't need to offer non-existent users the opportunity to receive the source code. There's nothing I see in that license that demands you host source code downloads in persistent perpetuity, just while it's available to users interacting with it. And, if you're the sort who's modifying PageKite, tossing your derivative version up on github or something isn't all that onerous a demand

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

... would anyone publish software under the AGPL? Perhaps Mr. Runar, who responded above, would care to enlighten us?

ian
ian

I'd be interested to know where this option is in Opera.

apotheon
apotheon

That's a much better idea than using software distributed under the terms of the AGPL. Your liability is much reduced using something like Opera for this task.

lmorchard
lmorchard

While leaving a home desktop on all day might not be a good thing for some people, there are new plug computers that run linux and only consume around 5 watts of power. This thing has some interesting use cases

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

Hi Justin! I'm the main author of PageKite, hope you don't mind if I respond. You are of course completely right that a low end web host is a better solution for many things. We don't expect to put those guys out of business any time soon. :-) But some people like to tinker with things and being able to run a server on your own computer can be incredibly convenient. As an example, web designers and software developers often build entire sites on laptop computers and then have to go through a publishing process just to show their clients or coworkers what progress they've made. With PageKite, that publishing process can be skipped entirely. We're also very keen on the privacy aspect, in that if you want to use the web to share a file with one or two people, you are no longer forced to upload it to some stranger's computer first. I hope the idea sounds a little bit less awful now. :-)

apotheon
apotheon

> So any of the copyright holders may take you to court The Free Software Foundation pursued lawsuits for Busybox violations despite the fact the Busybox maintainer did not endorse or agree to the FSF's actions. > There may also be monetary fines for copyright violation, but in the case of open source, they would almost certainly be very low as it can be hard to argue financial damage if you are giving the product away for free. 1. There's a case to be made that selling software distributed under the terms of the GPL, with modifications, without actually providing the source is depriving the copyright holders of source code (for the modifications) with a dollar value, though for some reason that argument does not appear to have made it to court yet. I think it's because anyone likely to be taken to court for that settles out of court to avoid the expense. 2. Dealing with a lawsuit, or threats of a lawsuit, is in and of itself expensive unless you just capitulate at the first sign of a threat and give the party seeking remedy anything and everything he or she asks -- which can itself be kind of expensive. > being caught stealing isn't exactly something to be proud of. "Stealing" is not the correct term. It's "copyright infringement". There is no theft involved. > This is one of the reasons I find it quite silly to be spreading such fear of the *GPL licenses as was done in the comments on this thread. By contrast, I find it silly that people who favor the GPL often don't realize how damaging legal entanglements can get. The fact that the problem in cases of license violation is often solved by publishing source code does not in any way suggest that the problem will always be solved so simply -- and, in cases such as Kororaa Linux, unintentional, edge-case violation according to the questionable, self-serving interpretation of the guy with the more expensive lawyers can result in an open source project being shut down (for several years, at least, since it looks like someone's trying to revive Kororaa again, as of December 2010). > Those of us who freely share our code do so in good faith and hope people will return the favor. This is true of many. It is not true of all, and it is the exceptions that can cause serious problems for the incautious distributor (or user, in the case of the AGPL) of copyleft software. re: taking care to abide by the license . . . This is why it's so much easier to deal with copyfree software. In general, all you have to do is leave the license text alone, and everything's kosher. Abiding by the license consists of not willfully violating it. Meanwhile, a lack of intimate familiarity with the workings of (most?) copyleft licenses can in and of itself contribute to an accidental violation. Depending on the nature of the violation, the remedy could result in the ending of your project directly (due to licensing incompatibilities, for instance), monetary damages, or suddenly having to set up a code hosting infrastructure with frankly ludicrous persistence requirements (which is what hit the MEPIS Linux project around the same time the Kororaa Linux project was dismantled by legal threats).

apotheon
apotheon

Copyleft software has interesting effects on things associated with it -- like configuration files. Configure Pagekite, and the configuration file changes trigger the thirteenth clause of the AGPL. At least, that's how it should be treated, because the user really should not want to be the guy who gets to test the AGPL in court. It's a legal minefield.

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

In plain English, the AGPL states that if you modify PageKite and subsequently use that modified PageKite to provide service to a group of people, then you must provide those people with access to your modified PageKite source code. If you don't modify PageKite and just use it, then you have no particular obligations. More specifically, the license does not require that you provide access to any of you other code unless you link the systems very intricately together, for example by using pagekite.py as a python module in your own code, instead of using it as an external proxy. In this case you would have to share that entire code-base with those who are using it. If you maintain a clean separation between PageKite and your webserver (the default state of affairs), then you can continue to license your code as you wish, and share it or not as you wish. I'd say Apotheon is worried for no good reason, in this case. The main reason I license PageKite under the AGPL, is because although I am openly sharing my code, I do expect people who take advantage of it to play nice and return the favor. Generally, people who complain about the GPL and AGPL are doing so because they want to be able to take other people's code and use it, without giving anything back in return. I consider this a rather selfish attitude and my generosity does not extend so far as to want to accommodate them.

apotheon
apotheon

I think that many people who buy the copyleft/FSF/GPL party line suffer one of two problems: 1. They think it's totally reasonable to impose these ridiculous restrictions on how people use their software, because it's for some "greater good". 2. They simply don't think about the effects something like the AGPL can have on people -- largely because of how easy it is to accidentally violate the terms of the license or, more to the point, how difficult it can be to comply with them sometimes. Some server software can at least be tolerable under the AGPL, but something like Pagekite is particularly atrocious under the AGPL because of the fact that the intended use is specifically for the purpose of avoiding the need for a server suitable to hosting source code downloads in the first place. I rather suspect that Pagekite's going to see something like a 98% rate of users in violation of the license, in large part because they won't understand the license (or, perhaps, even know it exists). The GPL has at least one thing going for it: you can use software that does things like Pagekite does without having to think about license compliance (while you do nothing but use it, of course). Just using Pagekite under the AGPL forces you to build a code sharing infrastructure, though, completely obviating the majority of the benefits of using Pagekite in the first place. It doesn't help that the author of a piece of software isn't directly affected by the AGPL. Authors (more specifically, copyright holders) can distribute it however they like. It's just the people to whom they distribute it that get saddled with the difficulties of complying with the onerous terms of the AGPL. In short, authors of AGPLed software often don't realize the problems users of their software might encounter, because they themselves are not affected by those problems. edit: typo

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

Please see my clarification on why I use the AGPL (I am the main author of PageKite) and how it effects your rights in a comment below. I see things very, very differently. With an open solution like PageKite, you have the freedom to use the software as you wish (aside from moderate constraints requiring you share any changes you make with your users). If you rely on closed-source code like Opera, then not only do you have to comply with their license, you are also helpless if they decide to cancel the product, change the terms or simply don't want to support your operating system or computing platform of choice. Especially for a commercial enterprise, building on top of a proprietary solution like Opera is fraught with very serious risks. Which probably explains why, after being available for a couple of years, they still have only a handful of third party apps available. Finally... if this is a serious concern for any developers out there, my company is still the sole copyright holder for pagekite.py and we are quite willing to discuss offering alternate licenses to proprietary developers - for a reasonable fee, of course.

Jaqui
Jaqui

with a webserver installed, and a free account with a service like dyndns this type of functionality has long been available. as far as developing, testing the displaying for review, it isn't even needed. all you need is the web server and the [b]current[/b] ip address of the system and you can display the pages across the network without needing to change router settings. and yup, the Linux / open source users have been doing stuff like this from the start. :D

jmverner@theRNDgroup.com
jmverner@theRNDgroup.com

Perfect idea to host my MythWeb server on my MythTV box. Can't be done with a dedicated outside web site!

Justin James
Justin James

Bjarni - That makes a LOT more sense than what Jack said this should be used for in his article. Maybe you should coordinate with him to have the article updated. Because presenting it as an alternative to a proper Web host in the manner that he has done makes your service seem like a horrible idea. J.Ja

apotheon
apotheon

Yeah, there haven't been too many "high profile" cases -- but that's kind of a ridiculous selection bias to employ. Kororaa's shutdown wasn't very high profile because everybody ignored it, not wanting to admit their darling license killed a small community Linux project. Lawsuits aren't the only problems with copyleft software, either. There are also issues like mutual incompatibility between copyleft licenses and the Atheros scandal a few years back (where GPL-using developers were doing exactly the same kinds of things that prompted all those high-profile lawsuits: using code from more-freely-licensed projects without contributing anything back to them).

Justin James
Justin James

... then why can't companies like Google and Microsoft stay out of trouble with it, despite their army of lawyers and deep pockets to buy things like compliance software? Sometimes, "FUD" has a basis in reality, and FUD around the GPL is indeed warranted. I highly encourage you to shift to a MIT/BSD style license, simply to take away the difficulty in understanding the end user's responsibilities. J.Ja

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

It's really not that hard. :-) Edit: Just for some context, I recommend checking out the Wikipedia articles on the GPL and AGPL. They give context and list the high profile lawsuits related to these licenses. There haven't been that many of them. Millions of people manage to not get in trouble using Linux and other GPL'ed software every single day. :-)

apotheon
apotheon

Repeating yourself only convinces the most gullible.

lmorchard
lmorchard

No. That's not how it works, no matter how much you'd like it to work that way so you can keep trolling.

apotheon
apotheon

> Yawn! > > Let's just agree to disagree Lovely. "Dismissive opening. Statement intended to make me sound like a nice guy." Doesn't the cognitive dissonance bother you? > I'll let it pass that you keep accusing me of ignorance. I guess I'll let it pass that you think being ignorant of something is, in and of itself, a black mark on one's character. I'll just let it pass that you are looking so hard to be insulted. Anyway, "ignorant" is much more flattering than the alternative -- that you are being disingenuous when you act like you are not cognizant of the possibility that people might have good reasons to disagree with you. > I understand the AGPL quite well and many of the things you dislike about it are things I prefer and want. I guess so. I prefer and want people to be able to use, modify, and redistribute software without legal hassles, though -- thus our disagreement.

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

You really hate the GPL license, don't you? I like them. Let's just agree to disagree, and I'll let it pass that you keep accusing me of ignorance. I understand the AGPL quite well and many of the things you dislike about it are things I prefer and want. :-)

apotheon
apotheon

> Generally, people who complain about the GPL and AGPL are doing so because they want to be able to take other people's code and use it, without giving anything back in return. You're generalizing from the case of the demons you imagine clawing at your door. You clearly have not thought through the problems of copyleft licensing very much if you think (nearly) everyone who prefers copyfree licensing is a bad person who is bent on abusing you. Your presumption here is as bad as that of an RIAA representative claiming that anyone who advocates for cutting back on the DMCA is just trying to make it easier to "steal" copyrighted materials, or a Microsoft executive claiming that open source software advocates are just communists. Here's some reading material for you: * Copyfree Dot Org * Copyfree vs. Copyleft * Software Liberation Front * Code Reuse and Technological Advancement * Major security myths of 2009 (read point #3) * Choose the right licensing model for security software . . . but despite all the arguments against copyleft licensing for people who care about freedom, I guess all those people are just corporate lackeys trying to "steal" your source code. Right?

apotheon
apotheon

Your argument, such as it is, applies more to the Web server software than to Pagekite itself.

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

The object code resides in the memory of the computer running pagekite.py. Using a normal Python interpretor, that never gets distributed to anyone who didn't have the source code already, so it is a non-issue.

Jaqui
Jaqui

in that using the pagekite service it is executed. :p and since it's what is making the service work so people can view the content off your system, it's getting distributed in executable+ executed form when they view it.

apotheon
apotheon

> since running a python script as part of a website is distributing it in object code, it means that any USER of pagekite must also make the source version available. How exactly is the python script distributed in object code? Maybe I'm overlooking something, but nothing comes immediately to mind.

Jaqui
Jaqui

[b][i] 6. Conveying Non-Source Forms. You may convey a covered work in object code form under the terms of sections 4 and 5, provided that you also convey the machine-readable Corresponding Source under the terms of this License, in one of these ways: * a) Convey the object code in, or embodied in, a physical product (including a physical distribution medium), accompanied by the Corresponding Source fixed on a durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange. * b) Convey the object code in, or embodied in, a physical product (including a physical distribution medium), accompanied by a written offer, valid for at least three years and valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model, to give anyone who possesses the object code either (1) a copy of the Corresponding Source for all the software in the product that is covered by this License, on a durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange, for a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying of source, or (2) access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge. * c) Convey individual copies of the object code with a copy of the written offer to provide the Corresponding Source. This alternative is allowed only occasionally and noncommercially, and only if you received the object code with such an offer, in accord with subsection 6b. * d) Convey the object code by offering access from a designated place (gratis or for a charge), and offer equivalent access to the Corresponding Source in the same way through the same place at no further charge. You need not require recipients to copy the Corresponding Source along with the object code. If the place to copy the object code is a network server, the Corresponding Source may be on a different server (operated by you or a third party) that supports equivalent copying facilities, provided you maintain clear directions next to the object code saying where to find the Corresponding Source. Regardless of what server hosts the Corresponding Source, you remain obligated to ensure that it is available for as long as needed to satisfy these requirements. * e) Convey the object code using peer-to-peer transmission, provided you inform other peers where the object code and Corresponding Source of the work are being offered to the general public at no charge under subsection 6d. [/i][/b] since running a python script as part of a website is distributing it in object code, it means that any USER of pagekite must also make the source version available.

apotheon
apotheon

> The configuration file generally isn't even distributed with PageKite today 1. What's the point of an example configuration file you don't distribute? 2. What do you think happens when someone issues a git clone command? > Legal interpretations are not done by machines, they are done by people, and no judge in the world would support your interpretation. I don't think you follow copyright litigation news very much if you think that's the case. The truth of the matter is that, in copyright litigation, the guy with the most expensive lawyer usually wins -- and in cases where some non-wealthy individual is being threatened with lawsuits by corporations, foundations, et cetera, that individual basically always loses even if it never goes to court, barring the case where someone charitably chooses to pick up the tab. I don't see the EFF leaping to the defense of someone defending himself against the FSF, though. > I'm not going to bother with this discussion anymore, I have better things to do than feed the trolls. So much for the assumption you aren't willfully ignorant, and want to have a discussion about licensing. You declare yourself the "winner" by labeling someone with a different point of view "troll", and refuse to participate any further.

apotheon
apotheon

Is that what passes for "discussion" with you -- calling people "troll"?

lmorchard
lmorchard

Hah, I see what you're all worked up about... there's a pagekite.rc on Github. Easy fix: Rename it to pagekite.rc-dist like a good project should.

lmorchard
lmorchard

I don't know what you downloaded, but I downloaded a Python source file with a license comment header. Then, I downloaded a separate config file auto-generated by the site. One's licensed, one's not. I changed the latter, but not the former.

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

Sorry, you are not just impolite, you are also still wrong. The configuration file generally isn't even distributed with PageKite today, it is downloaded separately or *generated* by the program itself. Neither of which would be covered by the AGPL, even if your ridiculous interpretation were true. You're just grasping at straws now, is that really the best you can do? Legal interpretations are not done by machines, they are done by people, and no judge in the world would support your interpretation. I'm not going to bother with this discussion anymore, I have better things to do than feed the trolls. :-)

apotheon
apotheon

> The GPL family of licenses, the AGPL included, place no restrictions on people who just use the software. The AGPL blurs the line between use and distribution by including a clause that covers cases where others access the service your software provides. In this case, it appears you do not understand the license you are using. What the heck so you think that clause means? > your modified version must prominently offer all users interacting with it remotely through a computer network (if your version supports such interaction) an opportunity to receive the Corresponding Source of your version by providing access to the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge, through some standard or customary means of facilitating copying of software. This Corresponding Source shall include the Corresponding Source for any work covered by version 3 of the GNU General Public License that is incorporated pursuant to the following paragraph. As distributed, if someone alters the sample configuration file, clause 13 applies. Good job. Everything I said is true, since one cannot reasonably use the program without configuring it.

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

You are spreading misinformation here, making serious accusations and some rather distasteful insinuations about the mental state of "people who buy the copyleft/FSF/GPL party line". The GPL family of licenses, the AGPL included, place no restrictions on people who just use the software. They do place restrictions on developers who wish to modify, extend and/or redistribute said software - but (depending on what you are doing) those restrictions are generally speaking far milder than those imposed by most commercial licenses. The license is not hard to read: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl.html Clause 13 is the one you are freaking out about, and it's nowhere near the big deal you make it out to be. Your accusations of ignorance ring especially hollow when accompanied by such blatant misinformation as is present in this comment.

apotheon
apotheon

I rather expect that, when confronted with the AGPL, developers who want to accomplish what you provide on an embedded device will just write their own tool from scratch. In any case, in that situation, the GPL would have the same effect anyway -- since the software itself would need to be distributed on the device. Your example is essentially inapplicable. > I'm sorry if you feel I'm less than friendly in my other comments, but if you can't take it you shouldn't dish it out. Accusing developers of being ignorant or unethical because they choose a particular license is not exactly good manners. Did I say "You're unethical!" to you? No, I did not. I haven't "dished it out". . . . and everyone's ignorant of something. The problem is not being ignorant; it's being willfully ignorant. Given that you said you'd love to have that discussion (but don't seem to recognize that's what we've started doing right now, for some reason), you don't present yourself as willfully ignorant, so I don't see the problem. Turning idle speculation that, if not unethical, you might simply not have thought it all the way through into some kind of claim that I'm accusing you of something is pretty low, if you really meant to do that. If not, it's probably just a sign that you're not taking the time to consider my actual words, and are reading into them because you react badly to people questioning your licensing decisions. If there's some third reason you might be misrepresenting or misinterpreting my statements so egregiously, I'd love to hear about it. (. . . and I can "take it", but that doesn't mean I can't call you on it.)

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

There are many interesting applications that can be built on top of PageKite. Think about the embedded world for example, where devices in the field make do with consumer (often 3g) internet connections and their owners would like to manage them remotely - PageKite provides a very elegant solution to that problem. If an open source developer legitimately feels that my choice of license is a problem, he is welcome to talk to me and try to convince me to offer a different license. I'd love to have that conversation. I'm sorry if you feel I'm less than friendly in my other comments, but if you can't take it you shouldn't dish it out. Accusing developers of being ignorant or unethical because they choose a particular license is not exactly good manners.

apotheon
apotheon

> Especially for a commercial enterprise, building on top of a proprietary solution like Opera is fraught with very serious risks. Are you kidding me? Who would build a commercial enterprise on something designed to allow someone to temporarily host a test site on his own laptop? > Finally... if this is a serious concern for any developers out there, my company is still the sole copyright holder for pagekite.py and we are quite willing to discuss offering alternate licenses to proprietary developers - for a reasonable fee, of course. So . . . the open source developers are just screwed if they do not want to conform to the restrictions of GPL-style source redistribution for doing something simple like commenting out a section of code that proves troublesome for their needs. Great. I appreciate your attempt to make a well-reasoned, polite comment here, presenting your perspective (even if it's misguided, given that assuming a worst-case scenario is the only reasonable way to deal with licensing issues if you don't have a stable of lawyers at your disposal), but your other response to me was a bit less friendly. Flies, honey, et cetera. Claiming that I'm making "distasteful insinuations" when all I did is speculate about the "why" -- and suggest it might be "they haven't thought about the implications" -- is kind of over the top. Don't you think so?

Bjarni Runar
Bjarni Runar

In order to do as you suggest with Dynamic DNS, you need to have a visible, route-able IP address. And your probably also need to be able to reconfigure your router to forward the required ports. This is not just inconvenient, it is impossible for many people. And yes, it has been possible to roll you own solution for ages. PageKite is just trying to make it easier. :-)

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